As I walked through the neighborhood today, it was a gift to contemplate and be reminded of how much one can come to know and understand of God in the silence.
Holy Saturday is a day in which we consider what it means to silently wait. The Christian mystic St. John of the Cross, who wrote in the sixteenth century, said that “silence is God’s first language”. In 1948 Thomas Merton wrote “God [is] hidden within me. I find Him by hiding in the silence in which He is concealed.” In his comments on this beautiful, deep insight of Saint John of the Cross, Thomas Keating, in his work Invitation to Love, wrote: “Everything else is a poor translation. In order to understand this language (silence), we must learn to be silent and to rest in God.”
Many wonder what did Christ do on Holy Saturday? This question has spurred centuries of debate, Continue reading
One’s first image of being grounded by anyone, especially God, looks a lot like the cover photo. We imagine the words coming with a stern voice, sharp look, and even a loud shout. I can say after a year of being “grounded by God” that I had none of these feelings around my experience. I haven’t blogged or really written for a year primarily out of a sense that God was calling me to restrain myself from these activities. It took me some time to recognize the feeling of restraint as being grounded.
Why might I call it being grounded. The primary reason is that grounding represents being restrained from something one might otherwise want to do by someone with the authority to do so. Grounding someone is a uniquely human activity. However, being grounded in God is very biblical. Paul’s prayer for the church at Ephesus is that they would be “rooted and grounded in love” The prayer in Ephesians 3:16-19 points to a different way we might think about being restrained by God and how it can strengthen our faith. Restraint from some things can ground us in others.
Given this, I thought it would be fitting that my first blog post after a full year of silence would be about this experience. There are three things that I learned from the experience.
“Salt is good, but if it no longer tastes like salt, how can it be made to taste salty again? It is no longer good for the soil or even for the manure pile. People simply throw it out. If you have ears, pay attention!” Luke 14:34-35 (CEV). Continue reading
Your work focuses on the real, daily needs of children right here in our own neighborhoods. But sometimes it seems easier to think about the needs outside of our borders, like focusing on the hunger faced by children in far-off countries. Why do you think that is?
The things happening in our neighborhoods are actually connected to us—and who wants to deal with that? “I don’t want to deal with me, but I’d be more than happy to deal with you.” Continue reading
One of my favorite things to do with kids is ask them why they are thankful to God. They give the best answers, in my humble opinion. I remember a particular answer that has stuck with me for years, like an ebbing tide that rises and falls during particular periods of my life. On a sunny afternoon in December, which is rare in the Northwest, I was talking to a group of young people of varying ages. My daughter was one of them. The question: Why are you thankful to God? Continue reading
It is true that getting older doesn’t necessarily make you wiser. I must admit, though, that not becoming wiser as you age must take very active resistance to learning. In other words, it is more natural to gain wisdom than to not. It would seem that you have to put blinders on the rear-view mirror of your life and silence the voice of your past to avoid gaining wisdom. Certainly, a healthy conversation could take place about my perspective. My musings on aging, though, are not my destination. They are simply the jumping off points. Continue reading