Saturday, December 30, 2006

holy, holy, holy

There's something fresh going on in my (sad, frail) Christian heart, and it looks like it's part of a collective sweep. I was reading the intro to "The Dust Off Their Feet" a retelling of Acts by Brian McLaren (I love it!), and picking up those buzz concepts: relevance, truth presented to appeal to the entire person (including sensory -- art, music) ... When opponents name this (movement?), we'll see all it's components in a nutshell, with a conclusion, probably, about selling out (selling out what?) to appeal to the worldly, or everyone jumping on a bandwagon.
The funny thing, though, is that I unknowingly climbed on the bandwagon a few years ago when I started longing for Real Truth in a (feeble, frantic) quest for holiness. I want the non-negotiables in Scripture that transcend, and translate to all cultures.
I'm too afraid to get close enough to a holy God to put words in His mouth right now. To say, "This is how God wants you to dress. This is the music God wants you to listen to ..." Look like this, say this, do that. I will say, "Don't get drunk. Don't steal. Be modest. Love, love, help, serve ..."
So, this truth-quest is the search for "relevance?" I'm already sure it's relevant, and not so much wondering "What's in it for me?" I wanted meaning, for me. Pondering all this, I'm both joyed and terrified that God's not compressed into Exactly What I Thought He Was, that He's untamed, that He's allowed to have mysteries, is in control of everything (sovereign), is author of my life and the world's life, and it's all good. Release and surrender. Relief. (Which is why I love a Reformed church for the chance to just lift the hands of my heart and say: "It's all You. Your blood has washed away my sin, Jesus, thank you.") Ponder God = truth/meaning = awe = joy/fear.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Acts Now

A friend the other day commented on how men, in general, seem to be abdicating leadership when it comes to women, family, etc. Maybe guys see women's independence as a convenient excuse to fade into a more comfortable background, I don't know. (Really, I don't know what guy enjoys confrontation on an emotional plane where women stand, a lot of times, hand-on-holster.)
But a thought occurred to me, in relation, concerning Christian singleness. I wonder if we're waiting for the Magic Spouse in order to find real support and fellowship. And blaming guys (or girls) because we're ... missing a mysterious spiritual component. What is it? Is it support? Maybe not. We're comfortable, except for this one lack of security: someone to care, know me, offer insight, support. Otherwise, I'm comfortable. So, all I'm really waiting for is Magic Spouse.
Which came out snarkier than I intended. It's just that, it's not all about comfort, right? Think about Truth and how, if you really meditate on it, Meaning soaks through your mental membranes. Then comes awe = joy + fear. Not comfortable. Almost unbearable, but God's joy = strength. And you want more, more, more ...
Desiring God, I experience joy (thank you, John Piper, for putting it into words), and I chase Him via the "Way" (thank you, Lao Tzu and your brother-mystics for suggesting a "best way"). The Way, as I mean it, of "forget me, love God and others." Which is absurdly un-safe, in a world whose most-every fiber shouts: "forget you." (Or worse.)
I want to -- intentionally -- give God my little loaves/fishes of obedience and -- expectantly -- watch Him multiply it. Which = joy. And I need brothers/sisters to 1. want that too, 2. team-up and get to know me, bear burdens, share insights.
Embarassing, obvious simplicities. But I haven't experienced this much. And not for a long time. And in the meantime, I've been eaten alive by discouragement. While I've smiled and eaten potluck.
"Join a team! Join a ministry. Become a missionary, and head to China." Those are great ideas, for real. But I have a mission field already, and a Christian organization doesn't guarantee heartfelt brother/sisters.
I don't want a para-military prayer group, a curriculum-spurred Bible study, matching T-shirts, communal living, just serious, lets-get-busy, here-we-go heartfelt teaming-up to care and serve.
"Join a care group! Meet with an older woman!" I will. This is just a Wed. afternoon blog-servation -- and prayer request. Less a want ad than the little ads Catholics sometimes take out in the back of newspapers: cryptic "thank you's" to God.
I want to live Acts now, even single. I absolutely cannot wait.

Thursday, December 07, 2006


Let your Swallow loose, to eat the swarming termites of my mind.