My brain is in a fog. My attempt to post on this blog twice a week has dribbled down to no times a week. We are in the midst of a move to a ground level apartment. The fourteen stairs which have provided us with a beautiful, much – loved balcony are now our #1 enemy. My husband has to stop mid-way to regain his breath; I have been known to go up on my hands and knees felled by back and leg pain – not an easy way to carry up bags of groceries. Now we are surrounded by boxes up here and in the garage. Our homey apartment is just a shell. We will move a week from tomorrow; a group from our former church offered to help us. This is difficult time, but also a time of many blessings. When I have recuperated, I’m sure the writing block will disappear and I will share them with you. Until then, I haven’t stopped reading. Here are more words from some of my favorite people.
“He or she who cares is invited to be poor, to strip himself or herself from the illusions of ownership, and to create some room for the person looking for a place to rest. The paradox of care is that poverty makes a good host. When our hands, heads, and hearts are filled with worries, concerns, and preoccupations, there can hardly be any place left for the stranger to feel at home” (Henri Nouwen, You are the Beloved).
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“It may be a temptation to want to be transformed into the dominant images of our society and imagine it is the gospel — more winsome, more clever, more competent, more ambitious, more secure. You can hustle around and achieve, because we here are all high achievers. But that transformation finally will not do, because it is in truth not what our life is about. The transformation that counts is to embrace our oddity as creatures of God” (Walter Brueggemann in a 1992 sermon on II Cor. 3:18).
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“The power of stories is that they are telling us that life adds up somehow, that life itself is like a story. And this grips us and fascinates us because of the feeling it it gives us that if there is any meaning in any life – in Hamlet’s, in Mary’s, in Christ’s – then there is meaning also in our lives. And if this is true, it is of enormous significance in itself, and it makes us listen to the storyteller with great intensity because in this way all his stories are about us and because it is always possible that he may give us some clue as to what the meaning of our lives is” (Frederick Buechner, The Magnificent Defeat).
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“Grant me daily the grace of gratitude, to be thankful for all my many gifts, and so be freed from artificial needs, that I might lead a joyful, simple life” (Edward Hays).
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“Does God want us to compromise our moral values—continuing to support Trump, remaining silent about his outrageous behavior—in order to accomplish what we believe to be good results [conservative judges, reversal of Roe v. Wade]? Or would God have us act in moral and honorable ways, including denouncing Trump, while trusting that God will deal with the evils in the world in God’s own way and in God’s own time? I do not think there is any question about which of these God would have us choose.
Jesus called Christians to be salt and light (Matthew 5:13-16). Jesus did not limit this command to non-political activity only. When Christians enter or have influence in the political realm, they are to be salt and light there. Does this not mean that Christians should demand that their leaders be fair, reasonable, and decent? As it is now, the world sees Christians supporting and defending a morally corrupt leader. It gives many a reason to reject the Christian faith out of hand.
What if evangelicals took a different path? What if we insisted that our political leaders be decent, honorable, and fair—and we started trusting in God, and not power politics, for results in the political arena? If we did, we would give the world a reason to view the Christian faith in a different light. We would be inviting God to accomplish things far beyond anything that can be done through the ways of this world. We would be inviting God to demonstrate what can be done through the power of the Holy Spirit” (Steve Skahn, Reformed Journal: The Twelve, Sept 24, 2019.