Friday, December 21, 2012

What They Wrote

"Something I am learning: I think there should always be a good balance of being honest about where we are at and letting others do the same. At the same time, we need to encourage each other to what is true about us- that God has our best interest in mind, He loves us and like always, works all things out for good. I am learning that the best thing we can do for each other is to listen with compassion and encourage with that same compassion. We should never ignore our friend's struggles. I am speaking this to myself- I want to be full of compassion and understanding, so I am able to truly help others. I want to listen well, so I can tell others things that truly matter. I want to love, so I am able to have true relationships. You can't change your situation, no matter how hard you try. For example- we are working "overtime" to think of ways we can better our situation. My husband is working his butt off. But over all, we have to wait on God. We have to be patient. This is our "situation" right now and saying it is different is silly. It's not. BUT, there ARE better things on the horizon! Even though it's tough, we ARE living our destiny at this very moment. Even if "right now", really,kind of sucks.  haha. It all leads to something."  (quote by Me)

"So much end-time theology portrays a Jesus that is coming, as exactly the opposite of the Jesus that came. Some of the most popular Christian fiction, such as the left-behind series, represents Jesus as a vindictive, revengeful, totally ticked-off divinity. Its as if Jesus has had 2000 years to think about what was done to him, stewing in his anger, and wow is he going to let this world have it! That is not Jesus Christ - that is anti-Christ.

The Jesus who came, gave himself for us, even while we were at enmity against him. We bruised him and striped him with our blows and he responded with healing. Humanity murdered Him and he responded with forgiveness.

If God was vindictive and revengeful, the resurrection would have been the ideal opportunity for him to lash out at those who murdered him. Instead, in the resurrection we meet our victim coming towards us with open arms, forgiving, healing, embracing.

Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. The Jesus that is present, and the Jesus that is to come, is the same Jesus who overcame our violence with love. He will never resort to violence to overcome violence. He will never resort to evil to overcome evil. His message is still the same: the power that overcomes this world and transforms it is the power of persistent love, even in the face of the greatest contradiction!" Andre Rabe

"Prayer means we're invited out of the metallic self-obsessed isolation, which is hell, into the warmth of union, of Goodness, of vitality, and playfulness, and I'm like, "Look, can I get back to You on this?"

Left to my own devices, I love my obsessive isolation. I get a lot more done. But luckily I am not left to my own devices. i have you, in the Martin Buber sense of the word "you"--Thou. The sacred other. You start throwing a bunch of messy love moments from friends and loving goofball strangers into my day, and the whole system threatens to collapse. All of a sudden, I go from the trance of Forward Thrust, wearing the armor of busyness and achievement and stature, to finding myself on the floor with Jax's fiancee, making play-doh spagetti. Or settling in with some very old photos of my family, when here I set out to organize the garage. Or wanting to call a man I fired six months ago, who had put in a new tile floor but jacked up the price, and inviting him to christmas breakfast in 6 days with my beloved riff-raff.

He used to BE beloved riff-raff. Then he crossed me. And now I had a hard dead spot in my heart, and today I think I might just postpone decorating the Christmas tree--creating light in these cold dark days of Advent and Newtown--
until after I clean up the mess in my heart where I harbor resentment. God has helped me miss him.

Someone once famously said that holding onto resentment is like drinking rat poison and then waiting for the rat to die.

So that is my new, revised, not-left-to-my-own-devices plan for the day. It will make me WAY more vulnerable than I had planned. But I know it is what God would want if She were standing right here in her best hat, like our oldest church ladies. She would say, "Oh, tiny princess. Stop being such a big whiny baby. Forgive Joel. ask that he forgive you. You are both here for giveness. For the purpose of giveness. Get a grip, Hon."

What if my contribution to peace in this shattered scary sad world was to do this brave holy thing today? I am pretty sure this earth is secretly Forgiveness School. We ask purselves, Would you rather be right, or happy? If we want to be happy, we have to forgive, one person at a time. But then we get to feel the Light again, a lightness; and practice radical playfulness in the face of tragedy. so that is what I'll do: forgive Joel, ask for forgiveness from him, and then (worst of all) forgive myself for being such as asshat. Then I'll decorate the tree, add light to this joint! and then, and only then, I'll get on the floor for the sacrament of play-doh spaghetti." Anne Lamott

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