There is no *I*

“Why an MDiv,” asked the young man who was taking me home today after I surrendered my car.
“Because I realized that the message I had to share with The Church was stronger than the one I had to share with academia.
“How did you know?’ he asked.
Silence. – How does one explain the absolutely overwhelming feeling that there is something that one MUST say or do? A drive that comes from within and without?
“Have you ever been in love?”
The 22-yr-old stared at me and said, “no.”
“Being in love is like being caught in a tsunami,” I said. “Every emotion in the world catches you up and carries you along, and there is nothing that matters but that wave.”
“But what is the message?” he asked.
“There is no “I”, I said, “There is only we.”
“But what does that have to do with Christianity?” he asked.
“You should love one another., ” I said. “And the key is in the ‘one another.’ That lies at the heart of Jesus’ teaching, and at the heart of every religion. When it comes right down to it, there can be no ‘I’ without an ‘us'”
And so, after saying yesterday “I. Give. Up.” I realize that *I* can’t because there is no *me,* there is only an *us*
Wherever two or more … … … There is no *I*

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Love Your Elders Well

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I freely admit that I’ve had a stormy relationship with my parents for all my life. And I’ve seen enough family relationships being played out at hospital bedsides to know that I am not alone.
As children, we see our parents as all-powerful, because they hold all the power over our lives.
As adults, we begin to see them as human beings, with all their faults and foibles.
If we are lucky, we will some day come to the point at which we realize that they are frail and mortal and that, try as we might, we will never truly understand the fears they grew by and through.
Perhaps then we can cradle them in our hearts, and, if they allow it, in our arms.
Amen

Joy and Pain

Poking and prodding
pain pursues,
penetrates, pervades

tears
prickling behind my eyes

threaten
to trickle and then teem.

But there
there in the corner
there peeping
under the blind
there peeping
through
one wee perforation
There lies the show-stopper:
Snow
frosty flakes of joy
dancing in the breeze
lifting my heart
with laughter.
My spirit soars,
salsas, skips, and sways
Scales the pain
seeking sanctification
A blessing
touches my soul
putting pain
back
in a peace-filled place

A Strange Lenten Discipline

I stopped singing five months ago.
It wasn’t deliberate – I just could not sing.

I stopped singing at the same time as I stopped laughing.
Whether I sang or laughed – I ended up in tears

So I stopped.
There were already enough tears in my day

For the next 40 days, instead of giving up something,
I am going to take up something.
I am going to find something that will make me laugh out loud once a day and I am going to find something to sing once a day
Wouldn’t it be lovely to put joy back into a world that has become so joyless?
And so I begin with a poster of sorts compiled two years ago using images that were captured six or seven years ago
The Joy of the One-Man Band

Opening Night

I can hardly believe it!
My first ever photo exhibition opens tonight! It will be up for the entire season of Lent and Holy Week.
“Stone Cold Journey: A Canadian Stations of the Cross” is a figurative interpretation of the scriptural “Stations of the Cross,” using the Gospel of John.
I did allow myself to stray into Mark for one image because his vision of the death of Christ is so much more powerful

For now: Just one photo. This one does not appear in the exhibition itself. It’s the image I chose for the poster that will be sent out to the synod, seminary and other churches later this week.

Like the 14, “Mourning” is a winter image, for Lent is a winter journey in so many waysImage