A collection of thoughts . . . Just some words that are marking me.
“When all the facts are laid out, it is hard to be a Christian. When all the facts are laid out, it is harder not to be a Christian. For the great fact, Jesus, trumps all other facts; he is irresistibly compelling. ‘Will you also leave me?’ … ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have come to believe and to be convinced that you are the Holy One of God.”‘
–Dale Bruner, Matthew, A Commentary: The Churchbook, 384
“Maybe now in the middle, after the conversion, after ten years, on into twenty years, faithfulness is about recognizing that most of my hours will be devoted to painting the middle tint, the sky, the hillside on which no one will comment, the hillside that no one, really, will see. Maybe this is prayer most of the time, for most of my life; I will barely notice it; you will barely notice it; against this landscape of subtle grays, occasionally I will speak in tongues, occasionally I will hear an annunciation.”
-Lauren F. Winner, Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis, 191
If Jesus isn’t (a) crazy, (b) a false prophet or con man or (c) his disciples weren’t, have to at least consider the fourth possibility: that (d) some of those miracles had some foundation in fact. Somebody saw something remarkable.
Once you allow even that sliver of possibility, that crack of light, it’s not long before the stone rolls away from the tomb.
-Mary Karr, Lit, 350
“The tragedy of the sin of Adam and Eve, in the wake of which they were expelled from that beautiful, God-given place, was not only that their friendship with God was spoiled; it was that they lost their home, exchanging the beauty and furitfulness of Eden for the bitter and hostil harshness of the wilderness. Home, once an encompassing reality, was now reduced to a dim memory and istant longing.
As the story of redemption unfolds in scripture, again and again the grace of God is directed toward two interwoven purposes: restoring humans’ friendship with God and in the process bring people home.”
-Margaret Kim-Peterson, Keeping House, 22-23
Although I want to reclaim faith in the midst of chaos, not all chaos is redemptive. an overflowing calendar does not contribute to faith in daily life if it leads to depletion. Some of our busyness is just that: a deadening busyness that distracts and destroys the capacity for joy and awe . . . Rather than glorify all this running around as somehow spiritual and sanctified, it makes sense to question the pace at which we live and to consider how to slow down . . . I want to suggest, however, that a fully adequate response involves more than this . . . Sometimes, realistically, it is impossible to simplify life with children. Instead we must find ways not to flee or control time but to live graciously within its entanglement.
–Bonnie J. Miller-McLemore, In the Midst of Chaos: Caring for Children as Spiritual Practice, 42-43
“When . . . our natural reason . . . takes a look at married life, she turns up her nose and says, ‘Alas, must I rock the baby, wash its diapers, make its bed, smell its stench, sty up nights with it, take care of it when it cries, heal its rashes and sores? . . . What then does the Christian faith say to this? It opens its eyes, looks upon all these insignificant, distasteful, and despised duties in the Spirit, and is aware that they are all adorned with divine approval as with the costliest gold and jewels . . . I confess to thee that I am not worthy to rock the little babe or wash its diapers, or to be entrusted with the care fo the child and its mother . . . Neither frost nor heat, neither drudgery nor labor, will distress or dissuade me, for I am certain that it is thus pleasing in [God’s] sight.”
-Martin Luther, Luther on the Christian Home: An Application of the Social Ethics of the Reformation
(via In the Midst of Chaos by Bonnie J. Miller-McLemore,45)
The greatest honor we can give Almighty God is to live gladly because of the knowledge of his love.
-Julian of Norwich (via The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning, 36)