I confess that I’m on week two of my working vacation. I hope this week is more vacation and less working.
I confess that I cannot begin to understand what makes a person walk into a movie theater to kill and injure complete strangers for no apparent reason. I confess that I immediately try to find somebody to blame: I blame our lawmakers. They should be held responsible that there is no federal assault weapons ban. I blame the gun lobby. They foolishly protect the right to buy and wield weapons whose only purpose is to kill other people. I blame his parents. They obviously knew something was wrong. I blame his professors and fellow students, how could they let him become so isolated? How could they not know? I blame James Holmes, why did he have to kill for no reason. What is wrong with this person? I blame our society. We have glorified violence. We who are outraged with the violence of James Holmes have all failed in our desire to reconsider the violence we celebrate in television and movies – even the very movie he interrupted the other night. I confess that my blaming is weak and futile, and the only thing I can do is resolve to hope that new creation will break in, and that new life will come flowing forth from death. I confess that in times like these, I begin to understand why Jesus demands that we love and pray for our enemies.
I confess that I have a heavy heart today for several of my friends who are hurting right now. In each case, there is very little I can do to help. The best I can hope for is to be present to them, pray for them, and hope that the presence of God will heal their broken hearts.
I confess that I am more convinced than ever that the practice of daily bible reading and prayer must forever be a part of my life. Only in my constant returning to the scriptures and the prayers of the church – I mean at least 2-3 times a day – can I begin to see myself as I truly am.
I confess that I feel as though I’m constantly failing in my battle with the “small self.” I confess that my true hero in this life, Rich Mullins, was beloved and revered above all else for his refusal to ever allow anyone to think more highly of him that they ought. He once said that if your ambition was to leave a legacy, you’d leave a legacy of ambition. But if your ambition was to be faithful – to be a genuine human being in the way Jesus makes possible – then the legacy will take care of itself. God save me from my own masquerades, narcissism, and need to feel important.
I confess that I watched (listened to while painting), the entire Ken Burns “The Civil War” series last week. He’s a master storyteller. I confess that I’m nearly finished with “The Monarchy,” a miniseries narrated by David Starkey, who is the snarkiest narrator I’ve ever listened to. I’m learning quite a lot about the crazy monarchs of England.
I confess that I have not spent nearly enough time reading in the past week.
I made my confession… Now you make yours!