Overturning tables

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“Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there.  He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves.” Matthew 21:12 (NIV)

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Occasionally we may flip tables in the temple, but this comes only after we’ve spent time weeping over Jerusalem.

Selah.

True righteous resistance is difficult to discern.  Yet this one thing I know … it does not come without tears.

It was said of Patrick Henry, one of America’s Founding Fathers, that he was trained in the tradition of righteous resistance, tutored in the principles of higher law.

A higher law–the law above the law–the higher law of love.  His name is Yeshua.  And His Love is relentless.

Jesus–the epitome of righteous resistance.  He overturns the tables of greed to make room for the blind and crippled so that they might be healed.

Maybe we just need to make some room.

True healing comes when hearts are overturned by the Higher Law of Love.  And this does not come without brokenness.  This does not come without tears.

“We are not to simply bandage the wounds of victims beneath the wheels of injustice, we are to drive a spoke into the wheel itself.”  Dietrich Bonhoeffer, German theologian and anti-Nazi dissident.

Love & Peace.

At the heart of this peripatetic soul

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Everybody born comes from the Creator trailing wisps of glory. We come from the Creator with creativity. I think that each one of us is born with creativity.”  Maya Angelou

Deep down—way down deep—I am a peripatetic soul.  A wandering, roving, drifter of sorts, given to “walking about, especially while teaching”.

No need to even leave the house, this wandering of mine—this wandering of mind.  Walking the floors over emerging thoughts and ideas.  Walking them into fullness; walking them into the light.

Venturing into new lands within—some made for running and slipping away; some for lying low; others for roaming and exploring.

New lands of creative dreams and wild imaginings, where I co-create with the Spirit of God.

It takes faith—simple child-like faith to create.  But, simple does not always mean easy.

All children are born geniuses and we spend the first six years of their lives degeniusing them,” said American inventor and visionary R. Buckminster Fuller.

And the studies prove him right—98% of kindergarten children score in the genius range for divergent thinking—that innate ability to create.

That means we are hardwired to think and act creatively; it is a part of our DNA—first breathed into mankind in the Garden.

So, I’m going back to the Garden to do some wandering; to roam and explore hand-and-heart with the Creative Genius within.  To say “yes” to something bigger than myself; to risk chasing after my creative ideas.

Not for the sake of creativity itself, but for the sake of releasing beauty in extraordinary ways to a broken and hurting world.  That is creativity; and that is the heart’s desire of this peripatetic soul.

 

God spoke to Moses: “See what I’ve done; I’ve personally chosen Bezalel son of Uri, son of Hur of the tribe of Judah. I’ve filled him with the Spirit of God, giving him skill and know-how and expertise in every kind of craft to create designs and work in gold, silver, and bronze; to cut and set gemstones; to carve wood—he’s an all-around craftsman.  Exodus 31:1 (MSG)

Just because I’m unique, doesn’t mean I’m different

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i am uniquely made, a one-of-a kind design
yet i choose not to believe that i’m different;
the moment i believe i’m different from my brother
i begin separating myself from the world that God loves;
and no one can be a relevant voice in this world
without community & love for one another.

“So God created humankind in his own image; in the image of God he created him: male and female he created them.” Geneses 1:27

Solid Rock

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“The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.”  Ernest Hemingway

She was a natural-born paradox.  Gentle yet tough; loyal yet independent; social yet a bit of a loner.

Remembering the autumn so many years ago when we watched her free-spirit belly grow under her man-size shirt.  Surely she is carrying someone’s child, but she denies it for as long as she can.  Until one cold day in December, she delivers a baby girl into the waiting arms of the adopting parents.

She has her reasons.  Good reasons painfully drawn from the deep waters of a brave girl’s heart.  I don’t judge—I know better than that.  She shows us the birth certificate with tiny footprints and cries.

A year later, on a snowy night in January, she stands with us at the church altar as her brother and me exchange our wedding vows.  We will never see her again after that night.   Her gypsy heart and hippie spirit calls her westward where her life comes to a sudden and tragic end a few months later.  She was 22 years old, and our hearts broke.

Life goes on; 20 years pass—and then a letter, a phone call, a knock on the door.  We embrace through tears, and I whisper, “I always knew you would find us”.  And through her daughter’s eyes, she smiles knowingly.

The death of a young person brings confusion, perhaps even more so to a person of faith.  We ride the waves of grief—up & down, down & up—until eventually, somehow, we land upon solid ground.  Ground that takes us in—womb-like—and protects.  The solid rock of trust in God when there are no answers to the hard questions.  Solid ground—placental earth—protecting, revealing & healing.  Something that does not happen overnight.  Love & Peace.

 

 

 

A Meal With Jesus

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Gathered around the family table, I am called upon to pray before the evening meal.  In a moment of what I can only describe as sheer insanity, my irreverent little ten-year-old self, the same child who blew out her bubblegum upon the big red doors of the First Baptist Church, boldly declares, “Good bread, good meat, good God, let’s eat!” 

My father chuckles and tries to cover it with a cough.  My mother is not amused, and I am asked to leave the table.

I am a follower of the teachings of Jesus Christ.

I love that Jesus leaves the 99 to go after the 1.

I love the story of the prodigal son’s return, and—while still a long way off—his father runs full tilt with arms wide open to welcome his son home.

And I love that Jesus “…welcomes sinners and eats with them”.  I think that may be what I love most.

I mess up more than I’d like; I am far from perfect.  Yet, still Jesus welcomes me with arms wide open & eats with me daily.  That’s amazing.  That’s grace.

A meal with Jesus—a moment of grace; a time of connection and communication.

A meal with Jesus—offering “a divine moment, an opportunity … to be seduced by grace into a better life, a truer life, and a more human existence.”*

A meal with Jesus—to be shared with others.  Literally.  Sharing a meal with friends, or strangers, extends God’s grace and life into the world.

It’s called hospitality: the relationship between guest and host, where the host receives the guest with grace & open arms.

I’ve found that Jesus is the perfect host.  He serves up a great meal.  He is good bread.  He is good meat.  He is a good God.  And I eat—as often as I can.

“O taste and see that the Lord is good …”  Psalm 34:8 (KJV).

 

*Tim Chester, A Meal With Jesus:  Discovering Grace, Community, and Mission around the Table.