2.29.2012

Time Draft

The late afternoon snuck in
under the crack
between the door and the frame.
It's a small crack,
somehow big enough that time can't be kept out.

Showers, toothbrushes, real life clothes, food
can't fit in the crack,
somehow time can.

I wonder how many others have
the same kind of cracks
between their door and door frames.
How many headaches and heartaches
have pushed them to stuff
towels
and
sheets
around the cracks,
hoping to keep the draft of time
and light
and wind away,
even if for just a moment more?

Tomorrow, I'll get up
before dawn,
just like I did yesterday.
I'll open the door,
the crack will disappear
into the new and gaping opening.
I'll run and I'll shower.
I'll eat and I'll put on real clothes.
I'll sit with real people and speak aloud.

Time
and light
and wind will help the day make sense,
sitting and swirling and rushing unnoticed.

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This post was written alongside my fellow creatives at The Creative Collective on the topic, "Speed." Read their fantastic posts here.


2.23.2012

Interrupting Chaos

As the people of God, we are faced with a daily choice as to how we would like make God's claim on our life apparent. Oftentimes, I fail. I am impatient and bitter, steady in my self-reliance to get things done. I can do it, just let me alone. My fiercely independent industriousness doesn't have much space for a God that enters into my chaos and the chaos of the world. I'm too busy cleaning it up to notice or even care.

Lent is a time a time of permission to visit the depths of these weaknesses within us: all of our personal failings, all of our corporate failings. Lenten practices remind me to empty myself of myself so that I might notice the work that God has done in this world and is doing in this world. My habits, my posture of self-reliance, my attitude of solitary initiative are called into question when I admit the limitations of my body, that I cannot clean up my chaos and I cannot clean up others' either. 

Lenten practices asks the people of God to embody their weaknesses, their failure, their hunger. In fasting, there is a hunger not only for food and its comfort, but there is a hunger for God and a desire that others might not be hungry. Lenten practices force us to revisit the Incarnation because they ask us to meditate on Jesus' body, the suffering that Jesus endured, and the love that he offered so freely. Our bodies and spirits, like Jesus', are meant for the good of creation and all that is in it.

Lenten practices are not behavior modification, they are incarnate reminders that our chaos has been interrupted. They are opportunities for the church to interrupt the chaos of the world, our communities, our lives. It begs the question, how are you interrupting chaos?

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This post was written as a part of the Creative Collective on the topic "Hunger." Read my fellow creatives' work here.

2.21.2012

Can I pray?



Tomorrow, the Lenten season of the church begins. All of our Alleluias will be buried deeply in their liturgical tomb, wrapped tightly in burial clothes. But I feel like I am burying a shriveled corpse. I haven't had much Alleluia in my life lately. It's been more like Ahhhhhhh! Let me sleep, will ya? This is not the life that I want to live. Not the person that I want to be. Not the sister, daughter, roommate, friend, colleague, student that I want to be. The cultural lack of sackcloth and ashes force and allow me to hide my lament and anger at the state of things.

I'm not sleeping because there are important and terrible things asking for me to pay attention to them. Terrible conditions of my brothers and sisters in far away places, geographically, emotionally, economically. Terrible treatment of my brothers and sisters who, in attempting to be faithful, are derided and excluded for their lives, their views, their hearts by those who claim to love them. I lay awake wondering if there is something else I can do to help myself see another more clearly, if there is something I can do to help them see me more clearly, if there is anything else I can plead to God to do to help us bring healing and restoration in this gaping wound of the world.

I lay awake wondering, but I often do not pray. I do not pray because I'm afraid to go there. I'm afraid that if I talk to God, God will answer me and it will not be beautiful, but it will be cross and nails and stony paths. I do not want to walk down that path. I do not want to cry anymore. I do not want to break. I do not want to lose it.

I do not want, but my want has failed me.

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This post has been crafted alongside my fellow synchrobloggers from the Creative Collective on the topic of "What Moves Me."  Check out their writing here.