The time has come! On Sunday I board a plane to head to the UK for just under three weeks. While I'm gone, I will get the joy of sharing several beautiful guest posts with you. I'm quite excited. I may post tomorrow, but not sure yet. Regardless, blessings to you all and see you again come 23 August.
I love; therefore, I am vulnerable.
-- Madeleine L'Engle, Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art
- crashing on couches, driving in the wee hours, staying up too late, and feeling the freedom in my bones to run
- conversations with my Father
- an antique milk carrier and jugs
- getting to hug Andie Redwine
- a National Endowment for the Humanities grant
- the lens my Mother sees the world though, in which everything is garbed in hope and expected to be redeemed
- Max and Lauren are getting married and their story is amazing. God paints better love stories. You can support them by making a donation on their wedding page or buying their amazing art.
- I've mentioned before that you should be reading Tamra, but for those of you close to me or readers here who know the up and down I have had with finding my place in church these past few years, her words were echoes of redeeming grace. "I’ve grown in two significant ways: Closer to the people of my church, and farther from its denominational doctrines. And divergent growth is painful."
- Stop. Go read Stephanie and follow her on Twitter right now. This week, she wrote a post about why we need stories. She related it to the Bible. The fact that I'm hurling this post at you without exploding in the process should amaze you. I mean, come on. If you've spent some time here, this will be familiar. She also quotes L'Engle's Walking on Water. Come. On. And she weaves her words. "Maybe because stories bring out the child-like awe in us, sharpening our senses to better understand the world. Maybe because, as Jesus once amazingly said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children” (Matthew 11:25)."
- Alise has a brilliant sense of comedic air coupled with astute observation. Her take on baby dedications and christenings, while quite funny, is a little food for thought. "Bi-winning: The mother schedules a water birth in the church baptismal during the service."
- I wish I were better at being a thick-skinned hamster. Thanks, Chris Gibson.
- Usually, when people write that God is love, a lot gets lost in the process. Holiness slips out, passive realities that demand nothing of hands and feet slips in. So often enough, the idea that God is love, which I believe, is mistaken to be trite. Kristin wrote that God is love, but a Love that is peacefully violent as it rolls in, a Love whose robe hem she clings to and will not let go.
- "I did not see sexual intercourse as a gift from God or a wonderful way to gain intimacy with my husband. Instead sex signified a loss." There's a lot we need to fix in the church, in ourselves, when it comes to how we speak about sex.
- Hilary cares about the words. I don't know a better way to describe it. She cares about what happens to the words she uses and, accordingly, she writes better than most people I know. She's also incredibly brave. I don't know that I could have written this, but I'm sure glad I read it. "But I have been asked a few times this week if I'm dating anyone. And when I smile, and I shake my head, and I say, 'No,' and they ask, 'Have you?' and I say, 'No, never,' the conversation moves on but I don't. Does it make any difference that my answer is 'no, never'? In that small moment, when they say, 'Oh, really?' and I can't tell if it's sympathy, or bewilderment, or a nonchalant remark designed to move the conversation on - what's happening in the crawl space between my head and my heart?"
- My good friend Elizabeth, without meaning to, gives the perfect explanation of why as Protestants we should better embrace the idea of confession. "I go to Confession because I know I can’t keep myself honest on my own. Trying to keep myself honest by myself is like standing in front of a spiritual circus mirror: I see a distorted version of myself."
- I have been following Father Christian's writing of the icon of St. George and the dragon and I strongly encourage you too as well. He teaches through quiet things, subtle honesty, and we would all be so fortunate to know such a priest in our lives. In this, I resonate: the veil is torn.