Monday, June 11, 2012

You would think I wouldn't be stunned by now...

I never ceased to be amazed at how true the old saying, "You see what you want to see" - or "perception is reality" - really is: call it magical thinking, the enormous creativity of the human mind/soul or even delusional projection but too many times the "facts" elude those who just don't want to see them.  Take, for example, the mast head of this blog:

I always thought it spoke of Christ in an incarnational way - what if God was one of us - and all the rest. But apparently some people don't see Jesus at all: they tell me they see some guy from Pakistan on a London subway.  Others have said the painting speaks to them about the contemporary weakness of Jesus before the resurrection.  And who knows what else might be going through people's heads, yes? I am regularly bewildered.

I find that I am still shocked at the cruelty of some people - the total depravity and horror - but also genuinely knocked on my ass by their deep compassion and beauty, too. Every day is still a complete mystery...

"I don't think the way you think.
The way you work isn't the way I work." God's Decree.
"For as the sky soars high above earth,
so the way I work surpasses the way you work,
and the way I think is beyond the way you think.
Just as rain and snow descend from the skies
and don't go back until they've watered the earth,
Doing their work of making things grow and blossom,
producing seed for farmers and food for the hungry,

So will the words that come out of my mouth
not come back empty-handed.

They'll do the work I sent them to do,
they'll complete the assignment I gave them.

 "So you'll go out in joy,
you'll be led into a whole and complete life.
The mountains and hills will lead the parade,
bursting with song.
All the trees of the forest will join the procession,
exuberant with applause.
No more thistles, but giant sequoias,
no more thornbushes, but stately pines—
Monuments to me, to God,
living and lasting evidence of God."

Tomorrow marks the 30th anniversary of my ordination into Christian ministry:  I have an institutional meeting I MUST attend (although I generally hate most bureaucratic meetings  of the wider church) and then I will do some reflection, study and writing about the story of Adam and Eve. In the evening we'll do band practice and work on some country gospel tunes, a sweet acoustic number from Pearl Jam and one of our own jazz blues grooves.

I have been blessed by this life for a good, long time.  It has been soul food to wrestle with the Holy Scriptures every week and share my discoveries.  And  every time I get to thinking that I won't be surprised by anything new in ministry - good or bad - I am still stunned to encounter something I never imagined.  You would think that after 30 years I would get it, but apparently not:  the creativity of the human experience is a constant challenge and I am grateful to God for the chance to be a part of this sacred dance (even though I am certain the painting is about the incarnation!)

(Check out for some more kick ass art!)

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