Friday, September 26, 2008

"A Christian imagination does not see the world as a prison from which the soul must escape, but as the stage of humanity's interaction with its God. This world makes sense. God made it with a plan of His own; it is the imagination's role to delight in this plan and explore each person's role in it. Neither is the Christian imagination suicidal, it does not seek to climb its way back to "dark with brightness" glory lost at birth by the fallen individual. It certainly does not thrive in Rimbaud's famous dereglement de tous les sens (throwing all the senses out of kilter). Rather, it gratefully anchors itself in the gift of reality, seeking to decipher its message, not to get drunk on it. From its encounter with a man-God, it has been taught to experience life, not as imprisonment in the flesh, but as the generation of a body for resurrection. It sees reality, not as a horror to abolish, but as an ongoing revelation to orchestrate in praise, as an unfolding mystery in which we have a role. To the Christian imagination, history is not meaningless clashes, but the saga of God's kingdom, the very arena of personal and communal "divinisation," to use the term of the Greek Fathers.

As a result, the Christian imagination has manifested itself from the very first as
typological. It sees every moment in this kingdom-saga as linked mysteriously to every other, and it envisions itself as actor in this drama. It reads life as a meaningful history, the structure of which (that "plan hidden since the beginning of the world") was revealed in Christ. Counter to the Sesame Street culture of three minute bites, the Christian imagination is a storytelling imagination. In every era, in every life, it recognizes the creation-death-resurrection pattern epitomized in Christ's life. And it interprets every event as an essential moment in the movement of time toward eternity."
Janine Langan
from The Christian Imagination edited by Leland Ryken

I dare say that this is one of the most important books that I have read in many years. Since, I probably read between 10 and 20 books in a given year, that is significant. The most shocking line in these two paragraphs is "This world makes sense." How often have I heard many a Christian say the complete opposite. My thought is if God is a loving all powerful and all knowing Creator then it has been crafted by Him. Although I do not understand everything, if I believe then I will trust that indeed He is the Creator, this is His world and He is the one True God, loving, just and beautiful. It is for me to trust Him and live within the Mystery called Life.

"It[Christian Imagination] gratefully anchors itself in the gift of reality, seeking to decipher its message, not to get drunk on it. "

WOW! No wonder all those brilliant artists of the past were indeed themselves Anchored in Christ. They understood the connection between reality and imagination. We are the image bearers and we are fashioned to be creators and revealers of Truth.

As I pack up the books that I can not seem to help myself from lugging around, I confess that I am a lover of stories, story telling and living out my life story. We have all kinds of books, the majority being literature, biographies and non-fiction.
There is so much more that these two paragraphs stirred up in my heart and mind but I will have to leave it at that. If anyone reading has already read, The Christian Imagination, I would love to discuss it with you.

To quote Grace, "Your life is a story. It is worth telling."

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Tell me the Story
is a book by Max Lucado
We owned it at one time and in story form it tells us about creation, forgiveness, redemption and other matters of faith. I sure hope it is in storage somewhere. It was delightfully written and the paintings by Ron Decianni are captivating.
Sometimes, when we loose touch with someone, or you don't show up for a very important engagement he/she might ask, "So, what's your story?"
Then there are the times, at a wedding, a funeral or some other gathering, where you may have the opportunity to share a story about how someone else life intertwines with yours.
Lately, Grace has been talking with us about the importance and power of stories and I recently started reading a book entitled The Christian Imagination edited by Leland Ryken that shares the same message. Both have also touched upon an essential understanding about man being created in God's image and how every single human being matters.
For I don't know how many weeks I have been walking in the morning with my dear friend Elizabeth, we share stories and ideas and prayers as we walk through downtown Marlborough and French Hill (which is now mostly populated with Brazilians). There are two homeless men that we usually pass at different points in the walk. The one up on French Hill I affectionately call Sunshine. One morning as we were passing by he said, "Good Morning Sunshine!" I thought he was saying it to us so I responded, "Good morning to you too!" He said, "I wasn't talking to you, I was talking to the Sun." Since then whenever he is there I say, "Good Morning Sunshine." Usually, he is having a discussion with one of his imaginary friends or he pretends to ignore me. One day last week he was walking slowing up the street ahead of us, well he slowed down, turned around, saw us coming, so he stepped aside, as we approached him, he was poised, I said, "Good Morning, Sun...." he said "Good Morning, Sunshine!" for all of the Hill to hear taking the words right out of my mouth. It was precious and we were both amazed and delighted.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Will you let the dream be resurrected? If it is, will you try to achieve it?

When I was young I did have some dreams that were drowned in drunkenness and depression. Newness of life came as I entered my 20's and life quickly became something entirely different. Not even in my wildest dreams did I think I would marry or have children. God had other plans for my life. As the teen years seem to be racing by, I find myself thinking about the not too distant future. And these two questions seem to be popping up here and there, so I find myself pondering.

Never stop growing and allow life to unfold, there is always another adventure somewhere down the road.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Meditation for the Day
from Twenty-Four Hour a Day devotional

"The eternal God is thy refuge and underneath are the everlasting arms." Sheltering arms express the loving protection of God's spirit. Human beings, in their troubles and difficulties need nothing so much as a refuge, a place to relax where they can lay down their burdens and get relief from cares. Say to yourself: "God is my refuge." Say it until its truth sinks into your very soul. Say it until you know it and are sure of it. Nothing can seriously upset you or make you afraid, if God is truly your refuge.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

gets me out of bed in the morning. For a good part of the summer, I have been walking with a friend but that is really not why I get out of bed that is more of what gets me out the door. The question "Why do you get out of bed in the morning?" I have a family to take care of, I am a wife and mother, the maker of our home and it is the job that is in a constant state of changing. I have gone from infants, to toddlers, to preschool, school age and now in the home stretch of high school with all three. At this point in time, I am looking down the road a little bit and asking myself a lot of questions that I am not even ready to talk about but this question covers them all.

There are so many opportunities. Dreams, thoughts, as well as questions are stirring inside of me. It is important to just be still right now, do the next right thing and know that God is God.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

"Why do you get out of bed in the morning?"
"What are you doing that I can support?"
"Do you love her?"
"Why can't I be freed from who I've been?"
"Why didn't you ever buy a house?"
"Where do I belong?"
"How do you make that decision?"
Then there are the questions that people ask when they meet you for the first time: "What do you do?" "Where are you from?" "How many children do you have?"
To say that I really enjoyed answering those last three questions for the majority of the last 5 years, may be an understatement. Now, in the midst of transitioning from moving regularly to being on the hunt for a house. The questions make me revert to the "smart" answers or I simply say we are in transition without getting into a discussion or turn the conversation to them and get to know them a bit. It is a very small handful of people that I want to speak with about my current status.
Back to the questions I listed. These are questions that have either been asked of me or that I have asked. Continuing on in this life, I have more questions than answers and I am finding that it is a very teachable place to be. The difficulty lies when I am unwilling to find answers or at least allow myself to meditate upon what is being asked.
There is a lot to explore, discover and learn about myself, others and the world we live in and only so many hours in the day. This is just a start but I will be back soon to continue these thoughts.