A few weeks ago, in the middle of Peter Heller's mystery novel Celine, I ran across this quote that I needed: "There might not be a measure of happiness left in a life, but there could be beauty and grace and endless love." This last refrain resounded like a prayer, like a song: there could … Continue reading When Grace and Grief Collide
Today is filled with all sorts of heaviness--for a number of people we know and hold dear. This past month has been a heavy month for us. I know that it's always a heavy time for someone, somewhere. I often have a hard time praying with impromptu sentences these days: the kind of prayer I … Continue reading Kyrie Eleison: A prayer for heavy times
I used to desperately try to live for God. And for most of my grown-up life, I felt like I was letting God down. When you grow up Baptist with a strong earnest streak and a deep spiritual hunger, you cannot help but try to live your life for God. You will read books, hear … Continue reading What if There’s Something Much Better than Living for God?
"It is a lie--any talk of God that does not comfort you... How long will grown men and women in this world keep drawing in their coloring books an image of God that makes them sad?" - current translation of Meister Eckhart How do we heal from toxic images of God? How do we move … Continue reading How Do We Heal from Toxic Images of God?
“Our idea of God tells us more about ourselves than about Him.” ― Thomas Merton "Oh, how easy it is to clutter up the path of the Holy Spirit with my images and preconceptions of God!" ―Edwina Gately Our ideas about God matter. I've always thought so. But I used to think that it … Continue reading Why Our Ideas About God Matter
Some of us grow into thinking that our beliefs--statements we hold to be true--are the most important part of who we are. I'm not saying that beliefs are unimportant or that every belief is right. But there is a danger in defining our deepest self by what we think about things.
"It was going to be one of Rabbit's busy days. As soon as he woke up he felt important, as if everything depended upon him." -- A.A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner "I'll go and see if there's anything [Christopher Robin] wants doing, and then I'll do it for him. It's just the day … Continue reading Trading Importance for Infinite Worth
You're fired. Both of you.
Disappointed God voice and unrelenting critic. You may both go because you are not real, and you are not speaking truth or life. You make me wilt, shrivel up, and hide.
Now, maybe a disappointed, angry God can transform your heart and mind and life into something beautiful. You and I may be very different, and that is okay.
Shame, fear, and guilt--whether God-induced or critic-induced--don't breathe life into my soul. They might influence my behavior for a while, but shame, guilt, and fear are not transforming me or healing me.