Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Waiting For ....

"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." - John Lennon

Winter doesn't want to loosen its grasp on Flatland. It seems to have dug in deeper even as the Sun has tried to climb higher in the sky. I feel I am watching an epic struggle between an unmovable object and an irresistible force. And even though I know how the story will end, it truly seems as though the outcome is presently in doubt. Like watching "Apollo 13" I am fascinated, stuck on the edge of my seat, unable to look away.

I sometimes wonder if I am the only one who sometimes sees his life circumstances reflected in the world around him. This seems so self-indulgent and self-delusional, but these past several weeks have left me with a distinct sense that there are also immense powers and principalities battling for supremacy in my life and their straining potentialities are beginning to shape my circumstances.

As a 'Christian' you might properly mock me for not being more sanguine about my seeming lack of control - and you would be right, too. I did voluntarily submit my life to my Lord and Savior and thus I have no cause to object to the circumstances I find myself in. "Not my will, but Yours, Lord." Much easier said than done.

The natural desire to defend, deflect and to even launch a preemptive attack is strong, and I am no better at resisting temptations than anyone else I know, and in most cases far less able. And yet I wake each day and put one foot in front of the other. The tsunami may overtake me soon, but I have obligations, responsibilities and even simple mundane tasks to fill my moments while I watch for darkening clouds on the horizon.

My faith seems to be sustaining me, and my ministry - such as it is - is comforting as it is frustrating. People are such....PEOPLE! Lost, angry, frightened, unreliable, dangerous, confused and reckless - they bump into my life with heart-wrenching abandon - often doing what I'm doing. Putting one foot in front of the other while quiet desperation hangs on us all like a shroud.

I'd like to be specific, but I can't. Let me just say this - I was warned that there would be days like this. But no amount of preparation can fully steel one against the onslaught that is the pain of people's lives and the destruction they leak out on others because of it. And then in the middle of this there is a moment of truth, a breath of compassion, a twinkle of joy, a mote of hope caught in the light. And it is enough for the next few steps.

Spring. Promise. Hope. Change. The chance of a well-hit tee shot flying clean and true. The powers that be may rage on unabated, but I will stoop to brush the snow away from another new flower bravely pushing through the cold earth towards the sunshine. It will be enough. Even if the Summer never comes.


Wednesday, March 11, 2009


With everything that's going on in the world it's not like we needed another story to confirm the extreme weirdness of life on Earth. This is the original story that has sent G.B. Trudeau, author, artist and creator of the 'Doonesbury' daily comic strip off on this storyline.

As Billy the Bard once wrote, "Oh Lord! What fools these mortals be!"

Where the heck are Mulder and Scully when you really need them?


Sunday, March 08, 2009

Early Morning Connections and Miracles

Social networking is growing exponentially. Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and other net-based social networking sites and communities are fast weaving themselves into people's daily lives. Mine too.

This morning I was perusing my usual sites including checking out Facebook to see if any of my friends had updated, commented or posted. A friend I recently connected to who knew me over 30 years ago and had lost touch said "Hi" via the chat widget. What ensued was, I think, remarkable. And yet, it may be not so remarkable in the very near future.

We exchanged "hellos" and chatted about being up really early. We talked about my friend's upcoming vacation and then my friend shared a deep, personal loss. Just like that! Boom, it was in front of us. Tragedy had touched my friend's family. I hadn't known, but now I did. I was able to offer some meager words of comfort, but in that simple moment we were connecting and I was praying the sense of isolation that so often comes with pain would be lessening for them.

Facebook - that much maligned, virus-ridden, controversial, time-consuming, frustrating and unwieldy network - had just made it possible for me to minister to someone that I might never have been able to reach any other way.

What my friend doesn't know, and probably won't unless they read this post, is that lately I've had doubts about my ability to serve others in this way. This morning I got the chance to offer my support to someone else and I was able to do it. And I needed to know that, just like my friend needed a bit of encouragement.

It's a miracle.