Monday, February 2, 2009

Early morning

There have been many times this past week I was inspired to write a blog, but I never did as I feared that I would merely ramble with muddle thoughts and incoherent sentences. This morning I don't know if my thoughts are any more concrete, but I wanted to touch base.

God breaks down barriers and stereotypes. Coming to seminary I expected to find a bunch of uppity, over-zealous people thinking they would be the next "Billy Graham" without having ever been a part of a church staff before. I have found quite the opposite. People here are full of excitement about what God is doing in their lives and in the world. Even though I have just met these people, we are open and honest with each other (a trait not found very often today). It's not like we are up-chucking all our deepest darkest secrets over a pint of ice-cream, but God has definitely laid the foundations for many close friendships. And for that I am excited.

I called my parents yesterday overwhelmed with how much death is surrounding the community I know (whether that be here, Fort Worth, or Midland). It's hard for me to handle death. I did not have to experience alot of it growing up and so it seems to be a new thing to face. Since my grandad's death in October, there have been probably 20-30 people in Midland who have died that have had some connection to my family's life.

I'm about to go into a story about death here in Denver, so if you don't want to read about it, please skip to the next paragraph. I was hosting a house party for Falling Whistles ( and my friend David (who works for FW) needed a ride to my home. He was staying in the city. Immediately when I told him I would pick him up, I had a sinking feeling. I didn't think much about it, but asked my friend Ashley to chum along. So, we jumped in the car and headed towards the city. As we were about to exit onto Evans street from Santa Fe, a police car came zooming down to block the off-ramp. As the small line of cars trying to exit maneuvered back onto Santa Fe, we got closer and closer to where the lights were flashing. Unable to see anything, I figured something had happened with the railroad next to us. Right as I was about to pull onto Santa Fe, Ashley and I glanced over to see half a motorcycle and a motionless body on the ground. I'd never seen anything like this. Almost paralyzed with shock and fear, I gripped the steering wheel and look directly ahead, suddenly unable to hear the radio or Ashley's concern for what we just saw. Coming to my senses, I made it to David's house where Ashley prayed over me. Thank God for community.

Death is never going to be an easy thing to deal with. While I think God is showing me how much a part of the life cycle death is, it still seems so unnatural to me. But death has a way of breathing life into people. One of my first thoughts after my grandad's death is that I needed to go to seminary. Tears are brought to my eyes just thinking of that moment. In such confusion and chaos in my mind, going to seminary was the only thing that was clear.

God never ceases to amaze me. In life, in death. In sickness, in health. In the wandering, in being found. According to logic, I should not be here today. I have put myself in so many situations that prove dangerous and stupid in hindsight... but through the grace of God I am alive to tell of his powerful and active presence in my life. If you are having trouble feeling God, I ask that you spend time just sitting and talking to him. Get away from your desk, your responsibilities, the pressures. Just sit and be. Sit and talk. And then sit and listen. So often we get too wrapped up in talking to God that we forget prayer can be the start of a conversation.

Below is an excerpt from a devotional I did for Trinity Chapel last fall:

I cannot fathom why you love me or even why you have chosen me to do your will. Your presence scares me even as your arms wrap around my frailty and hold me tight. You are my shelter when I am in need of a place to sleep. You are my comfort in times when people fail me. There is no place I can run that will allow me to escape you. You are everywhere. I wish I could treat you as my everything, but I let greed, selfishness, and even people get in the way of honoring and following you. I constantly fall short. But you are always there to pick me up. I try to run, you keep me grounded. I turn my back, you hug me from behind. I curse your name, you whisper mine. You pull me kicking and screaming through trials and tests. Somtimes I think it's too unbearable. But you never cease showing me your love. It's a love I cannot experience from anyone else on this earth. A love that hurts and comforts at the same time. A love born out of your very character. One that I cannot understand. You are my Abba, my joy, my hope, my strength. You are God.

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