I spoke today in church as Randall is away on vacation. My text was Romans 11:1, 2a and 29 to 32. I guess I would have to say that I also incorporated some of the verses in-between as well. My topic was on how we are grafted into the old story – the old covenant that God established with his chosen people; how important it is for us to know this history that we now have our roots in as well, how those ties with this old story of faith enrich us and nourish us as branches grafted in by our faith in Jesus. Well, there was lots more said and the details I may post over under my words section.
I have a confession to make – I like speaking. I like preparing and the way it takes me deeper into my study of the Bible. I like the way God shows up and guides me along as I delve into the scriptures.
Romans is a book pretty heavy with theology. If nothing else it stimulated my awareness that it is a subject I would like to know more about. I wonder if this interest in theology arises out of my own awareness that God is way beyond my understanding. So then, why bother trying to understand God? I am not sure why but it feels a bit as if he/she is beckoning; inviting me, if you will to discover more.
This is a bit of the sense of the “weirdness” that I alluded to in an earlier post. I find myself in a period of unsettledness, as if I am waiting for the next step to become clearer.
I am trying to take things one day at a time, being attentive to what God is moving me towards. I could jump in and start into a next project but I am still not sure if a new project is what I need – or what God wants for me. How do I respond to this itch in me, this drive to move towards something more? It is pretty much retirement time and why develop these desires now of all times in my life? And there are also all the other parts of my life that lay claim to some of my time. So, I am trying to be reasonable and patiently await a bit more clarity as to what the future might hold.
It is a bit weird around here these days. I’m back at work so my days are busy. Then I come home and the house is pretty much empty. Sara comes home at 5:30 and informs me she is going to her boyfriend’s mother’s birthday supper so won’t be eating. Leo comes home a bit later and by that time our supper is ready.
Of course I’ve cooked at least twice as much as I needed to. My fridge is quickly filling up with leftovers.
Obviously, I am going to have to learn to cook differently.
Then the evening settles in. I had errands to run last night so was kept busy till about 9. Then, there seemed as if there was a sort of vacuum in my schedule. I had no papers to write, no books that I had to read. No grandchildren dropped by. I was sort of lost.
Time to rethink that rule of life I worked on a year or so ago. I don’t want to just drift along through life aimlessly from now on. And I am not sure that I am quite ready for more serious studies, although there is an itch in there that may drive me to that.
I seem to still find myself in some sort of an in between time – a time of waiting and unsettledness. Stuff is brewing but it is hard for me to put a name to it – I think I may be afraid to. I seems that something I feel pushed towards, I am feeling too old to start. And yet, what does it mean to be too old? I likely have another 20 years or so of pretty good quality life – although that is never certain.
So, this stuff is stewing around in my head and heart and I am not sure why. Weird. I must be patient and see what comes.
It seems too close to the end. I was sharing with a classmate that I am not very good at endings – at good-byes. I’ve had to say good-bye too many times in my life and so I have let myself become steeled to the process. I pack my feelings up tightly inside and dismiss them. But they are not really dismissed – they are smothered but hang on to a bit of my insides – down there where hurt rises when it is least expected. Maybe smothering the deep sense of loss that comes with good-byes, especially of people that I may never see again, cuts me off from them too early. As I said, I’m already preparing for the good-byes and we’ll be together all day and part of tomorrow.
I wonder who I would be if I could let the sorrow of separation show.
This morning the feeling of sorrow sits on my chest like a heavy weight. Maybe I have grown up enough that I don’t have to be strong for anyone and hide what I really feel. It will hurt to say good-bye and none of the platitudes about “it’s only for a season” or “we’ll try to keep in contact” will make it easier. This is something I have to go through.
And I am just thinking as I reread this – “What a crappy post!”
I am glad Leo will be here tonight. I need a hug and a real big shoulder to lean on.
"This is very full week; please come as rested as possible and minimize activities outside of the program."
Right about now I am thinking "What on earth are these Yahoos thinking!" as I am desperately trying to finish up the preparations for the summer course. Paper is about done – it is as good as it is going to get, I think. Peer group supervision presentation – just starting that. Dream written out. I think it will do. Not like I dream often. Devotional time prep – barely started. Some reading left to do.
Two days left.
Wonder which of those days I will get some rest so I can be "as rested as possible?"
Oh, yeah. I suppose I should take some clean clothes too and maybe leave some groceries in the house for those left behind – that means shopping. Last minute visit to my aunt, pick up some supplies for her. Promised a visit to see my grand daughter. Am still on call.
Maybe I can sleep on the plane.
This year I just feel a tad rushed.
I am a bit bogged down in homework. Reading and writing. Some days the thoughts seem locked inside and there is no time to sit and let them ease their way to the surface. It all must be completed by Saturday.
I wish I could retreat to a quiet place and think. Just think.
But that is not likely to happen, seeing as I am on call and had to add an extra 4 people to my schedule today already.
Oh,yes, and where do I see God in this day? I’m hoping that I will have time to notice ’cause I’m pretty sure he is here.
I have a patient who recently came in for a new partial denture among other things. We are waiting to do a whole bunch of crowns on her front teeth. This has become a bit of a concern to me.
Not that the work will be beyond my scope. It will be challenging enough to be fun. Six front teeth. A good morning’s work.
What worries me a bit is her dislike for her physical self and this shows up in her attitudes towards her teeth. Or may be the poor attitude towards herself comes from the poor appearance of her front teeth. My profession would have me believe that fixing her teeth will make a significant contribution to her well being. And I hope it will.
But to me, there is something sad about that. She does not even want to look at herself in the mirror. She does not want to look at her teeth. She does not see herself as lovely, as a beautiful person.
I believe that a person who realizes their value as living beings, loved by others and loved by their creator, does not need to have perfect teeth in order to be beautiful. There is a quality that shines out from a deeper place within them that gives them a glow and makes them attractive no matter what their appearance is.
I can’t give this woman that sort of glow. I can’t make perfect teeth for her since she still has a bit of a crooked bite. I can improve what is there but I can’t do the sort of miracle that I think she wants. I think she wants to feel beautiful. I can only do technical stuff. The sense of being really beautiful can only come from a healing at the heart and mind level.
I hope she finds the deeper healing that creates beauty from within. Then she will really smile.
Our faithfulness will depend on our willingness to go where there is brokenness, loneliness, and human need. If the church has a future it is a future with the poor in whatever form.
– Henri J.M. Nouwen
I think, if one is willing to look, brokenness, loneliness and human need are found everywhere. Well hidden in our affluent culture, but there nonetheless. And these are the places God wants to enter and make whole. These are the places he wants us to work in.