I have a David Crowder CD and one song has caught me. It expresses something in me that I could never say in the same way. So it goes around in my head – and I don’t mind.
You Are My Joy
And He set me on fire
And I am burning alive
With His breath in my lungs
I am coming undone
And I cannot hold it in and remain composed
Love’s taken over me and so
I propose the letting myself go
I am letting myself go
You are my joy
You are my joy
You are my joy
You are my joy
I need to catch my breath, I need to
I need to catch my breath, give me a moment now
I’m laughing so hard…
Bringing Our Secrets into the Light
We all have our secrets: thoughts, memories, feelings that we keep to ourselves. Often we think, “If people knew what I feel or think, they would not love me.” These carefully kept secrets can do us much harm. They can make us feel guilty or ashamed and may lead us to self-rejection, depression, and even suicidal thoughts and actions.
One of the most important things we can do with our secrets is to share them in a safe place, with people we trust. When we have a good way to bring our secrets into the light and can look at them with others, we will quickly discover that we are not alone with our secrets and that our trusting friends will love us more deeply and more intimately than before. Bringing our secrets into the light creates community and inner healing. As a result of sharing secrets, not only will others love us better but we will love ourselves more fully.
From my reading: The Enneagram A Christian Perspective by Richard Rohr and Andreas Ebert, The Crossroad Publishing Company, New York, 2006
“So how do we try to hear this Deeper Voice? When God speaks, it is first of all profoundly consoling and, as a result, demanding! Anybody who has walked long with God knows this. There are two utterly different forms of religion: one believes that God will love me if I change; the other believes that God loves me so that I can change! The first is the most common; the second follows upon an experience of personal Indwelling and personal love. Ideas inform us, but love forms us – in an intrinsic and lasting way. God is always willing to wait for the lasting transformations brought about by love. God must be very, very patient, surely with history but also with individuals. Most of us want results that are practical and immediate.” (p.xxiii)
This is just from the preface – it is a book full of insights. I would not have thought that a study of personalities using this ancient tool would be so helpful to my own spiritual growth. Someitmes it is scary looking deep into myself. If I was not sure that God loved that inner me that I sometimes cover up with stuff I think is good on the outside, I don’t know that I would dare look very deep.
Just after finishing my last post, I received the weekly meditation from the Henri Nouwen Society. It seemed to arrive at an appropriate time as I thought about the importance of valuing the relationships I have with people; hearing complaints but not becoming critical myself.
The author is reflecting on the value of relationships. She states,” I have come to reverence the preciousness of life. I now see myself as a steward of relationships. A good steward manages and cares for the dearest of relationships with love. A good steward is faithful to the law, the commandment to love, by tending to challenging relationships with mercy and forgiveness.”
She is speaking in the context of being a parent but this applies to all of us and all of our relationships.
Believing in the Church
The Church is an object of faith. In the Apostles’ Creed we pray: “I believe in God, the Father, … in Jesus Christ, his only Son º in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting.” We must believe in the Church! The Apostles’ Creed does not say that the Church is an organization that helps us to believe in God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. No, we are called to believe in the Church with the same faith we believe in God.
Often it seems harder to believe in the Church than to believe in God. But whenever we separate our belief in God from our belief in the Church, we become unbelievers. God has given us the Church as the place where God becomes God-with-us.
This is an interesting quote, especially in light of the fact that many have rejected participation in the organized church, blaming its deficiencies and faults for their decision. I think one of the things I appreciate about the congregation I am a part of is that most of us know we are imperfect people. But we have claimed God’s grace. As we recognize our reliance only on God, we are free to love each other and ourselves as we struggle to let God become God-with-us, making out of us new creations.
Bob Smiatana has an excellent post in which he comments on George Bush and religion.
He quotes Ann Whitlock “She said she believed Mr Bush was a sincere Christian – but too small-minded.
“God is bigger. He is not your little Texan God.”
He then goes on to ask some pointed questions of us all.
Over at Whiskey River there is a quote on prayer and silence from Soren Kierkegaard. Thought I’d pass it on to you.
Moments of solitude are precious. Waiting on God to speak to us. We need those times.