The smell of bread baking wafts, stills her light
as she enters bouncing, screen door clanging. Show me, Grandma. I want to know.
For the next batch, she is held firm between
warm embrace and floured dough upon tan
table. She’s stunned by the flowing union
of grandma’s arms and shaking dough.
Punch into the metal bowl, there you go.
The holy is here in the expanding yeast,
in the building of love’s awed vitality.
Rising bread and growing girl, all glory
and praise is poured forth in the communion
of kneading dough.
Have a blessed Feast of Corpus Christi, Messy Jesus Business readers! I hope you will join me in striving to honor the sacredness of every beloved body–human and otherwise–and the holiness of Christ’s presence in the Blessed Sacrament of bread and wine. Love, Sister Julia
Wendell Berry speaks of the Kingdom of God like an economy in a way that totally burns in my soul and speaks to our world situation today. He describes four major principles of the Kingdom of God:
Everything is included. Whether we want to be in it or not, all of creation is a part of the Kingdom of God.
Everything is connected to everything else. The Kingdom of God is orderly. It makes sense. If you change one thing it will always affect everything.
People, with our human limitations, cannot fully comprehend the Kingdom of God. We cannot know all of the creatures in it and we will never know the whole order and pattern it contains.
And then there is the last principle which really complicates things:
Though we can never fully describe the order of the Kingdom of God, there are major penalties for us if we violate that order. Even though we don’t know how things are connected there are limits, and when we go over those limits we always know it.
This makes sense to me in about a million ways. God’s life and love are continually present amidst the messiness of the world today. God’s creation has an order. It makes sense. And we are inextricably connected with God and all that is. But God is also unfathomable mystery. We cannot fit God into a box! We cannot understand the amazing interconnectedness of the cosmos, our relationships and our own inner lives.
But this is where it gets tricky. When we mess up we know it, but we don’t always know how our untidiness came to be. There is an invisible line we cross, sometimes every day, which lets us know that we are not in harmony with God and the rest of the world. For me, this happens when I fall into desolation and I struggle to get out of bed. Or, when I thought we were best friends and then we are not. The hourly news feed is a constant witness to the violation of the order of peace and justice in the world. And then there is our destabilized climate and its increasing chaos—a global wake up call to the violation of the order of the cosmos.
So how is the Kingdom of God like topsoil? In the same article, Wendell Berry describes how the Kingdom of God, which he also calls the Great Economy, is like topsoil. The dirt in which things grow is amazing. It turns death into life. In topsoil, everything is connected to everything else and this tremendous, life-producing balance is maintained … but we are really not quite sure how this happens. We cannot make topsoil. And we cannot make a substitute for it or replicate the complicated, intertwined processes that make it work.
But then, somehow through misuse, we begin to “lose” topsoil. We cross over some invisible line and the miracle of interconnected life stops working. Topsoil is defined as good quality, life-giving dirt and is only preserved by the careful care of farmers. When we violate the order—when we cross that line—we lose the quality of topsoil and it’s difficult to get it back.
The concrete example of topsoil helps me see my own life and interconnectedness to God more clearly. I am a miracle of life. All around me, life is both infinitely precious and a part of me. I am the child in Manchester, England who lost her life in mindless terrorism. I am the Syrian family bombed by coalition forces. I am the forests lost to mindless industrialism and I am the last Giant Ibis. I am the stars, the wind and the precious dirt that grows life. We are all connected. That is what it means to be the Body of Christ. You are the eye, and I am the foot and love binding us forever together. We are the forces of hope. We are the destruction that seems impossible to stop.
Part of what gives me hope is that things are getting better. Contrary to popular opinion today there are fewer wars, less violence and a bigger reduction in crime rates than just a few years ago.
Every death is a tragedy that should be mourned but when we step back from the emotions and look quantitatively at our world today, the good is winning. Hope is having the last word. Our interconnectedness is a gift and I truly believe that today more people are honoring it than ever before. This means that the Kingdom of God—God’s passionate desire for peace, justice and a world ordered by love—is becoming more visible and more possible every day.
Sister Sarah Hennessy is a Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration based in La Crosse, Wisconsin. She grew up in North Carolina as an active Quaker and became a Catholic in 2000. For her, Jesus’ messy business includes falling in love with Christ AND with the People of God! Her heart is on fire for the Hispanic community, poetry, playing guitar and accompanying people through birth, death and the living that comes in between. She currently ministers as the perpetual adoration coordinator at St. Rose Convent, as a Mary of the Angels Chapeltour guide, and a volunteer at Franciscan Hospitality House.
Last Friday morning—the day of Donald Trump’s inauguration—two screens were in front of me; words and images flooding in.
A glowing laptop sat upon my knees, my web browser opened to an online Bible, Psalm 34. It was there because I awoke with this song in my head, particularly the “The LORD hears the cry of the poor, blessed be The LORD” part.
I stared at these words:
Keep your tongue from evil,
your lips from speaking lies.
Turn from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it.
~ Psalm 34: 14-15
I heard these words:
Protection will lead to great prosperity and strength.
I will fight for you with every breath in my body. And I will never, ever let you down.
America will start winning again, winning like never before.
We will bring back our jobs. We will bring back our borders.
I can’t make sense of the division, the gap between the two ways. I know, though, that I want to live under the influence of Scripture, the sacred Word of God.
I wonder what is happening to the Body of Christ; whether the wounds are becoming infected. Perhaps flesh is being gouged, torn apart. Maybe blood is flooding our world and we are too blind to see. (I have been meditating on the wounds of Christ ever since Inauguration Day.)
Certainly, much stirs in my mind and heart. What will happen to the children of God who are in the most vulnerable corners of society? What will happen to those who have been declared as enemies?
I see faces of friends waiting for decades for their citizenship papers to come through. I visualize children passing their lives away in detention centers. I see the face of a teen I taught years ago—a beautiful Iraqi Muslim who had migrated out of a war zone.
I think of the millions of people who are also fleeing war zones, oppression, starvation—good people who of course would prefer to stay securely in their homeland but can’t. They are powerless in their circumstances. (I know the feeling of powerlessness.)
I remember the women—young mothers coming right off the streets, desperate to get their lives together—choosing life with every chance, only to have the structures of society spit out a mess of impossibility at them. It’s impossible (all at once) to afford food, to find a job, to have good transportation, to find secure housing and to have proper health care but somehow—perhaps by the might of love alive within them—they persevered and gained stability for their family.
I think of the polluted waters and soils; of the climate refugees moving from place to place across this planet.
I think of the words of Jesus Christ uttered from the cross, his body aching with misery: “I thirst.” (John 19:28)
I feel my own heart thirst for justice and peace for all; for a world centered on the love of Truth and guided by Gospel values—values of sacrifice for the sake of the other; values of protection of the planet and the poor and vulnerable.
Inauguration Friday was as another Good Friday, another day when the Body of Christ was wounded upon the cross.
Meditating on the cross of Christ in the world today, I remember my deep conviction that the United States, with only 5 percent of the population but with 25 percent of the world’s wealth, needs not selfishly protect itself—we need not to give into the temptations for greed, power and pride. We must reject all of the seven deadly sins.
With all the news of heartache, fear and pain rapidly increasing in our world today, it seems we are stuck upon the cross, we are stuck in Good Friday.
We need not stay stuck. We believe in Easter Sunday and we know it is always coming in three days. We know that Christ’s wounds upon his body have been transformed, glorified.
The LORD’s face is against evildoers
to wipe out their memory from the earth.
The righteous cry out, the LORD hears
and he rescues them from all their afflictions.
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted,
saves those whose spirit is crushed.
~ Psalm 34: 17-19
We are that body, formed and guided by mercy, generosity and hope. We shall arise as one body united, radiating Love and Truth.
Last month, I attended Mass at the border; I was part of a community of believers uniting around bread and wine miraculously made into flesh and blood.
I was on the Mexican side, sitting on a concrete street curb next to another Catholic sister. Together we were a color pop in the assembly: we stuck out in our bright turquoise T-shirts declaring “Catholic Sisters for Compassionate Immigration Reform.” Nearby sat our friend, Br. David, a Franciscan Capuchin, bearing witness in his dusty brown habit. Guests to this area, this Mass we were attending coincided with the events of the School of Americas Watch Border Convergence throughout the entire weekend.
We were among a crowd of a couple hundred other folks. Some sat upon haphazard rows of folding chairs, others leaned against fences and buildings, many stood. We were gathered on a crumbling, uneven street formed from a mishmash of concrete, asphalt and sandy earth. In front of us was…
[This is the beginning of an essay I wrote for Sick Pilgrimat Patheos. Continue reading here.]
“Be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” This quote, attributed to author and theologian Ian Maclaren, has been tossed around a lot. I think I first saw it memed on Facebook and most recently I heard it on Krista Tippet’s On Being. It is simple and straightforward and frankly, kind enough, to come off as a bit trite. I am reticent to be found quoting phrases I’ve seen more than once pasted over the image of a sunset, or a silhouetted figure with their head in their hands. But this one, I’m going to stand behind. This one is not to be dismissed. It is, in fact, particularly handy when one is scrolling through their Facebook feed—so full of both the beautiful and ugly, in image and word—and precariously near falling victim to impulse replying. With hand hovering over the keyboard, prefrontal cortex poised, quickly conjuring up a tart reply to something that’s pressed the “angry”, “offended” or “I’ve been staring at a screen too long and just cannot” button inside, “be kind…” is a blessed mantra to retrieve and reflect with.
This is an important phrase indeed, not only when tooling around social media—that ripe field for impulsive seed to be scattered and bear sour fruit—but really when confronted with any of the issues and characters that compose our political and social climate at present. One issue I’ve been skirting around for fear of being immediately exhausted and annoyed (and saddened and discouraged and bewildered) by is the hotly-debated issue of bathroom access in public spaces. I use “debated” very generously as, especially if Facebook is your primary news source (I confess, it is mine of late), the content of what you are seeing or reading seldom has enough substance or anything like a fact traceable to a source considered actual information (let alone insight).
This is why I was so pleasantly surprised and grateful to stumble upon a Baptist minister who, when confronted with this issue, was self-aware and open enough to recognize that he had very little actual information about what it meant to be a transgender person (let alone how such persons might be effected by laws about bathroom use). Rather than leap to a reactive response based on what he might assume should be his moral stance as a conservative pastor, he paused and started to ask questions. “I don’t know much about transgender issues,” he admitted, “but I’m trying to learn.” It is in the trying to learn that this man reveals Christ to us more than any memes throwing out Scripture reference or rants about how our society is descending into chaos. And it is with Christ-like invitation that he challenges his readers with the question “How much do you really know about this subject beyond all the screaming headlines” while gently reminding us, that more than political posturing and religious rigidity, this is about “real people and real families.” Have we calmly considered who those people might be? Have we done our homework about what risks are real and what are inflated in order to manipulate an emotional reaction?
Asking questions with the intention of hearing and learning and desiring to understand is a radical, rare, brave and vulnerable act. In a prayer often (albeit incorrectly) attributed to St. Francis, the writer beseeches God that they might direct their energy toward seeking to “understand, rather than to be understood.” In doing so we are opened to the possibility of love; our being is expanded to receive others (even others who are different or confusing or who we genuinely disagree with). It’s a prayer, ultimately, to be more like Jesus, who walked among strangers, sinners and enemies and so often found in them disciples, followers and friends.
What this rant is about, more than anything, is both how we respond to difference and how we behave when confronted with information startling, offensive or frightening to us. If I intend to take in and respond to information as my best self and as a member of the body of Christ, then I find I need to pause, not only before I repost or reply but also to evaluate what is being fed me. Is there any nutrition here or is it just tantalizing candy, packaged to trigger my cravings, fears, anxieties, longings? Is it just empty calories that will leave me full but malnourished or worse; toxins that once consumed will poison my point of view and diminish my capacity to live and love well? I need to ask myself (and I invite you to do the same) “is this designed to heal or to hurt?”
“Does this seek to unify or divide?”
“Is this truthful?”
“Is this merciful?”
Imagine Jesus or, if you prefer, imagine the kindest person you know sitting next to you. Wait to see if they smile, nod, and reach over to press “send.”
This morning I wrote a Christmas letter for 2013 and I’ll mail it out to some family and friends in the coming days. I really appreciate all of you who are the readers of Messy Jesus Business and many of you are also great friends to me, so I thought I’d share an abridged version of my Christmas letter with you.
I started the year with a lot of Christmassy cheer and idealistic intentions while some of the lighter things of Christmas 2012 lingered. I packed Christmas cookies in the freezer, acquired a Christmas sweater, and I developed a greater taste for Christmas music. I kept decorations up up in my bedroom even after we took them down throughout the rest of the house on Epiphany. So, all year I prayed with a nativity scene and a Christmas tree in my bedroom. And, last year’s Christmas cards are still hanging up as I write this now, on December 31, 2013!
In my classroom, I was surprised when some students asked if I was intending to celebrate Christmas Every Day so I could get a gift every day. The receiving of gifts hadn’t even occurred to me as a possible perk when I embarked into my experiment- ha! When I told that to my students, some used my admission as a clever way to ask me to make them some Christmas cookies– which I never actually did, to their disappointment and mine. I tended to be too determined to instill in the lessons of the theology curriculum, not cookies.
A lot of people said “Merry Christmas” to me at random times throughout 2013 and helped me remember my commitment and when this happened, I had a range of reactions. Sometimes I felt warm and cozy, like Christmas can be. Other times, I’d feel a bit annoyed or embarrassed, because I didn’t want to admit that the fun of my Christmas Every Day experiment had worn off.
Honestly, my Christmas Every Day experiment started to feel a bit like a chore in March or April, while the snow was melting and I was looking forward to the arrival of Spring. I realized its REALLY difficult to do something radical very well without the companionship of community. It was around then that I made a more conscious decision to let go of the petty parts of the holiday and delve into its deeper meanings. Otherwise, I figured, I wasn’t going to keep Christmas Every Day going.
What I needed to focus on was the True meaning of Christmas. God became a person and this event– the Incarnation– totally changed everything! It got me thinking: how was I being changed, daily by my relationship with Christ? How was the Word of God making me more into a Gospel-centered woman? As I lived into the answers, I grew to understand that Christ-centered transformation is risky, growth-filled mess mixed right into the commotion of being busy and blessed.
And the Word became flesh
and made his dwelling among us,
and we saw his glory,
the glory as of the Father’s only Son,
full of grace and truth. – John 1:14
One of the major gifts of 2013 were fruits that came from living a life in union with the Word of God. Specifically, I found that I still gain a lot of energy and joy as I try to be a writer. (I’ll tell you more about that in an upcoming blog post.)
“Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son,
and they shall name him Emmanuel,”
which means “God is with us.” – Matthew 1:23
There’s been a lot of goodness throughout my 2013, but it hasn’t all been easy or delightful. My increased reflections on the Incarnation this year instilled a lesson: the meanings of Christmas are not all jolly. Santa Claus, gift-giving, and candy canes can be fun, but they’re not the real point. “Merry Christmas” means much more than “hope you’re having fun.”
Celebrating Christmas means entering into the Gospel Truth of Jesus’ dramatic birth story and its lessons about God’s presence in the pain, the mess, the obscene, the awful, the mystery. That’s the real importance of the Incarnation and the great lesson of this year that I want to pass on to others. No matter how much is difficult, how miserable things may seem, or how discouraging or painful your real life is, remember that you are never alone. God is with you always, you are VERY loved and good and a community of Christians are eager to be with you too- to be the Body of Christ for you.
Perhaps these reflections on community and Christ are what compelled me to want to celebrate the ending of my 2013 Christmas with others. I concluded the experiment of Christmas Every Day by hosting a party for some friends and then I enjoyed visiting friends and family during my Christmas break. Life is full and God is so good!
Let us be good to one another. Let us rejoice and celebrate the goodness of God in 2014. It won’t be an experiment or anything special for me anymore, except for my usual counter-cultural Christian living.
“She felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction.” – Mark 5:29b
I’ve never noticed this phrase before. But a few days ago during Mass these words shouted at me. The woman with the hemorrhage reached out bravely to touch just the hem of Jesus’ cloak and she was healed. She didn’t have to think about it. She didn’t have to be examined. She knew it directly and immediately in her body.
I am emerging from a long period of struggle where dullness and flatness ruled my days. Joy suddenly has flesh. I feel in my body a buoyancy right in the center of my chest which I tentatively name physiological joy. Anger seems brighter. Sadness has a texture. Joy is a bubble of light that lifts my rib cage higher.
I had to learn that the body gives us clues about emotions. When I feel hot, I realize that I am embarrassed. An urge for movement, to punch with my tight fists, awakens me to the emotion of anger. I am connected and whole. Body, mind and spirit are not random signals broadcasting on separate channels, but instead a unity that sings to me. Like the woman who touched Jesus, I feel healing directly in my body.
Body is central to the Gospel. We are the body of Christ. The revelation of God in Jesus Christ is incarnation– enfleshed in history. The body of Jesus suffered on the cross, not just his soul. And it was through the bodily resurrection of our Lord that the good news was revealed. We come to the table even today to receive his body.
Yet often we have sanitized and spiritualized the Body of Christ until it just a collection of floating souls and like-minded intellects without the flesh of a body. We recite the creed but, when it gets right down to it, how many of us really believe in the resurrection of the body? A risen body is the Christian truth, but in our world of scientific death as a finality we tend to fudge on this one a little bit. In my weekly Bible study, several women proclaim strongly that the resurrection of the body makes no sense.
What would my faith look like if I took seriously the resurrection of the body? What if I lived more like the woman healed of her affliction, knowing it so directly and personally in her body? When Jesus multiplies the loaves in John, Chapter Six, the abundance leaves leftovers. As Jesus explains that he is the bread from heaven he goes on to clarify, “And this is the will of the one who sent me, that I should not lose anything of what he gave me, but that I should raise it [on] the last day.” – John 6:39. Jesus claims all of us, even our bodies. He gives us back to the Father, whole and complete, flesh included.
Yes, we are the body. Not in some spiritualized sense, but truly with our bones and muscles and tendons. We cannot exclude the dignity of any of our brothers and sisters. We must put flesh on our words and action to the Gospel if we are to truly be the Body of Christ.
Church is tough. We are like a big dysfunctional family regularly squabbling and bickering about bizarre things. Sometimes we try to divorce each other or run away from home. But, we can’t, really. The Christian church family is the only family that can heal us and give us true freedom. In the Catholic branch, there’s true Eucharistic Love.
No matter what, like it or not, we’re in this together. And no one can really separate herself from her roots; we can’t really forget who we are and where we belong. No one can really leave his family.
In this family, our connection is Christ. Christ is the heart that keeps beating and keeps the energy flowing. Christ keeps us moving and building and creating.
All the diversity is essential for the body to function. Let’s love and cherish it. We can’t persist; we can’t exist without being different. God designed us this way on purpose.
There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; there are different forms of service but the same Lord; there are different workings but the same God who produces all of them in everyone. To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit. -1 Corinthians 12: 4-7
I love being Catholic because we’re a wide Church with a very deep spirituality. (At least that’s the way I understand Ecclesiology.) There’s a wide range of what makes one Catholic. Despite our diversity, we still unite in Christ through the same sacraments, the same traditions and basically the same liturgies.
In this family, we don’t know all our relatives because we’re all so busy doing different work. It’s a little understandable. We are permitted to be different because we need to be. Part of the diversity of spirit means that we have different opinions about what our priorities should be. The challenge- and the frustration- is when we seem to lack appreciation for the others’ efforts in building the kingdom of God. We can’t all be working hard at every need. So why do those who are passionate about one issue get frustrated if others aren’t working at it with them?
Personally, I have discerned that I am called to collaborate with peacemakers who are working for non-violent Gospel systemic change in the issues of poverty, war, torture, immigration, environmentalism and food. I depend on those who are working hard with the issues of health care, education, death penalty, abortion, contraception and equality to keep working hard in my name.
No one can do everything. But we must all do something, right? Perhaps the most important thing we can do in these divided times is support each other. Truly we can never say thank you enough.
There’s struggle and pain in our divided, yet united, beautiful diverse body. When we criticize each other, we so easily feel as if no one has noticed all the hard work we have been trying to do. I’ve noticed and I say thank you!
Last weekend I went to a retreat with other Catholic sisters younger than 40. I met a sister who ministers as a hospital chaplain in St. Petersburg, Florida. In addition to providing presence to all the suffering and miracles in the hospital, she listens to the prostitutes who come in for care. Apparently, pimps buy McDonald’s value meals for poor women as a way to lure them into prostitution. When the women work for the men the name of their pimp is tattooed near their private area. I had tears in my eyes as I listened to the other young sister dream about a ministry of tattoo removal and spiritual and mental healing for the women who desire to leave prostitution.
The two things that I despise most about our human sinfulness are the sins of the sex and military industries. Violence and destruction destroy experiences of holiness and dignity. We take the gift of our God-given creative power and misuse it in attempts to prove ourselves. We misuse our bodies while we live lies.
Really, though, we can give God great glory with our bodies and our lives. Alternatives are abundant. Although we are small and powerless, we can unite with Christ to do great things in Love. In chastity and service humanity is healed.
Brothers and sisters: The body is not for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body; God raised the Lord and will also raise us by his power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? But whoever is joined to the Lord becomes one Spirit with him. Avoid immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the immoral person sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been purchased at a price. Therefore glorify God in your body. –1 Cor. 6:13-15, 17-20
When I was a kid I was just as confused as everyone seems to be about what is right and wrong. I was persuaded by our dualistic society and its messages. Older Christians showed me that the New Testament taught me that we should live according to the spirit and not the sinful flesh. Did that mean my body was not good?
Soon, my students and I will study sexual ethics. I’ll emphasize that our bodies are really good and sex is very holy. We’ll examine how sexual desires can become destructive and dangerous when they’re not controlled: when we fail to use our bodies to glorify God. Rooted in Pope John Paul II’s theology of the body and I’ll use this book and this website. The holy power of our sexuality is alive in everyone’s bodies. As we seek union, we are capable of creating new life. As we love chastely, we can truly give God glory through our bodies.
Our bodies are holy and alive with the spirit of God’s goodness, which is why they are built for the morality of the reign of God. We are children of God. We are free. As we give God our powerlessness, God converts us into temples of blessing. When we say “yes” to God’s love our bodies are made powerful for humble service. As we serve, we build God’s reign of healing and justice now. God is glorified.
The problem is that not everyone gets this. Sins explode and people are seriously misused because of our desire to be powerful and great. Martin Luther King, Jr. calls this the drum major’s instinct:
And the other thing is that it causes one to engage ultimately in activities that are merely used to get attention. Criminologists tell us that some people are driven to crime because of this drum major instinct. They don’t feel that they are getting enough attention through the normal channels of social behavior, and so they turn to anti-social behavior in order to get attention, in order to feel important. And so they get that gun, and before they know it they robbed a bank in a quest for recognition, in a quest for importance. . . Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. . . You only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love. And you can be that servant.-The Drum Major’s Instinct By Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
We can be the servants, who with Christ, show the world alternative ways to live. As we serve, God heals, loves, redeems. As we place our powerlessness in the hands of God’s we are set free to be temples of God’s goodness. In our bodies God is glorified. We unite together in great love and become God’s colorful, healing, chaste body of Christ- the true living God.
My holy week began in a simple rural church in Iowa. With crowds of farming families I chanted “crucify him, crucify him.” My voice shook with shame. It’s not pretend, it’s prayer. Tears welled up within. Why did the Church design it that I have to be the one who sentences my love to death?
Stone-cold statues of the stations of the cross lined the peaceful church. In each, I see a face of Jesus etched with history and sorrow. Jesus leans over an angel and looks at me in the pew, praying with questions. Suffering is redemptive, I’ve learned. Emotions stew within as I think of my love beaten, bruised, bloody, broken.
I sang “Hosanna” and held crisp, spring green branches but knew where the story was going next. I knew about the cross, the death and the resurrection. Except for the cooing children, I think we all did. Yet, we’re intense. It’s ugly to face it: Love nailed to death.
As I gaze upon the cross this week, I shall consider all the hurt that I know. I have been hurt and I have hurt others, at times I have even hurt myself. The hurt of all humanity and creation stares back at me from the wood of the cross.
It’s personal and universal. Personally, I have turned away from my love every time; I’ve allowed my good intentions to get clouded by pride, selfishness and lies. Together, our social sins continually crush earth and community onto bloody boards. The body of Christ is wounded. We are that body.
Our eyes sting with the truth that love hurts. I ache and I remember that the journey of the cross is the story that we live everyday. These are the moments of our community. It’s not tidy at all, nor crisp with clarity.
The dust stirs on the statues. Chipped memories acknowledge that redemption began with the incarnation. He came to love, live, set free and therefore die. It’s because His love was so bold and non-violent that he was killed. I am stuck in the story.
Hurt throbs through the questions. Do I really understand? Am I willing to die for what he lived? Can I? Am I?