A Place for Us

A Place for Us

Though we work hard to ignore it, we live in a constant state of Threat Alert. Our radars highly attuned to stuff that doesn’t belong or places where we feel unwelcome. The modern life of high speed and low connection activates a part of our brains built to expel danger, leaving us pent up with rejection we’ve got to dole out somewhere.

This is a story about hydrangeas, cracked soda cans, a goat, a madman and a tree. And running through it is a story about us and Jesus.

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The Wild Goat: Intro

The Wild Goat: Intro

In Mark 5, the Gospel tells the strange story of a demon-possessed man, living among tombs, showing signs of self-mutilation, and liberated by Jesus. I have always wondered, how did the man find himself in such a situation? Why the pigs? As I studied the passage, I began to see in it a thoroughly modern story. A story of how we heap shame on those who are different in the hopes that we could find comfort in staying the same. And, finally, a story of Jesus who would not settle for the freedom of one man, but set out to break the system of oppression that had destroyed him.

We are only as sick as our secrets.

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Lent is a Rebellion

Lent is a Rebellion

For Lent, if we must give up gluten, let us give it up to discover the spiritual starvation it may be masking.  If we must go off Facebook, let us do it because every glance is a Siren’s call to avarice, envy, jealousy and self-aggrandizement.  Let us unplug to push all the demons of our own self-reliance to the surface.  Let’s prepare ourselves for the showdown between our wounded hearts, our weak knees, and the towering gods which have held us in their sway. 

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No Why in Pain

No Why in Pain

Too much religion and too much self-help have taught us to find a “why” in pain.  Like a hidden latch holding a door closed we believe that knowing some cause, some reason behind the suffering will bring us freedom.  It won’t.  Pain comes to us an all-too-regular unwelcome visitor, demanding our attention, drawing us into the simple now, with all its annoying sufferings. The invitation of pain is to widen the circle. To radically include all that we’ve wished to ignore.  To include the stories we’d dare not tell, the facts that scare us, the people whose rejections we shudder to feel. 

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