Thursday, November 09, 2006

Little Pieces of You

Lately I’ve been reconnecting with people that I haven’t had contact with in a while. Mostly through signing up on Myspace and reading what old friends are up to, some in random meetings. This reminds me of experiences and moments shared with these people; happenings that at one time were central to who I was at the time. And while much has happened since then this process of reflecting on the past has reminded me that I am a sum of my many experiences. Those experiences weren’t just events, but shared events that are a part of the people that I was with at the time. I think it’s cool to see how many of us who shared very similar lives at one time have gone in so many different directions. I certainly don’t claim to have played major roles in all of these people’s lives, and I don’t pretend to hold influence on where they are or who they’ve become now, but I do feel a connected in some way.
Our feelings of independence and self-reliance are largely lies. We are deeply formed by our experiences shared with other people. I so often forget this. I think it’s our selfishness that makes us what to believe that we make ourselves, that we can go it on our own.
It might have been a deep friendship that time has faded, maybe it was a passing comment remembered by no one that started us in a direction of thought that ended being essential to who we’ve become, it could even be someone that we deeply disagreed with or even disliked, but it was our interaction with that person that caused us to more passionately believe something. Regardless of the level of interaction, if we are honest we cannot disregard the impact that others have had on our lives. We are not alone, we do not exist as islands, we are not strangers passing blindly in the dark night. We are exactly that… “we.” Me is only an unique collection of the shared us. So to all those that have shared in making me who I am thankful (except for maybe all the crap that makes me a crazy jerk, but I’m not beyond taking responsibility for that).

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Because of...

Grace. It is grace that comes into our brokenness and wraps around us like a healing balm. It softens the rough edges and creates a safe barrier between the sharp barbs of our souls and those that surround us. As I’ve struggled to find who I am and what God is calling me to during this time of transition, I have misheard his whisper, the one that gently guides us in the right direction. This has shattered my confidence, not in God’s ability to speak, but in my ability to hear. In the brokenness that results from this paralyzing fear there is love. That love is the grace that mends and brings wholeness where there is none on our part, where in our souls only emptiness is felt, yet grace makes us complete even as we lack. This grace does not always lead to the sensation of wholeness, but we are full nonetheless.
I don’t pretend to understand either the depth of my brokenness, or that of the grace that fills in the gaps. While the perspective that time and fuller views of the bigger picture will bring will help me to comprehend what has happened in this time of my life, and what it is that I need to take from it, I don’t think my understanding is the point. There are deep changes happening in me right now. Undercurrents that were so heavily defended or hidden, that only such raw disappointment and hurt were going to get through into the far reaches of my soul. It is these places that grace needed to find its way and yet, consciously or not, I would not permit it to be there. I do not claim that God caused certain situations in order that I might learn new lessons. However, I do know that grace will not pass up opportunities to more deeply move into the innermost areas of our being, and there are times that only in our being broken is grace able to penetrate to these depths. This is not because Jesus is not able to reach these places, when in fact he is already there. But Jesus will not force his influence where we do not allow for grace’s entry.
Behold, he stands at the door and knocks, and while we may call out with the invitation to enter we hardly mean it. Then something happens to rock our homes to the foundations, and the doors are thrown off their hinges and our muffled cries for Jesus to come in are met with his gentle touch of healing. The gentle touch that is… grace.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Back and Jacked

Okay, after a few very strange months I'm back. Let's just say the insurance sales thing door to door was not at all me, no big surprise there. But trying to make it work really threw me off my game for a while, something that I'm still working on. But after a few weeks of looking for work I am once again gainfully employed. The new position is a much better fit with my passions and personality. To avoid any legalities, we'll just say that I work for a large coffee retailer at one of their local stores, the one that happens to be done the street from my house. It is all the caffeine that has me jacked by the way.
No longer working for the church fulltime continues to be a huge adjustment, which was needed, and I am starting to see how this might pan out. I don't think that doing just the coffee thing is the best possible solution as far as finances and using all my gifts, so I'm contemplating what else I might do in addition and how that might play off each other. I think it would be awesome to be doing something else in the city as well. I love Rochester.