Saltiness: Limits of Love

Often, very often, I feel like I am not making a difference.  Despite doing or being what I believe I ought to be, results aren’t always obvious or existing.  Yet something recently has me wondering about “results”.

My husband and I use to live close my parents, and I’d make frequent visits. Yet after 5 years, it didn’t seem to make much difference one way or another. I didn’t see us as building a relationship. I noticed my dad couldn’t tell an observational difference between me and my siblings. My parents would confuse my husband’s saying or traits with the other men of the family. Despite our best efforts, and many not-so-best efforts, my parents didn’t seem to notice much in particular, and this became a wear on my husband and I. We’ve moved. Not the big move that I wanted, but a small couple hours drive time. It’s been near a half and year, and I’m starting to see the difference now. Although it’s not the difference I want to see.

My parents show signs of not having us an influence in their lives. I see things like fear becoming more normal for them. Slowly, but much too quickly. I see a shift from my influence of more natural approaches (which they barely considered before) to a more store bought, doctor induced philosophy.  It’s not that they didn’t have some signs before, but now it seems to have quickly built steam in my absence of pointing out how absurd it is.

Is that it? Is that all I do with my life? I block out some bad. Perhaps I don’t even particularly bring good into people’s lives, but maybe I just block out some of the bad. It seems so little. It seems so ineffectual.
I turn my thoughts from  my parents to my husband. His parents are negative people. I’ve always been displeased to see that displayed over and over again in our short history together. The effects their negativity has had on his life were infuriating. But as of lately I’ve seen my man becoming something greater. It’s taken a long time, a lot of work, and continuing to challenge him in healthy ways, but it becomes more and more obvious. He’s stronger in many ways. Still becoming strong in a few ways. We’re good together.

Is it because I’ve blocked some the poison in his life and challenged him towards good? Perhaps I’ve become the large influence in his life, the influence where his parents once had their vice grips. Is that all that I do? Block negative with my influence?  I suppose it’s a useful thing to be, however lacking in gloriousness. Then I wonder…
Is this (in part) what it’s like to be salt?

Jesus talks about being “the salt of the earth” and many pastors and theologians have puzzled over this simple parable. What does it mean? Indeed there is some flexibility to what all it could encompass, but perhaps simple is best in this case.
My man and I watch some of the Food Network “game shows”. If the judges detect too much salt it’s considered bad to have a salty flavor, or too little salt is considered unseasoned.  Salt is mostly to showcase whatever else is happening with the combined food. It’s not meant to be prominent but it necessary to the dish.

Salt is also considered to have trace minerals, things that your body needs but it doesn’t need a lot of it. These little “trace minerals” make a big difference when they’re out of sync with what your body needs, too much or too little. Subtleties set the standard.

In relationships (of all kinds) its hard to wait for the subtleties to draw forth into the standard. It’s hard to see it add up into something. When my husband and I were dating, I thought for sure that I was going to get my heart broken. I didn’t see him taking it as seriously as I did. I knew I was risking beyond what seemed reasonable or safe, but I felt compelled to keep going until I actually did break. It wasn’t until he confessed that he wanted to marry me (and therein we got engaged) that I felt sure that he was in this too, and not just for convenience sake.

Subtleties, small things, they add up. Probably never as fast and securely as I want them to, but they do add up.

If my greatest gift is merely blocking out some of the negative of other people’s live, that means its still their choice to choose the positives. I can’t choices or add that for them. I suppose I was hoping that I could also do that, but I do not think my life has given my evidence of that. I suppose there are many things which we are grateful that they mere neutralize a situation, such as our immune system.
However it’s up to each person whether to work that immune system hard or to give it help, and then what kind of help from there. This is complication of working together, yet our lives were made to touch one another and interlock.  I can only do and be that which I am.  I can only make my choices. Other people must make their own choices. I wish I could help, but this is as far as I can go in touching their lives.

I am just a little salt in gourmet dish.

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Women Facing Stones

There he saw a well in the open country, with three flocks of sheep lying near it because the flocks were watered from that well. The stone over the mouth of the well was large. When all the flocks were gathered there, the shepherds would roll the stone away from the well’s mouth and water the sheep. Then they would return the stone to its place over the mouth of the well.
“Why don’t you water the flocks so they can get back to grazing?” Jacob asked. “They’ll be hungry if you stop so early in the day!”
“We don’t roll away the stone and begin the watering until all the flocks and shepherds are here,” they replied.
As this conversation was going on, Rachel arrived with her father’s sheep, for she was a shepherdess. And it came to pass, when Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban his mother’s brother, and the sheep of Laban his mother’s brother, that Jacob went near and rolled the stone from the well’s mouth, and watered the flock of Laban his mother’s brother.
When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. They had been saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back.
 
Gen 29:2-3; Gen 29:7-10; Mark 16:1-4
Three flocks, three women. One well in the open county, one tomb in a lonely place. A large stone.  “Who will roll the stone away?”
How can we go on with our lives if the large stone remains as a cover for that which we seek to get to? Whom will we have to wait for? How long will we have to wait?
Yet there is one who has the promise to bless all nations within his body, who is able to roll the stone away. Who will not wait for the “correct” setting or correct time. Now is the time for the one who carries the promise of the Messiah within himself.
My husband and I have been going through studies, material, scriptures, and thoughts all searching through this idea of women in ministry. God vs women. The curse, the restoration of all things, the Messiah and Eve (and Adam). Who wins?
As people who are interested in this debate, we are those who are coming forth in the open country side. We ask ourselves, what will it take to find our identity in an eternal God who is not gender bias?  The scriptures themselves have been taken by bad shepherds who merchandise in the souls & flesh of men, and they have laid a large & heavy stone over top. Sealing us outside the source of what we so desperately seek to come unto.
Our journey has been hard.
Yet, we’ve been surprised by the picture set before us, as we come closer and closer. Something very strange. Something very different than we expected.
It’s not there.
The very large stone, that had always kept us waiting in line, and had made us waste precious hours of the day. It gone. It’s been removed. Now there’s a new man standing, waiting. Familiar and unfamiliar at the same time. Loving and broken hearted. Excited, relieved, tired and renewed. Who is it that stands before us?
 “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?”  And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it.  And I began to weep bitterly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it.  Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep. See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.”
Rev 5:2-5
For better or worse, the Lord opens to us that which no one else can open. Our delight is that this opening, revealing gives us a sending. The times ahead maybe perilous, but the compare to the glory that is about to be revealed, it’s a small thing to endure.
There is something beyond us. Bigger than us. Yet we all get stuck on small biers. Thistle and thorns have kept us from coming sooner. Bad fruit that we were given to eat. It didn’t seem right at the time, and it surely wasn’t. It didn’t take us where it promised; it didn’t lead us to where we wanted to go. But there is the promise of redemption still.
In our journey to seek God’s face, to see how God feels about women, and what the whole of the Bible says, we have found ourselves aligned with stories of those who have fallen. Fallen for sin, or fallen for Love. Every turn has redemption in it.
We find it impossible to read all the way to the New Testament and find grudge-holding to be God’s ideal. Neither does the blame-game seem relevant anymore.  Instead,  when to comes to the issues of women, we have found God there in every turn, with love in his eyes. Heartbreak and love. Love always wins with God. God’s love swallows the heart break that was once there, until there is only love. It’s like Jesus…
It’s like Jesus and the women who was “caught in the act of adultery”. The whole issue seems to be summed up here:
“Where are your accusers? Are there any left?”
“No.”
“Then neither do I accuse you.”
Throughout the Bible there is reconciliation and redemption. Eve, Adam, and God. Paul, Junis, scriptures. Mary, Joseph, and Jesus.
There are no long held grudge match against women in scriptures. So where are those modern scholar’s who are without sin? Will they continue to hold their stones and point at women’s “short comings” while denying their own ancient faults? It’s impossible to be justified before Christ while holding onto that stone, holding onto that power, and holding onto the blood thirst.
As it turns out, even if no one else will place aside the stone (whether large or small) God has already set a redeemer to his Beloved, and the daughters of God no longer wait on anyone else.
The well is open, the tomb is empty, redemption has begun. It is up to each of us now, to decide whether we’ll drop or stones as well, or wether we harbor contempt for a woman who was set up and deceived. And where is that man who fell into sin with her? Has he alone been redeemed, forgiven, set free?
We must reconsider that facts, from God’s point of view. Least we let the letter of the law ensue within us blood thirst for one of God’s precious ones. Careful now…

Not Superheroes, Just Friends

About a month and half ago, a friend of ours confessed he need to turn himself in for DUI. We prayed with him and have prayed for him since then.  A few weeks after that, another friend told us about his agonizing relapse, we listened, and he asked us to pray he’d get into detox. Maybe a month later, a different friend of ours found out his wife was cheating on him and planning to leave him. We were able to be with him that day, and spent the night keeping him company and being available.

We’re not miracle workers. We don’t change the world with our prayers. But we believe this is who we are meant to be. We believe this is what resurrection life looks like. We are thankful for those who will let us know when their life isn’t perfect and they need some support. Not everyone will tell us, not everyone will let us help or pray or sit with them and listen. Not everyone can trust, hope, or call out for help. We are thankful that God has made these friends strong enough to include us.

Somehow, I don’t think people imagine this as the good Christian life. We don’t evangelize (as its known to be), we don’t seal them with cliches, we don’t tell them everything will be okay. We just try to be available, try to pray, try to believe with them.
…and personally I can’t imagine much else to be the “Christian thing to do”.

We’ve never once stopped to think or accuse the devil. We’ve not yet become overwhelmed. Instead we thank God that these fine people have entrusted us with their tough situations. We thank God that we’ve been able to look into their faces, and hear it from them. We’ve thanked God that we are able to pray with/for them, and fully believe God will strength the weak hands and feeble knees. We know they need the prayers. We all do.

My husband and I are searching for a new place to live, and it’s frustrating. We haven’t found an open door, and we start to get a little put out with God. What does he want from us anyway? We’re trying! Then something happens… not to us but to whom we love …and we get quiet. We remember to be thankful. Although our current residence is limiting, and we’re ready to move forward, we are still a part of life. Life is not out there, somewhere, someday, instead…it is today. With all the bad and good and waiting, it still counts as life.

If I have to take a moment to remember this, to think about it, and to let the gratitude sink in, then I’m sure I’m not the only one.

We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, addictions and cheaters, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

And this is why we believe that we are already part of the resurrection life. In life we feel pain, we share heartbreak, we hope in unseen circumstances, we fall and get up again, we sorrow, we rejoice, we try. WE do this together. We include one another in these adventures -which at times seem to lead nowhere- and we pray. We include God.

When saints pray for a common hope, I believe it’s like going to a concert with a beloved band on stage. It feels like everyone is singing along, the crowd is pressing forward, strangers become friends, there is strength in numbers. There’s also that one weird person who has to yell something like “marry me” or “I love you” to one of the band members…but that’s easily ignore or laughed away.
In a concert like this, people are sweaty, smelly, sometimes pushy, close and pressing closer. Some yell the whole song, some sing, yet we all seem to lose our voice by the end of the night. And we love it! It’s like a sign of hardwork well accomplished. Not only did the band get on stage and perform, but we were all a part of the concert tonight…and it was beautiful.

If you’ve never been to a concert like that, you’re missing out. If you’ve never lived a faith like that, then you’re missing it…missing everything.

One or two of these friends (from the previously stated stories), said to us something along the lines of, “I don’t deserve friends like you” to which my husband perfectly replied, “Everyone deserves friends like us.”

We’re not superheroes. But in real life, we are friends to real people. We love our friends. We are proud of our friends.Our prayers for them pour out more regularly than prayers for ourselves. We are thankful for those who have allowed us to journey with them. We know these aren’t just bad times, but these are times where God is working.  We press on, carrying the burdens of our friends. Hoping. Rising…one more time. We will try. Together we will walk through today.

If this isn’t what faith is suppose to look like, then God help us. It’s the best we’ve got thus far.

Words We Use

There is something beyond words, that we use to express ourselves. Perhaps in the most extreme situations this is the truest. To be whittled down into mere words, is an insult, a handicap, a lost, a silencing.

 “All I have is words, to which I’m a slave
I scribble them down, hoping they’ll save me…but I’m lost
…I am so lost”

– Mae
“You leave me with nothing but words
So I’ll put them together, and hope that I’m heard”

– Listener

It’s said that after World War II was over and when we had discovered the unfathomable reality of the Nazi death camps, one of the first things that happened was (I believe the president at the time) had it recorded with film (photography and video) so that the evidence would always remain with us, and people wouldn’t be able to out-right deny it. Unfortunately, so shortly after these tragedies there has arisen people who have tried to deny it.
Those who recorded the horrors on film,  knew such evil would lie to say it never existed. How sad that it’d be so soon (let alone ever). Beyond words, testimonies, and books, we now also have film (photography and video), to remember & record these horrific truths at the very least, and hopefully remind us not to bow to evil. I am thankful for those who choose to remind us of truth.

We are a people who love deeply, who hurt deeply, who feel deep callings that are unexplainable and yet are every bit as real as the hunger for food. In life we come to times where words are a poor means of capturing a moment or explaining the severity or portraying a need.

So we draw. We strum. We build. We dig. We walk. We look…we find…we capture a moment. We write. We hold on….just a little longer.

We move from a place where we use words to define the depths of our current circumstances, and into a place where we define the words as the essence of this moment, this feeling, this point in history. Whether love, wounds, wonderment, hope, …the place where hope once was, or even the search thereof.

We create to explain this is how we have lived. It’s not only to record ourselves, but to connect…knowing we do not face things in this life alone. We are one; one of many. We need to connect our hearts together, and if all we’re given is words, then we’ll find a way to transform words into heartbeats, rhythms you know. Rhythms I’ve felt. This is the beauty of creating. This is the beauty of allowing words to come into fullness. When our word describe reality and life, not just mere promises or flirts, then we’ve connected to the deep things.

We each have a rhythm that is attuned to our hearts. We may each hear a different calling, but different callings can align in a singular direction, a singular connecting point, a common ground.

We get lost in our own heads, thoughts, singularities, anxieties, busyness, feebleness. But being lost is never too out of the way to connect to one another. To hope for someone else, that which they no longer have the strength to hope for themselves. We are meant to work together, to encourage one another, to balance and to shake one another. To remind each other we are not alone, and we not be the only ones who feel alone.

In our lives we create markers for those who might pass through this way. Warnings of what roads not to take, and directions to the places of hope and restoring. With our lives we build monuments of what can happen. We must share our lives and stories together. We must listen to the stories, lives, and footsteps of others. We must pray for good, even if we expect the worse.

Our listening must be an observance beyond words.

If we always wait for words to tell us, how a journey is going and fullness of that life’s experiences, then we will miss many things. We may even miss very important things. Instead we need to listen through loving observations as well. We need to participate in the lives of those whom we love, and the loves of those who God has entrusted to us. We must find the bold humbleness that allows us to draw together, strum together, build together, dig together, walk together, look together…find together…capture a moment together. Write together. Hold on …just little longer to one another. Because these are the things that Love unfolds in our lives: intertwined paths.

Beyond words, life exist. Beyond description, beauty unfolds. Beyond myself, many lives have fought the same battles I fight. A few won. Others, like me, still fight. I am not alone. I am not an untold story. I am not unnoticed.

I am one. A one who is part of many. I hope one day, my life will be much more than words on page. I hope my heart will be heard…and loved for its irregular beat. But today…I use words.

Remember Thy Neighbor

“There’s a darkness upon me that’s flooded in light
In the fine print they tell me what’s wrong and what’s right
And it comes in black and it comes in white
And I’m frightened by those that don’t see it”

-Avett Brothers

 

“If you fail to see a problem,
Which I find hard to believe,
Or if you’re hanging on the branches,
Licking honey from the leaves,
You say: The hopelessness of living,
And the childishness of suicide,
It puts a call on my brother, that could never be destroyed”

– mewithoutYou

 

Recently I picked up a renew interested in modern day Native Americans. I want to know what’s happening. Sometimes we get so caught up in our day to day lives that we fail to see where we are in history, or where history has brought us. Whether that’s a on a personal, individual level, or in the grand scheme of things.

In my own life I feel it’s necessity to “check your pulse” once in while. To consider where I am, where I hope to be, what I want to do, what my life has become up to this moment, and perhaps even to consider how far I am from certain things. …for better or for worst. I feel like this is part of being a healthy adult.

In a similar fashion, once in a while I just want to know where history has brought us.

Racism is a foreign concept to me. As many times as someone could explain or some of the origins of it in this country, I simply can’t fathom it’s justification. I have to look at history to even have a concept of why it’s still around. And then when I do, I realize, just like so many other things, racism is only a suffers issue.

It seems like the modern media news is indulging its viewers with more and more propaganda of racism. Seemingly saying its bad, but then promoting it anyways. It’s like when an illusionist has you looking in one direction is preforming the actual trick in another direction.

I don’t understand the concept of racism, but I understand nullification. I understand being forgotten. I understand some people are just mean. I understand a Silent God. I understand pain.  These are things that transcend all cultures, races, up-bringing. These are area where I believe I can sit down and draw in the sand, without out right answering the religious “authorities”.
These are wounds I believe love can heal.

As I search around for some information about the current circumstances of some Native Americans, I came across a continuous mention of a place called “Pine Ridge” reservation.  After seeing it up pop up multiple times, I looked into it a little bit. The Lakota people. South Dakota.

The statistics were bad. I looked up videos, volunteer opportunities, ministries, blogs, whatever stories I could find. (For me this a normal form of study). And it’s only been a week since I’ve started searching through this, but I’m so taken with the stories the people tell. …beyond their words. There’s a culture of pride and of pain. There’s hopelessness and yet severely strong spirit calling for life. There’s smiles and agony. There’s beauty there. It’s like seeing the face of Jesus walking along the dirt paths of Israel.
That Jesus who said “foxes have holes, and eagles have nest, but the Son of Man has no place to rest his head.”  That Jesus who was tried from travel and sat down at the city’s well, while his disciples continued on into the city to find provisions.

The story is so familiar, I know it already. And yet, there is so much I do not know. There’s so much information I can’t find. There’s so much I wonder about.

So much of what I have found is some church that went there for about five days, did some physical labor, smiled at some people, and left feeling better about it all. …Mission trips? In America? What the hell I am missing? Why is this place like another world?  These people are our people. South Dakota is part of the United States of America. These people speak English, and yet a “one week” visit suffices as showing the love of God to our neighbor?

My husband and I have been blessed to have friends in many states, and even a few other countries. We visit those who are closeby when we can, and we keep in contact with those who are further way, because we love our friends. Although South Dakota in the lesser densely populated area, it’s not exactly nowheresville. So I can’t understand why I’m only finding things like “mission trips” to this area. It’s a little frustrating.

But somehow, I think this is a quintessential expression of what we have become in our modern convenience Christian world. Isolation. Scary isolation.

I remember asking a youth pastor, I knew, if he did activities with other churches in his town or other churches in his denomination. And I was astonished when he answered neither.

On one hand, I am worried. Another hand, I just want to go out there, and find out for myself. Do these people really believe themselves to be forgotten more than any other small town area? In a modern world like ours with internet, social media, podcast, telephones, cellphones, and…. mission trips?
I can’t stand the thought of it.

Yet, with the stories I’ve been able to dig up, I wonder if there is something to it. I wonder if there is a historical prejudice that has made these people sit in silence, even though the are our very own people.

I am not looking for social justice (as they call it). I’m looking for the body of Christ to be the body of Christ, and to make sure the needs of the saints are meet. To remember your brethren in prayer; to love one another.
But with so little information available, I wonder if this is happening or not?

The few videos I’ve watched speak of a sorrowful, isolated, people who want to live but have been told there is nothing for their future. I know that’s a lie. I’ve heard it before. I know who tells those lies, and it’s absolutely false.
Because of the severity of the circumstance I have heard of, I believe there is an equal or greater importance to these people. And I can’t stand the thought that they might not know. Would God send me to tell them? I don’t know yet. But they’re in my prayers, and I love them so dearly.

 When I remember you in my prayers, I always thank my God  because I hear of your love for all the saints and your faith toward the Lord Jesus. I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective when you perceive all the good that we may do for Christ.  I have indeed received much joy and encouragement from your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you, my brother.
Philemon 1:4-7

A Reply to the Living

To Write Love On Her Arms recently put up a controversial statement from a controversial man. It was not the statement itself that caused me to stop and mourn, it was the comments thereafter which I saw utter fruitlessness in.

Statements about those who “want” to die (sucide) will figure out a way to die regardless of access to a gun. Statements like modern “health care” includes “mental health” care.

When did needing new to be loved and cared for, needing to feel worth, fall under “mental health”? Are we now a people who believe so little in the spiritual matters that we don’t even consider ones soul? One’s fighting spirit? One’s natural need to be included in healthy community?  Are we so willing to hide ourselves from the concept of God that we sacrifice our children to prosperity?

Caring should never fall second place to any “solution” nor should one’s agenda be a guise for caring.  This is the most humiliating disgrace of believing that a system (whether government, church, non-profit, ect.) are the ones to “fix” things or to care for people everywhere as a whole. A system, a law, a program cannot replace a living being, a person, a caring friend.

What stops sucides are people. Not laws. Not difficult access to possibly deadly scenarios. Not cliches. Not a time-out rehab.

When we stop being people, death has already won. When we stop loving one another, isolation has already killed us. But we are not people who are dead; we are alive. We have opportunity to care, and therein we have opportunity to live as well.

I don’t want to save 2 out of 3 people. I want to love those who haven’t known the security of love. I want to befriend those who haven’t been established in the embrace of a tender home. It’s not about numbers. I don’t serve a God who looks for better statistics. I serve a God who knows each person by name.

I am not a number. I am not a satistic. And I will not treat others like they are.  This is real life not a number of a page in a story book. Reconsider responsibility.

Does Jesus Give Bad Advice? Church and Isis Part 2

 

 

I’ve come to see that Christianity is starting to have a major personality split. Maybe it’s not a new thing, maybe my seeing it is new.

Since news of the terrorist attacks in Paris I’ve vaguely watched the reactions of people, but even with attempting to mind my own business, I’m still shocked by what I do notice.

Hate, self-preservation, my rights, “those people”, blame-game, responsibility shift, closed-hearts-closed-eyes, politics first God second…maybe second, …and that’s just to mention a few.

I’m surprised.
Maybe I shouldn’t be, but I am.

So it turns out Christianity sometimes means modern Evangelical Christian, and all the crazy things that goes with that.
Other times Christianity means one who seeks God’s own heart, and all the crazy things that goes with that.

Apparently it is ok to be a Christian hate our current political enemies and anyone we think might be slightly  related to them, and still say your prayers, go to church, and pray “thy kingdom come, thy will be done on Earth as it is heaven“, ect.
Apparently sometimes politics has to do what it has to do and we all should huttle together under that, and then later on we can pray for “those people” when it’s safe to consider them as actual people again. In the meantime, however, it’s best that we use our social media to let everyone know how despicable they really are.
Apparently if you’re part of the modern day Evangelical Christian, then it’s ok.

However, I suppose if you want to seek God’s heart at all times there might become some struggles like:

You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?  And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?  You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Maybe Jesus gives bad advice?

I mean it’s not like Jesus expects the world to change if we live according to his words right? And of course, it’s the responsibility of the modern Evangelical to change the world, right? So maybe we should just reconsider these Jesus words. Maybe if we only apply these words inside the “church” system, then we can get them to mean something that could make Jesus right and us right at the same time.

…Or maybe we could be challenged that we have a God who believes the way to change the world is a different kind of wisdom than that which the world itself uses. The principalities use one kind of “wisdom” and then God uses a different kind of wisdom.  And the two wisdoms cannot be consolidated into the best of both worlds. Nor do they need to be.

There use to be this old saint who would always say, “Crisis reveals, and ultimate crisis reveals absolutely.”

We aren’t even in trouble yet. There is a crisis on our doorstep and so many want to ignore it and tell “those people” to go away. Go to “other Muslim nations”. This reveals who we are. What we’re prepare for. What our character is. …and not as a nation, but as a people. A people who claim God is Love. A people who claim to have the answers. A people who claim they don’t understand why the youngest generations are leaving the “church” and not coming back.

Last time on the Church and Isis we considered what it means when Jesus talks about being the Good Shepherd of his flock, and how this means we shouldn’t just give up on the lost sheep around us.

What I am saying is IF you are a Christian, then you have a responsibility. This is not a time to wait for politics to clear things up or for “the church” to get itself together. Your responsibility is to: love one another. Pray for your enemies. Do justice. Love kindness. Walk humbly with your God.
And if you can spare yourself at all… then do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor, and let none of you devise evil against another in your heart.

Is that enough to change the world? Or is just enough to change who I am? If me, then maybe you. If you then maybe one more person. You do the math. It’s God’s wisdom. Is that enough in this age?