Head First: April 2007

Monday, April 30, 2007

A Chink in My Armor...

I went to church yesterday.

Catherine, my older daughter, had been asked to perform a solo for a special service promoting the church's school, so I went to hear her sing. As it turns out, she had been given discretion to select the song, and she chose a tune made popular by Casting Crowns entitled "Does Anybody Hear Her?" I've listened to Casting Crowns, a little. They tend to be a bit didactic, sounding like a cross between MercyMe and every youth group sermon you've ever heard. So when Catherine chose this song, I didn't really think much of it. But, hearing the lyrics for the first time, I thought how interesting and ironic that she would sing this song before the congregation:

She is running
A hundred miles an hour in the wrong direction
She is trying
But the canyon's ever widening
In the depths of her cold heart
So she sets out on another misadventure just to find
She's another two years older
And she's three more steps behind

Does anybody hear her? Can anybody see?
Or does anybody even know she's going down today
Under the shadow of our steeple
With all the lost and lonely people
Searching for the hope that's tucked away in you and me
Does anybody hear her? Can anybody see?

She is yearning
For shelter and affection
That she never found at home
She is searching
For a hero to ride in
To ride in and save the day
And in walks her prince charming
And he knows just what to say
Momentary lapse of reason
And she gives herself away

Does anybody hear her? Can anybody see?
Or does anybody even know she's going down today
Under the shadow of our steeple
With all the lost and lonely people
Searching for the hope that's tucked away in you and me

If judgment looms under every steeple
If lofty glances from lofty people
Can't see past her scarlet letter
And we never even met her

I sat in the very back of the auditorium and wept as she sang (she totally killed, btw). I didn't cry (as some might suppose) because my kid was tearing it up on the platform. My tears came because, at 14, she can already see that this is where the church is missing the point. Maybe I should feel hopeful that Christendom's young people are not blind to the distance between the church and the world around it. But if so, my hope is tempered by the fact that there's no one there who is able (willing?) to help them channel that awareness into something useful.

Don't look at me like that...

Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Quandary of Self-Determination

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world; there is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.

We were all meant to shine as children... it is not just in some of us, it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same as we are liberated from our own fear. Our presence automatically liberates others."

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Hell, yeah!

I fear getting old. Because I've abused this body so badly, I'm afraid that it's going to happen many years sooner than it ought.

I feel much better after watching this video:

H/T to devil ducky.com.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Too pooped to pop.

This might be the longest I've ever gone without a post. It's not that I have nothing to say. I just haven't had the time to say it. I didn't attend Easter services like some of those other sellouts. I stayed home and finished baking bread for the holiday meal with my wife's family. It turned out to be a nice day. Time may not heal all wounds, but it does have its effect.

It's good to take time to do the things you love. I love baking bread, especially a real rustic Tuscan-style boulle, with a thick, toothy crust and chewy middle. It's a very creative and often spiritual experience, observing and participating in the transformation of four basic ingredients (flour, water, salt, yeast) into a life-sustaining thing of beauty. What would otherwise be a useless ball of glue is breathed to life by a quarter teaspoon of yeast. With time, the gluten develops an elastic, cohesive bond, the grain ferments, the flavor develops. Then, the pungent, ripened mix is punched down and shaped. It springs back from its beating, higher than before, its final perfection attained in blazing heat. There are a hundred metaphors for life and spirituality in bread-baking. At one time or another, I've considered just about all of them. Easter seemed a fitting opportunity to meditate on resurrection, as the thing that was dead now not only lives, but sustains life, as well.

I do believe. Help my unbelief.