Thursday, February 22, 2007

The march to the cross...

So what is today? The day after Ash Wednesday. In the back of my mind I have been meaning to get to the point where I process the fact that we are now on the march to Easter. Now thirty nine days until we celebrate the cross. How can I prepare for that?
Often, I feel totally unprepared for forgiveness. Tonight, I've been watching a program on CBC entitled "Embracing Bob's killer". It's about a woman who's husband was killed when he tried to break up a party at the end of his street. The man who killed Bob was eventually sentenced with a man-slaughter conviction. Long story short (as I type this the program is not even over), the wife forgives the killer, and even introduces her children to him. She has created a new life for herself and including public speaking and books about forgiveness. They are showing footage of the two of them doing speaking engagements together.
I can't begin to imagine what that is like. I can't process what I would do if I was the one who lost my Tara to another person's action, would I forgive them? Would I be able to make that person apart of my life?

One of the comments the narrator of this program is: " is a complicated thing, this simple act of forgiveness..." I have to think about that. Is simply forgiving someone complicated? Is it easier to forgive and move on then not?
I'm not really sure. I need to think this one through a little more...

The questions I'm asking myself now are going something like this:
Who have I forgiven?
Is there someone I need to forgive?
Who has forgiven me?
Who have I hurt?
Do I think of salvation in the same way as I might think of personal forgiveness?

One of the other bits I found very interesting in the program was the question posed to the guy who had killed this man and done his sentence: "Have you forgiven yourself yet?" The answer was no.

Forgiveness, what a think to talk about. I mean we do talk about it in church, all the time we talk about it; but do we take it as personal as this? I'm not always so sure. I sometimes think we like to leave things at a comfortable distance.
We like to think and talk of forgiveness of ourselves and "others" (no names attached), but we don't like to put specifics to it. We don't like to think that serial killers and rapists could be forgiven, and if we did think they could be forgiven, we certainly wouldn't want to put our children in the same room as they are and encourage a relationship with them. Now, the program I referred to there was, as you might expect, limits to the relationship between the widow (now remarried) and the killer.
How do we think of forgiveness? Would we let someone into our homes who needed to be forgiven by us? Someone who had hurt us and our family, would we open our hearts and our homes and our children to them, to their influence?

I'm not sure I can say that I would be able to throw open my life to the killer of a loved one (for the record; no one in my life or that I know about has been killed), I'm fairly sure that I could forgive them and begin to pick up the pieces of my life and do something that resembled "moving on". But inviting that person into my life? Bringing them into my family like God did us? Bringing them into the fabric and core of my life?

As I write this, it dawns on me that is exactly what God did, he forgave the people who murdered his son and welcomed them into his family.

The thought that comes to mind is: "whoa".

And so we march towards the cross.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Boredom vs hope

I may or may not have anything intelligent to say in this post.

Two of the thoughts that have been in my head today have been about boredom (explain more momentarily) and hope.

By boredom I mean, every once in a while I feel a little like I'm bored with my spiritual life. I emphasize feel, because my mind often is chewing on things, and there are the challenges of applying faith to the myriad of situations that I face day to day. But sometimes there's a feeling almost like, "meh, been there done that."

The only thing that I think intellectually counters this dangerous (in my mind anyways) condition is resting in the hope we have in Christ. Often this works for me on an emotional level too, but not always. I do not like to disregard my feelings or "stuff" them, but I do not like to be held hostage by them either.

I think boredom and hopelessness are related, I don't know how, but I think they are. Take that for what it's worth.

Then again, I'm tired. Sleep does wonders for the body and mind. So good night.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

And now for the other things I read...

So I have added a feature to this blog, that is, a series of links of what I have read in other blogs that I felt like sharing. If you are using Google Reader or another device that scours the web for the stuff you like, then you can find this shared post thingy at the following address:

Apologies for the unsightly link, but if adding to a news reader it makes is mildly easier.
I've also added links for searching through posts according to tags.

Something else...

So I've felt like I've needed to make a post in here for a few days. The problem is though, I don't know what to say or how to say it.
This week has been challenging. For the first time in my career I had to officiate two funerals in the span of a week (Friday and Tuesday). The first for someone I knew. The second for someone I only knew about. Both had lived a life that tried to honour God as much as they could.
Both services went really well (as far as funerals go). But, I'm not sure how I feel. I feel tired to be certain, but I also feel like I'm moving underwater. I do not fear the outcome of death. I know that my faith in Christ makes my eternity secure, but I suppose I do fear the process. The process of death is scary. Two issues come to mind, control and change. We cannot control death, and most often change comes whether we like it our not. Someone else dies and we are left with a hole in our lives. A big void where that person used to sit. Our bodies change, we cannot do what we once did. Often times we feel powerless to control those things. Often times we are powerless to control those things.

We do not however, travel through these things alone. In that, I find hope and comfort.

(I may edit this post later....)

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Some things...

Some things are hard. Sometimes words seem empty. Sometimes you hope that God will say something through you even though you have no idea what you're doing. Sometimes you hope that just being there helps enough that what you say doesn't matter anyways. Relationship.

(it seems I'm always learning something, even if it's just a deeper understanding of what I already knew)