April 28, 2021
In his unpublished manuscript The Wound of Existence, James Moran talks about the game we adults play, the game of “happy ever endings,” overcoming every challenge, “blasting” through every obstacle. We find our consolations in the crutches of ego, predictable order and reliable control, measurements, outcomes, neat and tidy boxes where we label everything to keep it safe.
We are all in this game that is stretched out on the surface of reality and only by remaining on the surface, contrary to every heart’s call to the deep, can we stay in the game.
But life’s purpose isn’t fulfilled by games of child’s play. It is that uncontrollable twist of our life’s story that brings shipwreck to the games, casts our hearts into the nothingness of a future that we cannot control, and ultimately puts us into the arms of God. These twists and turns of our life can be dramatic or simple, but they are there to free us from illusion and deepen our joy in life.....
April 21, 2021
There are times when we have to deal with big questions. And then there are times when big questions sear deeply into our identity, shake our consciousness, tear our hearts with guilt. They toss us about with fear, doubt, and loneliness. The big questions seem to be dealing with us. We might stay up at night wondering where we fit in God’s plan. Questions haunt us: Who am I? What is the purpose of my life? How will I go on from here?
When we’re haunted by these big questions, we are like the apostles after Calvary’s sorrow and the collapse of their hope, when rumors suddenly swirled around that some of them had seen Jesus alive. How they must have longed to see once again the face of their Beloved Master, and yet also perhaps felt their hearts shrink in the uncertainty of what his eyes would say to them.
The forty days of Easter before the Ascension are like an educative process. After the resurrection, Jesus doesn’t engage the apostles on the level of emotion. He becomes their guide through the complexities of their hearts and the events that left them fearing what God’s plan might be. To them, Jesus asserts the authority and gentle power of his presence: Do not be afraid. It is I.
April 13, 2021
The joy of Easter is the joy of the Gospel, the Good News that breaks open our lives with the possibility of mercy and hope.
That life could be more than we could ever have dreamed, that our days could be other than what we believe we’ve deserved.
Resurrection joy this year has been a time of real grace for me.
I like to imagine the apostles after the Resurrection. The Gospel stories leave us with a sense of breathless wonder and excited disbelief. Slowly, though, ever so slowly do our minds change and our hearts reshape their hopes. There must have been such gentleness about the gradual realization that Someone had changed everything about what they thought would be their future. Even Jesus thoughtfully came again and again in different places, in different ways, to help his incredulous followers take in sips the ultimate Reality of his Resurrection and continuous presence in and among them.
Slowly is the perfect word to describe this Easter for me. Slowly has my heart warmed to the fact that I am different than who I thought I was. Broken then, still broken now, but loved forever.