Overcoming the Memory of my Worst Moments: A Prayer

O Lord, you say that you keep memory of all my tossing and wanderings; that you collect my tears as if in a bottle so that none are lost to your remembrance. (Ps. 56:8) I feel sometimes like I have that bottle in my nervous anxious hands and drop the bottle shattering my tears and the memories of me into the floor, dripping into wood crevices and lost forever. And yet that isn’t true is it? I don’t hold the memory of me in my hands do I? You are the one who holds the bottle. You keep the memory of me in your hands. I forget that a lot. It seems like I’m always trying to maintain the memory of me in this world. I’m sorry. I guess, I doubt that you’d really want to hold on to my life like that. I keep expecting you to get fed up and throw the bottle into the wall or something. But you aren’t like that. (more…)
Spiritual Remembering, Part 1

Spiritual Remembering, Part 1

We need reminders. Our to-do-lists and calendars give us proof enough. We search for car keys. We use someone else’s phone to call ours. Then we listen through the house hoping it will reveal its location. I guess, too, that we’ve learned our forgetfulness the hard way. Lovers too easily forget why they fell in love, successful adults forget where they came from and entire generations can grow up with no memory of the wisdom an older one painfully fought to hold on to. (more…)

Tasting the Pleasures of God’s Presence

Tasting the Pleasures of God’s Presence

It is not easy to suggest to someone in our congregation that we learn how to practice God’s presence together. After all, for many, the idea of spending a moment-by-moment life with God doesn’t sound exciting. What if God is annoying or socially awkward; boring, or out of touch? Worse, what if God is like an Uncle who gets scary mean when he’s drunk?  Why would I consider spending every waking moment with him?  (more…)

Recognizing God’s Nearness

Recognizing God’s Nearness

The largest human questions are sometimes asked in the most ordinary and smallest of places.

“Where is God?” As a little boy, my youngest son Caleb asked this sacred question before bed.

“He is everywhere” I say.

“Is he in my room?”

“Yes, I say, He is here.”

“Is he on my pillow?”

“No” I say, fumbling for words. “Your pillow is like a small flower in his large hands. But he delights in your pillow.

“Is he on my head?” he says giggling.

“No, I say and laugh. I touch his head and rearrange his hair for no reason but love and trying to find words.”He is way too strong to sit on your head without hurting you. But, he created your head with love and care.”

As I turn out the lights and walk across the hall to my room, I’m aware that I’m sharing with my son, a belief that many of his friends and neighbors will not. Like the headline above, some will rightly respond to the arrogance of God talkers by urging greater humility. Yet, what if one can remain opposed to arrogance and still believe that God can be known; Not exhaustively of course but truly? (more…)