I am no longer my own,
Put me to what thou wilt,
rank me with whom thou wilt.
Put me to doing,
put me to suffering.
Let me be employed by thee or laid aside for thee,
exalted for thee or brought low by thee.
Let me be full,
let me be empty.
Let me have all things,
let me have nothing.
I freely and heartily yield all things
to thy pleasure and disposal.
And now, O Glorious God,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
thou art mine, and I am thine.
So be it.
And the covenant which I have made on earth,
let it be ratified in heaven.
United Methodist Hymnal, 607
It has been a long week, made that way by anxiety, stress, and a subsequent lack of restful sleep. These weeks come along to me regularly for some reason. I suppose (perhaps) because my brain isn’t wired to always handle everything that comes my way; I mean, I look at other people and they appear to be handling the same amount of ‘life’ in a more effective way. So I wonder, what’s up with me?
“Life is turbulent. On that, we can all agree. Disappointed dreams, broken relationships, identity crises, vocational hang-ups, wounds from the past—there are so many ways life can send us crashing up against the rocks.
In this deeply personal book, Jonathan Martin draws from his own stories of failure and loss to find the love that can only be discovered on the bottom. How to Survive a Shipwreck is an invitation to trust the goodness of God and the resilience of your soul. Jonathan’s clarion call is this: No matter how hard you’ve fallen, no matter how much you’ve been hurt, help is on the way—just when you need it most.
With visionary artistry and pastoral wisdom, Jonathan Martin reveals what we’ll need to make it through those uncharted waters, how we can use these defining experiences to live out of our depths, and why it will then become impossible to go back to the half-life we once lived.”
“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”
Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet
On a typical morning in the over-crowded slum of Annawadi located next to the Mumbai airport, the people wake early to begin another day of trying to secure their existence. Those with homes – extremely small, tenuous constructions of something once resembling fabric or cardboard – are thankful they have any shelter at all.
Found an excellent blog post on questioning, deconstructing, and reconstructing one’s faith. An excerpt is below, but the entire post can (and should!) be read at Experimental Theology. This is one part in a series of posts, so it may be helpful to read previous entries.
Faith must and will go through the fires. In the words of Paul, when our faith was a child it talked like a child, thought like a child and reasoned like a child. Faith has to grow up and put childish things behind it. But that can be painful. There are attractive things about a childish faith. It’s simpler. It’s consoling. It’s certain. To grow up in faith is to step into complexity, ambiguity, uncertainty and anxiety. And there are times when we wish we could turn back the clock of faith, to go back to simpler times.
But you can’t go back. I often tell my students that there is a threshold of doubt, that once you start asking certain sorts of questions there is no going back. When it comes to faith there is a class of questions that, once you get to them, just don’t have any answers. When you reach these questions you’ll live with them for the rest of your life.
Richard Beck, Experimental Theology
I’ve just started to read Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo (2012) and it has already turned my worldview upside down. I thought I knew poverty existed. I knew nothing. I have a feeling I’ll be writing more as I continue to experience this most moving piece of nonfiction, but am including a few links below to tide over your curiosity in the meantime.
A lectionary is a schedule of Bible readings that are used in worship throughout the year.
The Revised Common Lectionary can be found online as a service of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library. Each scriptural entry also includes related art, hymns, and prayer.
I remember my affliction and my wandering,
the bitterness and the gall.
I well remember them,
and my soul is downcast within me.
Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”