Monday, September 5, 2016

And you have to wiggle them a little, so they don't break off at the stem.

Jesus taught us, saying: ‘You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, what can make it salty again? It is good for nothing, and can only be thrown out to be trampled under foot by men.’

If your only goal is to love, there is no such thing as failure. 

Francis willingly fell into the “bright abyss,” as poet and faith writer Christian Wiman calls it, where all weighing and counting are unnecessary and even burdensome. After Francis’ conversion, he lived the rest of his life in a different economy—the nonsensical economy of grace, where two plus two equals a hundred and deficits are somehow an advantage. –Richard Rohr

This is the math that my friend Peter was trying to sort out.
Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.

Nonsensical Kingdom Math.

The context of what it means to be salty is the beatitudes: blessed are the poor in spirit, the mourning, the meek, the hungry and thirsty, the merciful, the pure in heart, and the peacemakers. The persecuted. The insulted. The lied against.

How quickly we forget. And allow the weeds of the world to take root.

And because I am a kind of goofy person, weed-pulling is part of my morning liturgy. Chris told us last night that liturgy is a translation of worship.  Every morning I kneel outside in the red gravel in front of our house and pull weeds. Not so many of them, because my morning runs on a very tight schedule, but I do it. And as I pull them, I repent for the pride and accusations and the unmercifulness that I have allowed to weasel their way into my thinking. The unlove.

My version of letting Jesus wash my dusty feet, grimy from the daily plodding through life.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Instead of those choking weeds.

And this morning I wandered the prayer loop across the street, through the creosote bushes and past the little bunny rabbits hiding from coyotes. I didn’t think my knee could make it up Sentential Peak. And I remembered the years and years of praying through this loop, walking one of our assorted Barnies or Woofies or Daisys or even Bruce.  And there is still a hawk perched on the branch underneath the tree where I prayed for Nicole. And the wall where I prayed for my little Young Lives teen mother has been painted a new shade of green. And I marveled at His faithfulness over the years through the pain and heartbreak and doubts.

And my Joy Dare was cool, warm and sun-soaked, which totally describes the fall-tinted air, yet still-summer reality and the sun bouncing across the tops of the trees.

And may The Most Highest and Glorious God be praised.

And for me, pulling out a few more of those misplaced but rapidly growing mesquite sprouts is an act of worship.

Tumbling into the abyss of His love.