Saturday, April 29, 2006

Where we're doing what we're doing

Our brother-in-law, Edward, found this in the April 17 New Yorker and sent it to us (on an Edward Gorey postcard):

For Jim Naughton, the communications director for the liberal Diocese of Washington, D.C., any compromise with principle would have dire consequences for public relations. "What is the message we push to explain our desire to stay in the Anglican Communion?" he asks, "What is the slogan we put on our literature? Here is what I have come up with: 'Join us in a diplomatically intricate, ethically ambiguous, and sometimes publicly humiliating tightrope walk toward Jesus.' "

Naughton said, "I think it needs work."

How many of the rest of us Jesus-followers could state what we're doing? Or why, where we're doing it?

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Real talk

How do we learn to talk about what is most important to us?
Last night our group was talking about the difficulties of having God conversations.  Not the academic kind (which are fun, but not "real"), nor the bludgeon kind (which aren't conversations, anyway), but the kind in which we talk about where God is (or doesn't seem to be) in our lives right now.
You feel so vulnerable bringing it up -- the God stuff -- with people you know.  There's something about talking about God with someone who is already a friend that feels risky. Maybe they'll think you're trying to "convert" them (in the bludgeon sense).  Maybe they'll just get uncomfortable, and stop talking.  Maybe they don't want to go deeper at all, and you'll realize you're in a shallow friendship.  Maybe you'll lose the running partner/movie playmate/coworker.
But it's not just the God conversations, is it?  It's all those parts of ourselves that feel dangerous, shameful, too complex to delve into.  The painful histories, the addictions, the losses. The need for control, the fears, the lonelinesses.
Far too often, church folks have no more "real" conversations than any other set of people.  It is such a shame.
And so human, so normal, to feel vulnerable and afraid to go deep.
And deep is where God is, right now.