Friday, April 24, 2009

One is Not Bold in an Encounter with God.

One of the most beautiful quotes I've ever read. I teared up cried the first time I found this in 'The Ragamuffin Gospel' by Brennan Manning. Coincidentally, one of the best books I've ever read.

The quote is from Richard Selzer, a doctor who wrote a memoir called 'Mortal Lessons.' Manning uses the quote to metaphor our own palsy in relation to our God, and how he twists his lips to kiss ours.


"I stand by the bed where a young woman lies, her face, postoperative, her mouth twisted in palsy, clownish. A tiny twig of the facial nerve, the one to the muscles of her mouth has been severed. She will be thus from now on. The surgeon had followed with religious fervor the curve of her flesh; I promise you that. Nevertheless, to remove he tumor in her cheek, I had to cut the little nerve.

Her young husband is in the room. He stands of the opposite side of the bed and together they seem to dwell in the evening lamplight, isolated from me, private. Who are they, I ask myself, he and this wry mouth I have made, who gaze at and touch each other so generously, greedily? the young woman speaks

"Will my mouth always be like this?" she asks.

"Yes," I say, "It will. It is because the nerve was cut."

She nods and is silent. But the young man smiles.

"I like it," He says, "it is kind of cute."

All at once i know who he is. I understand and I lower my gaze. One is not bold in an encounter with God. Unmindful, he bends to kiss her crooked mouth and I am so close I can see how he twists his own lips to accommodate to hers, to show her that their kiss still works."

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Knowledge is useless.

"The gap between ignorance and knowledge is much less than the gap between knowledge and action"

In my limited experience, this truth has been consecrated through thousands of repeated examples (very rarely my own, of course.) As I adjust to living on the wrong side of my 20's, I'm beginning to understand that knowledge is basically useless. Theories are little more than conversation fodder or mental exercise.

Though it has long decorated the halls of academia, upheld as the highest virtue, fought for and stolen like the breath of a beautiful woman- it's essentially useless.

-When it's naked.

In order for knowledge to bring about the promised fruits of the labors of cultivating and tending to it, it must be married to action. Knowledge cannot be alone. The very nature of action brings experience, and when action is one with knowledge, the resulting experience is always perfect (Note: The outcome or result of said experience is not always pleasurable, but it is always perfect; always usable.) My knowing how to perform CPR means very little to the choking man at the restaurant. My knowing how to subtract only takes on meaning when it is time for me to perform subtraction.

Rock climbing is composed of tons of intellectual and physical partnerships. The beta and the meta. The two are inseparable, (Think: peanut butter and jelly, Lawry's and grilled cheese) you cannot have one without the other. In order to physically assert strength against a rock (meta) you must first know what happens when you clasp your fingers around a hold (beta.) While the two are not exactly mutually exclusive, if you want the experience of reaching the top, a perfect marriage must be made. Standing at the base of a rock trying to know your way up will get you nowhere. Having the strength of Samson without the cognitive understanding of gravity (and your relationship to it) will yield similar results.

Knowledge is lazy. Knowledge wants to hang out on the couch, action wants to move. Knowledge wants to talk, action wants to work. Knowledge wants to read, action wants to write.

I don't mean to say that knowledge or wisdom are not worth pursuing. I'm just wondering - What would happen if we got it drunk, took it to Vegas and married it to action? What would the kids look like?

--- With that, here's a screenshot of a little chart-based motivation I've constructed for myself. The idea was borrowed stolen from Demetri Martin. I'm posting not for accolades (My total for the week was 12, yes twelve) but for accountability. I figure if I post this, you will all know what I suck at. This is this week's way of moving from knowledge to action.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Eldredge and Perspective.

Great Eldredge quote.

Have you ever had to literally turn a lover over to a mortal enemy to allow her to find out for herself what his intentions toward her really were? Have you ever had to lie in bed knowing she was believing his lies and was having sex with him every night? Have you ever sat helplessly by in a parking lot, while your enemy and his friends took turns raping your lover even as you sat nearby, unable to win her heart enough so she would trust you to rescue her? Have you ever called this one you had loved for so long, even the day after her rape, and asked her if she was ready to come back to you only to have her say her heart was still captured by your enemy? Have you ever watched your lover’s beauty slowly diminish and fade in a haze of alcohol, drugs, occult practices, and infant sacrifice until she is no longer recognizable in body or soul? Have you ever loved one so much that you even send your only son to talk with her about your love for her, knowing that he will be killed by her? (And in spite of knowing all of this, he was willing to do it because he loved her, too, and believed you were meant for each other.)

All this and more God has endured because of his refusal to stop loving us. Indeed, the very depth and faithfulness of his love for us, along with his desire for our freely given love in return, are what give Satan the ammunition to wound God so deeply as he carries out his unceasing campaign to make us into God’s enemy.

The Sacred Romance
, 106
So often I minimize my own role in Jesus' life/death. Even as I type this (and it's hard to) I sit justifying myself. Measuring myself against the actions of "far worse sinners." Here I sit, polishing my pride.

In all of my attempts to run from him, every time I've shouted hate into the sky, every time I've wanted to disbelieve, he's purchased me.

God, save me from the times in my weakness that I fall into my enemy. Save me from the times that I am strong, and weaken myself to join my enemy. May your enemies be mine. And give me the eyes to know who they are.