25 November 2008

current status:

viscerally exhausted.

just got in from nywc last night, and i'm finding it difficult to piece together a post that could authentically convey the whole of what we experienced these past five days.

with very little exception, all of the elective seminars and general sessions pierced me on issues of social justice (or as danielle strickland terms it, biblical justice)...tackling the roots of poverty and oppression. forcing myself to see it. and then investing myself, long term (as in, for the rest of my life), in eradicating the oppression of other human beings.

when it comes to loving my neighbor as much as i love me, and when i read passages like 1 john 3:17 and the last third of matthew 25, i have to wrestle with the question: what if Jesus actually means what he says?

because if he does? then i pretty much need to invert my life.

i'm not gonna lie: this is scary and overwhelming.

so right now, and hopefully for the weeks to come, we're searching out how all of this is supposed to look in our lives. if you talk to God, please pray for us; we need a double helping of wisdom.

can i just say once more? this looks scary. overwhelming. and maybe, hopefully, just a little bit like the kingdom of God.

7 comments:

~love said...

i will gladly pray for you all about this. we have been wrestling with something for about a year that is scary and overwhelming, too...but, like you said looks much more like the kingdom of God. now we just wait on when and how.

i love that we really do question does jesus REALLY mean it when he says that??! i find it very easy to rationalize sin because i know i'm a "good" person. does that mean i LOVE my neighbor as i do myself at all times?? no. does that mean i take EVERY opportunity to do for the least of jesus' brothers?? absolutely not.

i'm so thankful for His love and grace as i learn more and am challenged more by Him every day.

blessings to you, nic! thanks for sharing.

(ps--sofia arrived safely and i'm totally in love w/ her. i do believe a jolly old man will be bringing her to our youngest in a new stroller.) =)

fleetfeet said...

I love you and I'm praying for you. I do know that feeling: viscerally exhausted. Only been there twice in my life, both times after tremendous repentance and reconciliation with God. Both times my life changed incredibly in the months that followed. Keep praying! He will lead the way...

Kimberly said...

So beautiful and so scary all in one go. Really opening our hearts hurts like nothing else.

One thing we've learned over the years is that we need to be stable; physically, emotionally, financially, and most importantly, spiritually, before we can reach out to others and help lift them up in any significant way.

Meaning, we don't have to completely invert ourselves, just our thinking really, if that makes sense.

The most important thing we feel we're doing right now is taking our children with us and involving them when we leave presents on people's doorsteps anonymously. We're teaching them to give and it feels amazing.

There's a scripture in the Book of Mormon that I hope you don't mind me sharing.

"For behold, thus saith the Lord God: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom;"

It's one of my favourite scriptures, because it teaches that we are meant to learn one thing at a time, one step at a time. It can be dizzying to look forward to who we want to be, who He wants us to be, and think we need to be there now, this moment. It can be overwhelming. We have a wonderful example to follow though, and we are so blessed for it.

Fledgling said...

Dear Nic,

I don't think you need to be immensely overwhelmed. You can't do it all. You can't. Nor should you. Regardless of faith, I think making the world a better place is a team sport. Everybody doing their bit when the ball lands at their feet. Now, everybody on this team doesn't need to be the very best player, but he should just know what to do at the right time. When he votes. When she buys a car. When he is driving in traffic. When she sees a lost child. When he sees a bit of trash on the sidewalk. When she disciplines a teenager. When he claims credit for work done. When she chooses a college major. When he voices an opinion.

Because those things--large or small--get paid forward. They inspire others--for better or worse. Has a photograph you posted of a bird feather your daughter collected made some one think twice about the impact of a development on wetlands somewhere? Maybe. It could. Why not? That kind of grace is possible. Probable, even. Paintings have rewritten history. Speeches have stopped wars. A kind word is remembered for decades. A slap in the face the seed for a life of crime.

I can't claim that this is the answer--no way: too much mystery, too much ambiguity, too much contradiction, too much pragmatism--but is seems like a start in the right direction.

Baby steps first. Giant leaps should follow.

Peace,
-N.

Rebekah said...

When you look at how much about us needs to be changed to be like Him, it is indeed huge.

But when you look at the way He graciously works with us one bit at a time, it is a great encouragement.

Fledgling said...

Dear Nic,

I don't think you need to be immensely overwhelmed. You can't do it all. You can't. Nor should you. Regardless of faith, I think making the world a better place is a team sport. Everybody doing their bit when the ball lands at their feet. Now, everybody on this team doesn't need to be the very best player, but he should just know what to do at the right time. When he votes. When she buys a car. When he is driving in traffic. When she sees a lost child. When he sees a bit of trash on the sidewalk. When she disciplines a teenager. When he claims credit for work done. When she chooses a college major. When he voices an opinion.

Because those things--large or small--get paid forward. They inspire others--for better or worse. Has a photograph you posted of a bird feather your daughter collected made some one think twice about the impact of a development on wetlands somewhere? Maybe. It could. Why not? That kind of grace is possible. Probable, even. Paintings have rewritten history. Speeches have stopped wars. A kind word is remembered for decades. A slap in the face the seed for a life of crime.

I can't claim that this is the answer--no way: too much mystery, too much ambiguity, too much contradiction, too much pragmatism--but is seems like a start in the right direction.

Baby steps first. Giant leaps should follow.

Peace,
-N.

~love said...

i will gladly pray for you all about this. we have been wrestling with something for about a year that is scary and overwhelming, too...but, like you said looks much more like the kingdom of God. now we just wait on when and how.

i love that we really do question does jesus REALLY mean it when he says that??! i find it very easy to rationalize sin because i know i'm a "good" person. does that mean i LOVE my neighbor as i do myself at all times?? no. does that mean i take EVERY opportunity to do for the least of jesus' brothers?? absolutely not.

i'm so thankful for His love and grace as i learn more and am challenged more by Him every day.

blessings to you, nic! thanks for sharing.

(ps--sofia arrived safely and i'm totally in love w/ her. i do believe a jolly old man will be bringing her to our youngest in a new stroller.) =)