Tuesday, January 27, 2009

dirty work

"If you get involved with God's people, you will get hurt. The Holy Spirit makes it possible -- compels us, even -- to share lives with one another, live together, do each other's dirty work, offer hospitality, make peace, share money, raise kids together, start car co-ops and serve our neighbors. But if you do all these things with broken people (and broken people are the only kind available), you will hurt each other. You will be betrayed in one way or another. And you will, despite your best intentions and greatest hopes, betray. You will even forsake the people who have time and again laid down their lives for you.
"But here's the good news: as we have learned to pray "glorify your son, that your Son may glorify you" in community, we've come to understand a little bit more the truth about God's glory. Truth is, God is not glorified when we try to live together as perfect people. (Communities that strive for perfection are always weeding out the imperfect people -- until there's no one left.) Jesus was glorified when he loved the one who would hurt him. He prayed to the Father for strength to love with that kind of love in John 17. Likewise, we are glorified, that God may be glorified, when we keep loving one another, even after we hurt each other.
God is glorified when we keep doing the dirty work, even for people who treat us dirty."
- Shane Claiborne & Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove in Becoming the Answer to Our Prayers


Saturday, January 24, 2009

new moon man

The journey is supposed to be challenging, shaping, difficult, beautiful, unbearable, and ultimately not so much about me but about Us and We. The journey always seems to wind its way past a window framing humility.

"A humble man can do great things with an uncommon perfection because he is no longer concerned about incidentals, like his own interests and his own reputation, and therefore he no longer needs to waste his efforts in defending them.

"For a humble man is not afraid of failure. In fact, he is not afraid of anything, even of himself, since perfect humility implies perfect confidence in the power of God before Whom no other power has any meaning and for Whom there is no such thing as an obstacle.

"Humility is the surest sign of strength." - Thomas Merton