My letter to my addiction

NEWSFLASH: I will be “still human” my whole life.
“I cannot – so you must not”

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This morning I found writing pouring out on that same theme. Because I am finding I can embrace that – I want to embrace that – I am beginning to think we must all embrace that. And I think that Christians are those in most urgent need.

Christians who are taught that they die to self. That they have been reborn. That they are in this world but of not of this world (anymore). Christians who might be said to believe that being human is a sin. Christians who have so many religious traditions which reinforce the sin AND excuse the sin of “being human”.

I am curious – what is your response to my letter to my addiction?

Thank you

Paul

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Just me being curious

Inspired by Melissa Presser’s –God in in your typewriter– post today:
My letter to your addiction

Here is my letter to my addiction …

😦  😦  😦  😦  😦  😦  😦  😦

Dear Other Me –

We don’t get along, and I guess we never will. I don’t really want you to go away, and you don’t care what I want.  So I try to keep you hidden, and you fight me every inch of the way. You refuse to listen, so I give up telling.

We have a relationship based on need – and no matter how much I talk about love and no need – you are there.  Needing me to need you.  And I do need you.

Your face changes.  Your tastes change.  Your cost changes.  Because you always have a cost.  And I always pay.  So let’s admit the cost of you in…

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People at once recognised Him

“He’s a legend in his own lifetime!”

Have you ever known someone like that? Someone who draws people to them – who seems to “have something” others want to be around?  Not “fame” nor “power” nor “witty repartee” nor anything you can put your finger one … ?  The respect of those older, the awe of those younger, the affection of their own age.

That phrase was said about one of our children, at school, by someone to one of our other children. And we love all our own children – we are biased in our opinion of their greatness. But exactly what our son was/did that caused others to say that … ?  We could only guess.

“When Jesus and the disciples had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret and moored the boat. When they got out of the boat, people at once recognized him, and rushed about that whole region and began to bring the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was. And wherever he went, into villages or cities or farms, they laid the sick in the marketplaces, and begged him that they might touch even the fringe of his cloak; and all who touched it were healed.” Mark 6:53-56

What we do know about our son is that he has a forgiving nature, an accepting nature, a sense of fun, a sense of purpose, a purpose that also allows others to be themselves, and a reticence that I have never mastered. A frugality with words.  Unless he chooses to open up.  And then it is a true gift!

“When they got out of the boat, people at once recognized him …”

(so why do they not recognise us followers and believers?)

I remember as our children were growing up, we had a strong relationship my wife and I. So much in common, so much busyness, so little time and energy for each other – just enough for an occasional cuddle in a coma!  And then all too soon our children were grown up, living in their own places.  And the two of us were left with so much space to fill.

“Empty Nest Syndrome” they call it.

A loss of direction and purpose.  An emptiness.  A mourning of the busyness of being a full-on parent.  And a reality check: just what do I have in common with the other (now defunct of busyness parent) I always  thought of as my loving and passionate soulmate?

(I know I am not alone – “a syndrome” needs more than just me)

Well, I used to see discipling and kingdom stuff as being like parents. Me me me!!  Us us us!! Busyness busyness busyness!  Coma cuddles coma cuddles coma cuddles!  All that nurturing, protecting, providing for, holding together, protecting from those who would do harm … this family of followers. Whilst at the SAME TIME  …

Suffering an “empty nest syndrome” – finding the (public) Sunday family of followers so often a duty and obligation – a habit and routine – a “we must do it for the family”.  And a huge heap of guilt!  That I SHOULD attend if I call myself a proper Christian!!

Is this what holds us together – our Father’s family – the Bride of Christ?  Is it just our busyness than binds us together? And might we be together out of habit – with too much invested – and too scared to separate – too scared to (publicly) consider divorce?  And might the result so often be that we still live in the same “family home” – … we still welcome visitors … we still lead normal lives.  And that is the “public face” of our relationship.   Yet the reality is that we have less and less in common – that we lead separate lives.  Because I lived like that for quite some time. And when I see the same “in church” … it stings.

And others will tell me (they have told me – they do still tell me) that I am wrong – that I do not know “the congregation” well enough – that I am “missing something” – that I am not seeing all the good stuff (and that if I turned up occasionally I would see what they see)!

And that is true.

Just like it is also true that married couples really do live together separately …  They do say the right (polite) words, do the same (public) holding of hands, do the same practiced smiles, and the same practiced slights, with the same tolerance, and the same coolness  – simply because what would people think if we didn’t?  I recognise all that because I have lived like that.  I had a syndrome!  It is not something you easily forget.

“When they got out of the boat, people at once recognized him …”

(so why do “they” not recognise “us”?)

I think the uncomfortable (and unspoken) truth may be … they do.