Sunday, July 12, 2009

Messy Spirituality

Written by Chamie

Our van seems to get messier with each passing day. It is also making strange noises and is scheduled for the mechanic tomorrow morning. Our guest room at Stub Hall of Luther Seminary is scattered with clothes, books, snack items, and sheets from the children’s fort-building. Our nicely-printed schedule for this leg of the journey has scratches, scribbles, cross-outs, and adaptations. In the middle of “boat-in worship” this morning at Wapogasset Lutheran Bible Camp, a service held out on the beach, it began to rain. We agree fully with author Wendy Wright in her book SACRED DWELLINGS that family life is not exactly the serene, orderly life that one imagines in communities of faith like... well, monasteries or the homes of the desert fathers and mothers. Life is just plain messy… with many unexpected twists and turns, some joy-filled and some painful.

Just three weeks ago, my cousin, who was engaged with plans to get married later this year, found out that her dad has stage four lung cancer. Knowing that I would be in the area and could officiate, she wondered if it was possible to pull off a wedding in three weeks – and have her dad walk her down the aisle. That is the messiness of life. But Kate made it happen, and she made it happen beautifully. She even made her own cakes, so gorgeous and professional looking that I believe she could make hundreds of dollars selling them to other brides. She took the “mess,” per say, of the situation and made something good out of it.

And I would say that is one of the reasons that I love Jesus so much… he loves each one of us with a wide and deep love – right smack dab in the middle of our messiness. And he shows us how to take the messy, chaotic pieces and create something good and true and beautiful.

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