It's that time again, another Formica Friday, a treasure trove of hodgepodge, random tidbits, and a bit of this and that. In particular, it is the place where I can celebrate the best posts I read this past week and want to share with you.
As a congregant but also a poet and worship leader in the Episcopal Church, I have found Anglican liturgy to be profoundly incarnational, involving body, mind and spirit. Everything about it--the music, the antiphonal prayers and chants, the vestments, the body movements of kneeling, standing, reverencing--leads us into Christ’s presence until the ultimate, the crunch of wafer and the taste of wine in our mouths, unites us with him in a more than merely physical way. Such worship is both personal and communal, demonstrating what is meant by "the body of Christ."
-- Luci Shaw, Breath for the Bones: Art, Imagination & Spirit, Writer in Residence, Regent College
- learning to be pissed off out of Love
- getting angry about the same things, the good things, the things worth the anger
- music woven in the night
- breathing within being, within Being
- accepting praise without need of qualification or reciprocation
- emails from surprising places
- the certainty of this present moment
- This week, the stunning book Not Alone: Stories of Living with Depression, edited by my friend Alise Wright, was released. I was honored to review the book and share some of my own story here last Wednesday. I commend to you two things: to purchase the book, which is beautifully crafted and inspirational in the deep, uplifting way of support; and, to visit the posts written by others who have contributed and reviewed the book. The book itself is impressive, generous, and opens and closes with essays by two of my friends: Elizabeth Esther and Tamara. I could not recommend it more, for those struggling with and wanting to understand the irrational rationality of depression.
- On the note of depression, I point you to Cory Copeland's post from this morning. Unlike my usual reasons for choosing a link to share--the writing, the tone, the grace--I'm not focused there when it comes to this post. They are present, surely, but it's how Cory ended his story that caught my attention: he offers his email, offers himself, and is willing to find time to reach out. I've had a full inbox for the past several weeks and admit that it gets hard to respond to people, so I am grateful for those willing to give their time, set it aside, and be present for others when I myself find it so difficult to balance. Cory is a good person to be present with, so I heartily commend him, his graciousness, and his wisdom to you.
- Moving into different flow of thought, I commend to you the words of Hilary this week to her readers, that they are bright. What I love about Hilary's writing is how she is able to speak of grace, encouragement, and generosity without turning them into buzz words or cheapening their beauty. She cares about the words, cares about the readers, and puts them in relationship.
- This week, my good friend Anna Blanch wove into me words that would not truly be poignant until today, but they have sat with me until their acceptable time, have come to the forefront of my mind, and are now making space in my spirit."'God, grant me the strength for what is necessary.' A silently held prayer. A whispered prayer, a prayer uttered intelligibly to human ears, but shared, echoed, interceded." But she also posed a profound question over at Transpositions, the blog held by the candidates in the Imagination, Theology, and the Arts program at St. Andrews, in which she queries: "Do you teach from the pulpit, in Sunday school or in small groups a biblically grounded framework for engaging with culture and with the arts?" I've been reflecting on this issue a great deal lately, as my heart feel heavy for the Bride of Christ. I think this question, in particular, is part of the root of my reflection.
- Have we missed out on God because we're so concerned with identifying what we suppose is the BIG work of God over and against the average or small work of God? Micha beautifully rails against this foolishness and asks us to consider that everything, world without end, is big when it comes to God.
- This week, Nish found herself in a bit of a viral whirlwind when she dared to suggest that we should bring graciousness and peace to our Mormon neighbors. What I love about this post and the comments that followed is how faithfully orthodox my friend is but how she couples that with so much grace. It's a hard thing to do, but she maintains the principles of Faith in the midst of reaching into darkness. Good on her and it's a testament to her as a woman of faith and integrity. Bravo.