Saturday, June 30, 2007

The love of God in a culture of disinterest

I had one of my most profound experiences of the love of God recently. 4 days ago Erica and I arrived in Minneapolis, our new home, and have been living with my parents. A couple days ago we spent an evening at my sister and brother-in-laws house and we brought Junia. The day before she had spent pretty much all day in the car and was pretty wiped out and confused at life. We tried to put her to sleep in the pack and play, but she just kept waking up so we would go in and give her her pacifier. This did not do any good, so eventually I just went in there to hold her which always calms her down. This time my holding her did absolutely nothing. Her little face just turned bright red as she screamed and cried into my face. It went back and forth between those yelping screams and the long sustained ones that sound like a lung is going to fall out. So, this went on for about 20 minutes and by the time Erica came I was crying with Junia because I simply had no idea how to provide for whatever her need was. I ended up throwing her pacifier against the wall because I was so saddened by the fact that I could not help this little girl I am responsible for. Once I composed myself and got the tears out of my eyes we left and Junia was dead asleep when we got home.

As I think through that night I am struck by what must be the incredible love that God feels for us. I just got this picture that as we make choices that fall away from the plan of God, God is holding us tight as he cries with our sadness and our mistakes. It is this immense love that overflows out of the person of God and should flow out of each one of us as we love the rest of the world. I need to weep more for the weeping of the world.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Flux Capacitor

I am in that flux time in between when I should have gone to bed and before Junia will wake up to do her feeding thing so I thought I might as well make a quick post here. Personally, I am also in a pretty distinct place of fluctuation in life. I have finished my seminary degree, which I have been looking forward to for some time, but I think I am truly beginning to understand the sad place that leaves me in. The reality is that by finishing that I am moving on to a different place in life. One filled with many joys I am sure, but also one that leaves me apprehensive at the tasks and responsibilities I am to fulfill without anything to convey that I am truly capable. I am also beginning to miss my friends here in Denver before I have actually left them. This is truly a reason to mourn and rejoice. I am so thankful for those people I have had the privilege to know here, but am starkly aware of the reality that meaningful, blunt relationships are not easy to find. In flux is also the job search as I am saddened more than I find reasons to hope.

I have been thinking about Psalm 118 lately, particularly verse 25, which states, "YHWH, please save us now. YHWH please grant us success now." This is where we get the word, "Hosannah". It comes from a Hiphil Imperative of the verb "yasha", the same place we get Yeshua. This verse is a desperate cry to YHWH for his salvation in the midst of difficult circumstances. The writer is physically beaten and emotionally banged up and screams to God for his salvation. There is a refrain in verses 14 and 21 that note that YHWH "has become his salvation." It is almost as if these trying times made the writer realize the saving God who was already there. The writer has realized that YHWH is his salvation and, now seeing this, cries out to YHWH for the salvation that he knows is there.

It is my prayer that I might learn to understand this salvation more deeply. I need it.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Reflections on a Lack of Sleep

Junia is now a little over a week old and her presence in our life is quite unmistakable, particularly during the hours of 1 to 6 in the morning. She has not, as the doctor puts it, changed her internal clock to believe the night time is sleep time, but rather maintains the opposite. This happens to be really cute during the day when she is sleeping, but becomes considerably less cute at 4 in the morning. On the bright side, I have been able to watch more SportsCenter and CNN which is making me feel more adept at current events, at least the current events that CNN finds mildly entertaining. Overall, I am still in awe at the fact that Junia is truly our daughter. Erica's mom and sister left yesterday which allowed me to remain in the confused state of prolonged babysitting, but this morning was much more profound. I am humbled by this task and feel quite insecure about my inability to be the kind of father that she deserves. This becomes compounded as I think through my need to find a job and support our family, a task that I also feel pretty inadequate to complete (as of right now I am a bit jaded by opportunities that have seemed like good fits, but for whatever reason do not come to fruition). But, the good news is that I have been reading portions of Dietrich Bonhoeffer to Junia late at night and I am almost positive she is truly grasping the beauty of his thoughts and writing. Well, those are my random reflections in the midst of no sleep. If anyone else has random reflections feel free to share them or if you have a kid and truly understand the lack of sleep thought processes, please share. Cheers