Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Paying Attention in November-Turning the Corner

I'm not sure what exactly has occurred, but I seem to have turned some corner. I don't know if it is simply the passage of time, or grace or the presence of something new to think about, or the fact that even I can only worry about something for so long, but I seem to have just....let it go a little. It started with the weekend when I slept through the night and woke up rested. It was not a fluke. I have continued to have better nights and more peaceful mornings. Sunday morning my first conscious waking thought truly was "God is good...all the time." And I have a sense of feeling "lighter" in some way about things. Nothing has changed, no word has come from "officialdom" about my future. But somehow it matters less. Maybe it is because I am having a little fun, or choosing to look for the positive. Perhaps I was just getting really, really tired of being in that lost and anxious place. Or maybe my heart finally won over my brain...with a little help from God and Dietrich Bonhoeffer

The Soul Sisters dove into Discipleship tonight. Unfortunately for most of the group, it was not a happy swim. Soul Sister C was not with us as she is off visiting her son, but S and A did not find Bonhoeffer to their liking at all. This came as a let down to me as I am finding this book to be such a gift, and I do think what I've read there has something to do with what is going on right now for me. I resonate so strongly with what he says, I feel affirmed by Bonhoeffer's theology, that my own difficult experience is contextualized, validated and given greater meaning by understanding it as part of a work of discipleship grounded in grace. What he says makes sense to me and excites me. It's visceral. I want, as I said to the SS's, to roll in this book like a dog in grass, to apprehend it with all of my being. They on the other hand feel let down by the message. They find him "dry and churchy." Sigh.

I wish that I could articulate theology better, to help them understand how it is that this works for me. "Explain it to us, Kate," they say. "Tell us how it is you understand this." And I cannot. I only know what is in my heart. And for that sometimes, words are simply not enough.

6 comments:

Rev SS said...

I think Bonhoffer, like many other theologians, speaks to us when we are in places where his words are effective bearers of God's message to us. (not as widely appealing as a good novel, or other lighter read)

So glad you're in this better place!

Mary Beth said...

Thanks be to God!

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

I'm glad you're finding an emotional release.

Crimson Rambler said...

someone said to me once that the sayings of Jesus in the Gospels are like Zen koans -- they don't mean anything UNTIL they mean everything, and we can't hurry the process; probably the same would apply to Bonhoeffer or any other insightful theologian...you can't hear it until you hear it...blessings to you!

mompriest said...

Oh, I agree with Crimson...well said...still sad for you as you share this reading group with them...

Van said...

I find your end of Bush's presidency offensive. Not because I either like or dislike his presidency but it is just plain offesive to those of his side who need to hear the words of Christ. As Paul said, we must be all things to all people. You can't befriend the enemy by slapping him or her in the face. Your being right or wrong is not the issue. Loving the enemy is the issue and I ask, "have you slapped them in the face with your day counter?

Rev. Van