Thursday, October 5, 2017

Defiant Faith: Red and Yellow, Black and White

I'm home writing sermons. One for Boogie Bob's funeral and one for Sunday. It was supposed to be a full day of writing but our Director of Youth and Family texted that she's down with the stomach flu so I ended up in chapel this fine Thursday morning with my church's preschool kids. I sang with them:
"Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world.
Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in his sight.
Jesus loves the little children of the world."

It broke my heart open, choking back tears as these beautiful, little people of all the song's colors sang with me. I sang this song to my kids every night when they were tiny. It's simple. Pure. Defiant. So many moments this week have felt loaded with defiant faith. A refusal to let natural or man-made devastation be the last word. From a hospital baptism using a glass bowl gifted from dear friends to a 1:1 meeting about alternatives to prison to home communion with a 94 year old to the surreal painted lady butterfly migration happening through Denver to a super quirky screening of the new Martin Luther movie, it's been a poignant, strange week.

A week made all the more surreal given Colin Kaepernick's knee, carnage and grief in Las Vegas, and hurricane after hurricane. Made all the more surreal by patriotism and the common good being shaped in ongoing debates about protests, guns, race, health care, immigration, media, diplomacy, aid, education, gender, incarceration, taxes, and more.  All of this to say that a defiant faith is what fuels my hope, prayer, and actions. It's easy to give up and hide. It's easy to disrespect other people and turn up the volume on my opinions. It's much harder to fight for your humanity as I hold onto mine while we disagree.

Martin Luther King Senior came home from a trip to Germany and renamed himself and his son after learning about Martin Luther's 15th century commitment to non-violence as a way to turn self-interest and corruption upside-down so that all people could live. No small thing, that name change. I'm committed to non-violence right down to the way I talk about you. Do I get it right every time? Not by a long shot. Do I get angry? You bet.

On the docket is confessing on Sunday my part in the mess, receiving training on October 15th to better understand connecting conversations across difference, and remembering that my faith doesn't mean I'm good, it means I live a new life. Every. Single. Day. I get a chance to live. Because if Jesus loves all the children of the world, then that means you and I are in this together whether we like it or not. It doesn't mean I keep the peace for the benefit of the status quo while people continue to suffer. It means that I lean into the chaos of our present time and see what's possible for all of us so that we all may live.*


*Paraphrase of Jesus' words in the Bible (John 10:10) - "I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly."

1 comment:

  1. Yesterday, I wrote about Borderlands Science, a new minigame inside Borderlands 3 that is a joint project between Gearbox and a bunch of scientists which has us doing manual data sorting to help map the human gut microbiome.

    I’ll be honest, after about an hour and a half of playing Borderlands Science, I still don’t really understand how I’m helping, even after reading the full press release and watching a tutorial video. I get that the Zane, FL4K, Amara and Moze tiles represent that ACGT DNA pieces, but that’s about all I’ve got. But if they say we’re helping, sure, why not.

    Here’s the thing though, this little minigame is actually really rewarding from an actual gameplay perspective in Borderlands 3. Originally I Borderlands 3 Money thought it was just a skin unlock and four heads for the four classes. You do unlock those, and they are neat, but beyond that, there are a series of boosts you can buy for “coins” you earn while playing this game and sorting this science data.

    Here’s the list of what you can buy:

    25% more combat XP for two hours (500 coins)
    100% more cash for two hours (500 coins)
    10% reload speed and 15% run speed for two hours (500 coins)
    10% more damage for one hour (1000 coins)
    25% elemental chance and 10% elemental damage for one hour (1000 coins)
    Upgrade loot quality for one hour (1000 coins)


Challenging and respectful comments welcome...mean ones, not so much.