Sleep, don’t weep, my sweet love
My face is all wet ’cause my day was rough
So do what you must do to find yourself
Wear another shoe, paint my shelf
Those times that I was broke, and you stood strong
I hope I find a place where I feel I belong
[Sleep, Don’t Weep – Damien Rice]
Tonight my flatmate and I went to see The Last Kiss… actually such a great film. It really looks at the darker side of relationships, I think it raises several pretty good points…
One point it raised was how even when you appear to have the ‘perfect life’, there can still be something missing… I guess I look at that from two perspectives: 1) If you’re not a Christian, your life can only be so good without God, you miss out on so much more, and 2) Even in a wonderful, loving relationship, guys (especially guys, including Christian ones) are prone to question what else is out there, or struggle with lust etc.
Another point I thought was addressed very well was how, despite our protestations that we want truth and honesty in our relationships, more often than not, we don’t really. We would rather continue to believe what we want.
“The world is moving so fast now that we start freaking long before our parents did because we don’t ever stop to breathe anymore.”
[Kim, The Last Kiss]
“We often ask God to show up. We pray prayers of rescue. Perhaps God would ask us to be that rescue, to be His body, to move for things that matter. He is not invisible when we come alive. I might be simple but more and more, I believe God works in love, speaks in love, is revealed in our love. I have seen that this week and honestly, it has been simple: Take a broken girl, treat her like a famous princess, give her the best seats in the house. Buy her coffee and cigarettes for the coming down, books and bathroom things for the days ahead. Tell her something true when all she’s known are lies. Tell her God loves her. Tell her about forgiveness, the possibility of freedom, tell her she was made to dance in white dresses. All these things are true.
We are only asked to love, to offer hope to the many hopeless. We don’t get to choose all the endings, but we are asked to play the rescuers. We won’t solve all mysteries and our hearts will certainly break in such a vulnerable life, but it is the best way. We were made to be lovers bold in broken places, pouring ourselves out again and again until we’re called home.”
Sorry for the long quote, but it is impacting me. I very briefly highlighted this story a few months ago when I was introduced to it by a friend in Chicago, but I’ve been thinking about it a bit again lately. Check out the story here.
I think sometimes we can get so easily discouraged and wonder why things aren’t changing or aren’t turning out the way we hoped. But that is part of the paradox of the Christian life, of this journey of following Jesus – things wont always turn out how we hoped. But we still have a responsibility and a calling to act, to do something… otherwise how will anything ever change? And really, it’s not that hard is it? Buy the homeless guy a cup of coffee. Talk to the Big Issue seller you walk past everyday. Be willing to be interrupted.
I guess it links back into my post about life-giving, hope-filled communities.
Time for a review…
For me, there are two key, stand-out ideas/thoughts that I am meditating on currently.
“But maybe faith has less to do with gaining knowledge and more to do with causing wonder. Maybe a relationship with God doesn’t simplify our lives. Maybe it complicates our lives in ways that they should be complicated.”
It’s true. Being a Christian is not going to make your life easier. If you got sold that lie when you gave Jesus control, I’m sorry, but it’s just not true. The call of Jesus goes the other direction – its about making our lives more difficult, more complicated. It’s choosing to give ourselves away, be more generous and disciplined and loving and free. More ourselves. And people are complicated. That’s why when our churches grow, it gets more complicated.
So what if instead of fretting about how complicated something is, we simply allow ourselves to wonder about the greatness of a God who has it all under control?
“One of our greatest spiritual shortcomings is low expectations. We don’t expect much from God because we aren’t asking for much.”
This one… wow this one is really impacting me. I’ve kind of made a pact with God that I don’t want to pray anything I don’t mean anymore. I find it so easy to just pray and waffle and not even really know what I’ve said at the end. I don’t want that. I want to know his power in my prayers. I want to pray expectantly… waiting and believing God will answer.
No more lip-service. Chase your lions!
Buy the book.
Read Mark’s blog.
I’m in Glasgow again. I know… I’m hard to track down some days.
Yesterday I was at a promotional/pastor/talking/meeting thing with Rob Bell (author of Velvet Elvis – which of course you’ve all read by now – and creator/innovator of the Nooma teaching DVD series).
We started by watching the latest Nooma, Breathe, which has just been released Stateside, dont think it’s out here yet. Then Rob spoke very brielfy on who he is, what he does, etc. Then it was thrown open to a question time.
There were several points I loved/was impacted by:
* The Hebrew mind is completely comfortable with tension, with the idea that two things can be true at the same time.
* Someone asked him about his teaching, and he said that he doesn’t teach anything that hasn’t already been brewing deep inside him for months or even years.
* “Some people simply aren’t going to be able to make the journey.”
Rob also shared something they did one Easter weekend, which I thought was an amazing idea. Instead of having a Good Friday service, they had a ‘Bad Friday’ service – a day of mourning, real sadness and rawness and emotion, which leaves the tension unresolved until the Easter Sunday service, when they blow the roof off with praise! How great an idea is that, how much more powerful would it make Easter feel to me or you?