2022 Highlights: Week 6

“I just think there has to be a Jesus, to say ‘beautiful’ about things no one else would ever see. The precious things should be looked to, whatever becomes of the rest of it.”

Marilynne Robinson, Jack

Some beautiful things this week:

  • Pools in BC require proof of vaccination and so each week, twice a week, when the girls have their lessons, I present my ID to sit poolside. This week the lady at the desk said, “I’m pretty sure I’ve seen this before” as I passed my phone under the plexiglass to be scanned. I don’t know why it gives me such great joy when strangers recognize me as part of their routine but it does.
  • This mug celebrated its 45th Anniversary!
  • My sister-in-law pointed out that on their recent visit we were able to sit inside together while our 4 kids all played happily outside without us. Not long ago that felt pretty impossible!
This is not a picture from that moment. We are not yet at the stage where we send our young children out to the beach unattended.
  • This article from nytimes.com: The Dissenters Trying to Save Evangelicalism From Itself. The Evangelical Church, particularly in North America but worldwide too, I think, is going through major upheaval right now. We’re experiencing it for ourselves in our family. It’s painful but I am hopeful that ultimately it will be for good. This article pinpointed a lot of what I have seen and experienced. This particular quote stuck out to me:

I’ve watched a lot of evangelical Christians endure similar experiences. They’ve broken from the community they thought they were wed to for life. Except for them it wasn’t God that failed, but the human institutions built in His name. This experience of breaking, rethinking, and reorienting a life could be the first stage in renewal.

David Brooks, “The Dissenters Trying to Save Evangelicalism from Itself”, nytimes.com

(The article also references 2 authors I’ve read recently, Karen Swallow Prior and Kristin Kobes du Mez.

  • Sunshine! What a balm it is. Monday was a day off from school for Pearl and we spent the afternoon at the park where they tossed their coats aside and ran around happily.
  • And the sunshine has me thinking about my garden and the things I want to plant this year. Rose and I picked out some seeds and I’ve begun planning.
  • This quote:

I know how lucky I am, stupid with luck, crammed with it, stumbling drunk. I wake sometimes in the dark terrified by my life’s precariousness, its thready breath. Beside me, my husband’s pulse beats at his throat; in their beds, my children’s skin shows every faintest scratch. A breeze would blow them over, and the world is filled with more than breezes: diseases and disasters, monsters and pain in a thousand variations…[my husband] sits with me in the green-smelling darkness, holding my hand. Our faces are both lined now, marked with our years.

Circe, he says, it will be all right.

It is not the saying of an oracle or a prophet. They are the words you might speak to a child. I have heard him say them to our daughters, when he rocked them back to sleep from a nightmare, when he dressed their small cuts, soothed whatever stung. His skin is familiar as my own beneath my fingers. I listen to his breath, warm upon the night air, and somehow I am comforted. He does not mean that it does not hurt. He does not mean that we are not frightened. Only that: we are here. This is what it means to swim in the tide, to walk the earth and feel it touch your feet. This is what it means to be alive.

Madeline Miller, Circe

6 thoughts on “2022 Highlights: Week 6”

  1. Looks like a peaceful week! The growing pains of question and reimagining your place in a religious group sounds challenging, but perhaps it is like pruning a bush so it can grow better and stronger?

    1. Growing pains is a great way to put it. Hard but, hopefully, will ultimately serve good purpose. Articles like this help me to hope that there are Christians out there who want to see their churches working for the good of others.

    2. There MUST be a Christian denomination that does all things in the manner of Christ, which is what I think you are looking for — community-driven, helping others, being a good neighbor, prayer and fellowship, etc.

    3. Those are exactly some of the things I’m looking for! Denominations are funny things because there is also a lot of difference from church to church even in a single denomination, particularly in evangelical churches. Catholic Churches and even Anglican or Lutheran tend to be more uniform but in my experience a church’s focus can vary widely depending on leadership and congregation. For now, I am trying to appreciate the time to really think about and study what I believe a church should be and what my own role in one should be.

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