Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Love Notices Wet Hair: On the Ministry of Noticing

What is sharp-eyed love?

When I was studying Attic Greek, I was transfixed upon the verb λανθάνω – I am hidden, escape notice. A word, a verb, that named my busy pain.

Ultimately it's a metaphysically impossible activity (Q&A11 of the First Catechism . . . He always sees me). Yet a falsely imagined but felt invisibility has so much been a part of my days and years.

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Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.
// Simone Weil

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Sister Girl,

This is an article I've returned to again and again over the years. It was written by a full-time college ministry worker.

Its contents are why I got weepy during our brunch with Ava, as she shared about the simultaneous love & loss that can overwhelm her when she thinks of her children while recalling her own mother. The same paradoxical lack & abundance burn me when I get to be part of a church that cares and provides for children, part of ministries for students, and wonder why I wasn't worth protecting and advocating for. How did I escape their notice?

In the end, Ava said, it is God who loves and raises and saves us, through poverty & plenty alike. In the end, it's so that I get to know and enjoy Him.

You strike a tender nerve there when you behave like you're invisible.

The necessity of the ministry of noticing, of seeing. And the pain of being invisible and unknown. After all, isn't this such a part of what Jesus did in so many of his gentle encounters with broken women? He spotted and saw them through and through and did not look away, turned all eyes on her, away from the person of power, onto the marginalized. I think, He knew what they needed. 

Q11: Can you see God?
A11: No, I cannot see God, but he always sees me.

Even when I fail to see/recognize Him, fail to see myself rightly. Even when nobody else noticed I was in need. He saw, knew. So we lack nothing. We are no longer orphans (nor were we ever). Thank you for reminding me. Have a great week!


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Who am i that You are mindful of me?

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Esther
Date: Thu, Jun 27, 2013 at 9:18 PM
To: boo friend

boo love,

I too was a lurker in churches once. I always attended, on the fringes. And would invariably end up feeling overlooked or unsafe. And I would leave in search of a city of refuge. I went to several churches over the years waiting for welcome from its people. Ended up feeling safe only if anonymous.

Liberation came with feeling seen/known by God. This quality was what I came to experience as Papa God's love. 1 Cor 13 stunned me, I couldn't believe the words staring at me from the Bible's pages... "For now we see dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known." What? I was suddenly always Seen, and always Safe...

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Learning to be a child, 6.

who    in the world
can make impertinent requests, persistently, with shameless audacity?
for whom is it safe to do so?

a small child. with a loving father.

how can we know that in prayer our desires will be fulfilled?

NOT because it is an automated technique––mastery over which guarantees results. no, a relational story is given.

a story about fish and eggs, and about poisonous desert stingers.

this is a story that tells us who we are. it tells us that

we can pour the molten chaos of our desires out, onto Abba's lap, and there be gathered, fathered, formed, contained.

what You will give me, will be what I truly desire
not what I think is food, but what will truly nourish

perhaps you lost faith.

not in God, per se.

but definitely in prayer.

maybe there was a time when you were asking, and asking.
you were inappropriately bold, and you were unabashedly believing.
and it crushed you because that thing you were asking for was something actually and obviously good.



i don't know.

i really don't.

but what i do know, is:

God is up to something.

and it is Love.

how can you know it is love?

hurry please, run after me:
at those foothills––lies Gethsemane
scale the garden wall, come see

the eternal Son there boldly asks
Father, let this suffering pass
Father, keep from me your wrath

the Father's will, we know unfurled
for to spare the Christ our Lord
would have been the death of the world

Father I will drink as You have tasked
to spare My sister from that flask

to know this Child, is to know enough:
see how this looks from my seat above
I'm up to something, and it's Love.

how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!

thankful for yls15 and a year of abe's friendship

Learning to be a Child, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

Monday, January 19, 2015

My friends are not my own

10. Resolved, to love fiercely but loosely: My friends are not my own. If ever I invest in friendship, to do so freely and charitably, not to buy or possess. If ever I embrace, to do so as to make space for, rather than engulf the other. I can love others, and forget myself, I can risk loss, because I am recollected by Love himself.

perfect pitch pal

Had a tearful friendship tune-up today. Going first was the hardest thing I've done recently. When rejection and exclusion, too much politeness, passive aggression, and not seeing the other... when these have been piling up underfoot. It is hard and scary to come down and deal with the lumber in my own eye first. How did something so huge even get in there in the first place...

Thank You for making me brave. Thank You for never leaving, never giving up, never avoiding--I know I can't lose You.

Yesterday Scott talked about how cause/effect, action/consequence (or reward) are often not immediate, and we forget how good and worthwhile it is to obey. Thankful that at least today, great joy and reconciliation followed almost right away. Abba is making it sweet and training my appetite & trust; quicken me after Your lovingkindness, and help me to obey.