(photo (and more from the Chicago Marathon) Andrew Swanson)
So here is a links post. You may or may not care for these, you may or may not click through. But that’s up to you.
1. I feel particularly unprofound sometimes. You do too. It is difficult to write, or to know what to write. As a result, it feels, as Rick Mahn says today, anti-social. I’ve been feeling anti-social recently, not by intent, and so I understand what Rick was saying.
W e start to build relationships here and then, when we go through a period of silence or busyness or whatever, it feels like we are feeling rude to our friends. So how do you handle that sense of feeling like you are shunning 2.0 people or ignoring them or whatever? When you go for a week without giving a touch to an on-line friend?
And does that seem odd when in real life we may not see or talk to a church friend for the week in between, or the people we play cards with, or family members?
2. Nancy decided last night that we are becoming grandparents. We aren’t, by the way, in the way that is normally understood. However, over the past few years I have had the blessing to conduct some weddings, and some of those couples are having children. It does feel special, somehow, as if this thing that I was able to call into existence by uttering some words is now self-perpetuating. (And I know, I was merely acknowledging what already was existing, but still, it is pretty amazing.)
However, if you want to understand really amazing, read what Amy, one of the grandmothers, has to say about her new (and first) granddaughter, Melanie Joy.
3. Melanie Joy is born into a world which isn’t always well kept. One thing that Christ followers have often been abysmal about taking care of the earth. That is why I’m going to be part of Blog Action Day on Monday, October 15. I have no idea what I will write, which is, of course, how I always work. But by then I will know.
4. I know a bunch of people trying to figure out what community means. Thomas is actually talking about it face-to-face and online and then, in a delightful way, talking with God about it–in a blog post. Though many people hope that God doesn’t have an internet connection, Thomas is walking us through what a blessing looks like, what inviting God to work with brokenness, like that in my mirror, looks like.
5. Today I spoke to college students in their chapel service. I discovered again that I cannot write out my messages any more.
I used to write a full manuscript. I used to have everything right, to know what I was going to say, to have the words finely tuned.
And then a year ago I spent a week in Gulfport. Each morning we read some from the Bible. In the evening, we talked about how those words had been woven through our days, pounded into our lives. I had no time to write. I had to write three words on a piece of paper and then live through them and then talk through them.
Since then, most of my teaching and preaching has worked the same way. I study, I talk through the pieces, but I cannot write it out and I cannot memorize it.
Ironically, I have felt much less anxious while speaking. I still have nervous energy ahead of time. I still wonder whether I will have anything at all to say when I start. But somehow, as I speak, as I talk with the group, there are words.
It’s an odd tightrope at times, but it is delightful.
(If you want to watch this morning, go here and then click on the image labeled 10-10-07 swanson)