Sunday, June 6, 2010

Refugee Beads Open Class

To those of our readers who look at the pictures below and think, why can't I be a part of this? we reply, "You can!"

On Friday nights, all those interested are invited to join Ruthie, Nivin, Purna, Esther, Juli, and their families for some conversation, music, kid time, and, lest we neglect to mention it, jewelry making.

Here are a few shots of our time on Friday Night:

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Incarnation Station

13 miles into an 18-mile run/walk/jog on the Appalachian Trail, about four miles past total exhaustion, when we were tripping over small stones, running into trees, and laughing at dumb jokes, my brother Eric and I had a brief but rewarding conversation about theodicy.

Loosely translated and contexualized, theodicy is the ever-confusing and oft-asked question, "Where is God when the kids in our neighborhood get abused or neglected at home?" Variants of this include, "Where is God in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina?" "Where is God in Darfur," or "where is God when my BMW gets a flat on the way to my beach house?" - All asked with the same degree of desparation by those in the situations.

I spent an unsatisfying three years in Christian academia, where I banged my head against this question in all its different forms. Toward the end of my time at Moody Bible Institute, as my answers collapsed and my angst grew, I gave up on an intellectual solution.

As I traveled to New Orleans after Katrina and then later as I suffered under depression, I began to realize that, in the odd economy of the Kingdom, the answer seems to be "God is in us as we respond in love."

That was the beginning of my journey toward an incarnational ministry model, where we choose to live among the needy.

So much of God's character, so much of His perspective, so much of His logic seems beyond our reach. But when we move in love, His life seems to grow in us and connect with the world around us.

That's why I believe that so much of Jesus' teaching focused on Love. As small as we are, as limited as our understanding is, we must go about this confusing life focused on the central goal given to us- to live in love.

Then, within the context of that love, I believe that all other things find their place. Our intellect, gifts, interests, histories, weaknesses, and hungers all find their place in submission to the rule of divine love.