Feeling, healing, and embodying

Philadelphia has been in touch with suffering this week. The Phillies (for a day) had the worst record in baseball and Utley can’t get over .130. We marked the 30th anniversary of the state firebombing a whole block with impunity (until a civil suit in 1996, no criminal charges). Less than two miles up the road from me a train going 106 in a 50 went off the tracks, killing at least seven and injuring over 200.

I spent a few minutes near the scene yesterday morning, but couldn’t get close enough to see too much. I did see the looks on many faces of people who had been there for a while. Whatever prevented me from really feeling it before then was removed. Reading stories, seeing helicopters, and understanding numbers got me interested and sort of vaguely sad, but I drove away from the scene in tears.

When Scotty wrote We Are All Lepers Here he had been studying leprosy, a misunderstood disease. Rather than being a disease that makes limbs and whatnot look gross and fall off, it’s a neurological disorder caused by bacteria. The disease often makes one unable to feel – at least certain parts of the body, thus not pulling one’s hand away from a candle while sleeping or attending to early infections. As a metaphor for the Body of Christ, the song asserts that in order to feel the pain of the Body – we need Jesus to help us feel again rather than just “tending to our own.”

My brilliant friend Randy Woodley takes this body image a step further in his book Shalom & the Community of Creation that it’s not even just Jesus’ followers that He made us one with, through discipleship Christ restores us back into a natural harmonious rhythms as part of creation.

How I wish more of us in the US could feel the sting of Nepal’s earthquakes this month. Over 8,000 are dead from the quakes, aftershocks, and tremors. That number doesn’t register very easily with us but when experts say over $5 billion in damage (over 25% of their GDP) we sort of get a better sense. If we felt it – I’m not just talking about tears, now – couldn’t we shave a little off of the federal $600 billion “defense” spending to help out?

At my cell’s meeting this morning, we talked about how depressing it can be to learn or think about some of these situations and facts – feeling isn’t always our problem in the same way. Rather than feeling our limits as in a place to reach out for God we feel powerless and often ambivalent about faith. I know what that’s like, I’ve even described it as feeling too much.

If you have that kind of sensitivity today I hope you can allow that to be a space for you to acknowledge Jesus – the very sensitive person of God. Not only does Jesus come into the suffering of the world, He offers hope that our work is not in vain, that doing our small part is worth it, and that being faithful to the cause makes ripples throughout time that we can’t even fathom yet.

If you are not feeling very sensitive to some of these issues (or others), I hope that space can also be ripe for Jesus to bring some feeling back into your body. I hope that your emotional and spiritual scabs might fall off or that God will touch you and you’ll help pull the proverbial hand off of the hot stove before it gets too badly burned.

We are all connected in this great big Community of Creation, and those trying to walk with Jesus can have a richer sense of what it means to feel pain as well as heal and to shine hope in the face of despair. There are a lot of folks who want and need to be made alive again. Let’s embody what it looks like to be a people who bring hope to the challenges of our day.

Lighten up a little bit. It’s only the end of the world.

Okay, maybe only the end of the greatest show in TV history-Battlestar Galactica.  Season 4.5 is underway next Friday, and will be the beginning of the end of a great ride.  There are 10 webisodes to prime the pump, only 8 are on scifi.com/rewind right now, so if you want to wait until they are all there to save yourself from suspense, better wait.

Samuel Anders, whose quote is the title of this post

Samuel Anders, whose quote is the title of this post

The end of 2008 has also come and gone.   So have the days of having to root for Pat the Bat (sorry, Phil).

gone to Tampa Bay to DH

gone to Tampa Bay to DH

A dynamic year,

Rich with grief and jubiliation…

Glad to see it gone.

Wonderful End to October, Oh Eight!

What a day.  I was one of the few at class this morning, and we started a new book-I Write What I Like by Steve Biko.  So good.  You may have seen Denzel play him in Cry Freedom.  I did (sorry Balz) cut class this afternoon to take the fam down to the Phillies parade!  (photo set here)

Then we got back and ate, got ready to go to Northern Libs and meet up with Jesse/Lo/Ruke/Janey, Marni/Sage/Fern, Marlee/Oli, Brandi/Elisha, Kristin/Sammy, Jeff/Lola…and Reece’s PB Cups.  A few photos in the set here.

Today was the second time in a month that Helena said “this was the best day ever.”  Maybe that is just her thing to say right now, but I agree that we’ve been having a blast.

philly fix my car

I totally saw that car yesterday from Philly Fix My Car!!! It was real jacked up.  Maybe you want to give that guy Ted $10?

I think it’s kind of funny, though, that the cops are asking for everyone with private videos to “come forward”, even if it’s on a cell phone, so they can find those responsible for the damage.

Yeah right.  I’m sure the boys down in the lab will get right on it. Talk about illusion of safety, or more so the illusion of justice.

Let me know if you catch that guy who was standing on the traffic light, guys.

Do you mind not trashing my town?

This one goes out to all those people who had their cars flipped over or smashed in (I saw a car all busted up at Broad & Ellsworth today), to the statue of the Man Holding the Umbrella, to the postal carriers who had their boxes knocked over, to the parents in Mayfair who couldn’t get their babies to bed, to the poor young ladies who were flashing teenagers Mardi Gras style, and to Joey Mahoney’s Russian neighbor who really did not know what was going on.  Sorry about last night.

Sorry about the frat boys jumping through fire on Broad Street, for the luggage store getting robbed, and sorry about that Jeanne Zelasko. I founda a bunch of youtube videos here-not great quality, but this guy was really bummed about the situation and was in the right place at the right time.

The AP actually called the outburst last night minor, although many personal stories would say otherwise.  My one friend made the observation that so many of the people doing idoiotic things came in from out of town to trash the place.  It made him want to go up to Wayne, PA, and do some “celebrating”!

I do love that Bud Selig (MLB Commissioner) got booed when he gave Charlie the WS Trophy.

I’m glad I was at home, and I had an AMAZING time last night!  And I can’t wait to take the kids to BW tomorrow!

ripped off by the rain

Man, last night’s baseball game was such a ripoff.  Tonight was even a better night for it.  Never should have gotten it going.  Now what?

1.  Did Wm Penn just come back from the dead to bring the rain on the day that the Phillies were no doubt going to bust that curse?

2.  Is this the spark that the Rays need to turn it around?  The middle of their lineup has looked terrible until the rain started pouring down.

3.  Do the Phils have enough to beat the Rays in a short game?-our bullpen vs. theirs?

It was insulting when the MLB leadership said that they weren’t calling it because of the convenient tie.  No Philadelphia sports fan in their right gourd wants to win the World Series on a game that ended because of rain.  We want Brad Lidge on the hill, or at least Victorino hitting a home run.

One more, Uncle Charlie!  One more!

feasted

great love feast tonight.  i seem to frequently forget to bring my camera to get some pics, although I guess most of us do.

I did upload some pics from my cell’s World Series party the other night here.  Game 2 loss was kind of brutal, but it was still a great time to be together like that.

They playgroup carved some pumpkins and MG took a bunch of photos (Marni & Lo, you a bunch of super cute ones of your girls!).  The set is here. Here’s Ada and Lily showing off the gourd art.

i’m always thinking one step ahead . like a carpenter that makes stairs

A few things that are great right now.

1.  The Phillies are in the NLCS, and it begins tonight.

2.  My brother Jonny hit a home run yesterday.

3.  We are leaving for the retreat in like 20hrs.

4.  The Office is back on tonight (and I have DVR).

5.  I have DVR (and the Office is back on tonight).

6.  Randy’s blog about the show Heroes, called The Heroic Life.

not the underdog?

Sorry to you sports haters, this begins with my love for the Phils and the Bills.

Phila won the division and goes into the post-season with the 2nd best record in the NL.  They are really good this year.  The Bills are 4-0 for the first time in 16yrs, and are might actually be the best team in the NFL (outside my head!).

(this is machine gun kelly and the late “Pit Bull” Mitch Frerotte in 1991)

I am having a minor crisis.  My teams always suck.  I stay with them for different reasons and always say that they are the best, etc, but when it comes down to it they are never actually the best-i just love them. Now that they are both doing really well, I feel strange about caring so much (geez, how post-modern am I?).

It makes me glad that God’s love for me doesn’t waver-even when I’m doing well!  It’s easy to need God when I’m down in the dumps, yet strangely more difficult when things seem like they are going along swimmingly.

I’m grateful for a life that never really gets easy, but is full of love.