Sunday, December 22, 2013

Reshaping Our Dreams

Sometimes life takes a different turn than we expected. Our dreams, as if they were bread dough, get folded and kneaded back over on themselves, and sometimes even pounded, pulled, and stretched into a different shape than the one we had envisioned or planned for ourselves. But our re-shaped and re-made dreams can still be beautiful. To illustrate in a personal way how this can apply in an every day, ordinary life, I am linking at the bottom of this post to a blog post by Kelle Hampton. This moving story of a mother's love is a testament to the truth that beauty can come from events which totally disrupt our life narrative and turn it upside down on its head.  When Kelle learned her baby had been born with Down's Syndrome, she had to say goodbye to the baby she had expected and dreamt of, and hello to the baby she received.  In the process of doing so, she herself was transformed.

On this Fourth Sunday in Advent of 2013, it is also natural to think of the Christ Child. This little Jewish boy, born to young parents of obscure origins, seems the most unlikely of candidates for God to have chosen.   He was not what the Jews envisioned as their Messiah, at all.  Indeed!  He turned our every narrative and expectation on top of its head.  When he returned to his home town as a prophet, the people were so shocked they couldn't believe it.  After all, he was just an ordinary boy!  In Matthew 13:55 they are reported as saying, "Is this not the carpenter's son?  Is not his mother called Mary?  And his brothers James, Joses, Simon, and Judas?"  Their narrative, their view of the world, was being bent and shaped and folded in a new way.  Could they accept it?  Could they release their own preconceived expectations about who Jesus was and what he "ought" to say, in order to hear what he really had to say?

Has so much changed?  Even today, there are many people who would rather not hear what Jesus really has to say. We would so much rather remake God into our own image of what we would like to imagine, or to hear our own wishes expressed in what we hear.  It's much easier to push Jesus into our preconceived box of what we want to hear, rather than to hear his real message, isn't it?

Thus, at Christmas, I remind myself and each one of us:

Click HERE to read about a Mom's spiritual journey after learning her daughter had Down's Syndrome.  )

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Sandy Hook One Year Out: Business (Still) As Usual

Photo by Additing Infor
It has been one year since the massacre at Sandy Hook.  A year ago, I wrote a blog entry in which I asked,

Monday, December 9, 2013

Feeling Blue?

Depression affects everyone from time to time.  
Whether you're feeling just a bit blue or struggle with a dark cloud, 
this film clip might help. 

Need help immediately? 
In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255

Friday, December 6, 2013

Nelson Mandela: Terrorist Or Hero?

This blog post examines the larger concept of how we label others.  It does so in both the abstract and in the specific context of remembering the life of Nelson Mandela.   How will history view Mandela?   Was he a hero, was he a terrorist, or is the reality somewhat more complex than this choice would suggest?

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Nelson Mandela's Undying Love ...

Nelson Mandela was never just an ordinary man.  He was born into a royal family of South Africa.  He rose to leadership in the role to which he had been born.  On this, the day of his death, I pay a very small tribute to him and link to a powerful two minute video.