The Messy God

The Messy God

’m here to weigh in on the timeless debate: I prefer sloppy wet kiss to unforeseen kiss. Like really prefer it.

If you’re unfamiliar with the debate which I am speaking of, it has to do with the praise & worship classic “How He Loves,” originally by John Mark McMillan and made popular by David Crowder. In one verse, there is a line where it says that “heaven meets earth like a ________ kiss.” There are two options: sloppy wet, or unforeseen, and which one you choose says a lot about whether or not I’ll be friends with you (kidding. sort of.).

While I am using intentionally stronger words than need to be used here, I do believe that the words we choose to use in our worship can often say a lot about our image of God, our image of ourselves, and our experience of the faith. I am a person who has always preferred the image of sloppy wet, but recently it has meant something radically new and incredibly revealing to me.

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The Anytime Missionary

The Anytime Missionary

I will break the news to you that I am not a full time missionary in Mexico. No, my husband and I live outside the perimeter in Atlanta. We have a small apartment that snugly fits our family of three, a car payment, and a crazy calico cat. For a long time, I scoffed at people who had a life like mine. I thought, “A desk job?? How TERRIBLE – how constricting!” I thought the ragamuffin freedom of the apostles was only possible being dirty, wearing a long skirt, and singing praise and worship in Spanish. And for a beautiful, hand picked few, it is. But that’s not what the Lord has asked me to do.

Pentecost is coming – the beautiful solemnity where we celebrate and remember the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles in the upper room. The actions of the apostles in their wild book of Scripture are only wild because the catalyst was the Holy Spirit.

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NFP Generosity

NFP Generosity

We wanted a family, we just didn’t want to get pregnant.

A few days ago, I had the incredible experience of seeing the first live images of the sweet little delight who will be my first daughter on an ultrasound. Finally, the tiny creature that has taken up shop in my wife’s womb for the past 5 months had a face. The idea took on a pronoun, “she” and I had never felt more in the right place at the right time in my life than being in that room to see her for the first time.

It did not always feel like this. I remember late January when my wife told me that she thought we were pregnant, and I was very hesitant to believe her. I knew she was right, but my mind couldn’t add up the equation. NFP + Frustration + Virtue + Frustration = Baby. Isn’t NFP supposed to be more effective than contraception?*

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Let Easter Sink In - 6 Sundays of Easter

Let Easter Sink In - 6 Sundays of Easter

When I was in high school, the way Easter panned out always seemed bizarre to me. There’s a pretty huge build-up of suffering, penance and no coffee. Then we go to Church like four days in a row (weird), eat bunny shaped stuff (why), and go straight back to reality.

At least after Christmas, most of us have a few days off before returning to work. But no one is having one too many Lemon Drops at a tacky Easter sweater party. We probably don’t even send Easter cards. Easter, to me, seems to disappear right into the next week. It doesn’t linger. There’s no talk about having “Easter spirit”. Because of this, most of my life I ignored the long, glorious feast of the 50 days of Easter.

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Invisible Reality

Invisible Reality

From the time I was small child I was wildly attracted to sacred things. The few times my grandma walked us to church just to light a candle, I hoped that she would leave me behind so that I could just be there.

This lent has been a lot of a reminder of that for me.

It’s the washing of the feet on Holy Thursday and the Eucharistic procession, it’s the empty tabernacles and the Stations of the Cross, it’s the quiet Holy Saturday and the dark Church at the Easter Vigil that draws me back to that wonder. The holy things of Holy Week remind me of how close I am to the Holy of Holies.

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Like the Do-Fall

Like the Do-Fall

In the middle of Lent, I heard a good priest begin his homily by saying, “How’s your Lent going? How are you doing on your resolutions? Not so good? That’s ok. That’s great actually. If you’ve failed, you’re just starting to realize how much you need the love of Jesus in your life. That was the whole point of Lent. Next we get to Easter, which is when we are reborn and restored”.

He then continued to talk about Jesus’ encounter with the woman at the well, and how she, like all of us, was “broken yet loved.” I kept that phrase in the back of my mind for the next week. Very slowly and gradually, I began to ponder the ways that Christ loves me. For about a week, I forgot about how badly I had failed in my Lenten practices, and instead paid attention to how Christ said I love you. He would say it in the simplest ways, whether through a song, encouragement from a friend, catching a glimpse of blue sky, time with my family, a few moments in Adoration, the taste of a perfect mocha, or in the daily Scriptures that I felt the urge to take up again. I tried to honestly pray again and say the things that were on my heart. I realized how much I desperately need that love and communion with Him. How nothing in my life makes sense without it.

 

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