Monday, November 30, 2009

Intersecting Stories

So I met a guy in 1997 named Ben.
Ben was married to a nice girl who had a nice sister dating a friend of mine.  That sister, who I knew mostly through my friend, has gone on with her life--and so has he.  They are both married to other people now.  But that is not the point.

Ben posted on his facebook account tonight a link to an upcoming episode on the Dr. Phil show.  The story of his wife's sister is going to be aired this Wednesday.  I was intrigued and checked it out.  
He also posted this site:

Now I'm heavy.

Their story is familiar...
Beautiful girl.
Healthy and Vibrant.
Concerned parents because something physically was not right.
Brain Tumor.

I know there will always be stories that intersect ours.  I know it.  I know it.
But it it stunning.

As God provides space in your prayer life, would you join me in praying for Kate and her family?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Through words...

Through my own spoken words on Sunday mornings I'm working out (strike that), working ON my questions and grief and faith. At this point there are many lingering questions but when I enter the pages of Scripture I can't help but see how God takes the pain and loss and impossibilities of life and does something...something that makes sense to him.

I've preached about God's narrative before. In fact, it was the focus of Advent at our church last year. NT Wright has some great insight on that here.

But Annie's death is forcing me to take God's story more serious than I believe I ever have.

Rewind a bit.

It was just a handful of days after Annie was born that we went with some friends to hear Rob Bell on his Drops Like Stars Tour. We thought it was be "so good" for our friends. The theme he would be delving into was How does Suffering impact Creativity--how does God use Suffering/Loss for something remarkable? We thought it would be good for our friends who have a great boy that lives with cerebral palsy. (Just a little fact: he's my greatest fan on Sunday mornings because I play a guitar!)

I know it was good for our friends--they've told me so. But never did I envision how I'd be reflecting back on that evening. As the sculptor, God must now take the bar of soap which is my life and create something beautiful out of it. That's what sculptors do. In fact that's what story writers do--create where creation seems uncreate-able.

(*pictures from Drops Likes Stars book)

I believe God is setting the stage for something remarkable through the setbacks of my life.
I believe the same for you.

If you are reading this and wondering if God is able to do this for you, check out a few incredible people from the Scriptures:
  • Joseph (betrayal, slavery, power, imprisoned, power, choice to forgive)
  • David (Goliath, Saul, adultery, forgiveness, Psalm writer)
  • Daniel (exile, brilliance, pressure to worship another god, lion's den, miracle, prophecy & visions)
  • Joshua (particularly the 10th chapter of Joshua)
  • Legion (Mark 5)
  • Jesus' disciples following his arrest, crucifixion and resurrection (went from fear to world changers)
  • Paul (2 Corinthians 11:21-12:10)
The iconic photographer Ansel Adams said, "A good photograph is knowing where to stand."
Ephesians 6 exhorts, "Stand...and after you have done everything, to stand."

God is calling us to Stand. From that position the view will be remarkable.