Slapping Mud on Walls - Photo by billy liar FLICKR "Cracked mud"
Today, I threw mud at walls. Actually, I’m helping build a house, out of mud and straw. When the pioneers had nothing but flat prairie for miles and miles, they reached down into the earth and made a home out of it. Dead grass, and layers and layers of mud. They didn’t know they’d patented the most secure and well-insulated building material there is: earth. I reach into a bucket of straw and earth-slime, and chuck handfuls of mud at the wall. It sticks—most of the time. Sometimes it rejects the wall (or the wall rejects it, I’m never sure which) and it falls to the floor. The stuck-mud I grind in with my palm. I’m up to my forearms in slimy foreign soil. A pioneer on someone else’s frontier. A stranger just passing through. As I build this home for another, a unplanted seed in me aches; to be…Continue Reading
To love is to be vulnerable: to hand over your weapons to another, remove your armour. Crazy. Who does that? Love. He gave us the keys, the will not to choose him, the knife to wound him. He did not defend himself. And where did that get him? In the garden he made for us, alone. While we hid. And we went into the wilderness to build machines, to survive without him. We fortified our weakness with iron and steel, shined to a holy gleam. Our machines are mistake-proof: effective, professional, strong. Clanging, powerful gongs. We give our mechanical monsters many lovely names: church, revival, community. Words, stripped of the power of a vulnerable God. We surrender our childlikeness to become little pegs in the machine—trading authenticity for professionalism. Some pegs don’t make it. Too tragically fractured to fake it, not useful or strong enough. The broken ones are tossed…Continue Reading
Photo by Abhinay Omkar - Flickr - EDITTED TINT
God loves impossible dreamers. We are all born with seeds of impossible in our hearts. Every child wants to fly. To save the world. They want their parents to be happy and wars to stop. These wild-eyed dreamers are the role models for Christianity. The Kingdom of God is already in their little grabby hands. That is, until grown-up scolders and mockers stamp out the fires in their eyes and teach them to be “realistic”. Would-be ballerinas become waitresses. Aspiring astronauts settle on accounting. They colour inside the lines of their bank accounts, their parent’s expectations and their perceived potential. Then there are those who squiggle across the pages of history with vibrant colours, shamelessly defying all lines and rules. These are the kids who refused to grow up. The impossible dreamers. Abraham, Moses, Hannah, Joan of Arc, Wilberforce, Martin Luther King Jr, to name a few. Their stories haunt…Continue Reading
Dewali Festival Decoration by John Pavelka
The Festival of Lights is just flicking on in Nepal, and I need to buy eggs and beat the dusk home. Against the paling sky, blinking lights bedazzle shops and house verandahs—like Christmas in October. The supermarket is lit up like Santa’s workshop. Familiar shopkeepers smile. As they put my groceries in white plastic, they invite me to join them for prayers. I ask to whom? for what? They motion to a colourful woman’s portrait behind the counter—their goddess of fortune. The lights attract her favor. “Do you need money?” they smirk at their funny question. I laugh-smile, handing over rupees. “I’m ok. When I need money, I pray to my God too,” I say. What I don’t say: I don’t need to put up lights. Scurrying home under a sky blinking with man-made stars , I am thankful for eggs and God who gives for the asking, not just…Continue Reading
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Today I got my hair cut by a social activist. It’s easy to breathe in New Creation Salon—the turquoise walls, gleaming wooden floors and breezy arched windows make a sanctuary from the restless midday dust of Kathmandu streets. I relax, my hair in expert hands of Tanuja, a short, feisty Nepali mama. Before hairdressing, she was in politics. At 19, she traveled to a village in far western Nepal. There she saw a small empty house where women and girls were shut up for four days without food or water: all for the crime of being on their period. They were forbidden to even look a man in the eyes. Tanuja, heartbroken, resolved to give her life to help the women of her country. At the same time she met Jesus, the man who always looks women in the eyes. Persecuted and misunderstood for her faith, Tanuja never gave up.…Continue Reading
Yes 2 Choices Jesus
There is a yes. A lurking seed in the heart, urging us to do illogical, dangerous things. When it gets the better of us, anything could happen. Some jump from airplanes, climb mountains, drive fast cars, or fall in love. For a moment their heart throbs with the joy of risk. But it fades. We ache: for beauty, danger, and the risk of love. We watch their shadows on screens and stages. We grasp, as they slip through our fingers: they are not for sale. But some seem to have found the secret. You can tell by their burnt trails of audacious behaviour and their hungry, happy eyes. Have you seen Him? they sing. Who? The homeless man who walked by the sea singing, Come! Lose your life! Follow me. No where. No how long. Just come. Fishermen threw away their nets, prostitutes left their street corners, and taxmen shut…Continue Reading