Monday, January 23, 2017

Chain Reaction

It really isn’t as uncommon as one may think, this still-as-a-glassy-surface-of-a-lake-on-the-outside-but-churning-like-a-magma-chamber within.  

Smiling on the outside, broken within.

Calm on the outside, raging within.

Poised on the outside, ridden with questions and emotions within.

Eventually, the veneer cracks, volcano explodes or we simply get exhausted, get desperately weary of wearing a mask, and the inside seeps out.

The inside belches out and usually we are the ones most surprised of all by what we hear and see.

We are the ones most shocked by the discovery of how woefully little we know and understand ourselves…

This fresh awareness of the discrepancy, even contradiction between the appearance and the substance, the 'inside' and the 'outside' which dawned on me in the linear accelerator room triggered an interesting chain reaction (yes, pun intended!)

By its sharp contrast it reminded me of the words I've been chewing on since Christmas.... the words which suddenly struck me as incredibly radical and insanely rare:

The Word became flesh and blood and moved into the neighborhood... 

... Like Father, like Son,

Generous inside and out

True from start to finish.     John 1:14


Generous on the outside, but kind of stingy within;


True when he started but turned out false at the end.

With Jesus, it’s what you see is what you get.

Generous through and through. True at the beginning and all the way to the finish line. 

The way he talks, the way he lives in every detail, all the time!

No faking it. No masks.  No need to impress or manipulate. 

No overpromising and under-delivering.

No hidden agendas or ulterior motives. 

No fears and insecurities, and buckling under pressure. 

No packaging falsehood as 'alternate facts'.

Yes is yes and no is no.

How deliciously refreshing!

How delightfully simple!

How absolutely, totally, completely humanly impossible…

Friday, January 20, 2017

Inauguration Consternation

With half of the country cheering and the other half booing on this Inauguration Day, with friends and family equally agitated on both sides of the great divide, something completely different occupies my mind today.

It’s something totally unrelated, something quite personal and, in the large scheme of things minor, almost insignificant  relative to the most controversial, most divisive elections we've had the privilege to witness in the history of the United States.

I even hesitate to bother writing about it.  But, the bur is real, and write I must, if for nothing else than to scratch where it itches me the most...

Shay and Jenny were my technicians today. I've just met them, so I can’t say much about either of them, other than that for about forty-five minutes, as a part of their normal, day-to-day job, they’ve jostled me around  on the top of the table inside the linear accelerator room like a human Raggedy Ann doll. They squeezed and bunched up my skin and arranged my bones in the most awkward, unnatural positions ensuring that everything was just so.

In response, I instinctively kept realigning my neck and my limbs, looking for a more comfortable placement.

We’ll do all the work, they try hard to be patient with me, but, you HAVE TO be still. You can’t move. You must remain still.

I don't know whether they are authorized to speak on God's behalf or not, but they use the kind of voice as if this is a matter of life and death, or at least serious injury.

I take a deep breath but keep the, Easier said than done, tucked inside the inaudible under.

My mind orders my rebellious body, STOP fidgeting. Just BE still.

My body backfires like a grumpy toddler, I can't 'just be still'! I am hurting. This is painful. It’s taking too long. I am tired and my nose is itching.

I say out loud, on behalf of my nose,

My nose is itching.

Jenny leans over and scratches my nose with the corner of the cotton blanket.

Thank you, says my nose, that feels much better.

I take another breath and find I am able to relax a bit. I close my eyes, embracing the moment of rest, unwanted as it may be. 

I lay so still I feel Earth’s rotation under my back. My body, indeed, is perfectly still, I realize, but inside, my soul is in uproar. 

This is so interesting, I observe, How’s it possible for a body to be so perfectly still but on the inside a storm is raging on…? 

...for the exterior to be as calm as a glassy surface of a lake, while the depths are churning like a magma chamber?