The holidays and other travel have meant spending the last two Sundays in two different churches I had never been to before. They were both very large churches with multiple services and new, massive facilities, very obviously staffed well and run well and funded well. Flipping through the bulletins showed that they both had a myriad of small groups and ministry opportunities and were engaged in their communities. The sermons in each, while topically and stylistically a bit different, were both Biblical and well-delivered. They even both displayed pre-service messages on the giant screens on either side of the stage about silencing cell phones, and I’m pretty sure someone’s cell phone went off at some point in both services. In worship styles, however, they were vastly different.
Yesterday morning I sat doing some work while my two-year-old nephew played nearby. He had his favorite stacking cups all laid out on the chair next to me and would lift each one up in turn, loudly proclaiming its number and color, then run with it over to the next room, where he was carefully constructing a tower piece by piece. It was an entirely ordinary childhood moment, but I was suddenly struck in it by his unbridled, unconcerned, overwhelming joy.
I woke up this morning to this:
I love living in a place with seasons. I love the way the cycle of nature; the death of fall and rebirth of spring; echo our death and rebirth in Christ. And I love that we can be reminded of this year after year after year.
But this morning as I was entranced by the beauty of the coating of frost, standing in the wet grass soaking my slippers because I was so excited to get some pictures I didn’t bother to put shoes on first, I was struck by a new thought: there is amazing beauty even in death. Even in this “killing frost,” as they say, in the clear indication of the winter that is fast approaching, in the stark bareness of branches and brownness of plants, there is still beauty.
I debated about starting a blog for a long time.
a really long time.
I even wrote a fake blog post about why I decided to start a blog, and then saved it on a file on my computer that stayed untouched for over a year. It was full of attempts to be funny (which I’m not very good at) and clever inserts to show I had the pulse of the blogging world (which I don’t), and when I went back and read it there were aspects that still rang true, while others were sickeningly self-glorifying, which fed the fire of one of my biggest blogging hesitations. So the file went back into hiding and the blog idea was shelved once again. Even now I hesitate in this step; for prideful reasons, no doubt, but also some that are most likely legitimate. Perhaps it seems, in the massive anonymity of the internet, this should not be such a big deal. That may be true. But there is a reason that makes it such for me; the same reason that finally pushed me over the edge into the blogging world – the power of words.