the unburdened heart
Most of what passes for faith these days, is simply belief wrapped in fear. I have survived as a pastor for the past thirty years and have even thrived, grown and changed along the way. And the great blessing of pastoral ministry is this - I have seen a lot of things that deepen people's relationship with God, and other things that keep our faith safely on the surface. What are my qualifications to write a blog? None really. But I do have a bit of faith, and the faith that I do have has changed my life for the better. I used to see God through fear and law, but now have come to understand him thorough love and grace. And it has made all the difference. Which one makes you feel better – the older person who tells you how young and vital you are... or the young person who mistakes you for their friend's grandpa? Both may mean well, but how they see you is determined by the lens through which they look. And the lens is constructed by their history, experience and perspective. Both may have a small part of the truth, but never can we understand or share the entire truth. This is what it means to be human – we are partial people always in search for wholeness, completeness. What we can do, however, is become more aware of the lens through which we look. We live in a time when everyone believes that their belief is the same as everyone else's belief. And I guess, in some ways, that's true. I mean, if we all make a lasagna using lasagna noodles, then I guess each dish within the lasagna family.
But some pans of lasagna taste better than others. And that's also true of faith. Not all beliefs were created equal, even though you might be using words like "God" and "faith" to describe yours. "God" is the lasagna noodles of theology – but the combination of savory beef and pork, the sauce that has simmered all day on the stove with spices and fresh tomatoes, the blend of cheeses that bubble on the top of the final product as you lift it out of the oven... these are the difference makers. I pray that these thoughts widen the lens through which you see
And may God deepen your self-awareness, and invite you into a more joyful, grace-centered faith. What's at stake is the life we seek to live and the wholeness we seek to reach. So let's start putting together our lasagna, and make it tasty!