Tag Archives: light

Thoughts for Thursday

Or, A great way to start your Thursday.

Times have been rough lately. All the stresses and pressures of life building up, personal woes and hard times falling on dear friends. And then there are other things to consider, like the events in Ferguson and Iraq and Africa. Not to mention the debates going on in social media about whether or not to drown myself in a bucket of ice water for charity. (Which I still don’t get… shouldn’t we like…. pay money to see someone get ice water dumped on them? like, if we raise $10,000 then Lebron James gets it? I just … am not getting it. I can give money, with or without ice.)

So with all of these thoughts and digressions swirling around in my mind the last week, I was clicking through my rounds of social media and came upon these gems on the YouTube. And I fell in love, instantly and passionately. A friend posted them on Facebook and I absolutely cannot get enough.

They are just the right mix of nostalgia, positivity, good beat, and great clips.

Sometimes I need a little something to remind me that it’s not all bad; that the Holy Spirit is working to bring peace to this broken Kingdom. These silly remixes put a smile on my face, lift my heart, make me laugh, and bring joy. And while those previously mentioned stresses and sad things are still there, they still exist and they aren’t going away–I feel like there’s still hope.

This one’s my favorite:

Freshness is essential. Bring on the roasted potatoes!

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Surely we can’t be blind?

by Ed Watson

‘Surely I can’t be blind, can I?’ It’s amazing how often I implicitly say this to myself, whether I’m making a theological argument or judging the quality of a film. ‘Surely I can’t be blind!’ I’ll say. ‘I’ve thought about this issue long and hard. There are thousands who agree with me who are equally certain. It has been shown that the other side are not simply wrong, but actively harming the world. It has been shown that they are blind: and if that’s so, then surely it can’t be that I am too!’

It’s easy for me to become complacent in my views, whatever they may be. It’s simple to surround myself with people who agree with me, whether on the internet or in the real world; people who reinforce those views, who speak so well that they must be right (so well that I, of course, must be right as well!). It’s easy to forget that in doing this I don’t become the blind man gaining sight: I become the Pharisee, so set in my ways I become incredulous at the very idea that I might be wrong.

Jesus is the light of the world: nothing is seen truly except through him. This is what I must constantly remind myself. Whenever my eyes or mind land on anything with certainty, even (especially!) when I think it is shown by Christ, I must remain prepared to move again when he calls me onward. I must be ready to bow down and say ‘Lord, I believe’, again and again and in new ways. I must be ready to do so in front of those who currently agree with me, but who may judge me for humbling myself; for changing my mind.

It is, of course, all too easy for this readiness to collapse in on itself; for faith to become Pharisaism. I can claim to have gained such knowledge of God’s Word that I become the authority: that it is not the Word of God which speaks to me, but I who speak the Word. I might believe that what appeared true to me is the only way that things could ever be, failing to remember the earth’s contingency, even when inspired by God’s constant love. Believing myself to have seen the only truth, I might forget that a part of loving those I think to be my enemies is to listen to them, to remember that apart from the person of Jesus Christ I am just as blind as I might accuse them of being. I might now become so sure of my faith that it becomes faith in myself as opposed to God. I must remember that God always finds me in new ways, reaching me where I am and as I am not so I can rest in the safety of my assumptions, but so that by unsettling my own authority I can find rest in him.

At some point I must make a decision, of course. I must act one way or the other, praying that through God’s grace I might make the right choice. If I am not to become blind in my complacency, however, I must ever listen anew, ever pray anew, ever bow anew. I must never stop asking to be made well, asking to see Christ’s glory. I must remind myself this Lent to challenge myself by truly listening to those who disagree with me, rather than assuming from the outset that I know what they have to say and why they’re wrong. I must read all things with charity, lest Christ be trying to reach me from some expected place in some unexpected way (as per usual), but I become deaf to him by my pride. Otherwise I will find myself in the position of the Pharisees, incredulous at the idea that I might be blind because I have forgotten the one from whom I received my sight: the One Lord Jesus Christ, the only Son of God. This then is my prayer today: that I might constantly remind myself that without Christ I am blind, so that I might never close my heart to seeking and seeing Him anew.

——–
Ed is a Brit living in America as part of The Red House, an intentional religious community in New Haven, CT.  He divides his work between helping Forward Movement with its social media, working in Graduate Support at St Martin de Porres Academy, a middle school for under-privileged students, and otherwise living community life. He manages to fill his spare time reading, supporting Liverpool FC and Scottish Rugby, attempting to understand American sports, and enjoying the company of his wonderful housemates.  

A Sadness

The pool’s edges glitter with turquoise and sky

at the touch of my light,

the only warmth in this throne room of unknown gods

hundreds of feet beneath the sun-beaten Texas hills.

Cradled in white calcite drippings and strivings

falling and rising like porcelain fingers

cupping a precious mouthful

stolen from some unseen stream in the blackness,

the water is all the more precious to be drunk.

The depths call to me from the shallows

with a memory of some long rejected touch

the cold ringing familiar through my bones

inciting an impulse to sleep beneath its blanket,

and there, in the quenching blackness of its center

to be cradled by the weight of waters gathered

to feel my rib cage contract around an emptiness

my soul curl in upon its own weightlessness

to find itself hollowed by the cold

and the impregnable darkness.

But here in the shallows, there is a comfort,

the warmth of my faint light

revealing the coppered rust of the pool floor

my toes searching like so many bottom feeders

my soles planted upon a porcelain palm

and my heart, though longing,

turning to ascend

to reclaim a place

beneath the relentless summer sun.

Sunbreaks

DSC_0759

The sky is made of steel here

but once in a while

the sun’s diamond-bladed rays

pierce through.

The heart of heaven

bared for a brief moment

to break across

these jagged western mountains;

our silhouettes not even muddying the fringes of her coat

as she leans across the yawning city

to reflect dimly in the windowed towers,

who, with waking wonder,

stop to marvel.

Photographing Light

femto-photographyI have been obsessed with this video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_9vd4HWlVA) and concept for the last few days. I know that we know that light is particles, it is matter in a sense, but it’s very different to see it. Watching the wonder of nature unfold never ceases to amaze me. Especially when it endorses Coca Cola at the same time.

Light Breaks Through

Wallace River outside Gold Bar, WA

Wallace River outside Gold Bar, WA

Rays of sun peak through the trees on a cloudy day in the Cascades
Rays of sun peak through the trees on a cloudy day in the Cascades