Doubt

I’ve been enjoying Krista Tippett’s Civil Conversations Projects where she fosters conversation, not debate, on a hot-button topic. We’re talking abortion, gay marriage – the big political, moral and religious issues that folks stay away from at dinner parties because of the emotion and strong feelings they bring out. Onbeing.org explains:

The Civil Conversations Project is a series of four public events and media experiences of politically counter-cultural relationship at work… Most of us — wherever we are along the spectrum of liberal or conservative — feel alienated and unrepresented by the hyper-partisan deadlock that distorts and strangles our common deliberation of the truly pressing issues before us.

 

These conversations are a way of “building political bridges” and you can watch or listen to them at www.onbeing.org on through itunes.

In the 10/10/12 discussion on Marriage, I was really struck by something David Blankenhorn, the founder and president of the Institute for American Values, said about doubt:

Mr. Blankenhorn: …I think that doubt and civility are friends. They go together kind of like, you know, coffee and cream. They’re partners. Um, by civility, I mean treating the other person the way you would want them to treat you. And by doubt, I mean believing that you may not be right even when your position is passionately held.

Ms.Tippett: You wrote this: “What I need as a doubting person is the wisdom of the other.”

Mr. Blankenhorn: See, because if I don’t have any doubt, I don’t need you. I should be nice to you out of manners, but I don’t need a relationship with you. I may want you to be available to be lectured by me so that you can come to the correct view and I may want to treat you politely for that reason, but I don’t really need you. As I grow older, I grow in doubt and that’s good. And I feel like that that’s a healthier way to be. And if I am not sure that I have the full truth of the matter, I need you.

Civility allows me to have a relationship with you. It feeds me what I need.

Doubt opens the door for widsom, learning, relationships and friendship because we need “the other.” Doubt creates space for change and innovation because we’re not “set in our ways” or 100% positive.  Relationships change people and knowing that I don’t have all the answers encourages me to foster relationships, even those who are different.

As I grow older, I grow in doubt and that’s good.

says Mr. Blankenhorn. And I agree, I’m growing in doubt and I’m seeing the benefits.

Transcendence

We still don’t have internet. Yesterday we wandered throughout York with the laptop open looking for a free wireless signal. We ended up in this gorgeous bar, the Biltmore, but it had a super weak signal so we ended up switching seats 5 times in search of a stronger single. But, I’ve been surprised to discover, life goes even when you’re not on-line.

We had a incredible speaker, Ina, from Namibia last week who talked about entering the mysterious, life-giving dance of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. She quoted Brennan Manning who said, “Prayer is letting God love you.” Her perspective was fresh and exciting.

Go Dan, Go!Friday night Dan & I helped run the Fuse Cafe, a safe, hip space for teens to hang, and then Saturday we hit up a skate park and a ceilidh.

And Sunday I was interviewed by the BBC about Transcendence, this cool multi-sensory service that’s held once a month in the crypt of York Minister in partnership with this church, Visions. This week’s reading was about when Jesus put mud on the eyes of a blind man and told him to wash in a pool and he was

Droppin’ in!

healed. As part of the service we walked from the crypt to the Chapter house and then had an opportunity to write down areas of “blindness” in our own lives on transparency paper and then wash it a “pool” that had been set up. It was really cool and who knows, maybe I’ll end up on BBC radio!

Sharing our Stories

typical street in YorkWe had a lovely time in the Lake District and now we’re getting to know York (the coolest city eva). Seriously, York combines the charm of a picturesque village with the excitement and variety of a lively city.

It’s also been great getting to know everyone and hear their stories, especially the story of how YWAM York started. Carl & Mel stepped out in faith to start the base despite not knowing anyone, not having enough money and the fact that Mel was 7 months pregnant! But the results of that risky move have been awesome.

Joining God in the Congo Line

I just finished reading Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell. I thought it was a really compelling book and there’s plenty of good discussions that could stem from it. But this quote really stuck me:  “I am learning the church has nothing to say to the world until it throws better parties (170).” I could not agree more. It reminds me of something our pastor Greg wrote on how he could  picture the Father from the story of the Prodigal son dancing in a congo line at the celebration after his son had returned home. I’m proud to say I have been to some fantastic parties thrown by Christians because it sure seems to me that Jesus partied a lot.  Joy will attract people to Jesus, and what better place than a party?  Let’s have a feast and celebrate – Luke 15:23.

Be

I am so glad I am a human being and not a human doing. And right now, when I have no job, no leadership roles, no activities and no huge “to do” list, it is much easier to just be.  It’s amazing how easy it is to be busy. To rush around, get stressed, feel the weight of the world on your shoulders.  I am really good at doing this. Sometimes it seems the busier you are the more important you are, the more prestigious you are. But how absolutely comforting it is to realize I’m not god. I am not the saviour of the universe. I am a human being and I can rest guilt-free! Of course, this is easy to say when I have so much free time. But I think rest is more of an attitude than a state of circumstances (although I’m dearly thankful for my current sabbatical!). An attitude that knows that ultimately, I’m not the one who’s going to make the earth rotate or the sun rise. That Someone profoundly powerful and loving is in control and it’s not all up to me. And what’s more, He doesn’t love or value me for what I can do for Him. He treasures me because I am His. Be still and know that I am God, Psalm 46:10.