July 21st, 2009

Smith College, Ainsley Hayes

my biases are showing

A friend of mine made a post last night [link for my reference] about seeking faith &etc., and I am having such a difficult time reading the comments wherein people say really disparaging/dismissive things about their experiences with Christianity -- both because of some of the tone and because of the implication that ALL Christianity is thus sullied.

Hi, watch me feel really really defensive of my faith.

It also reminded me of L. saying all men are manipulative assholes -- which is true of her experiences with men but not of mine.

So rather than just griping, let me sketch out some of why I love this Story so much.

God created the world and declared it good. God said, "let us make humanity in our image, according to our likeness." Every single one of us is beloved of God, God who has known us since before we were air-breathers (Psalm 139).

God is a God of the underdog. God hears God's people crying out. God lifts God's people out of bondage. God mourns when God's people turn away from God.

God spoke to God's people throughout history.
God Incarnated, came and met humanity in the flesh.
We commemorate our communion with God and with each other with sacred meals.

Jesus was resurrected, body and soul. After the Road to Emmaus, Jesus' friends recognized Jesus in the sharing of a meal. Throughout his ministry, Jesus touched people and healed them of physical ailments and forgave their sins and sat down to meals with them -- people of all sorts.
We look forward to the redemption of all creation.

We are an embodied, beloved, blessed people.

On the seventh day of Creation, God rested. At times, Jesus went off to be alone. We have canonical models which tell us that we should not work 24/7.

Jesus also asked his friends to pray with him as he approached the hour of his death. We have strong models of community.

Creation is so rooted in breath and Word. God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. The Tetragrammaton (YHWH) sounds like breath. The first human was created from the earth and God inbreathed. The Christian church was born when the Holy Spirit descended upon the early disciples and those gathered all heard the Good News in their native tongue.

Abraham argued with God to not destroy the city of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 18:16-33). There is a midrash that when God commanded Abraham to sacrifice Isaac that God had wanted Abraham to argue then, too. We argue with God. God holds us to a high standard (and also extends us grace and mercy, streams which will never dry up) and we too remind God of the importance of justice and mercy.

"What does the Lord require of you, but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?" (Micah 6:8)

We are called to love everyone.

"You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt." (Exodus 22:21)

Jacob wrestled with the Angel and was renamed "Israel," a people who struggle with God and live.

This brain-dump isn't holding together as well as I had hoped. Let me sum up.

I believe in a God who loves me, who loves all of Creation, who meets me in the silence of my heart, in the whirlwind of my anger and frustration, in the belly of the great fish, in the sharing of bread and drink with friends and with strangers.
in a gen way i swear

[the hills of Iowa] nothing will separate us from the love of God

So, last night Ari hit a deer while she was driving home to Kansas City from Omaha. (She is physically unscathed, though the car is not.) She stayed overnight in a motel in Iowa. She hadn't thought to bring her cell phone charger (or much of anything else) since it was just going to be a day trip. Phone cards ftw. (Yes, we rather more appreciate CallunaV's mentality now.)

She called me this morning to check in.

Somehow I got talking about how L. had asked me to hold onto letters to some of her loved ones in case her plane crashed, and how this always makes me think of how people would coordinate notifying if I died -- especially since I have a flight upcoming. (For example, Tiffany's on maternity leave, so I would want Laura Ruth to do the funeral.)

I commented that I could email as an attachment a draft entry complete with password info, so there could be a top-level LJ post rather than conversation in comments.

Ari said: "The real question is: what would it be tagged?"
I have a "death" tag, but I don't have a funeral planning tag -- though I do have a "planning ahead" tag.

So then of course after we hung up I was still thinking about what I would tag it. "we believe in the resurrection of the body"? part of Romans 8:37-39? I pulled up my draft entry of the "Making the Faith Our Own" session on funeral planning (well, the topic was death, but Molly invited us to participate in an exercise about planning our funeral, which I thought was AWESOME) and was reminded of John 11:25-26 as well, but then at the end of that entry I mentioned Orson Scott Card's Speaker for the Dead. I think "speaker for the dead" is a perfect tag.

Edit: And in some sort of technological weirdness, this post refuses to show up on flist, and LJ refuses to accept the tag "speaker for the dead." /edit


Speaking of bff...

Sunday night, L. called me after she'd gotten in to Logan and asked if she could come over to my place (returning from California is always somewhat depressing for her).

I told Melissa (my housemate), "She'll be here in about 20-30 minutes. Oh, that means I could call Ari."
Melissa: "Are you two capable of having a conversation that lasts less than an hour?"
me: "... Yes."

Melissa said, "For a while I just assumed she was a girlfriend."
Ha ha, no.

yay sleep

So, about five minutes of 9, my World Religions prof wraps up the lecture and says we're gonna watch a BBC documentary on Early Christianity, though we won't get through all of it.  Someone asks if it will be up on the website, and he says yes -- and then mentions that that means one could leave now.  I was surprised that the whole class didn't disperse at that moment, but I totally bailed because I have been rocking the 5hrs/night sleep and really wanted to pick up some groceries at Porter.  So I bump into Cate (because clearly twice a week isn't enough :) ) and I get all my groceries from memory and I get home at like 10pm -- which is a little earlier than I would have from getting out of class at 9:30.

I will get almost 8 hours of sleep!  \o/