I have quoted a lot of others lately. I've even quoted others quoting me. Enough about others talking about me let's talk about me. :)
I read the Forward and Introduction to A Generous Orthodoxy by Brian McLaren this morning over a power bagel and dark coffee. I was teary eyed all the way through. WHAT'S UP WITH THAT? I'm looking forward to the rest of it. I appreciate his honest struggling, wrestling, chewing, thinking without the pressure to have to land somewhere with certainty.
So, why the tears? I am not sure it had to do with the book at all. I won't exactly be able to land this either. I do believe that I will be touched in my soul by this book. I am expecting no pressure to fix a fallen world here. We live in it and will live in it and tears will run down my soul over it until the day I die.
I don't write this next piece in any political sense whatsoever. I want to share my heart and soul with you.
I was working out using our new eliptical this morning. I was channel surfing when I switched to the Today Show. Michael J. Fox was on. I have compassion for him dealing with Parkinson's. My grandfather has it too and my guess is that raises my chances of having it when I get older.
I like clusters. My favorite is butterscotch clusters. They contain my favorite two food groups, sugar and fat. Lately, I disdain the word cluster. This is as in a 'cluster of cells'. A cluster of cells is what is stated as coming from a woman's fertilized eggs. Michael J. said that these clusters of cells are left over from invitro. He said flippantly, "Hey if a woman wants to take these and put them in her womb and make a baby, great. If we are going to destroy them let's use them for research."
My soul cries. I am a man who wanted to abort my first child. I mentioned it to Ann and she said no. Even as a total pagan something in me knew I was being a coward so it wasn't hard for Ann to change my mind.
We were making these decisions when according to Michael J. my daughter was still a 'cluster of cells.'
Michael J. talked about his presidential candidate being a forward thinking man. Another tear drops.
How far forward is forward? How can forward thinking leave out the inability to see five months forward when that 'cluster of cells' will be able to live outside of momma's womb?
I am looking at a picture of my nineteen year old daughter. There is so much life in her. I wonder how many smiles she has brought to my face. I wonder how much anguish and pained looks I displayed during her days of painful choices. I am a grateful man that in my youth and ignorance somebody didn't convince me that she was just a 'cluster of cells'. She has literally been the face of God to me. Has your kid ever offered you communion and said, 'The blood of Christ shed for you,'? Give it a whirl and tell me about it. I love to be led in worship and if you do it I have no doubt your story will lead me there.
I think forward to a day without suffering. But I have learned to accept this fallen world, this vortex of sin we live and love in. I know my own murderous heart that has at times desired to kill my daugther, as I shared above, and desired to kill my wife and her lover following the revelation of her affair (he's still alive in case you're wondering about me) contributes to the pain and suffering here.
I know my heart isn't any better than Michael J.'s. But my soul cries at his ignorant compassion.