Posts Tagged: "Mother Teresa"

Maybe We Need To Recover Our Imagination

*photo above: Scott Erickson painting during his one-man show “We Are Not Troubled Guests” at NWLife’s Together Night


Sometimes I wonder, have we lost our imagination?

Stewart Henderson, in his poem I Believe says,

‪Propagandists are

excellent mimics

But don’t expect them to say anything original.

I believe in doubt

I believe doubt is a process of saying

“Excuse me, I have a question.”

Propagandists hate questions

and in so doing

detest art.

I believe in art.

We are so easily tempted to mimic, copy, follow, and accept status quo as reasonable and good enough.

In the church it happens like this: we look to another church in some other part of the state or country that is considered successful because of one or more of the “B’s” – buildings, budgets, and butts-in-seats.

We esteem these other churches as having or being something that we also should have or be. We podcast them. We fly over to them and scribble notes about everything we see and hear. We meet with their leaders to get their secret recipes. And then we bring it home to our state, city, neighborhood.

This whole thing reeks of a lack of imagination to me.

What ever happened to… Read More

Lent Day 34… Maybe You Weren’t Made For Greatness

Question: does a palm tree have to be “great” in order for it to be valuable, useful, beautiful, or special? Does it matter if it is the tallest or fastest or largest? Do we need palm tree competitions and palm tree awards to validate their existence?

God does not demand that I be successful. God demands that I be faithful. When facing God, results are not important. Faithfulness is what is important. —Mother Teresa

I’ve joked before about how I think we shouldn’t tell our kids they are going to be world-changers and champions or princesses and kings. The gist of what I’m saying is that these kinds of well-intentioned statements heap on loads of unrealistic expectations. Maybe we should lower the bar. Why not be content with our kids even if they are *shudder* average?

There’s something unhealthy about the world-changer champion princess narrative in my opinion. It stirs up a… Read More

Lent Day 7… Have We Fallen Out Of Belonging?

 Although we are many, we are one in Christ—and we belong to one another. —Romans 12.5

Sebastian Junger, in his fascinating book TRIBE: On Homecoming and Belonging, says:

“Modern society has perfected the art of making people not feel necessary. It’s time for that to end.

To say it bluntly, modern society seems to emphasize extrinsic values over intrinsic ones, and as a result, mental health issues refuse to decline with growing wealth. The alienating effects of wealth and modernity on the human experience start virtually at birth and never let up.”

The biggest disease today is not leprosy or tuberculosis but rather the feeling of not belonging. —Mother Teresa

John O’Donohue said, “While our culture is all gloss and pace on the outside, within it is… Read More

Why I’m Choosing Beautiful As My Word For 2016

Each year, for the past several years, I’ve chosen a word or theme or idea to inspire and influence me. A couple of years ago, my word was HUSTLE (not like the illegal sales of drugs or conning people – but the idea of working hard, showing up early, staying late… stuff like that).

Last year my theme was HUMBLE • GENTLE • OTHERS-FOCUSED. I figured if I could grow in these areas, I’d be more like Jesus.

So, for 2016, my word is BEAUTIFUL.

No, I wasn’t inspired by that James Blunt song from 2004. Remember it? YOU’RE BEAUTIFUL.

Funny quick story about that song… Read More

Commit The Neighbor = Me Fiction Until…

One of our greatest human traits is compassion, which means, literally, “to suffer with another.” But this high art is seldom born in an instant as a response to watching the TV “news,” or even in response to firsthand experience.

More often compassion’s seeds are sewn via a preliminary magic known as empathy.

And empathy begins with a fictive act:

What would it be like to be that black girl four rows in front of me?  a little white girl wonders in school one morning.

Her imagination sets to work, creating unwritten fiction. In her mind she becomes the black girl, dons her clothes, accent, skin, joins her friends after school, goes home to her family, lives that life. No firsthand experience is taking place. Nothing “newsworthy” is happening. Yet a white-girl-turned-fictitiously-black is linking skin hue to… Read More

So The Whole World Falls In

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Evangelism as embodied by Jesus… implies the all-embracing love evident in Mother Teresa’s prayer:

May God break my heart so completely that the whole world falls in.

Not just her fellow nuns, Catholics, Calcuttans, potential converts. The whole world.

It gives me pause to realize that, were such a prayer said by me and answered by God, I would afterward possess a heart so open that even hate-driven zealots would fall inside. There is a self-righteous knot in me that finds zealotry so repugnant it wants to… Read More


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I love those stories of family, friends, colleagues, co-workers, or classmates, who—in an act of solidarity with one who has lost all their hair because of cancer and radiation treatments—shave their heads too.

It’s such a visual and tangible representation of “We’re standing with you in this.”

Solidarity is a chosen unity that produces shared interests and objectives.

In other words, solidarity says..

Your problem is our problem.

Your victory is our victory.

Your need is our need… Read More