Monday, March 31, 2008

In The Ground For Two Years

Today marks two years since we buried my father. A late March snowstorm is bearing down on us here in Minnesota - half a foot and it's still coming. It makes sense to me. Winter seems to hang on for too long - longer than it has a right to be present.

In a sense, I too have been in the ground for two years. Only it is my task to climb out, to live. It is my task to climb out and not die with the dead. Living, for now, is my task.

I have climbed through fear, fruastration, incoherence, confusion, anxiety, failure, humiliation - the muck of living. I have slipped and fallen, gulped in some sludge and nearly drown. Loneliness is so much a part of grief.

I have also seen Hope. She finds me when I want to be alone, but not really alone. Hope knows me better than I know myself and knows when I need her.

Hope pulls me, hands me a towel, and speaks kindness into my soul.

I don't have my father, but I have Hope.

I can live with Hope.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The State of the Emerging Church

What is up with the emergent church? Click here to learn a little something for a video interview with Tony Jones.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

The fun part of Spring Break

Canaan with face painted.

Sierra with face painted.

Sierra & Canaan with cousins Maddie, Ella, & Sam sit with Memaw and Pawpaw. Faces painted by Auntie Sheryl.

Arkansas Flood 2008

Here is a view from the front porch of my in-laws.

Here is the car that should not have even thought about trying to pass.

Here is Gail looking over a the flooded North Branch of the Spring River. Somewhere submerged down there is a bridge.

I took this picture less than 50 yeards from where I was staying.

This picture was taken when the water was "low." Two hours later this sign was long gone.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Parents Are Truth To Children

Parents, until a certain age, your children believe that everything you say and do is right and normal. No one has more to say about the cultural and moral realities about children than parents. You are their truth...until a certain age.

And then there is an age when children can determine truth without you. This is entirely a good thing, a developmental necessity. What you hope as a parent is that when your child learns to determine truth without you, that what you have done up until that point still looks like truth to the child. If your parenting has been untrue in the early years, the children will likely spend the rest of his or her life unlearning you. The process of unlearning a person is painful for all involved and is likely to have poor relational outcomes.

Now, there is hope for parents who have done poorly when their children were younger. Own the wrongs. Not always, but often, when children become adults, they can forgive their parents wrongs when the parent owns those wrongs. Parents who insist that they were great parents when they were not and do not admit their wrongs OR parents who give up to their wrongs and don't even try to change are less likely to find forgiveness.

Here's the take away message: In the early years of childhood, parents are truth. In the later years of childhood and into adulthood, parents are compared to independent ideas of truth. Gross mismatches are damaging. But no matter how bad things have become, there is always redemption in seeking to be a truer person.