another blog

hey all,

if anyone still reads this, or if it's still in your rss feed even though you never really see it pop up any more.  i haven't been blogging as much.  it's easy to state the obvious.  i have been writing though.  i've been feeling very compelled to write a lot more, and something good is beginning there.  however i don't feel that i need to be sharing most of that writing publically yet.  i am writing in different places (personally) and different projects.  i may still blog on here from time to time, but probably much more infrequently.

we also have something of an experimental blog for our community.  i may be writing on there occassionally, perhaps a bit more often than here.  so check that out if you want to: kcroots.wordpress.com

in peace and hope,


the spiritual discipline of groaning

a friend of mine was sharing with me some about pain.  not so much her pain, but pain in others that she could see.  that got me thinking about the difference with which we see our own pain and the pain in other people.  take a minute to think about that.

if you are in a place of sharing, a place where someone feels free to open up about their pain--maybe just a crack in the door, but through that crack you can see so much, how do you view them?  perhaps you may feel a bit embarrassed at the candor.  perhaps you will feel uncomforable at your inability to respond, to do anything for them or about their pain.  but if you are close, you will most likely want to comfort them somehow.

the problem is that we normally are not very good comforters.  we try to speak words that our friend cannot really hear.  we mumbled cliches and trite phrases that are supposed to mean something significant, whether there be any truth in them or not.  if we are at our best, perhaps we will just sit in silence.  maybe a slight touch--nothing coddling. 

this is certainly a significant thing.  but still so often it feels incomplete.  it lacks. 
now think about those moments when you have been the person in pain, if you've had the good fortune to have people in your life with whom you could crack that door.  or possibly a few well-meaning ones who have even pushed it open themselves a bit.  how do you feel?  if i'm not mistaken, we all to some extent feel a tension between holding our pain and releasing out onto others.  for pain to truly be released in that way it must be shared--the other must feel to a degree that pain as well.  this is a burden we do not always like to put on others, even close friends, because we know it will affect them.  our pride invites us to take it all on ourselves and hold that pain.  but no one can bear the weight of the pain of life and really live.  and yet still we are hesitant to share.

this is perhaps why therapy came about.  a sophisticated and socially acceptable way to dump our feelings out--often by staying within the calm detachment of releasing memories of the mind, which subsequently provide a bit of temporary emotional relief through the secondary effects of intellectual insight.  a "good will hunting" breakdown only occurs after much intellectual banter and dancing, and most often that sort of breakthrough never happens--at least with another person.  rarely does therapy lead to significant, lasting healing.

talking it out.  silence.  perhaps if we are able to let go of our pride enough, there is occasionally a moment of breakdown and a touch of the healing of tears.  but this is a rare and difficult place to come to. 

maybe there would be something to learning how to groan with one another, like my friend suggested.  paul says that the spirit intercedes with us with groans too deep for words.  maybe in those occasions where words too much, and silence is not quite enough, we could somehow learn to groan together and for one another in prayer.  that may sound a little strange, especially as we like to keep things close to the chest.  but if there are times when even the Holy Spirit cannot have words, then maybe it would be something good for us to learn as well.


a poem

Procedure of Divine Love

'Twas my purpose, on a day,
To embark, and sail away.
As I climbed the vessel's side,
Love was sporting in the tide;
"Come," he said, - "ascend - make haste,
Launch into the boundless waste."
Many mariners were there,
Having each his separate care;
They that rowed us held their eyes
Fixed upon the starry skies;
Others steered, or turned the sails,
To receive the shifting gales.
Love, with power divine supplied,
Suddenly my courage tried;
In a moment it was night,
Ship and skies were out of sight;
On the briny wave I lay,
Floating rushes all my stay.
Did I with resentment burn
At this unexpected turn?
Did I wish myself on shore,
Never to forsake it more?
No - "My soul," I cried, "be still;
If I must be lost, I will."
Next he hastened to convey
Both my frail supports away;
Seized my rushes; bade the waves
Yawn into a thousand graves:
Down I went, and sunk as lead,
Ocean closing o'er my head.
Still, however, life was safe;
And I saw him turn and laugh:
"Friend," he cried, "adieu! lie low,
While the wintry storms shall blow;
When the spring has calmed the main,
You shall rise and float again."
Soon I saw him, with dismay,
Spread his plumes, and soar away;
Now I mark his rapid flight;
Now he leaves my aching sight;
He is gone whom I adore,
'Tis in vain to seek him more.
How I trembled then and feared,
When my love had disappeared!
"Wilt thou leave me thus," I cried,
"Whelmed beneath the rolling tide?"
Vain attempt to reach his ear!
Love was gone, and would not hear.
Ah! return, and love me still;
See me subject to your will;
Frown with wrath, or smile with grace,
Only let me see your face!
Evil I have none to fear,
All is good, if you are near.
Yet he leaves me - cruel fate!
Leaves me in my lost estate -
Have I sinned? Oh, say wherein;
Tell me, and forgive my sin!
King, and Lord, whom I adore,
Shall I see your face no more?
Be not angry; I resign,
Henceforth, all my will to thine:
I consent that you depart,
Though your absence breaks my heart;
Go then, and for ever too:
All is right that you will do.
This was just what Love intended;
He was now no more offended;
Soon as I became a child,
Love returned to me and smiled:
Never strife shall more betide
'Twixt the bridegroom and his bride.

--Jeanne Guyon (1648-1717)