Ananias is a good friend to have. When the light of truth blinds you because it is so overwhelming and it shakes your world, making you vulnerable and fearful, when all that you have been holding on to for security crumbles and wobbles, when you are stuck in fight or flight, you need time to breathe, to pray, to fast, to reflect, to have someone lay hands on you and say ‘be filled with the Holy Spirit.’
We watched the 29 minute documentary film, “For Love of Hussain (A.S.)” that Josh Townsley and I made about our trip to Iraq for Arbaeen last Fall. The trip was sponsored by the Husayniah Islamic Society of Seattle but the content of the film is entirely ours. Views expressed in the film are mine and […]
Palm Sunday is arguably the most political Sunday on the church calendar. Palm Sunday, with Jesus riding publicly into town on a donkey was a counter-demonstration to the Roman parade that was happening that same week at Passover.
We spend our lives trying to earn what is already been given. We try to rationalize our existence. Look at my resume. See! I am worth something. It isn’t the resume. It is what we are already. Royalty.
Jesus had a pure heart. Just like Thomas Merton. Just like Hussain. They don’t care about anything except telling what is true. They give voice to the unspeakable. They tell of the unspeakable evil in high places.
Lent is a practice. It is a practice preparing us for tests. Taking on a practice, giving up a pleasure for the season, fasting periodically, say one or two days a week, sunrise to sunset, engaging in a study or reflection that you may not normally do, exploring some inconvenient truth that needs attention, learning about the suffering of another, practicing compassion.
Then of course, failing at what you set out to do is part of the practice. Maybe you won’t fail. Then the test wasn’t challenging enough.
Matthew Fox said that we are all artists. We can never shirk our responsibility for our own creativity or the joy of that. We are all prophets, too, meaning that we all are called to speak our truth, to say what it is that we feel is true and right and good and to share that. To bear witness is the phrase I love to use. To say, “This is what I see. This is what I hear.” We say it regardless of what it is, because it may be the thing that we need to see or hear or say or hear from another that can actually lead to our salvation and to our healing.