This season of Lent has been a time of deep grief and deep joy…..both at the same time. How is that possible? I’m not sure, but it’s happened and is happening. The stuff I share here has helped me sort the grief and joy out. Maybe it will help you sort some things out, too.
Mr. and Mrs. Who?
Sometimes we find music that touches our hearts so deeply that we love it from the first note…..the first beat…..the first lyric we hear. That’s how it was when I heard Mr. and Mrs. Garrett Soucy. “He’s been called one of the best lyricists working today” (modernreformation.org). I won’t try to tell you which song I like best because there are so many. I’ve only known of them for barely two months and was surprised to find out they are reformed in their theology. Why? Because I thought I was moving away from reformed theology, but I am drawn to the love, grace, and humility flowing through these lyrics.
Maybe those things are supposed to be what I think about when I think of reformed theology – but it is not. Truth is truth – reformed or not – and Jesus said it would set us free. There’s a lot of truth in these songs. The lyrics hit my heart like nothing else has recently. Edifying. Convicting. Reassuring. Grounding. All of these simultaneously are experienced as I listen to You are Water; We are Thirsty, God’s Refrigerator, My Lord, I Did Not Choose You, or Wholesomeness Not Deprived of Pleasure.
I urge you to take a listen. How can you not love the idea of God having your picture on His refrigerator?
More to Listen To
The latest episode of The Uncertain Podcast hit home. I was glad to consult on this episode and was deeply moved by the others who shared parts of their stories. Katherine had an insightful conversation with Natalie Hoffman, founder of a program helping women of faith who are in or have come out of destructive marriages. Natalie is the mother of nine children and was part of a strict church and homeschooling movement. She came out of her own destructive marriage and realized there were other women that needed help. Now she is helping thousands of women of faith find healing after emotional and spiritual abuse.
I began reading the Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard last year and have continued to progress through it this term in school. It’s not an easy read, but worth it. Willard’s words about condemnation and shame hit deeply. He describes condemnation like a knife into the vulnerable parts of our core being, and makes it clear that it affects us that way whether we’re receiving it or giving it. We are surrounded by those who condemn, in the world, and unfortunately, within the church. May we be that “different” kind of people who have dropped our need and/or desire to condemn. That is only possible when we know who we are and are mindful of our place within the love of the Trinity.
For that gospel opens the kingdom to everyone, no matter their classification, and it enables us really to become a different kind of person beyond all condemnation, blame, and shame, and to know it.Dallas Willard, The Divine Conspiracy, p 222
It is only with God’s help that I can move away from a condemning attitude and live in a way that invites everyone into His Kingdom.