Saturday, November 24, 2007

The Tongue

“Stupid Tyler! Stupid Tyler!”

My head snapped sideways at the voice, and despite my attempts to appear unruffled, I knew my face revealed my anger. Suddenly, a lot of things made sense.

Tyler arrived about three weeks into the school year. This may not seem like much time, but in 6th grade it can be an eternity. Friends had been made, social cliques established, and Tyler arrived an outsider.

My first encounters with Tyler weren’t the best. He was argumentative and often refused to work. When I informed him I was there to help, his response was, “yeah, I’ve heard that before, but no one does.” After several weeks things improved between us. He began to trust me, and when I was around he did his work. However his relationships with his peers were subsequently deteriorating.

Tyler spent little of his lunch in the cafeteria. I usually found him sitting alone just outside the door or trying to wander the halls. We spent increasing amounts of time talking, and I learned a lot about the boy who had originally been a nuisance to me. I learned about the trouble he’d had at his last school, I learned about the histories of addiction his parents were now battling with God’s help, I learned that more than anything Tyler wanted a friend. He tried his best to smile when we spoke, and even laughed on occasion, but when he didn’t know I was looking his face always sunk into a lonely sadness.

I knew others weren’t treating him the best, but I didn’t see it first hand until that day in art class.

“Stupid Tyler!” the chants continued. I ordered a time out, the boy tried to talk back, so I sent him to the hall with a detention slip. However, as I turned back to Tyler, I saw his face begin to sink, and it was obvious the damage had been done.

“The tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark…

With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing.

My brothers, this should not be.” James 3:5, 9-10

Our tongues are capable of both great good and great evil. What are you doing with yours?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

What's this about?

Welcome! You are looking at my first official blog post on this site. If any of you were readers of my myspace blog, you may recognize some of the things you see here, including the content of this post. However I promise there will be plenty of new stuff. That said, here are some thoughts on what my blog is about.

When perfection comes, the imperfect disappears.

You may wonder why this quote is my headline. Those of you who have witnessed the cleanliness of any of the places where I have lived know that I am far from being a perfectionist. So why this one? Well, as you can see, it is from the Bible, 1 Corinthians 13:10. This is right in the middle of the famous love chapter of Corinthians, which gives a detailed description of agape, or Godly love. 1 Corinthians 13:8-9 reads:

"Love never fails, but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part;"

Essentially what is being said is that we live in an imperfect world, a world where nothing lasts forever. Even many of the gifts of God will eventually pass away; however true love, selfless humble compassionate love, agape love, will always endure. When we one day experience the fullness of Gods perfection, we will be experiencing the fullness of His love. In the presence of this love, all other things fade. Even now, though I am only able to catch glimpses of this love, I am confronted with the fleetingness of this world, and the permanence of the next.

My life could be considered one long cross fade. As the world fades from view, God becomes clearer. Granted, it's taking a while. I'm stubborn, and there is so much that I don't want to give up, even though in my heart I know that God has something better. However I know that despite myself, God knows me, and loves me. He will graciously nudge me further along the path He has laid out for me (although some of the nudges feel like a 2x4 to the head!) until at last I go home, and experience His full and perfect love.

"For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love." 1 Corinthians 13:12-13

That's my headline, and this is my blog.