Notes from Jan

Freedom From Sound Bytes.

September 24, 2015

The morning began with Part A of my annual physical: blood work and a quiz on my ability to recall certain words and spell others backwards.
Two forms of bloodletting.
Afterwards, I headed to Jim’s for a donut and coffee.
Inexpensive therapy.
Made sense to me.

Next stop, guided my car onto the carwash track for its end-of-summer bath, then to the small garage where energetic young men used a powerful vacuum system to suck a good portion of Good Harbor Beach from the floors and seats in my car.
Felt lighter when I left both places.
One extracted blood and words; the other, sand and money.

While the car cleaners finished, I sat in the waiting room, eyes riveted to the television where Pope Francis stood speaking to Congress and guests.
As I age, I appreciate slower speech.
Pope Francis blessed me with each slowly spoken, thoughtful word.
Freedom for a brief time from sound bytes, fast talkers and slick manipulators.

When I look back over the months before Jud died, I can recall how slow, thoughtful speech marked those days. A year ago today, he resigned from the Board of BioLogos. Over and over again, I watched him open his hands to release or relinquish that which he loved, entrusting organizations and us to the God he loved and served.
Thoughtful, slow speech marked by thoughtful actions.

Today as I listened to Pope Francis, my heart stirred to his prophetic voice on the environment, the sacredness of each life, the danger of wealth without responsibility, the refugee crisis and more.  The news reported that, instead of dining with members of Congress, he’s heading to a church to eat with the homeless.  Made me ask myself, ”Who’d I prefer to eat lunch with?” and “How well do my actions sync with my core beliefs?”

A year ago, I wrote this in my journal from Colossians 3: “Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.” I heard and saw how Jud lived out this passage. Now it’s my turn.

Lord of Popes and people like I, have mercy.
Teach us your ways.
Help us to behave like brothers and sisters, your image bearers.
To be more faith-full, less fear-full.
To be willing to help create a “culture of care.”
“Thankful to God the Father, every step of the way.”

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