Saturday, January 06, 2007

You know how sometimes everything has to do with the same thing?

Sometimes it feels like life is very thematic. (Do you think so?) For this one class, we talked once about organizing books into sets -- compiling little sets that all have one thing in common, like courage or miscommunication or anything really. Well anyway, ever since that class I tend to put things together; not on purpose, I just do.

So: Lately it seems like everything I see and read and hear about has to do with forgiveness. A few weeks ago I wrote about this (it's called "Merry Christmas") so I won't go on and on - my dad says he only likes to chew his cud once and I guess that makes sense. I just want to say that last night Matt and I saw The Prestige at the budget, and it was so very good. Very, very good. And it made me think of Munich (have you seen that yet? If not, you should okay?) And thinking of Munich made me think of Blood of Abraham which made me think of Soul on Ice, and of course all of these all together made me think of What's So Amazing About Grace. That book was just mind-blowing to me; it gave me a whole new perspective of politics and a new perspective of the old testament (mainly the book of Jeremiah, which is so very beautiful and I never understood it before.) Anyway, so I got home last night, thinking about these things, and flipped open Newsweek to the last page, and it was like reading a tiny-little spin-off of the book. Anyway, I don't have much to say about it, except that I think it's awesome how God can really hammer an idea into your head, make it unavoidable for you.

Has he been teaching you about something lately? I mean, you don't have to say a list of books or something, I'm just curious if everything has to do with the same thing for you too?

12 comments:

heidi_go_lightly said...

Jenny, I was having a very similar thought recently... the whole theme thing... I think I actually said in those words too...I think that my theme is something like letting go and moving on...forgivness being the sub-theme that I woke up thinking about this morning. I was thinking about someone in my life that I love so much, but find so hard to forgive. I think it's the people that we love the most that have the most power to hurt us, and they are the ones that it is hardest to forgive. (Don't give me credit for that thought--I think I borrowed it from _A River Runs Through It_) It's also the ones that we love the most, and who hurt us the most that we are able to understand the most. I have more to say, but I need to do prep work and laundry...

mark and monsita! said...

Life revolves around forgiving, forgetting and then the biggest challenge is the LET GO and not bring the problem back again, unless is for something constructive for the people involved. "What is so amazing about grace" is a wonderful book that challenges us to reevaluate ourselves and to take a look at who we really are and learn from our mistakes. God's love is so incredibly amazing that surpasses any human understanding, yet He can take a sinner like me and make me as white as SNOW!!!

Mark the Shark said...

Have I learned something lately? Yes I have! It has to do with how to eat crow. People always say it’s a nasty dish, and it is. The strange thing that I’ve found out though is that after eating crow you have the most pleasant aftertaste. There is nothing like getting rid of those ugly, dark, unpleasant feelings that just kind of bob around in your life. Unresolved feelings that need an “I’m sorry” from you before healing can start are the worst! Don’t expect springtime and flowers growing everywhere just because you did your part, but do smile when you get that feeling similar to putting on a fresh washed soft warm shirt. There is nothing like that clean feeling. Remember that an “I’m sorry” should never have a “but”. We can only do our part then sit back and watch God do the rest. Eating crow is a wonderful meal, very nutritious.

The Goodfellas said...

that makes me think of kelly, how whenever we'd get in a fight i'd say "i'm sorry but..." and launch into this really long explanation of how she was really the one who should be sorry. she said it doesn't count if you say "but." i didn't get that at first but it's so true. i agree, it is a good meal. :-)

heidi, curious to hear the rest of your thought...

Anonymous said...

Got hit in the head by one of God's hammers and haven't seen anything clearly since. I'm sure things will clear up but God's been pretty busy lately with all the stuff that's goin' on in this world. . .guess he doesn't have time for my little, pea dittlie concerns. Here's hopin' thinkgs change in the world

Praying for halcyon days and white snow. . .as things now stand there's too many yellow spot out there.

heidi_go_lightly said...

To Anon and anyone else that wants to read:

I like the yellow spots comment. Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt, got suckered into going back even though I hated it the first time and I think the T-shirt is ugly it hangs in my closet and I want my $20 bucks back.

Have you seen _Little Miss Sunshine_? There is a part where Steve Carrell's character paraphrases Marcel Proust and says something like, the painful parts of your life are the times you look back on and are able to say you've learned the most from. I would agree with that... you can't see it at that time, but when you get a little further up that road, you can see it. I was talking to an old Lutheran pastor once about something similar, he told me to read Pieper's Dogmatics Vol. II, which I have on long term loan from my church library, but haven't read yet...you may want to check that out...every Mo. Synod Lutheran church has it on a shelf in the library...or at least on some dusty shelf somewhere (except St. Mark's in Symco, who's copy will be returned--unmissed-upon my death at an old age). It has probabally been sitting there unread since 1943 anyway. I would also recommend reading as much Luther as you can, as a young man he struggled with dealing with the yellow spottedness of our should be white as snow souls.

I said something to one of my students on Friday, and I think it may apply here...take it or leave it:
I'm not convinced that everything happens for a reason--somethings, yes, but not everything. Some things that I have had happen to me or I've seen happen to others (or worse things I've done to others and regret) are just senseless, hurtful and painful. But you can take that thing that happened to you and you can learn as much as you can from them and be a better person for them. And use what you know now from it, because you had to go through it anyway, to make this world a little less senseless, hurtful, and painful for someone else.

You know, it does get better.
And speaking on pea-dittlie concerns on God's to-do list...mine concerns an empty ring finger on my left hand. I'm convinced that God will get to whatever yours are way before He'll get to that...so don't worry, some of us are even further down on the priority list. : )

By the way, halcyon is a really good word.

Okay, now I really have to do grades.

mistermcfall said...

Keep the faith and those yellow spots will be gone in no time. God is good and He is always smilling at you!!

The Goodfellas said...

i'm not sure anyone *should* be convinced that everything happens for a reason. i think sometimes people say that because they're able to look back and see the good that God created out of a bad situation, but that doesn't mean that he willed or intended the bad thing to happen. that's just the amazing thing about him -- he can use anything, anything for good. he does it so well that sometimes we look back and think that everything was orchestrated all along, but i think that's an oversimplification of reality -- maybe how we want to see life. we want to think he's totally in control but in truth he has allowed himself to not be -- he allows people to do these things that are senseless and painful. i think those are perfect words for it. i think it's okay to acknowledge that we live in a broken world, where things hurt.

Lars said...

Recently I have been reminded and confronted with the utter depravity of man. We have such a capacity for evil, it boggles my mind. Those who don’t know God, hate the things of God, and work to destroy them.

Some people have used Romans 8:28 to say that everything that happens to us is supposed to be for our own good. We merely need to look at it a different way. The problem is that’s a simplistic, and sometimes heartless, view. Bad things happen. Such is life in a fallen world were people reject the ways of God and do whatever they please. There will be suffering, trials, and pain. But as the verse states, even through all this crap, God will work out some good for those of us who love and follow him. He promises that there will be trials and pain, but that He will be with us through it all.

mamita said...

Galatians 5:16 it's a wonderful verse that not only gives you hope but also encouragement. It is all so true that this is a sad world, but we as christians can still make a big difference and challenge one another to keep up with the faith. We are confronted with evil every single day, but through every day prayer and God's armor on little by little things will affect us less.

kelly said...

there's so much here already... but forgiveness is the most powerful thing we can experience giving and receiving and i think it's a lifelong lesson. just when we think we've got it, we'll encounter a new person who is a challenge to love.

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