Friday, November 5, 2010


A while back a little blogging chain letter of sorts was going around and I was included. I have mixed emotions with these contrary to  an e-mail of similar ilk. For e-mails I feel very little guilt at not responding/forwarding. Even when they try to guilt you into forwarding by sicking Jesus on you. You know the sort, "If you love Jesus, you'll forward this to 1200 of your closest friends..." These chain letters simply bog down the internet and so I refuse on principle to be involved with the vast majority. I do forward on one or two every now and again to one or two friends ( I mean its Jesus after all) but I try to clean it up, removing the other forwarded addresses, and I remove the threats (e.g. forward this or you'll grow man boobs and the like- (which would be particularly threatening if I were a woman))
Something similar happens for blogger although these are typically more interesting and don't include the threats. This is where I have mixed emotions because on the one hand its nice to be thought of by other bloggers, sort of a "hey, I'm one of the guys" kinda thing, but on the other hand there is that request to forward it on to others, which is a bit like selling Amway- to me any way, so I don't want to do that. (no offense to anyone out there who sells Amway.)
One of the more interesting ones I have received was sent by MC over at Bedlam and Parnassus (some time ago I'm afraid) asking us to state our three favorite prayers and state why. So, belatedly, here are mine:

The Jesus Prayer

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

I learned this prayer when I was studying the Eastern Orthodox faith. I love it because each word/section can be mediated on separately or as a whole. It is easily committed to memory and thus can be said at any time during the day e.g. waiting in line at the grocery store or waiting in the doctors office.

Glory Be

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Trinitarian and can be sung or spoken. It was part of my growing up in the Christian Church Disciples of Christ. (sung) Its now part of my prayer time/daily devotional/Rosary.

Lord Jesus, come Yourself, and dwell with us, be human as we are, and overcome what overwhelms us. Come into the midst of my evil, come close to my unfaithfulness. Take my sin, which I hate and which I cannot leave. Be my brother, Thou Holy God. Be my brother in the kingdom of evil and suffering and death. Come with me in my death, come with me in my suffering, come with me as I struggle with evil. And make me holy and pure, despite my sin and death, in Jesus' name.

This prayer is by Dietrich Bonhoeffer Lutheran Pastor. Hung by the Nazis in WWII.

This prayer speaks deeply to me of personal sin and our inability to overcome it on our own. It reminds me that we worship a God who does not stand far off, but stands with us and holds us, and bears us up not when we have reached some point of perfection but while we are sinners. Our God comes to us in our evil and cleans us.


What does one say after being gone so long? Or is there anything that needs to be said at all?
I've thought of you often over the last few months- those twos and threes that used to stop by often. Those tens who stumble by by accident. I've come to the page with all intention of posting....but the fire was not there- not even an ember.

Blame it on a mid-life crisis of sorts. The months leading up to retirement were hectic. Excitement of new beginnings became anxiety and doubt. A man defines himself by his work and thus sentences himself to a hellish sort of non-being when the work is done.

Blame it on medication. Since I returned from Iraq sleeping has been a challenge. Its always been a challenge but made more so since I returned. Conversely, staying awake during the day has also become a challenge. So a sleep study and diagnosis of narcolepsy and a few handy dandy drugs- some to go to sleep and some to stay awake and things are great. Till I start taking them regular. And it turns out that one or both tend to conjure dark clouds.

Blame it on a spiritual malaise. For many months I have dealt with my own time in the desert. A time of silence from God. Never in doubt wherein lay my salvation and my strength but far from the warmth and assurance. No doubt that this was much my own doing in many ways.

But blame takes space and time that should better be used to apologize to friends for the silence and missed e-mails and absent responses. And so we begin again.