Monday, June 28, 2010

open letter to Carmen Fowler...

About logs in our eyes
and real stories...

These two things seem to be
an issue for those of us who
call the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

You write about these two things
in your article
in the publication that is force fed
into the post office box
belonging to the church.

An assembly transformed
by the Word,
you write,

would be one that would
feature real stories...

and the spiritual exercise of
first dealing with the log
in ones own eye.

the denomination
we call home
has become deaf
even hostile
to real stories.

The log in our eye....
is that we spend very little time
speaking and hearing
our real life stories.

we have become
proficient even professional
in sharing our
perspectives, opinions and beliefs;
our overtures, debate and rebuttals.

What I've discovered is this.
Just beneath our
perspectives, opinions and beliefs;
our overtures, debate and rebuttals
are real stories....

Real stories
of both
and evidence of
God's presence and power to heal.

Just beneath all our ecclesiastical
wrestling are real stories.

You have them.
I have them.

You spend very little time in
your publication sharing your
real stories....
the stories in your life
where and when God
has been at work...
where and when God
has revealed to you
second chances
and new life...
where and when God
has transformed your
sin to holiness.

I'm sorry...
but after 21 years of

after many hours of
listening to
real life stories...

I have discovered that the
"radically supernatural
calling of Christ"
becomes evident
only when we listen to
and hear each others stories.

Indeed there is evidence of
multiple logs in eyes
in the church we call home.

There is also evidence of
good and faithful people
who are forced to remain silent
and to live behind masks
pretending they have a home
in our midst....
(and they are not all homosexual)

nor masks
were ever God's intention.

God's story was planted
in our stories
from the very beginning.

When we refuse to listen to
the real stories of our lives...
then we refuse to listen
to God's story alive and at work.

I too have celebratory headlines ready
when the 219th General Assembly
of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
comes to a close....

Headlines proclaiming
God's power to
sprout new life in the
logs firmly fixed in eyes...
and God's grace
to remove the masks
from all those
in our church
who are forced to remain

You have stories.
I have stories.
God is longing for us
to hear each other's stories.

When we do...
we will become the
church God longs for us to become.

No comments: