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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Diamonds and Cells

Well. I have been noticing, over the past year, something new to me. I think it has to do with the place of transition I have been in for awhile. We still go to Open Door, but we are not "of it" like we used to be. I work at Abbey Way, and we (as a family) are planning on becoming part "of it"; but the time is not yet. So, I feel myself, lately, in the increasing tension of straddling two worlds of church life. It has been getting increasingly difficult. They are each, in the words of Dallas Willard, a "row of the garden" in God's Kingdom, and I am noticing how difficult it is to let them "be" the rows that they are.

This actually points to a bigger process that I have noticed happening within me as I have been walking in this place of threshold. I come out of a legalistic, rigid evangelical background. This is not to say that all evangelicals are rigid and legalistic, this is just to say that I come from that environment... where faith was fed with a lot of fear. I have been "waking up" from this "condition" for awhile... and it has been really weird! I have been amazed at how narrow my life has been and how wide and inclusive it is becoming... I feel like I am learning to breathe... to breathe with my whole body/being.

Well, one of the things I have been noticing, thinking about in this process is the diversity of God's Voice... the voice of His Body... us; the Church. I will be somewhere and hear something and I will think, that is another strand of his voice... Because I am so pictorially oriented, I began to think of the church (the church broader than walls) as a diamond with many facets cut into it. The core of the diamond is the same and yet each facet is an expression of that core. I started to see how each cut of the diamond makes it more beautiful... so, my Benedictine friends at St. Ben's are one facet, Matt Patrick/Ashley Mallette/Joel Hanson songs at Open Door are another, Abbey Way worship is another, Bono another, J. Philip Newell another, Krisa Tippet of Speaking of Faith... and on and on.

I received, growing up, the impression that multiplicity is bad, wrong, even evil... that the fact that there are so many denominations and churches is not a good thing... But now, that view is changing.

Recently, the diamond picture shifted for me. I was meditating on these things and I felt like God shifted the scene for me. It was like he said to me, "Jaime. Cells divide! It is right and good that what started as a single cell is divided and divided into more and more specialized cells. That is how I made the human body!! Each cell has it's own 'row of the garden' to attend to to keep the whole body healthy. It is when a cell turns and tries to make other cells become like it's self that things fall apart. Those cells are called cancer."

From that I now feel that it is the devisiveness between churches that the scriptures admonish us against.

So, in this place I am in today, in this week, I am asking God to help me to learn how to let each cell be it's own special being in His body... and to glory in the abundance and multiplicity of God's creation.


At 1:22 AM, Blogger Angie Bengtson said...

Jamie, the other night I had a dream about you and your family, and I woke up just really missing you! So I went to your blog today to get an update on your thoughts. What a wonderful post, what a beautiful journey. Thank you for sharing this with us. Look forward to seeing you when I get back!

At 9:16 AM, Blogger Kristi said...

Angie pointed me to your blob for a poem about darkness...
Thank you dear friend for your beautiful heart...some light has shown through to me in the midst of the dark valley I'm in...


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