Thursday, November 25, 2010

Hope for Dignity

God gave man dignity by giving him free will, freedom of choice. Through that, He gave him honor and respect. God didn't create humans as numbers, as machines who can think. Humans are not cosmic accidents. He created them with honor. He gave them respect. He gave them to be like him.

The rest of the story we all know. We all know it too well, I would say. We know it by looking at the world we live in. We know it by looking at the faces of the people around us. Those tired eyes, those empty looks. The sadness and despair, the pain of a hope killed. Signs that something went wrong long ago. Perhaps, we know it by looking in the mirror.

And in the attempt to win back their dignity, to gain back their real, their lost self, people fight against each other. They fight physically and they fight mentally. Those who are stronger control the ones that are weaker, thinking that through that they become something special, that they have their dignity. Those who are smarter manipulate the ones that are simpler, not knowing that they are in the same boat. The boat that floats on the river called hopelessness.

But the road to dignity is not the road of achievement. Is not the road of success or people saying good things about you or applauding you. It's the road of honesty. Being honest that you don't have it all together. That you need help. Honest to yourself and honest to God. Then he will start a process, then he will do what he knows how to do best. There is hope for dignity.

Monday, November 15, 2010

"Heaven on Earth, we need it now, I'm sick of all this hangin' around" (U2)

To hope for a better future in this world - for the poor, the sick, the lonely and depressed, for the slaves, the refugees, the hungry and homeless, for the abused, the paranoid, the downtrodden and despairing, and in fact for the whole wide, wonderful and wounded world - is not something else, something extra, something tacked on to the gospel as an afterthought. And to work for that intermediate hope, the surprising hope that comes forward from God's ultimate future into God's urgent present, is not a distraction from the task of mission and evangelism in the present. It is a central, essential, vital, and life-giving part of it. Mostly, Jesus himself got a hearing from his contemporaries because of what He was doing. They saw him saving people from sickness and death, and they heard Him talking about a salvation, the message for which they had longed, that would go beyond the immediate into the ultimate future. But the two were not unrelated, the present one a mere visual aid of the future, one or a trick to gain peoples attention. The whole point of what Jesus was up to was that he was doing, close up, in the present, what He was promising - long term, in the future. And what He was promising for the future, and doing in that present, was not saving souls for a disembodied eternity but rescuing people from the corruption and decay of the way the world presently is so they could enjoy, already in the present that renewal of creation which is God's ultimate purpose - and so they could thus become colleagues and partners in that large project. (Taken from "Surprised by Hope" by N.T.Wright)

Monday, November 01, 2010

From the desk of the Urban Mystic

These are just few random things that go through my mind lately. Maybe someone finds something inspiring.

When babies are born they are cool. But as they start growing they steal your heart and you end up loving them more and more. The other night I was putting Nathan to bed and praying for him and asking God for dreams from him when I stopped and wondered. "Who knows what kind of dreams the Lord gives to little children?" Immediately I started thinking, trying to find a theological answer or explanation, but then I thought that I shouldn't, cause only God know that, and whatever it is, it must be beautiful. Why should I try to limit by logic the limitless, colorful and spacious spirit of imagination that flows wherever he wishes.

These are the last days of us being three people family. In a little while (it can be even tonight) another member of our family will arrive. We don't know what's he going to look like, we don't know much about him (almost nothing), but he is welcomed. He is part of the family. Just recently I started walking with Nathan by my side, holding him by the hand, and the feeling is amazing. Or I would rather say quietly fulfilling. And walking with two sons, one at each side...I can't wait.

For a long time I want to write an article about the love that produces new life being the highest love that humans can know and I think I will soon. People might disagree on that one but that is my conviction.

Intentional growth. Organic and spontaneous growth is ok, but there is an element of intentional growth that people need. You can grow by spending time with God, or listening to sermons, or reading the Bible, but you also need other people that will challenge you, that will impart to you. So if you want to change and grow, put some intention to it, find someone, be teachable, be ready to receive, ask questions, be humble, be hungry to learn. And if you think that you know it...I feel sorry for you.

The other day I saw an artistic movie called "Baraka" which portrays the world we live in, and the people in it, without words, just with picture and music. After that I just felt a confirmation that I want to spend the rest of my life helping people to be free and find their lost dignity in God through Jesus Christ. That is my passion, that is my life.