Søren Kierkegaard used to intimidate me. In truth, he still does. He’s a daunting figure, both prolific in output and profound in thought. I viewed him as part of an undefined group of unapproachables, authors whose work lies beyond the scope of my ability to comprehend. But one of the joys of research is that you get to engage formidable thinkers and grapple with their work, approaching the unapproachables to learn their secrets. This semester, I spent some time researching Kierkegaard’s thought surrounding his book Fear and Trembling, and I was indeed challenged academically. However, the more I studied, the more I found myself challenged spiritually as well.
Friendship isn’t always comfortable. Continue reading
I watched a movie recently where the protagonist (a minister) wrestled with questions concerning prayer. Is God listening to us? Can we know his thoughts on the matters that most trouble us? Is there only one way to pray? As he struggled to reconcile his faith with his feelings, I found myself resonating with his concerns. At the root, I kept returning to one question:
Does God still listen when we feel like we’re praying all wrong?
My life doesn’t look like I thought it would at this point. I’m learning to be thankful for that.
Give me a love for people,
For runny noses and achy heads,
For homesick widows with empty beds,
For orphaned children who long for homes,
For refugees on a strange sea’s foams,
For unwashed sweaters and hole-filled shoes,
For ears weary with unhappy news,
For feeble bodies both young and old,
For hearts white-hot and for hearts now cold,
For neighbors nearby and far away,
For friends who go and for friends who stay,
For enemies who have not earned peace,
For captives awaiting their release,
For those who share my blood and my name,
For names I would prefer not to claim,
For fallen minds that think much like me,
For souls with whom I still disagree,
For happy voices singing their songs,
For those I fear because of their wrongs,
For tongues I do not now understand,
For both innocent and guilty hands,
For those remembered, those forgotten,
For both highborn and misbegotten,
For image bearers in ev’ry form,
For the lost, the fervent, the lukewarm.
Give me a love for people.
Photo by John Simitopoulos on Unsplash
Have you ever caught yourself arguing a point not because you believed it but because you wanted to win a debate?
I had a lot on my plate that day. I’d chosen a seat in the student center so I could drink some coffee while I worked, and I was hoping I could avoid people long enough to get some work done. Typically, however, such attempts were unsuccessful, and that day was no exception.
On Saturday, I attended a wedding. The following Thursday, I attended a funeral. This upcoming Tuesday, I’ll celebrate a birth. All three events are about endings and beginnings, and the first two events, though quite different from each other, find meaning in the third. Continue reading