Monday, May 25, 2009

Red flags and crazy cardinals

We all struggle, so I guess I shouldn't launch (immediately) into rescue mode when I sense that someone else is having a hard time spiritually or just searching. I should kind of feel out the situation and pray. I found this library book in my house after I got home on Saturday:

The Power of Soul: The Way to Heal, Rejuvenate, Transform, and Enlighten All Life (Soul Power Series)
In the twentieth century, mind over matter was emphasized. In the twenty-first century, soul over matter will transform all life.
The Power of Soul reveals divine soul secrets, wisdom, knowledge, and practices to transform the consciousness of humanity and all souls, and enlighten them in order to create love, peace, and harmony for humanity, Mother Earth, and all universes.
The Power of Soul teaches soul healing, soul prevention of sickness, soul rejuvenation, soul transformation of every aspect of life (including relationships and finances), and soul enlightenment. It offers you practical soul treasures to empower you to apply all of these teachings. This is the divine direction for the fifteen-thousand-year Soul Light Era, which started on August 8, 2003.
The Power of Soul is the leading authority for Dr. Sha's entire Soul Power book series. The divine soul secrets, wisdom, knowledge, and practices in this book will lead humanity and all souls to the universe of soul over matter. This book shows humanity and all souls the way to heal, rejuvenate, transform, and enlighten all life.

Whoa, whoa, whoa

So if I'd read this two years ago, even a year and a half ago, I wouldn't have been as unsettled to have this book in my house as I am now. Coming back from a retreat where my own faith was pounded and extruded a few different ways, I'm convinced of the need to swear by the cross and by Christ's sacrifice, even if I'm not quite at the point where I'm actually, you know, doing that. My mom's been borrowing books from the library on Buddhism and spirituality for years. I think she's been looking for concrete principles, something to reaffirm her, something to give her direction, something to hold onto. Something that sounds true and virtuous and will give her new purpose for living. It's never struck me that the places and texts she sought for answers might be leading her further astray, or that her mind and heart might be in urgent need of love and intervention. Not even intervention. Just someone to listen to her thoughts. Someone to walk with her and a human voice to say, You know, God's walking with you everyday.

I was really bad about reading my Bible during Finals Week. Unguided, erratic, . . . unfocused. One thing I became convinced of last week was the authority of Scripture and how if you let it heal you, if you believe that it is true, it can accomplish amazing, uplifting things for your outlook and your approach to life. The opposite also shows when you let your self-discipline slide. I'd become distanced and damaged - and was surprised and hurt by it, all self-inflicted - and I'm still dealing with the consequences. But the ways we confuse ourselves and the times we walk away don't stop God from working. It didn't stop Jesus from loving and it didn't stop Him giving up a beautiful life just so we could stand closer to God.

Mom, it's all in the Bible. Look there. Be renewed.

And, well, I guess there's also this: My mom bought "Don't Waste Your Life" by John Piper. (If that's not a red flag, I must be color blind.) We read this in Cell Group this year. Great book based on sound theology and written with a good amount of self-examination - well, maybe that's to be expected from the title. I have no idea anymore where my mom is spritually and whether or not the Scripture references or sometimes-"Christianese" will speak to her, but I pray that it'll beckon her heart and open her mind to something more solid than "Soul Power."

Which - okay, this is for a separate post, but - makes me pause and "tsk tsk" myself because I need to learn how to grow in my faith while being tolerant of other people's beliefs. Love others without necessarily loving their lifestyles. I don't know how to do that. Okay, that's Not true, but I think it's becoming increasingly difficult for me, as well as negotiating the point at which I try to talk about spiritual things. Maybe it shouldn't be a switch, like "On/Off," but a natural outpouring, honest and up front about faith from the start. Gee, I've heard that a lot before.

This makes me think of something I mulled over with friends last week, "needing to do stuff" and feeling obligated to grow yourself a certain way, like you're a botanist grafting and hacking at your own messed up tree of life, and when you're unhappy with the way it looks, disciplining the branches into shapes, one way or another. Sigh.

My family bought a bird feeder about a month ago, so now we spend half our meals watching for birds and commenting on the wildlife flying outside our bay window. My sister said there's cardinal who comes back to the window repeatedly and hovers outside our kitchen, like he'll run into the window sometimes and then he'll do it again a day later. She says she's pretty sure it's the same bird and she thinks he remembers the window's there. And she says he's a crazy cardinal. I said, Let's name it. I chose "Richelieu," nickname Richie, for the backseat driver to the French monarchy, trusted advisor while France had a child king - Crazy! But I've just looked up Cardinal Richelieu on Wikipedia, and he doesn't seem as crazy as I remembered.

1 comment:

alice said...

Sharon, I love your sincerity with your faith. It's always refreshing to hear someone talk openly about how much they've learned and grown, and how much they still need to learn and grow. Don't be afraid to be just as honest with your mom, and don't hesitate to love!
I heart you! =)