Today I had a first: a comment on another blog reminded me why there is a church, even with all her scars and stumblings. Here's the post that originated this comment:
I just think it bears remembering that institutional church CAN be a force for good, and for many of us it has been.The italicized text might be the most succinct explanation of the need for community and accountability I've ever read. It's one of the main reasons we do what we do in the church: because on our own we can really screw things up. (By the way, don't image search for Fred Phelps if you don't have a strong stomach). For me, part of living the theology of the cross is recognizing the capacity within myself to harm others in the name of the faith that gives me life, but that recognition only comes because I'm a part of a larger body of believers who take our corporate responsibility to one another very seriously.
It is disappointing that not all people have shared a spiritually fulfilling experience at 'regular church.' Certainly we can do a better job at that.
But interestingly, for me it was when I left the institution and went to a parachurch group that there was no accountability and no spiritual focus and my life started to fall apart. Christians turned loose on the world with no guidance can do incredible harm, just as Christians within an institution can. I feel, at least with the institution, we have a chance at keeping things together.
Well, there's your big theological topic for the day. Now, on to the Friday Five!
This Friday Five is inspired by my husband's Lasik surgery yesterday....He'd been contemplating it for a while and was pushed over the edge by the fact that we put too much money in our healthcare spending account this year and it would have been gone anyway. (There was only enough for one eye, but the kind people at the eye clinic figured out a way to divvy up the charges between surgery and followup in January=next year's spending account). So please say a little prayer for his safe recovery and share with us your thoughts on eyes and vision.1. What color are your beautiful eyes? Did you inherit them from or pass them on to anyone in your family? My eyes are very light blue. I don't think either of my parents have blue eyes - I know my Dad's are brown, and if I remember right my Mom's are hazel/green. But then again, neither of them are redheads, and I'm the oldest of two redheaded, blue-eyed boys out of three. Maybe Mom wasn't really kidding about the milkman? ;-)
2. What color eyes would you choose if you could change them? I wouldn't change them, just as I won't take Rogaine now that I'm starting to go bald. Life is too short to spend so much time hiding who you really are!
3. Do you wear glasses or contacts? What kind? Like 'em or hate 'em? I wear soft contacts and glasses. The glasses are only for early mornings, late nights or travel; they're about five years old and not looking so great anymore. I'm not overly fond of either, but considering my extreme nearsightedness and astigmatism, what am I gonna do?
4. Ever had, or contemplated, laser surgery? Happy with the results? I've contemplated it, but frankly the money isn't available right now, and to be honest, the surgery makes me nervous, too. Some friends have had excellent results with their lasik experiences, but I'm just skittish about it for now.
5. Do you like to look people in the eye, or are you more eye-shy? A few years ago a trusted friend told me, "I know the moment you've checked out of a conversation - your eyes start to wander." Since then I've consciously tried to keep my eyes focused to stay in the conversation.
Bonus question: Share a poem, song, or prayer that relates to eyes and seeing.
From Rich Mullins, one of his last concerts. Starts out really rough but comes together quickly.