Sunday, May 31, 2009

Long Time

It's now been 14 months since my last post.  

As the purpose of this blog is "Kingdom Speak," I will keep this personal note short: 

These 14 months have, for the most part, been among the most difficult and painful months of my life, and yet, the last 6 of them have also marked the beginning of the second greatest gift of my life, behind the gift of being known by and knowing Jesus himself.  Without too much detail, that gift is the wild adventure of falling in love, and finding out that it is as good as I ever imagined and at the same time nothing like I have ever known.  

In these two poles that create the great tension of the last 14 months, I find the paradox of the Kingdom writ large.  I spoke briefly of the joy... here is a glimpse of the pain: In these months I lost--at least for now--mentoring relationships that were priceless to me, especially in my spiritual growth; and I was (at least partially) to blame for those losses.  In these months I watched, and continue to watch, the church that I love, the church that I still feel overwhelmingly called to, be whittled down to the core of the core, down to a handful of faithful families.  I have gone from a man with a steady paycheck and very few financial worries to a man who has to fight not to be consumed by lack.  And I am in the process of seeing one of my best friends in the world and a true spiritual big brother to me be called out of the post we have shared for the last 5 years into the unknown.  

If it weren't for the joy of love, I cannot imagine this story.  

And so the Kingdom continues to find ample illustrations in tug and pull of every day life.  Paul describes, in Romans 5, the peace of Christ that is given to we who have been made righteous, and immediately begins to explain the suffering of Christians in this world.  Joy and Pain are not mutually exclusive, but rather, appear to be a package deal.