Work in Progress

Baseball, Seminary, Wrestling, and the Dreams and Days of one Mike Work's Angeles experience

Monday, April 11, 2005

Been three weeks...much has happened.

Finished spackling and painting my room, trim and all. Was working on it one Saturday morning when the Jehovah's witnesses held court on our street. Andy went out to debate them. My dominating sentiment was, 'I wonder if they'd be up for grabbing brushes.'

Officially moved into the Raymond House, and our first house meeting was complete with breakfast and homemade orange juice. Served in shot glasses. Apparently my juicer doesn't yield as much as I had anticipated.

Chores have been doled out, and at this point, 2-D charts on the refrigerator have won out over using a diorama to display responsibilities completed and remaining. Maybe once school's out, I'll have more time for such projects...

Sleeping in my room, quite nice. This is the first time I've ever done anything to my bedroom besides moving in furniture and materials, and I'm glad to have done so, having come to realize the extent to which surroundings do affect moods and mentalities. Small things that add up.

School is on again, and i'm already behind. Taking Systematics: Ecclesiology/Eschatology, Christian Ethics, and a course on Lesslie Newbigin as a theologian of mission and ministry, while unofficially auditing two exegetical classes, one greek, one hebrew. Needless to say, the reading is tremendous, and i wish i had more time to spend in the books, but life does have a way of crowding out school.

All things considered, doing really well. The church that has become my community, my family, over the past year, has been quite the blessing, and i'm grateful for the friendships and mentors that have emerged through living together. We've got a lot ahead of us, and it looks as if we do want to move in God's direction and accept both the small and large challenges that come our way. Anticipation, mixed with waiting.

We're going to spend a season dealing with matters of emotional health before moving into an extended period of looking at the life of Joseph. Mal spoke about unoffendable hearts on Sunday, and Fort and Guido shared their experiences. The matter of wounding and healing has stuck with me, and i've got a bit more of a perspective to look back and comprehend the past few years, as well as what I was reading and thinking while in Clemson. In short, a group of us at DCF read Eldredge's 'Wild at Heart' together over the Summer of 2002, and while I thought I got him at the time, in some ways it was the next year when the real wounds were opened up and exacerbated, leaving scars that are healing. It's in your place of strength where you're wounded, he wrote, and I'd affirm that.

Wounded people often lash out like cornered animals, holding onto these pains, and when someone comes close to them, says or does something the wrong way, or uses certain words that trigger these things, we fill in the blanks with those words and feelings of hurt, fighting back out of fear (mixed with other things, but this's been the dominant one i've experienced). Painful and pitiful were the two words MDP used in conjunction.

Many, if not all, of us have been wounded and scarred deeply, in a variety of fashions, by a multitude of people. In a world full of wounded and hurting people, we, God's church, are called to look at and imitate Jesus, who took no offense, when he had every right to be offended.

Naming the Wounds, and recognizing those blind spots, which others (and our interaction with others) often reveal to us.
Proper Confidence.

Crucial steps towards healing, wholeness, and becoming salt and light.


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