Here’s a scary thought:
And yet I call you friend. Through these cyber waves only, of course, but friend. That’s what you do, you know. You make friends — everywhere.
Across all kinds of so-called ‘barriers’ in this world of ours – age/gender/sexual orientation/race/political persuasion/denominations/theological differences.
Now that last one has proven problematic at points, I know that. You’ve taken a few too many brickbats for my taste. But you’ve handled every single one with grace, honesty, openness. And that is a very rare thing in this world. Very rare indeed.
You consistently choose to take the high road and you do it with intelligent humility, which is a killer combo in my book. You do your homework, you write with skill and good humor, you listen to criticism, if it’s offered with good will and has merit.
But you refuse to be cowed by hate-mongers, fear-based misinformation, sideswipes, even outright lies. I salute you, I admire you, I respect you and your work.
More than that, I am deeply, deeply grateful for your presence out here in this ever-growing world of technological conversation and community. Yes, community. And you have built a wild and wacky one over there at RHE, yes you have! Lots of voices, most of them filled with grace and intelligence, even when they don’t agree with you.
And then, of course, there are those others, who are not graceful. At all. Sigh.
But you see what you’ve done, don’t you? You’ve made room –even for those more difficult voices. AND you’ve built a team – to speak right back to them. Your commenting community is among the most articulate and well-spoken I’ve seen anywhere out here. And there are a lot of really fine friends (and far better writers than I) who are writing notes like this to you today. We write because we believe in you. And we believe in what God has called and gifted you to do — on your blog and through your books.
Because we want you to be encouraged today. To know that what you do and what you say and who you are — all of it, all of YOU is valuable to us and to the building of the Kingdom of God in this time, in this place. You are a great gift to the church, Rachel. A great gift.
So thank you for being brave. Thank you for using that good, good mind God gave you. Thank you for taking on the tough topics, for facing into your fear, for speaking truth and love with well-chosen and wise words.
Your publisher didn’t choose me as a team member, but I am one anyhow. I have ordered the book and I look forward to reading it, reviewing it, sharing it.
May you be blessed this day – and every day – by the steady and steadying presence of our Savior. And may you always stand ready to, “give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have…with gentleness and respect.”
Because that is exactly what you are doing. And you do it so very, very well.
Joining with a long list of other bloggers in a secret synchroblog to honor Rachel Held Evans on the day of her book launch. You can read all the others over at Jessica Goudeau’s great blog, “Love Is What You Do.” (Isn’t that the greatest blog name ever??) Just click on these sentences and you’re there.
And this is what I saw:
the mountains glowing pink,
reflecting the setting sun.
And the full moon rising,
shedding its quiet light over the landscape.
Sometimes a quiet light is what is needed.
Just enough illumination for the next step,
the next curve in the road,
the next smooth space to put your foot.
I’m not sure I want to look very far down
the road ahead for my mom.
I think it’s going to get increasingly rugged
and difficult and
a little moonlight
will be just about right.
As I rounded the driveway and headed away
from the reflective hills and the rising moon,
I was struck by another view:
this strong, clear silhouette against the dying sky.
There doesn’t have to be a cross on the top of the tower
for me to see one there.
Because that’s the beauty of church towers
to my eye —
they all bring to mind the vertical beam
of that old rugged one,
the one that stood on the garbage dump
just outside the city of Jerusalem
over 2000 years ago.
And that is the most salvific of beautiful things
in my life — that stark reminder of Love in Action.
Thanks be to God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
The party continued that night at six,
with grandparents added into the mix.
We dined with great flair,
she looked SO debonair,
while sister performed disappearing tricks.
Yesterday was an amazing day.
Startling, sometimes confusing,
interesting and humbling.
In the middle of this 31-day blogging craziness,
I put up this small post to tell you about an essay
I wrote over at A Deeper Church.
In that brief post, I also urged you to
read my friend Emily’s post in which
she asked some questions about the very
topic I was speaking about right next door to her.
The comment thread, especially on her essay,
was pretty overwhelming.
But here is what I feel about it,
late this night,
after spending about 14 of the last 36 hours
in the car, driving up and down this
magnificently beautiful state of ours:
I feel profoundly grateful.
I would happily wash Emily’s feet,
and I believe she would do the same for me.
And that? THAT is a beautiful thing.
I slept last night in a retreat center in Burlingame, CA,
run by the Sisters of Mercy.
Our meeting room there contained about a dozen
magnificent prints by a Japanese artist from the 20th century
named Sadao Watanabe.
I tried to take photos of them all,
but a few of them showed too much reflection from
the hideous (why oh why??) florescent lighting.
These two, however, are perfect.
And we are the ones who wash one another’s feet.
Whether we agree with one another on every doctrine or not.
Whether we work at home or outside the home.
Whether we homeschool our kids or send them to school
Whether we even like each other or not!
We are the ones who wash each other’s feet.
And that –
because Jesus did it,
continues to do it through each of us –
that is BEAUTY.
Humbly joining with Michelle, Jen, Jennifer, Ann, Duane, and OF COURSE, Emily:
Water, water everywhere!
And often it shows itself in a beautiful mix
of aqua, teal, indigo, even navy.
Some of my favorite people sometimes
come in shades of blue, as well.
Lilly, on her blue blanket,
And this small winged creature is one of my very favorite
garden guests. Maybe that’s because she, too, is blue?
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