this is a better picture of jack in his halloween costume than what you had previously seen. the latest news is that he is saying yee-haw like a cowboy. well, sort of. actually its a bit more like two completely seperated words, yee and haw. it is said much like this, "yeeeeee....(wait for it...wait for it...wait for it...) haw. so cute.
so i read today that God wants to be a blessing in our lives. God wants to be a blessing? its incredible, really. we can grow imagining God being so ready to punish, so much like santa claus with naughty and nice lists. i remember thinking how easy it was for me to slip back to the naughty list after trying so hard to get on the nice one. i remember realizing how prone i was to disappoint. and i can also remember, once i got a little older, how that realization quickly turned to fear of hell and an eternal bottomless pit (can a bottomless pit be anything other than eternal, by definition?). so it wasn't hard to imagine God as angry, or at least vindictive. i saw God as righteous and just. i thought God had every right to be disappointed in me. i was, after all, continually doing the wrong thing. and there's that shame thing again, which i talked about yesterday. i was ashamed. afraid to be in the presence of a righteously angry judge-God who had every right to punish. and so i hid. i have hidden behind all manner of walls, afraid of real intimacy, because really being known means being a disappointment, and i am just hard-wired to absolutly abhor the idea of being a disappointment. i am desperately afraid of it. so, shame compels me to put on airs, to put on a facade, to put on a show, to put on masks, and to put on clothes. i am dressed in shame.
and yet, i believe in a God of grace. i believe in a father God who wants to be a blessing to his children. God offers discipline, sure, but always in love, and just as sure as God will discipline, God will also listen to us and play with us, or tickle us, or whatever it is we do when we are at our best as parents, when we are a blessing to our children. we are not harsh judges over them, waiting to pounce with punishment. we are in love with them, waiting to celebrate with them every little accomplishment.
that's a blessing.
ps. i didn't vote today, for the first time ever since i've been of voting age. i feel like a failure as a citizen.
pps. while i am typing this, i am not listening to the noise of the pundits and celebration and concession speeches. that just makes me feel guilty. instead, the national geographic channel is doing a special on the history and evolution of toilets, or commodes as we call them in western pa. thought you might want to know that.