I’m not so sure about this one from last Easter. I call this one rambly at the beginning, and I wasn’t wrong. It still needs some editing. It’s either going too many places, or not going anywhere. But I’m not going to mess with it now. And it works better with the pictures, which you can’t see here. However, most of the people I talk about can be found under “Friend’s Stuff” there on the right of this blog. You might be better off going there than reading this message.
My idea for this week’s communion meditation is hopefully going to be inspiring; it’s about inspiration. Which is fitting for the first Sunday after Easter, I think. And maybe a bit of a departure. Sometimes I see myself as the one who delivers these dark, brooding communion messages. This one turned out to be lighter and maybe a little rambly.
(Speaking of rambly, me as the dark one made me think about some of the other regulars up here.
B – has all these pieces and ideas that I don’t see how they will come together, and then they do
R – the educated one, quoting his professors and making us think
I – tells seemingly simple stories that are really these deep metaphors for spiritual things
B – a solid message, and we also watch to see if he will cry
J – talks right to us, and expects us to pay attention and answer; and it seems like he comes up here with an idea and wings it. If I did that, I would end up taking about what I had for lunch, which is why I read it word for word, but josh gets where he set out to get with no map
It’s cool, the differences.)
At any rate, a little post-resurrection inspiration on a beautiful spring day seems fun.
The other night, as Maryellen took part in an email discussion with my brother about scripture being god breathed, god inspired, and what that means, I was checking Facebook, and the blogs that I read. And I was just amazed and blessed at the talent of people who I actually know. I have a nephew who draws an Internet comic strip. A lot of times it’s about video games, and I don’t get the jokes, but other times it’s about relationships and college life, and it makes me smile. Another guy I know does a strip called Watusi the talking dog which is both cute and hip at the same time. And a girl I went to school with writes these amazing poetry and prose pieces about god, growing up in Abilene, and being a mom, and being on the t.v. show Wipeout — I know, right. I went to highschool with her. She’s my age. And there’s Vanessa, some of you know her, and her amazing paintings. And Sarah, who you don’t know, and her amazing paintings. And you’ve seen Hannah’s photos, and maybe Jessie’s photos. And how about Jill’s dog treats? Yeah, those are for dogs. And I am awed at the talent of these folks, and at what it is that drives them to do these things.
And what does it mean to be inspired. In writing this, I came to the conclusion that I have no idea. The word “inspired” comes from the Latin for in-breathed. When we think of spiritual inspiration we often think of god-breathed. Like Adam, or the prophets, authors of the scriptures, or the designers of great cathedrals, or great works of art, or mediocre works of art, or even terrible works of art. Is god more or less with a three-year-old finger painter than with a Van Gogh; a great sculptor or a great mother; a preacher, a cook, a good neighbor? Again, I don’t know. I do know that not everyone’s inspiration results in a painting or a poem. We all find ourselves inspired to do any number of things: clean, sing, carve, crochet, teach, repair, whittle.
It may sound silly, but sometimes when I’m twisting a balloon and telling a silly joke or pretending that I don’t know that I dropped something while the kids yell and point, I feel inspired. When I stayed up past my bedtime to write this, I felt a little inspired. When I sat down the next day to revise it, not so much.
But this is the conclusion that I am drawing today. Inspiration comes from love. The love of the art, whether it’s painting or building, or gardening, or parenting. And the love of the people that the art, the work, is for. That’s what Jesus told us to do. To love people. To love them all the way. And sometimes we do that, love people, only because we know we should, and it’s not much fun, but we do it anyways. And sometimes, thank God, with a little inspiration, it’s easier. And Jesus, to show us how, to inspire us to love, loved us all the way. And before that Good Friday and Easter, he told his disciples, and through the scriptures, he tells us, that when we sit down together, maybe over a little wine and a little bread, to remember him and what he did, and to be inspired, and to go out and show his love in as many ways as we can.