Friday, October 28, 2016

Wheel of Fortune

Listen HERE to my short podcast on my new art, Wheel of Fortune, and follow along below.

In Gothic cathedrals and illuminated manuscripts, there is a common motif. A "Wheel of Fortune." I created a literal/modern artistic interpretation of this ancient theme, because its essential lesson - detachment, or what theologians call apostasis - is timeless.

And it especially speaks into my life in a season of change. Of seeking center.

The wheel is traditionally divided into four parts:
In Medieval representations of the Rota Fortunae, or Wheel of Fortune, a human clings to the rim of the wheel at the four cardinal points. Having a penchant for simple, literalistic interpretations of all things ancient (ha!), I opted instead for a fortune cookie as my agent. Let's see how that fortune cookie crumbles...

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Nomads for God

Dear Friends,

I was assigned to write a post on becoming "a nomad for God" for my church's GPS blog. It corresponded, by chance(?!), to the week I left my job, which led to the birth of this blog. Perhaps I wrote it for myself. And yet I hope that as I share my own musings and process theology along the way, it blesses you, too. The post is below, but first...

Speaking of "nomads for God," earlier this year in April, I encountered these two "brothers of the lamb" as I was touring a church building, St. Michael the Archangel in Leawood, KS, to learn about its sacred art and architecture. I introduced myself to them as we awaited the tour, and learned that they had hitchhiked about 40 minutes to see the church - they had no idea, as they waited there with me, that a tour was happening that day, at that moment. They described to me how moments of synchronicity like this happen to them all the time, as they rely on God's provision to meet all their needs - food, transportation... they beg for it all, and trust God.

I felt the nudge to take them to lunch, and we enjoyed a wonderful meal together after the tour at Spin Pizza, which they assured me was one of the best meals they'd ever had. I'll vouch for that, too!

When I took these "nomads for God" to the spot on the highway where they would wait for the next stranger they were meant to bless - the one who would stop to give them a ride back to their little monastery - they asked if they could bless me. Of course I agreed! And so we sat in my car, they gave me a little token of the Virgin Mary, and they sang in harmony a wonderful blessing upon me with their hands upon my shoulder, the energy of the Holy Spirit flowing palpably through their touch:

May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord cause his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you. May the Lord's countenance fall upon you, and bring you peace."

What a blessing!

GPS Insight 10.13.16:
In Greek, the word for nomad is νομάς (nomas), which means: one who roams about for pasture. What, then, does it mean to be a “nomad for God?”

Spiritual Discipline Challenge

As a seminarian, I'm no stranger to religion. I'm a friend of it, in as much as it lives up to its true origin: religare, to bind (Latin). And at the heart of every good religion, beyond divisive finger-wagging dogmatists and hair-splitting inquisitors, there are the mystics. The ones who religare the wounds of the world. Souls unified with a benevolent God--Ultimate Truth, Goodness, Beauty, the Source who creates, animates and sustains life. Bound to God, the mystic is bound to all of sister-creation.

Mystics are spiritual alchemists. They participate in a trysting together - religare - of humanity and divinity. What do all mystics have in common? How do they become conduits of the Divine Life, binding the world to a higher pitch of existence?