Sunday, May 11
Friday, November 23
Thursday, November 22
...than Buy Nothing Day: Make Something Day, courtesy of The Ecclesia Collective.
But I say we call it "Make Something Weekend," since my Friday will be consumed by my finishing these 25 pages of papers.
Let me know if you make anything, and maybe we'll get some ideas from each other.
I am thankful that God really likes good words and poetry and songs. I am thankful that the biggest book in the canon is a Songbook. I'm thankful for the mysterious way those Psalms have pulled me out of despair, so many times. I'm thankful that King David sang/shouted/asked such awful (and awfully honest) questions--like, God-Why-have-you-forsaken-me--and then Jesus shouted that self-same question on the cross. (Jesus must've sang a lot as he grew up.)
I'm thankful that God makes room for our questions, and then doesn't leave the room.
I am thankful for 150 songs of which I do not (yet) know the ancient tune, nor the official iTunes title.
One of the ways I try to interact with the Psalms is by giving the (boring) chapter numbers imaginary song-titles. (It was Tate Johnston's idea. I snuck into his Bible once.)
This summer I got a shiny-new TNIV and decided to write some Psalm song-titles all over again. Over the next week or so, I'll show you some of the titles I've made, in bundles of 15. (I started reading mid-songbook, so I'll start with Psalm 89). Feel free to add your own titles to your favorite secret Psalmy tunes:
Psalm's Song Titles, as I Imagine Them (89-103)
89. Even in Pain, Your Faithfulness Reigns
90. Our Days are so Short!
91. His Shelter and Protection
92. How to Stay Green and Fresh
93. Stronger than the Seas
94. Arise, Judge and Lover!
95. Do Not Harden our Hearts
96. The Righteous Judge is Coming!
97. The Lord of All the Earth
98. He Will Judge With Equity
99. Worship at His Feet
100. Say "Thank You" First
101. Help Me Live Your Justice
102. Pain and Promise
103. Forget Not His Goodness, You
(Headphone self-portrait by Shifty Eyes)
Wednesday, November 21
I ducked into my favorite local coffee shop early this morning and ordered an Americano in a warm mug. Sitting down, I felt slightly naked because I didn't have a book with me. I always carry something. (I think it's like policemen who carry guns.) At least I had my little moleskine journal.
Knowing that I needed to defrag from the flurry of papers I'm writing for classes, I thumbed through used books from the shop's corner shelves, and found a tattered gem: Writers at Work: The Paris Review Interviews. Interviews with poets like Ezra Pound, T.S. Eliot, and Marianne Moore, and they're talking about the process of writing! (In 1963 it cost $1.65.) It's true. I get high on old books.
Robert Frost is interviewed first. His glib tone translates perfectly from those old tape recordings down onto the pages. I scribbled a handful of his words on the creative process, and a few concerning a certain ancient book:
"I noticed that the first time in the world's history when mercy is entirely the subject is in Jonah...Jonah is told to go and prophesy against the city and he knows God will let him down. He can't trust God to be unmerciful. You can trust God to be anything but unmerciful. So he ran away and--and got into a whale. That's the point of that and nobody notices it. They miss it." -Robert Frost
I like that Jesus even hides in the theology of old poets. In his pre-whale days, Jonah would only go to Ninevah if he could trust God to be unmerciful towards them. Since he (obviously) couldn't do that, Jonah runs, presumably pouting, "and got into a whale." Mercy is entirely the subject.
I am awfully good at pouting, I'm afraid. Isn't it strange how we humans want mercy for ourselves, but not for the ones we'd rather not forgive?
(Read the whole Frost interview here.)
(Mercy photo by Summers)