Sunday, August 20, 2006

Worship design?

Interior design
Exterior design
Fountain design
Business card design
Web design
Worship design

Guess I have been doing some design lately, now that I think about it. When people ask if I'm still doing graphic design, I sometimes sputter a bit. It has taken a different turn lately, so in addition to business graphics I have a few other things going. They are all fun and creative and I enjoy each as I am doing it, but tonight I really enjoyed setting up the response portion of the worship service. Kathy spoke on Luke 6 and the necessity of being a people who are forgivers.
The first table provided a place for reflection about an act of forgiveness we need to do. It held colored papers, pens, candles, green glass pebbles, and a large green glass bowl in the center, which filled with the papers as each person wrote something and dropped it in.

A second table was set with a large footed bowl filled with bread and a square vase full of wine to dip into, to celebrate communion and our being forgiven. A bouquet of roses in the center along with candles, rose petals and more glass pebbles filled the table before a glass "basket" of rose petals at the end for a take-away. God's way of love and forgiveness is a beautiful thing and we portrayed it as such. Holding a soft, smooth, fragrant petal while back in our seats was a reminder of what had transpired The large bowl full of papers (our individual prayers, wishes and willingness to forgive) was held up as a prayerful fragrant offering to God.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Loneliness remembers

In high school I really liked Dionne Warwick's music. That was long before the dial-a-medium ads she did in recent years. A lesser known Burt Bacharach song sung by Dionne Warwick is Loneliness Remembers (What Happiness Forgets). I have the tune and that line running through my head. But what does that really mean?

In A Tree Full of Angels, Seeing the Holy in the Ordinary, Macrina Wiederkehr (a Benedictine sister) speaks of loneliness:
Except for my lonely moments, I think I could quite easily forget that I am not a separate existence apart from God. My loneliness attracts me to the feet of Jesus. Like a magnet I am drawn there, longing to be all one with God. The separateness I keep choosing makes me desperately homesick, and so I am willing, at last, to surrender my divided heart...

My loneliness blesses me because it shows me that I'm not enough all by myself,and so I am impelled to reach out my arms and heart to God and to others. My loneliness blesses me because it encourages me to allow myself to be vulnerable. My loneliness blesses me because it won't let me hide in the illusion of my self-sufficiency.

If you're hungry for growth, spend time with your loneliness.

If "loneliness remembers what happiness forgets" then the emptiness of loneliness reminds me of what happiness does not remind me of. That God is more, is greater, fuller--limitless, even. When I am spent He is still full and longing for me to turn, in my vulnerability and scatteredness, to His vast heart of loving provision for my soul. When I feel forsaken and alone--in those moments-I am gifted with an innate holy prodding to submit to no other substitute for satisfaction or comfort. So as great as happiness is in its moment, loneliness by contrast, is not a dead end. It is a navigational aid.