3.24.15 … “A $HOPR” … help us with our stereotypes and expectations …

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2015 Lenten Labyrinth Walks 27/40, Sardis Baptist – Charlotte NC:

I arrived a little out of sorts.  I had been following a Mercedes with a vanity plate “A $HOPR”  … Really!
So I arrived, and some church members were orchestrating the lawn cleanup for Easter.  They were extremely apologetic.  Little did they know, that I enjoy nature’s unaided transformation during Lent.  The final human touch for Easter is icing on the cake.
I always enjoy a new brochure …
IMG_2853 IMG_2854

IMG_2860   IMG_2857





And this  Henri Nouwen today …

Friendship in the Twilight Zones of Our Heart

There is a twilight zone in our own hearts that we ourselves cannot see.  Even when we know quite a lot about ourselves – our gifts and weaknesses, our ambitions and aspirations, our motives and drives – large parts of ourselves remain in the shadow of consciousness.

This is a very good thing.  We always will remain partially hidden to ourselves.  Other people, especially those who love us, can often see our twilight zones better than we ourselves can.  The way we are seen and understood by others is different from the way we see and understand ourselves.  We will never fully know the significance of our presence in the lives of our friends.  That’s a grace, a grace that calls us not only to humility but also to a deep trust in those who love us.   It is in the twilight zones of our hearts where true friendships are born.

For further reflection …

“Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem.  They were talking with each other about everything that had happened.  As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him.” – Luke 24: 13-16 (NIV)My mind wanders back to Erika’s prayer in her Lenten devotional last week …

Erika Funk: Mark 7:1-23

Beneath this story of ritual hand washing is the literary tool of stereotyping. Mark sets up the characters to play their predictable roles: the mean and Puritanical Pharisees, the naive and teachable disciples and the radical hero Jesus.The problem with stereotypes is that they condition us to think very narrowly about not only groups of people but individuals as well. We think we “know” them. We trust them to act a certain way.

Here’s when “trust” becomes a negative. In Mark’s story the Pharisees assume they know Jesus’ motives. They trust they know who Jesus is and what his agenda is. As readers we trust that the disciples are not going to understand what’s going on and push Jesus for an explanation. Which is very helpful to us because we don’t always know what’s going on in Jesus’ mind either.

Lent might be a good time to ask ourselves what are the assumptions we make about Jesus and his agenda. When we say we trust in God – what exactly do we expect God to do or be in our minds? Can we trust God to be something other than a stereotype? Can we trust people we don’t understand to be vessels of God’s word?

Prayer: Lord, as we walk this journey to the cross with you help us with our stereotypes and expectations. Shine a light onto our hearts so we may see the ways we may not always honor you.

And then I felt a wee bit bad about stereotyping the woman in the SH$PR car.

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