The Cup Of Silence


Visibility
June 15, 2009, 9:53 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

So I was at work the other day……… and I caught a glimpse of the “Iowa Life” section of the Des Moines Register. Here is a link to the article. Its a news report celebrating the 75th anniversary of Planned Parenthood’s history in Iowa. I wanted to post the article immediately, and write a huge commentary concerning my history with Planned Parenthood, fighting against the organization with silent protests, and peacefully pleading with mothers to not have a doctor murder their child.

I was then reminded that I actually have a blog.

The past few months have been quite extraordinary. Spring has yet to make way for summer here in Iowa. The evenings have been fairly cool, but not to cold to have a fan in the window whilst sleeping. This lack of summer thus far is a little disturbing, but has been quite delightful for outdoor activities such as early morning fishing, golf, and AAA baseball games. My friend Jared and I went fishing a couple of weeks ago. We left the house at 5am, assuring that we would be at the bait shop right when they open. We hauled all of our fishing gear to a spot we have dubbed “Snakes Point.” Snakes point is typically great for pan fish such as Blue Gill, Crappie, and Sun Fish. This May morning was beautiful. The banks along the shore of the lake were illuminated by the very first bits of sunlight of the day, shining with a deep forest green. I said to myself “This is something I will miss, when I move to Texas in September.”

I am moving to Dallas, Texas in mid September.

One of the greatest teachers I have ever had the privilege of learning from, once said something that has stuck with me. I don’t remember his exact words, but I will attempt to paraphrase it. Speaking of his career in ministry, he stated that as a youg believer, he knew his passions were visual art and music. He knew that he wanted to work with art and music in some way, and had specific ideas as to what it would look like, concerning the church. In speaking of the present, he told me that he works with art and music every day, and it looks nothing like he originally envisioned. He told me that it was greater than he could have ever imagined, because he clung to God. He attached himself to his creator, and followed His guiding will.

Dave gave me that advice three years ago. It is advice that I have meditated on ever since.

I was born into the Roman Catholic tradition, and was reared with reverence to her sacramental theology and liturgy. At the age of 14, and against my parents will, I identified myself with the American evangelical tradition. As if the age of 14 in and of itself wasn’t difficult enough, my relationship with my parents suffered greatly. We would debate theology, and it never ended well. My parents later left the Roman Church, and began attending the Non-Denominational church that I was a part of. They connected with an older couple, and have since become members of that congregation.

Since the age of 14, I have referred to this story as my “testimony.”

As a child I would lie awake in my bed, fearing that if I died, I would go to hell. I would pray “Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee….” as many times as I could, thinking that maybe just one more prayer would make the difference between winning Christ’s favor, or dying and going to hell. Those days were terrifying, and I have often thought back to the spirituality of my childhood with a bitter taste in my mouth. This response to my retrospection has been changing quite a bit within the past few years, and much more within the past few months.

The past year and a half has been a spiritually difficult time period for me. At many times it has felt like the valley of death. Needing something to facilitate my personal worship time, I began practicing the Morning Office, from the Book Of Common Prayer. With the guiding help of a friend, I immersed myself in the practices of this beautiful liturgy, prayer, and adoration of the Lord. The very first line in the Morning Office is verse 20 of chapter 2 of the Book Of The Prophet Habakkuk: ” The Lord is in His holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before Him.” As I have already expressed to a few people, the moment I first prayed that verse, my being was washed with the sense of coming home. The Morning Office has quickly become my favorite part of the day.

My rediscovery of divine liturgy has been a fertilizer of sorts to my long time quest to discover and know the church’s past. Not just to know it, but to connect to it and embrace it as my history. Who were these saints that makeup, for us, such a great cloud of witnesses? What did the faith require of the early church fathers? What is my connection to them? What is their message to me? My good friend Rob, his son Simeon, and I took a two day trip to Split, Croatia, a while back. Just outside of the city lies the ancient ruins of Diocletian’s Port city Salona. Here the church was established at the time of the Apostles, and the ruins reveal underground 1st century churches with spaces for baptism. Rob looked at me at one point, and mentioned how impacting it is to think that the faith was fought for, and in some ways preserved for us in this very spot. The trip to the ancient city spurred on my desire to know about these men and women. To connect with them.

There are many reasons Why I am moving to Dallas in September, and although this post is getting quite lengthy, it may not be doing justice in explaining my main reason for this move. I am moving because God has made a clear way for me to cling to him, by way of Christian catechism. I have dear friends in Dallas that have become united with the Anglican tradition, a desire that also dwells in me.

Now more than ever am I thankful for my childhood in the Roman Church. There, among many things, was my fervor for knowledge of Christ enticed. Now more than ever am I thankful for my rearing up in the evangelical church, for there, among many things, was the Word of God made known to me, in His passionate perusal. Now more than ever am I thankful for my creation, for I can think back to my earliest memory of standing in my crib, while watching a violent thunderstorm through the window, and knowing at that young age that God exists. I look back at my personal spiritual history, and clearly see the steps Christ has taken, and the believers he has used to nurture me. I look back at the church’s history that I am a part of, and take great comfort in in knowing that I am not, nor have ever been alone in this race.

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