Eps: 83 Ryan J. Bell and Life After God

Eps: 83 Ryan J. Bell and Life After God

Welcome to Spark My Muse!

DETAILS:
• Each FRIDAY, guests join me in a conversation.
• Come back each Wednesday
(on “Hump Day” aka Midweek) for a brief Soul School “lesson”–something for your interior world and common life.


WILL YOU HELP ME?

paypal
Would you give $5, $10, or $20, today to support the program?
It’s quick and easy and will make me smile.


SHOW NOTES:

Today, my guest is a follow podcaster and blogger Ryan J. Bell. Ryan came into some notoriety when he, as a Seventh Day Adventist Pastor, decided to blog about living a year without God and he gained a large following as a columnist on Huffington Press as well. What happened next and what he’s up to now makes for an interesting story. Listen in.

AUDIO PLAYER:


MIN 1:00
Ryan’s blog: yearwithoutgod.com (The Blog)

A year without God at patheos.com

The PODCASTlifeaftergod.org

About Ryan’s religious background, education, and pastoral experience.

humanities studies

7th Day Adventist explained in brief

Restorationist movement mid 19th Century

some Methodist and Deist roots.

• Stone Campbell 

• Churches of Christ (similar off shoot)

prophetic interpretation and end times predictions

lost truths that mainstream Christianity left behind.

MIN 6:00

He started reading theology that differed from the framework he came from. It was less restrictive and exclusive toward others.

9:00

Atheism and the blog “A Year Without God” started in January 2013

9 month break,

Spiritual but not religious, American, individualism version of spiritual experience:  “Everybody is having their own private isolated experience of wonder.”

Religion for Atheists – Alain de Botton

He submitted his idea of “middle space–between belief and non belief” for the Huffington Post Religion Page and it was very popular.

15:00

People approached him because they didn’t have anyone to talk to about their doubts and questions.

Space for dark spots of doubt.

19:00

Do you hang on to any spiritual practices or vestiges of your old life?

Coming to a centered place in the now and in focused and non judgmental way and noticing feelings.

22:00

What have you done with “The Big Other” and the baggage from your upbringing?

Do you have gratitude toward the Big Other, or how is it expressed?

Not locating a destination for his gratitude.

26:00

Morality of an atheist. Being good for goodness sake.

A bottom up thinker

27:00

Draw to Judaism because it had created a theology around a community not a community out of a theology.

Judaism: Built around love, work, sex, food–the whole life lived.

Norms and wrong & right

29:00

Why he started the Life After God podcast

The response to the question:

“How do we community, both online and in person, in both groups and one-on-one, ….to help people around their changing viewpoints.”

Dealing with the challenges and life issues after a life where people stop believing in God.

32:30

A community of revolt coheres poorly. -Lisa

Atheists that move into Humanism (a secular moral philosophy to guide life)

35:00

• Jennifer Michael Hecht – A LOVE FEST SEGMENT-

Jennifer’s episode on Spark My Muse:

Poetic Atheism (as opposed to what Ryan called “Vulcan Atheism” -a logical-focused (MR. SPOCK from Star Trek) approach to the world)

Denying our humanity by letting beauty shape our decisions at times.

When we deny those things that give us beauty and awe, we are repressing, fighting or resisting the idea that we are deeply emotional creatures.

DOUBT (the book)

40:00

Aeon.com What is “soul” – emotional seat in our brains.

Religious words and language. Words can hold larger meanings.

Tad DeLay (Our conversation)

Outside of religious contexts:
• Soul – can mean awareness

• Spiritual – can mean aliveness -Lisa

Part of the human experience is beyond words so we have to use what we have available in bigger ways. -Lisa

Jennifer gives permission to have a deeper (and more artistic) appreciation and ways for living.

43:00

Life After God- the Ex-files

We are storytelling creatures and isolation is dangerous for people.

Post religious and post-theistic communities and progressive communities have a exciting times ahead.

Greta Vesper (episode link)

Sunday Assembly and Oasis meet up.

We need to be challenged and comforted regularly.

47:30

Curiosity about life and learning

49:30

Asking questions

Power systems (or any one who’s trying to sell something) have something to lose if you ask questions because threats to disturb the status quo.

51:00

lifeaftergod.org

Brian Peck

My Life After God – Insta-journalism

54:00

Trying to understand why atheism is attractive to people and why people lose their faith/belief


THANK YOU FOR LISTENING!
I have a slew of diverse voices on Spark My Muse. Hear more below!


Pick the best option below!

Episode 20 – Puncturing the Illusions of our own Ableism and Flawed Ideas of Normal (with Tom Reynolds) part 1

Episode 20 – Puncturing the Illusions of our own Ableism and Flawed Ideas of Normal (with Tom Reynolds) part 1

Tom Reynolds
Tom Reynolds, PhD

 

Shownotes: PART I
A conversation (in 2 parts) with

the author of Vulnerable Communion: A Theology of Disability and Hospitality, by practical theologian Tom Reynolds

 

Bio:
Tom joined the Emmanuel College (part of the University of Toronto) faculty in 2007. He is committed to an interdisciplinary, practical, and relational vision of theology, his teaching and research address a range of topics related to constructive theology (particularly the doctrine of God and theological anthropology), theological method, intercultural and interfaith engagements, contextual theologies and globalization, philosophical theology, disability studies, and the thought and influence of Friedrich Schleiermacher.

His recent Articles

Email: tom.reynolds@utoronto.ca

MIN 4:00

Incorporating the theology of disability into his work training pastors at Emmanuel Seminary, because theology is personal, and not disconnected from the real world concerns of the church and people living their lives.

4:30

About his son Chris sparking his interest and work in the theology of disability.

5:30 Learning that disability isn’t a problem to figure out, but rather it’s about a person who I love and live with, and care with and for, which radically reoriented my perspective on theology.

5:50

Disability and God’s Providence

(Questioning does God “cause” disability as a curse or opportunity for healing…or a kind of moral lesson…)

6:30

His son exploded the theological categories (and assumptions) pertain to Providence…making everything confusing and needing to be re-thought.

7:00

What is abnormal? What is “faulty” humanity?

Amos Yong, Hans Reinders, John Swinton writing on the topic too.



8:15

Tom details the new book on the Theology of Care which builds on the first book.

8:40

Some churches stress Cure over Care in terms of disability.

8:50

(Lisa) My visit to a church where the leadership was interested in healing my son from his non normative experience of the world.

10:00

The range of responses churches have when encountering people with disabilities.

The  church’s “urge to cure” is better than outright exclusion, which plenty of families have encountered.

11:00

It comes from the the idea of remaking and fixing someone in a way that is more comfortable for non disable people and normalcy (what they consider normal). Not helpful or Christian.

12:00

About the church that didn’t want his son as a disruption and a church that did receive them.

13:00

“How can we help you?” was water for his parched soul. How the church accepted and welcomed the uniqueness of his son.

14:15

Hospitality vs. a narrow view of what is preferred.

15:00

The messiness of various kinds of people, in general, means we have to expand our view of grace.

15:30

Who gets to be a full-fledge member of the church community?

and the “mascot syndrome” for those with disabilities.

16:30 – 17:50

Levels and types of responses:

• Tolerate disabled, but they do not get to be a true part of the church.

• “Inclusion” sometimes means means the the “outsiders” get invites to the inside group based on the good graces of the in group, but are still treated as problems to be solved, or people that are to receive the gestures of charity from others (people for whom things are “done for (them”)”. Doing for instead of “being with”.

18:00

What is access? In is not just accommodations (i.e. ramps and special bathrooms) and alterations but ongoing…

Faith communities may be not expecting and not ready to receive those with disabilities.

18:30

It’s not an issue about outsiders, because disability extend to a broad range of issues, both visible and not visible, including mental health challenges that are already there.

18:50

Thinking of the word “BELONGING”

as in “to be longed for when you aren’t there in the fullest sense.”

John Swinton and belonging

19:40

Jean Vanier “In giving and receiving do we really thrive as people”

20:30

Unconscious bias that includes “fear of the stranger” and “fear of the stranger within”.

21:00

We fear weakness and vulnerability.

21:30

Before “mainstream”…the stigma of “retard”…and fearing and disposing weakness.

22:20

Nathan means gift. (Lisa) I learned that I had to recognize weaknesses (shortcomings) in myself the I saw reflected in my son…and communities can do the same type of thing unconsciously.

23:00

“The encounter with disability punctures the illusions of what we think of as our own strengths.”

23:50

The journey with a child with disabilities is isolating.

25:30

Societal epidemic that fears being vulnerable or perceived as weak or unable to perform in ways that are considered valuable by society.

26:00

We have to see what are myths about autonomy, independence, and productivity where are assume we are self-reliant and these qualities are prized so highly. “Able-ism” (The idea that being able in body and mind is normal and most vital which serves as the lens by which we see and judge the world and others outside those parameters as faulty.)

27:00

Tom’s latest work called “A spirituality of attentiveness”. Christianity: St Paul’s strength in weakness serves as a prophetic witness against a society that prizes the strong as the main thing of value. 1 Corinthinians pretense of strength undercuts our ideas of grace)

29:20

We are all only temporarily-abled. (Lisa).

31:00

On hearing “You must be so blessed to have a disabled person as a teacher.” Is this sometimes a reframing of the situation that spins the situation to be more palatable? A glossing with spiritual truths and making it about spiritual growth.

31:20

Instead, Chris’s life seeks its own flourishes, and he may at times function as a teacher.

33:00

Thoughts on intellectual ability (or inability) and belief in terms of Salvation.

God’s works God’s own path in different ways and in different capacities with people. This undercuts my arrogance (as a theologian), so I don’t think I can so easily map it out definitively and universal for all people in all places.

34:00

His son’s atheism (who is the God he doesn’t believe in)…and how that challenges our presuppositions about God.

34:50

“It is in the kind of relationships of mutual belonging that the full image of God is borne out.”

35:30

(Lisa) To my son I said, “when you see someone who is loving you, you are seeing God.”

(Lisa) On how I changed from thinking “right belief” as the way to understand God was central. Our intellectualizing what God has done is not salvific.

38:00

Martin Luther’s theology of the Cross:

The pretense that we know exactly where God is and how God works. Where God is most hidden is where God is most vividly revealed in saving ways.

38:30

“Who I am to declare that God’s grace only works in some ways? and the God’s capacity and God’s own mystery is limited to what I would deem and my community would deem adequate.”

39:30

What the practical theology of disability tells us about Grace with God and relationships with others.

40:00

“The longer I live and work as a theologian the more I realize the limitations of theology and the true infinite mysteries of God.”

Jesus was disruptive to religious pretense and suppositions. “You say this..but I say this…”

Theodicy – The question of why does God allow suffering and how should we think about suffering.

How Tom, as a theologian, answers the question,
“Why would a sovereign God allow a person to be born disable and encounter such suffering?” (This is great!)

The best is yet to come! Come back for part II next week.

Will you help me meet my goal of raising $100.00 in August to keep Spark My Muse going? Use the Donate button on the left sidebar. Thank you for being a big ball of love!

Episode 13 – “We cannot encapsulate God in our Theology” guest Doug Jackson

Episode 13 – “We cannot encapsulate God in our Theology” guest Doug Jackson

If you’ve listened to the show…
Please click our audience survey button so we can better understand who’s listening.
(It takes about 1 minute to complete and it’s 100% anonymous.)
Spark My Muse
Thank you!

Shownotes for Episode 13  Wine lovers have God to thank + guest Doug Jackson


First, I want to feature the book Doug and I wrote …

entitled Dog in the Gap because of a C.S. Lewis quote “Man and his dog close a gap in the universe”.

 

And there’s a BONUS EDITION with lots of goodies!
Read a sample here!


Will you fan the spark?

Inspired by how musician Amanda Palmer put it, “Don’t make people pay [for art]. Let them,” I am altering how Spark My Muse stays alive…from bottom to top (literally).

How does it work?

It’s up to you. I need at least $75 per episode to keep it solvent.
Every little bit helps!
So, I invite you to just listen, read, and give as you can.

 

Thank you! Enjoy the show!

With love,

~Lisa

WINE SEGMENT:

Who do we have to thank for wine?

God and the Church, actually.

Wine lovers in Western civilization have the Church in Europe (and the Roman Empire and the Holy Roman Empire–which was neither holy nor Roman ) to thank for the large-scale production, the prevalence and the excellence of wine!

Why? 

Because liturgy involving wine for communion was central to Christian religious practice. Wine was ingested as the saving holy blood of Christ (and bread as the holy body of Christ), usually each and every day. The sacraments of Communion served as saving grace afforded to the Church.

As Roman Empire became officially a Christian Empire (circa 313 CE) many vineyards had to be planted, properly cultivated, and harvested. Grapes had to be made into a lot of to support the daily practice of communion throughout the Empire.

Communion served as wine was the norm among Christians world-wide until recently–in the era of pasteurization. To keep juice from grapes in a state were they would not ferment meant it had to be sufficiently boiled so the natural yeast would die. 

Vehemently opposed to alcohol, Thomas Bramwell Welch, a physician, dentist, and Methodist pastor from Vineyard, New Jersey, figured out the process in 1869 with Concord grapes. Most churches did not accept the switch as proper and stayed with wine.

The juice later became more popular during Victorian era because of prominent values of abstinence. A shift then began in the U.S. that made grape juice the main communion beverage (at least among certain Protestants sects).

Several hundred vineyards operating in Europe today can trace their history to monastic origins.

In the 9th-15th centuries almost 1,000 monasteries dotted Europe. They were centers of education, stability, and technical innovation. Monks and nuns could read and write–this was quite uncommon then.

Monasteries cared for the sick, helped the poor, created places of education, and invented Universities. They could not fund all this through donations. Surplus wine was sold to finance ministry work (and also beer, fruit brandies, and cheese, among many other things..even prayers and Salvation ..which–in hindsight–appears to have been a mistake ) .

So, basically, thank God (and many monks) for wine!


 

Sparking your muse

 Enjoy the fantastic chat with Doug Jackson!

Doug-Jackson

Douglas Jackson, D.Min.
Director of the Logsdon Seminary Graduate Program

Doug Jackson came to SCS in 2006, after serving as pastor of Second Baptist Church, Corpus Christi, since 1993. In addition to teaching courses, Dr. Jackson functions as a liaison between Logsdon Seminary and local churches in Corpus Christi. His areas of specialization include spiritual formation and pastoral ministry. Dr. Jackson has published and presented several articles and essays in religious and literary venues, including articles and lectures on the life and writings of C.S. Lewis.
• D.Min. – Truett Seminary (2006)
• M.Div. – Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (1985)
• B.A. – English Literature, Grand Canyon College (1982)

His blog is here.


 

Interview / chat notes:

 

MIN 8:00
on Doug preparing for a his Fall class.

A resource he is using by NT Wright – “The new perspective on Paul”
The covenant people God has saved.

8:50
Reformers and the necessary correction in contemporary times.

9:00
Confronting individualism
and thoughts on human flourishing.

9:50
on the idea of being “spiritual but not religious”

10:30
on his work about CS Lewis

Mere Christianity

11:00
The importance of imagination for understanding that isn’t covered by rationalism.

12:30
on his Oxford lecture
Owen Barfield an influential life-long friend of CS Lewis

Another lecture on Walter Miller – A Canticle for Leibowitz
Apologetic self-proclaimed validity on the rational scheme of knowing.

“Scholarship is about knowing more and more about less and less so that eventually you know everything about nothing.”

14:30
James Sire

15:70
Malcolm Guite https://www.facebook.com/malcolm.guite
Chaplain of Gerton college and Cambridge
“Faith Hope and Poetry”

He covers the imagination as a way of knowing (an epistemology).

Holly Ordway
Houston Baptist University
“Not God’s Type”

Her 2-track movement toward conversion

18:00
Brainpickings.com Maria Popova (an admitted secular atheist on a continual spiritual search)

19:00
on Spiritual atheism

….if we come up with a system that covers everything (Christians and Atheists alike)…

“Humans are sensitive and emotionally vulnerable to a wasteful degree evolutionarily speaking…highly valuing the arts.” (Lisa)

Christ in the Desert Benedictine Monk and Abbot
Philip Lawrence, New Mexico
…slipping in and out of atheism….

21:30
HG Wells, and the fundamentalist reaction to him and others of his ilk.

on how science and religious circles have had an absolute unwillingness to be in one another presence and (have not wanted) to admit any weaknesses and (instead) just shout louder.

22:20

“The best apologetics can do is make Christianity credible and I don’t think it can make it inevitable.”

 

22:30 “Any belief in any ideal is still a leap of faith for anyone… like Justice, Love, Hope…” (Lisa)

23:30
on How people appeal to a standard outside themselves. (CS Lewis)

24:00
Theories of “survival behavior value” for Morality and Justice kicks the can. or it lands on simple absurdity and meaninglessness where suicide becomes a valid option.

25:00

Doug answering the question….”Is fundamentalism evolving”?

26:00
Richard Foster’s classic over 50 years old “Celebration of Discipline”

27:20
A story of a crucial pivot point for Doug.

28:20
How the psalmists had to cry out to God when the answers didn’t suffice any longer. For us, this is a return more than a departure.”

“I have gained the gift of being able to respect other traditions and admire things they bring us, but I talk to people across that spectrum that have that experience.”

29:30

“We go from trusting our denominational address or theology address to trusting Christ but it doesn’t mean an abandonment of it. Choosing a room in the same house to live in.”

30:10
Spiritual disciplines most meaningful to him:
On solitude and privacy (the difference). Henri Nouwen explains the difference.
 Henri Nouwen explains in “Out of Solitude” 

Doug: Solitude is for battle. Privacy is to be alone.

31:00
Demons come in our solitude (Desert Fathers). The outcome is awareness and purification.

32:00
Wanting “the listening heart” (what Solomon really asked God for).
on the importance of listening to God…

33:30
My Stockholm syndrome at parties. (Lisa)

34:00

“(My) Inability to be with people was driven by a failure to have a real self.”

34:30
“you are nearer to me than my own self.” Augustine

Doug realized:

“My real Self can’t be with people because it’s threatened by them, because they’re going to colonize my Self and going to make me into something I’m not. As opposed to having a real Self that can listen because God is protecting that Self.”

Father Francis Kelly Nemeck wrote
The way of Spiritual Direction (his director)
…Doug and I discuss Detachment and Holy Indifference…

39:00
St John of the Cross
(Exploring the spiritually obscured times and darker emotions.)

“the nada” (God is “no thing” the silence before God

40:00
…on staying in the problems and not panicking.

41:00
…on the crucial lesson from his mom that revealed his theology

44:30
(unknowing) Apophetic theology

“John of the Cross didn’t want that we should abandon the metaphors but move through them.”

45:00

“We cannot encapsulate God in our Theology.”

(which is terrifying but life-giving)

46:00
[GOOD NEWS]
Further exploration in a future episode of John of the Cross with Doug coming soon!


 

If you enjoyed the show please give it a stellar review on iTunes here!

Watch for new episodes each Hump Day (Wednesday).

My son’s Sudden Onset Atheism Takes an Unexpected Turn

This is an update sort of post.

It’s been many months since I covered this topic, and for a long time things stayed very much the same with my now 12 year old autistic son being a very firm atheist for over a year.

I was committed to see through Nathan’s spiritual journey without pressuring him to believe what I wanted him to. Because I personally have spent so much of my life dedicated to learning about and loving God, this took iron patience and a new kind of faith. Respecting Nathan’s feelings about God and giving him time to wrestle with the concepts lead to a surprising outcome.

For some needed background, I recommend these two previous posts that set the stage for where we are as I have covered this fascinating journey: 

God: “The Unbelievable Story” (1st Interview with Nathan)

Juvenile Atheism, and Bunny Studies. (a profound update)

(A few more can be found by clicking the Sudden Onset Juvenile Atheism category, or doing a search with those words.)
 Now onto the update.

Progress was encouraged by an unlikely source. Many people believe that God (Yahweh) has been erased from public school. This is true in many ways. My son’s social studies textbooks, for instance, never use a capital “G” when using the word God, or any deity. For instance, “People called the Pilgrims came to the New World to worship their god.” [Yes. We live it pluralistic times.]

The truth is, though we may erect boundaries, God has no boundaries. God works in ways we don’t expect, whenever it pleases him to. Sometimes we have to resist the urge to “hold God’s hand” as he works things out. Who then, I wonder, has a problem with faith? The questioning atheist or the anxious Christian?

It was my hope and prayer that God would reveal himself to Nathan and draw Nathan to himself. Then I just had to wait, encourage the searching, and remain peaceful about the rest.

It all started with Social Studies. As Nathan studied world civilizations, he noticed that these were the same people groups spoken of in the Bible. The Egyptians, the Hebrews, the Babylonians, the Assyrians–each one of these groups is recorded in the narratives of the Bible. He learned how all the groups were poly-theistic, and the Hebrews were mono-theistic. In his autistic support class he watched the Dreamworks animated movie The Prince of Egypt (which is rather loose with it’s historicity, I realize). Suddenly the story clicked. What he heard only at church, he also heard at school. This vetted the story for him as actual, rather than “a made up fairy tale and untrue story” as he had previously thought.

Since this realization, Nathan has been more receptive to going to church, listening and sometimes answering questions in Sunday School (we have kept him with us in an adult level class), and singing. He doesn’t lash out in anger when we speak of things of God at home. He’s willing to be content as we pray at meals. His attitude has shifted. People at our church have reached out to Nathan and showed him great kindness and grace. Those relationships have been a boon.

Nathan loves the music at church, and hearing his sweet, pitchy little voice is a precious thing. It’s reminder that his story, and my story are not over. God with us is a work in progress.

Recently, when I thought he was ready to talk about it, I said, “Nathan, I noticed you are singing in church. How do you feel about God now?”

Softly, he said, “Well, I think it’s true. I believe in God now.”

“Did you learn about the Hebrews in school, like you did at church?” I asked.

“Yes. The Egyptians were real, and they had slaves,” he told me.

The story isn’t over. I don’t feel like Nathan has arrived somehow, but now his journey has new hope and new possibilities. He still needs to be nurtured spiritually. Don’t we all? He needs us to model God ways to him, the Fruit of the Spirit. He has never wanted to pray, and my hope is that he finds the comfort that comes with talking to God.

The invisible, but real, is a challenging concept for many of us, and Nathan’s very concrete ways of understanding the world–because of his autism–make it all the more important to be Jesus to him so that the reality of God is experience and learned in regular life. He’s not so different after all.

Who has best modeled God for you?

Juvenile Atheism, and Bunny Studies. (a profound update)

Nathan is my little bunny

I have been observing the spiritual journey of my autistic son, Nathan, quite closely for the last three or four weeks. If you haven’t been following the posts about it, here, this is the short version of the backstory:

Nathan, as of a few months ago, professed to not believing in God. This is a  change from his former beliefs. He now claims that God, the Bible, and the stories of Christianity are “unbelievable stories,” as he says. It’s fake. A fraud.

The undertaking
To me, it seemed like the perfect time to more closely explore spiritual formation (a.k.a. discipleship) and theology as it pertains to disability. Besides encouraging Nathan in his spiritual formation (no matter how messy or personally unsettling or uncomfortable), I’ve hoped to learn from him, and share my findings. This includes studying on the theology of disability, and documenting Nathan’s time of exploration, with respect for my son’s unique spiritual growth process and experience of the world. For my readers, I’ve hoped to encourage deeper thought and consideration about spiritual growth, and the nature of God.

Where things are now
My attention to Nathan’s beliefs and journey, and the recording of them have reached a blockade. Nathan has expressed that he does not want to be filmed, and wants to not speak about the subject. He’s not ready to go about things this way. I will respect this. His basic sentiment is emotional, and preferential, not logical or given to dialogue. So, I will to put this closer study (at least of him, in a personal way) on hold, until a time comes when it seems productive to pick up with it again. I’ll post about it, occasionally, as insights, changes, or advancements occur. This story is far from over.

Bunny Studies
I got up early this morning and went out on the porch with my coffee to enjoy the unseasonably mild morning weather and take in the sights of the creatures that are neighbors with us. We have a few nests, some very vocal birds, several rabbit families, and a very clever chipmunk who has constructed an elaborate series of tunnels that I suspect could be a secret lair. This morning I saw him enter and leave two different homes, scale a brick chimney, shoot into the roof gutter, and out of sight, maybe to the attic of my neighbor’s home. Clearly, he’s up to something.

I saw a mother rabbit and her bunny nibbling at the dewy clover. They were relaxed in their surroundings, and quite hungry. It made me think of one of my favorite children’s stories: The classic called  The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown. The bunny hopes to be free from his mother, and tells her all the ways he plans to runaway. The mother rabbit does not tell him stay, but rather shows her steadfast love for him. She accepts his wild heart. She comforts him. For every idea he shares about leaving, she has a plan to love him faithfully and reunite with him. This story was refered to in a theological way profoundly in a  film I saw called Wit starring Emma Thompson. It’s a movie that changed me, and help me see God, better.

Wit was adapted from the play W;t, by Margaret Edson. ( In the context of the play, the semicolon refers to the recurring theme of the use of a semicolon versus a comma in one of John Donne’s Holy Sonnets.) Wit won the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The main character, Vivan, a college English professor, is dying of ovarian cancer. At the end, Vivan’s admired, former-professor and mentor comes to visit while she is in town for her great-grandson’s birthday. She comforts her and offers to read to her a Donne sonnet. Vivian, scarcely conscious, declines. So instead, Dr Ashford reads from Margaret Wise Brown‘s The Runaway Bunny, which she had bought for her great-grandson. She remarks that it offers a lovely “allegory of the soul”: Wherever the soul tries to hide, God, comfortingly, will find it. (This section was taken from Wikipedia. Read it in full, here.)

God is our Mother Rabbit. For my son, I am a flesh and blood representation of God to him. I am his mother rabbit, and his is my beloved bunny.

I realize, even more thoroughly than I had realized before, that part of growing up includes the professions of and steps toward independence. Perhaps consistent love faithfulness are the most helpful things we can offer children who are not yet mature enough to make their own way in the world.

Thank you for coming along for this leg of the journey. Your thoughts or comments are quite welcome here.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...