Random bits

I’m tired, but the good kind of tired.  The kind of tired where you’ve been working hard outside and in the garden, haven’t showered in a few days, and have a killer farmer’s tan.  The last few gorgeous days, we’ve seen our little neighborhood block come to life — neighbors helping neigbors dig up ugly bushes (then introducing themselves), ordinary folks turning weedy, grown-over plots of land into gardens, and folks stopping by just to say hi.

Ahh, springtime in Boston. =)

And the weekend’s only half over!

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A couple resources to point you toward:

  • Christine Sine of Mustard Seed Ministries in Seattle has just released (on lulu as an e-book) “Gardening With God,” which is a compilation of her reflections on gardening and Christian spirituality.
  • I recently ordered Vigen Guroian’s Inheriting Paradise: Meditations on Gardening, which promises to be a great read.  I love his stuff.
  • And on a slightly different note, Chrissy’s working through An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith by Barbara Brown Taylor, a book in which the former minister explores the spiritual nature of ordinary practices: waking up to God, paying attention, walking the Earth, encountering others, saying no, and pronouncing blessings, among others.  I’m pretty excited about reading it when Chrissy’s done.

——————

Our good friends just got back to Boston from some time in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.  While in PA, they had the opportunity to stay for a few days with a Mennonite family in Amish country to get to know a little bit more about the rhythmic, simple way of being practiced in that part of the world.  They said they were blown away by the intense faith put into action that is practiced by the Amish (and Mennonites, for that matter), who believe wholeheartedly that a faith that doesn’t radically augment every part of your life (and your community’s life) is no faith at all.  They told us of a short video they watched in one of the museums where an Amish man is asked if he’s a Christian.  His response?  “Don’t ask me; I could tell you anything.  Ask my neighbor.”

A few days later, they happened to be in a small WV town on the “National Day of Prayer.”  The town held some sort of prayer service in the center of town where person after person got up and prayed forcefully for a different area of our national government.  As our friends listened to prayers being screamed into a mic for the U.S. military to remain “the mighty arm of God in the world,” they said they couldn’t help but think of the previous days they’d spent among the Amish, who quietly lead radical lives that put into practice the teachings of Jesus in ways many of us can only dream of.  They thought of the Amish community’s forgiveness of a killer who took 12 of their children from them in a tragic shooting.  Looking at these two experiences of Christianity side-by-side, they thought, “Are these two expressions even the same faith?”

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3 responses to this post.

  1. Thanks for mentioning my e-book. I too am a fan of Vigan Gurioan’s. Inheriting Paradise is a great little book

    Reply

    • Thanks, Christine! Obviously, I love your stuff as well. In some ways, you’re writing the stuff I want to write. Let’s stay in touch.

      Reply

  2. Sounds great. I am not sure if you get the MSA Seed Sampler, if not you may at least like to check out the recent edition on Spirituality of Gardening at http://www.msainfo.org

    Reply

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