Sunday 15 September 2013

Weekend Reading {vol. 103}

Heroes don’t come easy {on nice guys, bad boys, good girls, & unicorns} @ A Deeper Story
We’re all capable of hurting each other deeply, but beauty and kindness are just as perennial. Each life charts paths through light and dark, changing course from one breath to the next.

Forgiveness won’t preclude boundary setting, but it is woven with shades of mercy and grace like rain. None of us is the sum of the mistakes we make, our worth rooted deeply in Whose we are, not what we’ve done (even on our best days). Resurrection is as real today as it was that Sunday morning long ago.

Two-dimensional characters exist in monochrome fantasy, unlike the broad-spectrum Story we write with our lives together. Saint. Sinner. Hero. Villain. Human. Forgiven. Beloved. The whole motley mess of us.

I Wanna Hold Your Hand: Being Physical In A Sexual World @ Internet Monk
The physical world used to impinge on all of the senses all of the time. And that’s as it should be. We are physical beings. We were made so by God. We eat, sleep, make love, and defecate. We cuddle for warmth and comfort. These things are all healthy and satisfying – and not sexual. We have a need for physical satisfaction of all kinds, not just the sexual; we must have it to be healthy. In our digital, cubicle-dominated modern world, we are starved for physical interaction. Because we’re starving, we try to satisfy basic needs for contact, comfort, and belonging – which the surrounding culture tells us to do through sex.

For our society to become healthier and more balanced, we have to consider physicality as a separate need from sexuality. Although we often find each other difficult, hot, smelly, and loud, we fulfill each other in many ways. And although creation is dangerous, extreme, and uncomfortable, we were made to interact with it. People who long for physicality, who need to touch and be touched, should not be expected to satisfy that longing only sexually. Attempting to meet all one’s physical needs through sex shows not only a misunderstanding of human nature but a real lack of imagination.

Defiantly aging gracefully @ The Not-Ever-Still Life
If you dye your hair and it brings your pleasure or boosts your confidence or is wild red or streaked with purple (especially if your hair is wild red or streaked with purple), I say carry on with your regime. But if you dye your hair and think it's a pain and think it's a hassle and think it's expensive, maybe think instead about all our young girls growing up, bombarded with messages about beauty and conformity and too few messages about confidence in our natural bodies; and our young boys growing up bombarded with messages of beauty as a narrow ideal and an objectifiable one at that.

Nothing negative has happened as a result of my decision two years ago to stop dyeing my hair. And my growth in confidence has been slow, quiet, unremarkable. But talking with E on Saturday and in subsequent conversations since have confirmed every minute of these two years as correctly played. And that's the most challenging and honest part of parenting: it's not just that I've been forced to define my ideals, but I'm forced to examine them, defend them, and explain them. This one stood up perfectly under unanticipated scrutiny, and that felt great.

Why You Never Stop Being Needed @ A Holy Experience
“Hey, Josh?” One brother’s calling over to the other. “Can Mom see us doing this?”

And I hear that. The old mother at the bottom of the mountain, she hears her boys hollering that and I nod and smile slow.

Yes, boys – right to my end, I will be your witness.

Go ahead, sign me up to witness the launchings and the beginnings, witness the dares you take, the challenges you rise to, the heartbreak you don’t want anyone else to see and the crazy you wish you could hide.

Be brave. In all your crazy, be brave, boys. And I’ll be there, in heart or in body, to witness the first dates and the failed dreams and it’s okay to cry, boys, your tears are safe with me.

Because the truth is: Life’s a trial and everyone needs a witness — someone on your front row, someone on your sidelines, someone to clap you across the finish line when everyone else has gone home.

Everyone needs a witness – someone to testify you were really here and you really tried, someone to witness your wounds and believe in your worth, someone to say even your crazy can’t stop you from being crazy loved. Everyone needs a witness who will stand and not hold you back because if we all only lived safe, no one would ever get saved.

1 comment:

  1. I am a new reader (and I can't remember how I even got here) but with this, I am hooked. I was nodding and exclaiming YES! through these thoughts you have pulled out. Thanks you, and well met.