Material Girl

The post to follow is a little repetitive but that's on purpose. Partly for myself and partly for you, the reader. Thanks for hanging in there! Before we dive in, some of my favorites from the past couple of weeks . . . 

NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast had some interesting thoughts regarding Straight Outta Compton AND whether or not there is “too much TV.” The part regarding Netflix’s ability in picking up shows that have been previously cancelled was super intriguing. 

I love Molly Yeh. Her photos from her recent trip to Israel are STUNNING and her most recent cake is unreal. 

Loved Amber Haines’ interview on The Simple Show, specifically in regards to her thoughts on sacramental living.

 I’ve shared before how I felt there was a strong disconnect between what made me feel alive, and what I was being taught within the church. It was an incredibly frustrating struggle and it led to an incredibly frustrating and aggravating season of life. On one hand, my heart space truly felt as though it had been lit on fire when I dove head first into the arts. On the other hand, my shoulders carried an immense sense of guilt because I was being told that none of it really mattered. The world was fallen and going to be destroyed in an all consuming fire . . . you think I'm joking but isn't that what a "rapture" mindset boils down to? Essentially, Matter doesn't matter

I clearly remember staying up late one night journaling and praying, praying so very hard that I would be excited about "going to heaven." Yet with each month, season, and year that passed, as I tried to be less excited about "earthly matters" and more excited about "spiritual matters", my heart grew cold and eventually numb. It was rather counterintuitive and a ripe breeding ground for guilt. 

When we view the earth and everything in it as void, our jobs, loved ones, and day to day lives, become entirely utilitarian. Desire and passion are sucked by the lips of our looming future and we as humans are left on this physical earth, awaiting a home for our not so physical souls. 

Two weeks ago I shared with you snippets from a lecture by Dr. George Grant. In a nutshell, he described an era of history known by some as Christendom, a time when Christianity knew no difference between the secular and the sacred. BOTH planting flowers and Scripture, BOTH poetry and theology, BOTH craftsmanship and the clergy. There was no fear or guilt but abundance. Culture flourished AND so did the gospel, it spread like wild fire.  

Rather than removing themselves from “earthly” tasks and events, concerns and events, these saints threw themselves into the EVERYDAY. The art. The literature. The science. The sculpting.  The architecture. The farms. The cooking. The thinking. The reading and the cleaning. The motherhood and the arithmetic. There was no distinction between the secular and the sacred. They were entirely IN the world . . . and the world took notice.

I also shared the concept referred to as “Echoes of Eden.” To be brief, it’s an internal longing we experience when we encounter what USED TO BE and WHAT IS TO COME . . . essentially, Eden. Harmony. Shalom. We were made for Eden and we long for Eden. Like pilgrims on a long journey, we long for our true home. It is our job, as both stewards of the earth and the Good News to share Eden with the broken world around us.

The saints of Christendom understood this. They lived as signposts pointing in TWO directions. Their lives, their hands, their homes, their everyday tasks pointed back to the beauty of Eden that once was and forward to the coming Eden that will be. They pointed to a time when everything was whole, unbroken and unscathed. Simultaneously, they pointed to a time when what has been broken and scathed, will be made new. 

Interestingly enough, I did not find spiritual growth or life in trying to separate myself from the material world. Quite the opposite. I only found guilt and dry land. However, in engaging the material world, I did in fact find spiritual growth and life. The separation between the Secular and the Sacred is rooted in a separation between the spiritual world and the material world and it is not until we seek to reconcile the two and live as Weird Amphibians (spiritual bodies within space and time) that we will find our place in the world.