Thanks to the generosity of the Grace Speaker, I again have a proper keyboard at which to type my thoughts. The absence of a tangible keyboard was one of the reasons my writing took a hiatus. It was certainly not for lack of ideas. So many things have been rushing through my brain, but I find myself shackled by the necessity to hear the click clack of keys. Composing on a tablet or smartphone is psychologically limiting to me. While I consider myself relatively technologically savvy for one of my age, I still cling to certain conservative comforts, like being able to experience the tactile conveyance of words and ideas from my head through my fingers into a keyboard. The light-emitting diodes that inhabit my phone do not have the same magnetic draw to me. I suppose I am much like the person who refuses to give up their typewriter, or their heavy bond paper and fountain pen.
So many brilliant ideas slipped into the ether thanks to my resistance to touch-screen-fueled progress, but I suppose if they were truly as ground-breaking as they seemed, they would still be making their marks on my mind. Instead we begin again.
The faith community to which I belong has been taking up much of my time, in positive ways mostly. Over this past year, I have realized a long-time dream of delivering an inspirational message in front of an audience who was actually there to hear one. Whether it was inspirational or not is a judgement I leave to those who heard it, but just the opportunity was an honor.
My faith has transformed in many ways. What was once a collection of orthodox beliefs ingrained from an early age has become a more personal, nuanced way of embracing the world and those who inhabit it. By no means have I been successful in repressing the appetites and desires that constantly seem to complicate what should be a simple life, but what I have been able to understand is that the efforts I make to control them is only one small part of the journey. A more important part is the love required to interact with one another. The Courageous Dear Heart reminded us this Christmas to look for Jesus in those who we may not like. Think about that for a moment. Put in your mind the image of a person with whom you struggle. Now, attempt to see them with the sense of grace that Jesus saw us. See the love in them, and by extension, yourself. Try to love the people that dislike you, that you dislike, or that you believe don’t think anything of you at all. If you can do it, it will transform how you view the entire world. I’m not there yet, and maybe never will arrive at the end. But the journey. Maybe that is the way we strive for heaven here and now.