I have never wanted to blog. I don't exactly understand blogs. I've never thought I had the time to blog. And I'm not sure, really, it is smart for me to begin a blog. I reserve the right to stop at any time. But this week I started a coaching program with Auburn Seminary, and, in the midst of one of the workshops, I thought: this is useful stuff. I ought to share this stuff. And I thought: to journal through this six-month experience might help me to get the most out of it. Hence this blog.
As members of my church, Ginter Park Presbyterian in Richmond, VA, know, I don't even title my sermons. So . . . to name the blog was the first hard thing. (Design is the second, and I'm going to need someone's help with that!) The closing worship of our time in-residence was my inspiration. J.C. Austin (Director of the Center for Christian Leadership and Coordinator of the Auburn Coaching Institute) read the following two passages:
Can I see the buds that are swelling
in the woods on the slopes
on the far side of the valley? I can't,
of course, nor can I see
the twinleafs and anemones
that are blooming over there
bright-scattered above the dead
leaves. But the swelling buds
and little blossoms make
a new softness in the light
that is visible all the way here.
The trees, the hills that were stark
in the old cold become now
tender, and the light changes.
- Wendell Berry
And again Jesus said, "to what should I compare the kingdom of God?
It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour until all of it was leavened."
- Luke 13:20-21
J.C. invited us, throughout the time we are coached, to be mindful of the changes God is already working into our lives - changes that we can't see yet or that we are only beginning to perceive. A new softness in the light. A small amount of leaven. These mark the beginning and make transformation possible. Light and leaven. If you choose, I invite you to look for them - and to experience their power - along with me.