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Fri, 24 Jun 2016 14:01:27 GMT

This is internet’s number one place to discuss everything Imagingtheword related! You can ask questions, share interesting things, tell stories, help others, or just hang around and talk to people. To get things going… How about we all introduce ourselves? :) Please keep the discussion civil!

Sun, 30 Oct 2016 14:16:59 GMT

My name is Loren, and I work as a chaplain at a small trauma hospital in Colorado. I am currently worshipping with the Episcopal Church, but am grateful for this website for providing an online way to connect from a distance to my Quaker roots and good friends. I want to connect on Jan Wood's post, as I too am extremely troubled about what I see happening in our culture. I was cleaning out my piles and piles of papers ignored and unorganized from years of seminary, moving and procrastination and I came across an article by Walter Brueggemann called "The Costly Loss of Lament." (Easily found on the internet if you search the title in Google with .pdf) In it he asks what are the consequences of the loss of lament in our society and he suggests that we lose genuine covenant interaction with God because "the second party to the covenant has become voiceless, or has a voice that is permitted to speak only praise and doxology." He goes on to suggest that we must find the ego strength to seriously stand up to God, cry out to God, for "where the cry is not voiced, heaven is not moved and history is not initiated. And then the end is hopelessness. Where the cry is seriously raised, heaven may answer and earth may have a new chance." As Jan writes, "The webs of a violent, self centered culture enwrap all of us. They shape us. They enlighten us. They blind us. They shade us from the Light. Violences are pleasantly deceptive." I would suggest that the darkness, the violence, the evil around us is so much bigger and darker that we can imagine. I listen to Sara Beth's reflection on God's economy and I find myself just as challenged - how much do I really trust God? Could I ever really put down my belief that I need to provide for myself and my family, this constant striving for more money, more comfort, more stability? These are similar questions I ask as I watch our culture around us - do I really trust that God is active and present in history, as well as in this time and place, in this very moment? Maybe it is time for some heart felt prayers of lament. I don't mean quiet, antiseptic prayers of contrition or repentance. I mean heart rending, deep and limitless expressions of outrage. God, You call yourself a God of love, but WHERE ARE YOU? Our world is not right, and violence is everywhere! I call for Your justice! I call for You to speak words of hope and healing in the midst of this Hell we are living in! I don't care whether You think I have helped create this situation or not, I don't care if I am wrong or not, I call on You to act, I call out for Your justice. It's scary to write something like this. I am much more comfortable quietly praying for peace, for God to use me where and how God wants to, to quietly hold to a middle path and trust that we human beings can find a way to honestly hear and love each other. It is much harder to take my prayer and my action a step further and petition God for all the specific things that I want God to do, or to ask God to give me revenge on my enemies like we read in many psalms. But maybe this is a time for us to petition God. Maybe in the act of claiming our voices and speaking our strong, unfettered truth to God that God will be moved to act.