BEYOND THE EDGE

“How far are we from the edge?” she asked me.

“What edge?” I said.

“The edge of the earth.”

“There isn’t an edge, it just goes on and on and around and around forever,” I replied.

She paused and thought for a while. I could tell she was thinking because her forehead was wrinkled and her head was tilted to the left and her eyes were studying the clouds above us. Finally she said, “well I wish there was an edge, cause I would jump off it.”

I thought this was a wonderful thing to say. I imagined a cliff that leads to nowhere, just down into nothingness, and I wondered if I would jump. Then I remembered that scene in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis, where Reepicheep, that small but noble mouse, sailed to the edge of the sea just to see where it led. This is the very essence of adventure, I think. It all starts with an idea that defies logic, that goes against science or math, that insults the enlightened man, but that captures the mind in a way that no concept or number could, and it sparks the most incredible adventure. And what is life without adventure? 

I think following God is an adventure. Maybe that’s my favorite part of being a Christian, is that sense that I’ll never have it all figured out, that I’ll always be left with questions. For some people that might be frustrating, and it is for me too sometimes, but then I think about the edge of the world, and maybe God is beyond that cliff. Maybe that’s what heaven is, the place beyond the edge, and my whole life is leading up to that moment of death, when I finally make the leap.

Magic

I’ll never understand the magic of story, the power of words woven together to make something that didn’t exist before. It truly is one of the most miraculous things, and I think it’s a gift. The way you feel when you read something that moves you, the empathy you feel for the characters you know only by name on the page, the deep sorrow and awe you feel when you finish a book… it’s all so mysterious. 

I just read the last chapter of C.S. Lewis’s book The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. It’s one of my favorites. I am amazed not only by the words Lewis uses and the picture he paints, but by the feel of the chapter. When I read that chapter, I can’t help but feel sad and happy, dread and hope. It’s a chapter that tears you apart and puts you back together in seven short pages. I read it slow and fast at the same time, hoping it will never end yet wishing to read the final sentence. This chapter makes me worship. No joke, I am holding back tears as I write this, thinking about the glory of God, who created story and language and art and beauty and asks us not to hold these things back, but to express them and to help others express them. And isn’t that the job of the storyteller, to usher God’s children into His presence and show them how to bow before His throne?

This is a noble and sacred thing, to create, and I hope I never waste this gift.

Visceral

Hold my bleeding heart and keep it beating

Sometimes I can’t tell if I am breathing

These groanings in my chest, they are greedy

But really it’s just you that I’m needing

 

We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.

Romans 8:22-23

ScotThoughts 2

There are people who are more comfortable doing than thinking. They are the ones who play in the rain, while all the thinkers are holed up in their warm, dry lairs, doing their best thinking, undistracted by the FOMO that the doers try to impose on everyone else. I think I’m a doer, but then again, I’m sitting here thinking instead of doing. Yesterday I did, but today I think. Maybe I’m just both. Maybe we all are. Maybe I’m overthinking this. Maybe I’m not thinking enough.

ScotThoughts 1

Have you ever thought about the homogeneity of clouds on a rainy day? Gray. Gray. Gray.

All the clouds mingled together so closely that you can’t tell where one ends and another begins. Is it even a bunch of clouds or is it just one massive cloud that blankets the entire earth?

That’s a spectacular unity, one I wish could exist in humanity.

If humanity were clouds, the sky would look like a jigsaw puzzle put together by an angry two-year-old; just a bunch of broken pieces mashed together. And when the sun shines on it from the other side, all the creases and cracks are exposed.

But the clouds, they’re together. They’re one.

young love is cute but also kinda sad cause you know they won’t end up together

“Boys don’t cry,” Sam  was saying as he walked his latest crush, Roxie Richards, home from school. Sam was a bit of a playa, even in the fifth grade, and his friends teased him endlessly for ditching them to pamper a cute girl. But Sam didn’t care. He was born for love, and some day his friends would understand.

“You never cry?” Roxie asked, eyes the size of the moon.

Sam shook his head defiantly. “Never.”

“Have you ever cried?”

“I used to when I was younger, but I’m a grown-up now, and you never see grown-ups crying, do you?”

“You’re not a grown up! You’re only ten!”

“My grandpa says I’m mature for my age,” Sam said, holding his head high.

Roxie crossed her arms and frowned. “I don’t believe you!”

“Just ask your dad. Boys don’t cry.”

Roxie didn’t answer right away, but grew quiet, almost sullen even. She refused to look at her friend as she said “I don’t have a dad.”

There was a pause as Sam thought about her words. He let out a soft “oh.”

They walked the rest of the way to Roxie’s house in silence, Sam beating himself up for assuming everybody’s family was the same as his. Lesson learned, he thought, as he prepared himself to never see this beautiful girl again. Surprisingly, however, Roxie turned to face Sam as they approached her door, and asked with a smile in her eye, “Will I see you tomorrow?”

Sam stuttered a little trying to get out his next words, “It would be an honor and a privilege to walk you home tomorrow, madam,” and as he said it, he bowed as fancily as he could. This elicited a wide smile from Roxie, which quickly turned into a gleeful giggle, before she hid her embarrassment by turning abruptly and opening her door. And as it closed behind her, Sam heard her yell “mom, I’m home! I made a new friend!”

rain is beautiful, isn’t it?

Everybody’s broken and I’m no different.

I feel unworthy, deficient.

The great lie in my heart: I’ve gotta be perfect to serve.

Truth is the best of us are really just the worst of us.

I face addictions too, you know, I face temptations just like you. I’m insecure, afraid, just trying to make it to the next day.

The true test of faith is what you do with shame; do you let it sit and simmer, or do you give yourself some grace?

I wish life were easier, but it only gets harder.

I hope I can learn to see beauty in pain, oh, I just can’t wait til I can dance in the rain.

Mi Amigo Donkey, ep. 3

“Donkey! Guess what! I’m a Christian now!”

Donkey looked up.

“It all started when I asked one of my friends why he was so happy all the time. He explained to me that he wasn’t, but that he had the Holy Spirit that allowed him to experience joy even during hard times. That was a new concept for me, and still something I’m trying to wrap my mind around. But that joy that he was describing was so attractive that I had to figure out where one gets this “Holy Spirit”. So he explained everything to me: how God created us perfect but we screwed it all up and because of our sin we deserve death and hell, but Jesus took on all of our sins in a perfect act of grace when he was crucified on our behalf.

Donkey tilted his head slightly.

“Yes, Donkey, even you are a sinner.”

Donkey grunted.

“But because of Jesus’ sacrifice, we can be reconciled to God again. Don’t you see, amigo? The only way to have a joy that isn’t reliant on current circumstances is to have your hope and faith in something that’s bigger than this world! Anyway, I’m done preaching at you, but I just can’t believe I had missed this for so many years. It feels like my whole life is turned upside-down.”

Donkey smiled.

Mi Amigo Donkey, episode 2

“Well, Donkey, I’ve been going to Church for a while now, and I’ve learned some things. First of all, Christians say they have all the answers to life and stuff like that. They say that Jesus is the only way to heaven, and that if you reject Jesus, then you’ll go to hell. That doesn’t sound very fun. But here’s the thing, what if I don’t believe in heaven or hell? What if things aren’t so black and white? What if there’s a little space between right and wrong called moral ambiguity? What if all religions lead to heaven? What if—“

Donkey lay down.

“Oh, well I’m sorry for boring you! It’s just that there’s so many questions in life that seemingly don’t have answers! How can Christians be so confident all the time?”

Donkey yawned.

“You’re lucky you don’t have to wrestle with morality, life and death, and all that jazz. Humanity is intense. Sometimes I wish I were a dumb donkey.”

Donkey fell asleep.

Mi Amigo Donkey, episode 1

“Here’s the thing Donkey. I’m not happy. I mean, sometimes I’m happy, but it doesn’t really last. I’ll have a fun night with friends, go on a date or two, but the happiness always ends with the night. In the morning, I wake up and do it all over again!”

Donkey blinked.

“Don’t you see the problem, donkey? I’m living for the little moments in life that make me happy. I’m living drink to drink, just waiting for the next high. I’m barely making it through the week so I can make it to the weekend. I have no joy, no lasting satisfaction. This can’t be all there is to life! There’s gotta be more. What am I missing?”

Donkey neighed. Not a horse neigh, but a deeper, more guttural donkey neigh. It’s not my fault you don’t know the difference.

“I don’t know what to do, Donkey. Maybe I should go to church.”

Donkey grinned.