Pastoral Musings from Rain City

it's about 'what is church?' it's about whether 'emergent' is the latest Christian trend or something more substantial. it's musing on what it means to live the city, in America, in community, intergenerationally, at this time in history...

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


I can't say it any better than that which is already written by Eugene Peterson:

Lacking confirmation by the word of a friend, our most promising beginnings fizzle. Lacking confirmation in the presence of a friend, our bravest ventures unravel. It's not unusual for any of us to begin something wonderful, and it's not unusual for any of us to do things that are quite good. But it is unusual to continue and to persevere. The difficulties aren't for the most part external but internal - finding the energy and vision to keep the effort going. Being good and doing good are seldom adequately rewarded: more often they get us into trouble. The world, the flesh, and the devil are in fierce opposition to the Christian way and wreck many lives that start off beautifully.

Friendship cerainly has the element of truth telling in it, and the element of correction, and that word 'accountability' must also find it's way into the scheme. But above all else, it seems to me, friendship is about believing in the other, even when the other can't believe in themselves. And while Peterson captures this in his essay on David and Jonathan, it's Dar Williams who says it best in song.

We all need people in our lives who have the faith for us, when we just don't have it for ourselves. Most of us already know a great deal about where we fall short (though certainly we need friends who will speak truth when we don't want to hear it. Nathan the prophet played that role in David's life). But when it comes to finding friends who believe in us, who nurture our calling, encourage us, and help us find our voice - I fear that many are starving. Perhaps that's why the Celtic saints would say that a person without a soul friend is like a body without a head.


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