Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Narrow Door

Then Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem. Someone asked him, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?”

He said to them, “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’
“But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’
“Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’
“But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!’
“There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out. People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God. Indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last.”  Luke 13:22-30

A few weeks ago Soul Pastor posted this scripture to his blog and asked us to comment on it.  Actually his words were ‘Thoughts?’  In the gathering that week he challenged everyone there to post a comment as homework.  My thought was: I don’t want to think about it.

That said, for the past two weeks, I have been thinking about it a lot.  I am not thinking about me.  I am thinking about my Mom.  I case you don’t know the story, I will give you the abridged version.  My Mom passed away from breast cancer when I was twenty two years old.  I was barely an adult.  That event has shaped my life in a lot of ways.  My Mom wasn’t a Christian.  In fact my Mom explicitly stated that she couldn’t believe in a God who allowed all the bad stuff she saw to happen.

I can’t really blame her.  My Mom’s life was rough.  Some of those details only came out after she passed away.  I never had the opportunity to show my Mom that Jesus really did care about the details of her life.  I know He did.  Yet my Mom died without knowing Him. 

I often wonder if I would have become a Christian if my Mom hadn’t passed away.  We were very close and very tied together emotionally.  I feel a type of survivor’s guilt.  I found everlasting life and in some ways her leaving this world enabled that for me.  Everything in me wants to reject the theology that says there is one way to heaven because it means that she won’t be there.

Here’s the problem:  I have to think about the Scripture.

When I dig into the background of the passage I realize that Jesus is speaking to believers or those that had the opportunity to go through the narrow door and didn’t.  You could say that most, at least in Western cultures, have had that opportunity.  So what is Jesus saying?  Is He saying it that the only way to get through the door is through Him?  Is it a warning for those who say a prayer and think that guarantees salvation?  I don’t know.  And maybe God is protecting me by not allowing me to have certainty.

One thing I do know from this passage is that it is a warning.  Regardless of what happened with my Mom I need to think about what it means for me to enter.  I do know that as Soul Pastor said, it is one person at a time.  So I need to focus on my relationship with Him.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Being a Woman Who Loves Technology

You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you. (Song of Solomon 4:7, NSV)

Sometimes I struggle with feeling truly feminine.  I do not have a lot of the things in my life that many would associate with womanhood.  I am not a mother.  I am not a wife.  I am not dating anyone.  I would like to have all of those things but it just hasn’t happened for me yet.  On the flipside, I have some characteristics that are typically associated with being male.  I am good with technology, I love video games, I work in Information Technology, I do chores on my own that my married friends leave to their husbands.

It used to be painful for me when others referred to me as a ‘techie.’  One day God redeemed that for me when someone I respect (and who I would view as being a model of femininity) said to me, “I think it is very cool that you are a woman who is a techie.”  Since then God has used several instances to show me how he is using my femininity and my ability with technology to serve His purpose.

At the beginning of June I went to the StoryLine Conference in Portland.  When of the things that stuck out for me is the impact of character on story.  He pointed out instances of helping others as being character building.  It’s not necessarily the story itself but using the things we are good at to help others is an important part of our story.  So as a woman who is good with technology I was able to help a friend get her blog going.  I think her blog is amazing and it will impact a lot of women.  So I am honoured to be a part of that story.  This summer I am continuing to work on our church’s media team.  It is a small way I can easily help out and it is a part of the larger story.

I know that as a female techie I am different from a male who is  good with technology.  My femininity makes me more approachable and I help in different ways.  So I am beginning to embrace this part of my identity…  which is cool because I really enjoy video games!

gamer girl