Delight in the bones


There is this license that comes with one’s birthday to be a bit more out there in terms of demanding some affirmation and attention. I made it a point yesterday to tell people, “Hey, it’s my birthday; wish me a ‘happy birthday.'”

I did my monthly preaching at the nursing home with the old women, and I told them right up front that it was my birthday, had them sing for me, then asked them each when their birthdays were.  Their eyes — they shone like the sun.  I went off on a riff regarding the wonder of the fact that all of us were birthed into this world not by mere chance but because God willed it to be so. God wanted us here! The party wouldn’t be complete without us. God said “Yes!” to each one of us, making us exactly who we are, genetically speaking, and God said it was good, very good. I reveled in the story of Jesus coming up out of the waters of the River Jordan and hearing the voice of the heavenly daddy say, “You are my child, with whom I am delighted.” Maybe before anything else God wants us to feel that delight in our bones.

I listened to some of the NPR program “Speaking of Faith”. This week’s theme is the spiritual meaning of depression. Parker Palmer referred to depression as being not the opposite of happiness, but of vitality and passion. We pursue happiness in this world when maybe we should be more concerned with vitality and passion.

Jesus had vitality and passion, that’s for sure. When he spoke, it wasn’t like the scribes who simply mimicked what they had heard. Jesus spoke out of his own God given depths, and the people couldn’t help but notice the difference.