Five Minute Fridays: Broken

One of the blogs I follow, http://www.lisajobaker.com, has this wonderful writing community that I’ve been meaning to be a part of for a while now. Every Friday, she posts one word, and everyone writes a response to that word. The rules? You can only write for five minutes. No edits, no rewrites, no going over the time. And then you link back to her blog and join in the conversation.

I’m excited to be part of a group of writers, bloggers, thinkers, and I’m also excited for the challenge of writing concisely, clearly and meaningfully in such a short amount of time. So, from now on, you’ll see my five-minute posts, titled with the word prompt. And when you see my typos or awkward writing or incomplete thoughts, you’ll be able to extend grace to the exercise and the joy of writing in community. 

If you’re a blogger and interested, I would encourage you to head over to her site and check out her rules for participation. Then, read a few articles. I linked one just this week, and I think you’ll find she has a lot to say about living mightily in the overlap. 

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He broke that bottle you like. You know, the one you searched through someone’s rubble to find? Simple, antique – a bottle with a story.

Well, it’s broken now. Scattered across the tiles in fragments so small they look like glitter. I kept him away from the mess, afraid of adding bloody red rose paw prints (like Annie Dillard writes, remember?).

copyright Living in the Overlap 2013
copyright Living in the Overlap 2013

This little fur ball, full of vim and vigor and young life – he does a good job of reminding us that we live where moth and rust destroy, where thieves break in and steal. And sometimes it’s not even as dramatic as all of that – sometimes it’s not rust or thieves or moths but kittens wanting to smell the outside air.

So we rearrange the decorations and I find the sea glass a new bottle and we keep snuggling and kissing our kitten.

And we break each others’ expectations and hearts and simple hopes, we stomp over the futile collections of our hearts and keep on loving…

Antti T Nissinen.V31S70.flickr commons
Antti T Nissinen.V31S70.flickr commons

When new names deserve an explanation

To be honest, I don’t really remember any of my chapels from college.

Three times a week, without fail – I must have attended hundreds throughout my four years of Taylor living. When I think of them, they all melt into a feeling – a general sense of inspiration and challenge and worship and community.

Except one.

I remember the speaker for his beautiful lilted English accent. And for the way he sat at the piano and charmed and teased the keys until we were captivated.

But most of all, I remember his words.

The way he spoke of the always and the now, the what is and what is yet to come, the infinite in the limited and dying. You see, he said, the kingdom of God has already come, but the reign of sin hasn’t ended. And here we are, living in the overlap.

The victory won but the war still waging.

by lipterioscopic, lipterioscopic.deviantart.com
by lipterioscopic, lipterioscopic.deviantart.com

Such a catchy phrase, this living in the overlap, that I joked with friends about titling my debut album with it, little knowing that it was burrowing deep into my heart.

You may have noticed a name change around here. I’ve been wrestling with the title of this blog since I first created the URL. I chose “UN settled” originally because I was in the process of being unsettled myself, starting a new marriage in a new state with a new home and job.

But I believe in the power of words, and “UN settled” never captured exactly. what. I. wanted.

God works in funny ways. I say or think or ponder “living in the overlap” a thousand times a year, yet it was only two weeks ago I realized that the phrase, was, in fact, the perfect name for this little corner of mine.

Not only are we living in the overlap of the Kingdom and of sin, we also live in the overlap of the pain and joy, the great moments and the mundane, the spectacular and the ordinary. Life happens in these in between spaces – not in the dramatic, or the finished, or the completed and achieved. And that is what I write about here. The in between, small spaces that add up to a lifetime of Kingdom-living. The cooking and cleaning and housework and healthy habits and frustrated mornings and Gospel teachings that are quiet and constant and revolutionary. That are duty and entropy and sin, and worship and sacrifice and holy living and joy bound up in one.

Life happens here, now, in this quiet overlap…in these relationships, in this space, with this to do list and this job. Here is your mission and your ministry and work and calling. Not in the flamboyant highlights, but in the gentle constant underflow of now.

So, join me in the overlap? In the making seemingly tiny moments infinite because the Kingdom of God is here, and we are fully engaged in the battle?