Friday, April 20, 2007

Ya Think?

Jackie over at Life in the Canadian Desert nominated me for a thinking blogger award. The Thinking Blogger Award is an effort to build a network of blogs linked together outside of the usual search engines.

Here is how it works (sort of like a meme):

1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that tickle your grey matter. [I have grey matter? I thought it was all black and white! :)]

2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme;

3. Optional: Proudly display the 'Thinking Blogger Award' with a link to the post that you wrote.

When looking at all the blogs I read and trying to decide to pick five is just not fun. But pick I must so here goes:

1. Ragamuffin Rambler. Reading Steve's blog encouraged me to go back to AA. His honesty and self reflection challenge me to do the same.

2. Inner Dorothy. Sue's Sunday prayers are a comfort. Having spent all my church time in circles where women pastors were a no no, reading Sue's blog challenged me to examine that thinking. I've since come to the conclusion that there is a necessity for both men and women in every area of life in order for there to be balance. Some days I wonder what the Vatican would look like with women cardinals.

3. The folks over at the Boar's Head Tavern make my brain hurt some days. I'm no theologian and before reading over there I had no idea of the difference between a Calvinist and Reformed Christian. Hell, they might be the same thing for all I know, still. But I do read there regularly and feel like I'm eavesdropping (which suits my curious nature just fine). What I like about their conversation is that it is a conversation and not a hit-you-over-the-head with my right opinion kind of thing. Lots of grace and humour and thinking to be found there. And even when they disagree with one another they will readily drop their weapons of choice to support and pray for one another. I often wish the honesty with which they exchange ideas could be found in church foyer conversation.

4. Peter over at Another Country has made me do a double take on my previous views about the United Church of Canada. I was an elder in that Church once upon a time and distanced myself from it quickly when I went the fundamentalist/evangelical way. And I kept my biased viewpoint up until I started reading his and Sue's blogs. Since then I've found lots I can embrace and the stuff I'm not sure of yet is held in that place of tension we all have about other Christians who see things differently than we do. It no longer is as scary to me to acknowledge that place of tension as it once was.

5. Look at my sidebar to see other blogs I read. It's not an exhaustive list because I've been too lazy to update it.

The blogs I picked were done purposely because they challenge me on previously held perspectives. So much of my thinking has had an overhaul since entering the blogsphere. What I once was so sure of has taken a shit kicking. That's not a bad thing. I used to dismiss anyone who came from a church tradition I didn't agree with. Life was simpler that way. I didn't have to think. But it messes with your head when you see someone from another tradition loving so purely, in such a way that you know you are not. And all the right thinking in the world doesn't seem to cut it anymore. I came from a church culture where right thinking was thought to be the goal. And I readily absorbed what others told me was right thinking. The trouble was that I kept shifting from one "right thinker" to another because none of the right thinking was transforming me. By the time I began reading blogs I was already wary of anyone who proclaimed to be a right thinker when it came to faith.

Which might sound strange to some because I eventually ended up Catholic. Since becoming Catholic I have been reproved repeatedly for distancing myself from any part of my previous church experience. I've been encouraged to embrace what has formed me and made me who I am today. I've also been encouraged to take a a more ecumenical view. I have never been so challenged to actually live out the gospel instead of just talking about it. I see how badly I do that and yet have more hope than ever that I can live it, even if in small ways. I believe that the Eucharist is what transforms me.

What has hounded me throughout my journey in blogland is the thought, "But look at how they love one another." Whenever I see people truly loving one another I know Jesus is present. And that happens in places and situations I would have previously dismissed. It seems rather ironic to be nominated for a thinking blogger award when blogland itself has been such a huge part of me becoming a thinker.

The lack of comments on my resurrection journey series of posts has me feeling that OMG I just bared my soul and the silence makes me want to scream, "Beam me up Scotty, quick." You see, somethings never change, like my insecurity that I'm invisible. I wonder if there's a blog award for that?


Anonymous said...

**You see, some things never change, like my insecurity that I'm invisible.**

Hope, is that why you blog?

I truly am happy for you that some major healing is taking place in your personal and family life.

Bless God and bless you for sharing. Thank you for being part of my journey.

Not So Anonymous Friend

Steve F. said...

Well, sister Hope, I'm not sure whether you meant me (Steve) or Rick over at A New Life Emerging. Either one of us could have nudged you back into recovery. I'm just honored to be mentioned with folks like you've posted here!

By the way, I have exactly the same reaction to the Boar's Head Tavern. I have to stand on tippy-toes just to see the table they gather around - and I'm not sure I can split infinitives well enough to run in that crowd.

And sister, none of us would ever intentionally deliver a shit-kicking to anyone (well, at least not to anyone who wasn't purposely being hateful...). But, as I've said so often, God has used people to both kick my butt and open my mind. And the simultaneous operation has frequently done both ends some good...

Hope said...

Ack, Steve - yes that's you. The alliteration of ragarambler etc. made me think rick. Red faced here....