I was born on the morning of July 30, 1952 at Mennonite Hospital in Bloomington, Illinois. It is fitting that I started in that hospital. Peace church culture and spirituality have shaped and sculpted my life in many ways. I will go where I please. A discerning eye will catch a glimpse of the Mennonite farm boy: serious, reverent (at heart), globally aware, a subtle misfit in almost any circle, a little shy, focused on service and committed to peace – more doing what he should than banking on salvation.
But like the many people I know who label themselves either “progressive Christian” or “spiritual but not religious,” I’ve been restless.
Frankly, I can’t buy the Biblical narrative as intrepreted by modern Christianity: created, fallen, kicked out of the garden, guilty until proven innocent, God so mad about it (or loving us so much — either way it makes no sense) He (a very male God) had to kill himself to get enough pure blood to satisfy the debt (Mel Gibson and a gazillion dollar movie notwithstanding). This restlessness led me 20 years ago to a deep and prayerful, reflective read — for the rest of my life — across world religions and scriptures. There had to be more to it than just that story.
And you know what? The peace I struggled in my younger years to find by engaging the company of modern evangelical Christianity, that peace came pretty much the way I think Jesus probably found it. That peace came through practice. That peace came through, well, being at peace.
That peace was planted at the center of my heart from the very beginning, the same as it was for Jesus, for Krishna, for the Buddha, for Aunt Susie and for you, too. We were made in the image, breathed full of the very breath, given all we need. We just have to grow up, come home and rest in it.
There is scripture everywhere — in your eyes and the wings of the morning, in the song we sing.
Well, I could go on and on, but that’s what the blog’s for. Hi, and welcome. Let’s go for a walk.
© Two Trees in the Garden. All rights reserved.
Great, Jerry! Looking forward to hearing more from you!
By the way, I just came back from Arlene Geiser’s funeral. She has battled cancer for several years, so she and the family were ready for her release.
So good to hear from you, Joanne. We will be in Bluffton a day or two between July 30 and August 3. Would love to see you if you’ll be in town. And I’d like to buy a copy of your book, signed please, if you still have one.
Ran across your answer just now, after I sent you an email. So here I am again! I expect to be in town at the end of July and first of August, so just give me a call (I’m still in the phone book). And yes, I just ordered another bunch of books, so there’s one waiting for you and my pen is always at the ready.
Thank You for this gift of Sharing. I had known you were out there – just had no idea where you were currently abiding. Astounding to find it in writing and so well put. This is beautiful and much appreciated. Peace Be Still Thank You
Thanks, Linda. Glad you enjoyed it. Great to talk with you this afternoon.