The sighting of a “We Are Penn State” bumper sticker recently started me thinking: Every sticker, paw logo, and Nittany Lion golf club cover reflects Penn State’s success in building people’s enthusiasm for branding themselves with this institution. It’s considered an honor to support the university, to promote publicly, “I love Penn State!”
But as accusations, convictions and cover-up details have unfolded in the Jerry Sandusky scandal, the wider Penn State community has had its sense of branding shaken. What does it mean to identify oneself with Penn State now, in a time when the university’s character reeks more than usual of cronyism and a distorted perspective of “humane” action?
Dear God, I’m discouraged and I’ve been taking it out on you, making you the divine punching bag at which I direct my hurt and uncertainty. (No wonder my soul aches from so much fighting.) Help. Please. Teach me in the ways of making peace with the unknown. Train my restlessness to have focus. Amen.
“What is common to all of us is the spiritual block: the experience of spiritual stiffness, the soul’s standstill in the midst of life’s unfolding, that place where the air is stale except perhaps for a recurring mirage. The reasons for finding ourselves in such a place are many, but we have in common the experience of wrestling through it. When we do not engage or contend with our spiritual blocks, stiffness sets in. At that point for me, writing becomes necessary to stretch my spirit, to pull against the paralysis, to feel the burn of easing those tight places.”
Continuing reading my reflection for Weavings‘ blog here.
1. Because fall is coming, and your Christian Ed committee is looking for new resources.
2. Because you want to encourage your grandchild’s or niece’s or nephew’s prayer life.
3. Because The Midwest Book Review called Writing to God: Kids’ Edition “the best news for church educators, parents, and kids since Sunday school picnics were begun” in its April 2012 issue of Children’s Bookwatch.
4. Because you’re looking for some creativity and playfulness in your own prayer life.
5. Because you’re a pastor, and you can tell from the book excerpt that Writing to God: Kids’ Edition can inspire many ideas for leading Children’s Time in worship.