Advertisement

Fellowship of Saints and Sinners

Fellowship of Saints and Sinners

Spongebob, God Pumping Iron and Thoughts on Growing Older

Advertisement

Photo credit: The Guardian

Photo credit: The Guardian

[Apologies for the delay in posts: technical difficulties on the heels of travel and Thanksgiving have kept me away. I hope you had a great Thanksgiving! Tomorrow, our series “Holy Space” recommences with photojournalist Katie Archibald-Woodward.]

Advertisement

This past weekend I turned 38. With the advent of the late thirties, birthdays increasingly come with a tinge of mortality and a twang of melancholy when before they never did.

And there are those things I just find hard to understand about growing older….

…like how it is you can still get those juicy zits decades after you thought teenage acne was thankfully over

…or how it is that your hair starts stubbornly sprouting in places you never thought it could

…or why, when time, still measured in the same increments now seems to speed by rather than slowly meander.

But this last fact imbues the aging process with a certain sacred blessedness, too. Time in both its essence and its parts becomes so much more treasured: I want more of it, as much of it as I can fit in a day; and I find myself wanting to stop its passage more often these days or to bundle up moments.

Advertisement

And, laughter is more poignantly lovely—often filtered through the quirky remarks of my children. Like yesterday, when my 4-year-old stood at the front of a long line of pharmacy customers holding a musical Spongebob Squarepants card and giggling loudly whenever Spongebob began to shake: “Look, Mommy, Spongebob is tooting!,” she exclaimed loudly, in a continuation of a newfound obsession with potty humor. Or, when a few hours later my son explained rain on a bleak winter day as “God sweating.” (The imagery is rich on so many levels, right? God at the gym, lifting dumbbells, or on the Stairmaster.)

These things that are passing away I want to hold on to maybe stubbornly—in spite of Jesus’ admonition not to grieve such things. What happens to such things when God is making all things new?, I wonder.

Advertisement

With time, too, the embodied presence of persons is entrusted with holiness. A voice on the telephone. An embrace. A handshake. Even a brief exchange with a stranger at the grocery store. These are mystical visions of sorts themselves, as Marilynne Robinson writes in Gilead, when she realizes “there is nothing more astonishing than a human face…It has something to do with incarnation…Any human face is a claim on you, because you can’t help but understand the singularity of it, the courage and loneliness of it.”

The claim itself—of a face or person in front of me— is now stronger as I grow older. And this is a beautiful thing. Such things should not pass away, I protest, but if they must, then may they be hallowed and wonderful in their passage into all things new.

Maybe this passage and our realization of it are one aspect of sanctification.

Previous Posts

Life Is Short. Seek Faithfulness.
Within a few hours of its appearance here at this intersection between God and life, my last post on the Ashley Madison scandal had a total of one share. "It must've been something I said," I told my husband later that night, as we were ...

posted 10:01:05am Aug. 31, 2015 | read full post »

3 Quasi-Spiritual Lessons from the Ashley Madison Scandal
For those of us saints and sinners who even remotely have been following last week’s Ashley Madison scandal, I can think of at least three lessons it offers (and you may have more, in which case feel free to leave them below): 1. Chances ...

posted 6:14:59pm Aug. 27, 2015 | read full post »

John Oliver vs. Televangelists and Their "Big Seed" Prosperity Gospel
If you've not seen it, you must: John Oliver on "Last Week Tonight" offered the most brilliantly funny rebuke of televangelists and the prosperity gospel I've seen to date. Oliver doesn't mince words, including the four-letter ones, in blasting ...

posted 2:21:12am Aug. 18, 2015 | read full post »

How the Latest Revelations Re: ISIS' Systemized Sexual Violence Against Girls Remind Me I Am Not a Pacifist
As if ISIS had not already convinced us enough of its total depravity ... the latest revelations by The New York Times —(be forewarned, they are disturbing to read) — remind me why I am not a pacifist. As if turning small boys into child ...

posted 5:54:37pm Aug. 14, 2015 | read full post »

Mustard Seed Faith and a Mustard Seed Kingdom of God, Via Mary Oliver
Last ...

posted 1:47:32pm Aug. 12, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.