Saturday, June 30, 2007


"Our inherent sense of mystery is in our irrepressible longing for something we cannot name but intensely miss. We are afflicted, or blessed, with a kind of insistent, cosmic homesickness. It comes in moments of awe and wonder at starlight or twilight, or a child's birth and unfolding, or the quiet peacefulness in an old woman's face, the surprising lift of music, a pause of self-recognition in Shakespeare, or the opening of the world in a line of poetry."
— Ted Loder in The Haunt of Grace: Responses to the Mystery of God's Presence

Friday, June 29, 2007

A Sonnet

Refelcting on my time in Jamaica (I was just reading the four-part blog from my April trip), I was remined of other times when I've gone to the ocean and heard God's voice and felt him calling me to himself and then I was remined of these words I'd strung together a number of years ago. As the title states, this is a "sonnet" -- a poetic form I like to write because of the disipline of the form. That may surprise some of you who know how much I like to not wear shoes or how often I color outside the lines.


To walk where earth and sky and sea collide
while roaring surf breaks forth in chorus bright

and bold, belonging to the dark of night

as much as light of day (no need to hide)

is to, for one short breath, encounter One

whose salty breath and roaring laughter shout

to all whose hearts long for the shade of doubt

to fall forever to eternal sun

And then to see sweet morning drops of dew

on swaying grass as light turns past to morn—

Awake my soul! And with the truth adorn

thyself, for it is time for Lover’s woo

A prayer. A word. Toes sunk in swirling sand,

Head lifted high, I take my Lover’s hand

©2003 Ruth D. Hubbard

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Gumballs and the B3P

You must be full of questions.

First, B3P is short for the Bibleless Peoples Prayer Project. For twenty-five years now, Wycliffe has been inviting people to make a commitment to a single minority language community somewhere in the world which was yet without God's Word in the language they understand best. These B3P partners pray regularly that God will prepare the people in this community to receive His Word, that God will prepare and call people to do the language development work that includes translation of the Word, and that God will use His Word to engage worshippers from this community in a global hallelujah.

This "Bibleless Peoples Prayer Project" has connected thousands of people with thousands of communities. While Wycliffe technically counts a project "started" when language development begins in the language, we really believe that Bible translation begins as soon as the first person begins intentional prayer toward that end.

And Gumballs, well...see the illustration.

But what is the connection? This will take a little imagination.

I've been brainstorming with friends -- developing some sort of visual representation of B3P for visitors to the Wycliffe Mobilization Center that will help them understand the scope of the project as well as the importance of their involvement.

I had an idea one day that was, well...ridiculous. That's the one I'm going to tell you about. (And, like MANY ridiculous ideas, it lead to something we're going to do and which I'll have to tell you about some other day.)

Let's use gumballs to represent the language communities without a translation or language development program even started. (There would be just over 2300 of those.)

Then, each year when we receive the official report of project starts, we'll get volunteers to come and start chewing the gumballs that represent those languages.

It used to be that one translation team would go and work with one language community for one lifetime. Things are changing in how we do the work, and often a translation consultant will go and work with 7 or 8 or 12 language communities all at one time.

So...some volunteers would be chewing one gumball while others might need to chew 7 or 8 or 12. (These projects are often called "cluster" projects.)

Another new way of working that is proving effective is to have a team of specialty consultants working with a dozen or so projects in different places -- rotating in and out as specific consultation or training is needed.

To illustrate that, we'd have to get volunteers to tag-team in their gum chewing.

And if a project went from active to inactive status...would be place the chewed gum back into the gumball machine?

Each year as we receive announcements of Scriptures being completed, printed and delivered...would we take that gum from the volunteers with weary jaws and make a sculpture out of it? Yes!

Of course, this is so...NOT going to happen.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I love to laugh

I can tell so much about myself -- my state of mind and heart -- by whether and how and why I laugh. You too?

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Difference Between - PART TWO (illustrated)

Photoshop lets me illustrate myself. Take a photograph -- a digital representation of a reality that (because we've been trained and become adept at reading 2-dimensional images and seeing the 3-dimensional reality they imply) "looks real."

What happens when I look at this flower through a colored lens? What happens when my own perspective (world-view) asserts itself on reality?

Wearing 30% opaque lenses, the flower is partially transformed. Compromised in its clarity. And we all know from our psychology classes and sociology classes that we each wear these glasses and do see through a glass dimly. Even Paul stated that in one of his letters to the Corinthian church which must have been filled with people wearing all different colored lenses.

Maybe that's one of the reasons that a community made up of people with similar lenses through which they see the world is "easier" because there is less conflict -- but also more dangerous because they start to think that what they see is the truth.

Then there are the contrarians among us -- the ones who force us to defend and clarify by stating such dramatic difference that we can't write it off to a variation of reality. The are not looking through a colored lens; they are redefining the norm as other.

And if you like blue, this is just as beautiful -- but it is not true, is it? I think the contrarian can be frustrating or even dangerous -- but I also think she can be valuable in a world where everyone is rutted in their own distortions. This person can offend with dogmatic otherness or she can expand us with "what if" and "could it be that."

Modern artist, often accused of painting non-reality often defended themselves by saying that they were painting a deeper or greater reality than what showed on the surface. One person applying "right and wrong" while another applies "chocolate and vanilla."

For the sake of peace in the land, some would identify the issue to be that of color -- that we can't be sure that what I see as red is the same as what you see as read and with culturally tinted lenses we're all doomed to eternal conflict. The answer is to remove the color. Clarify by simplifying.

Now, by removing the conflict cause by the complexity of color (and color is very complex in some ways), we have reduced the discussion to a more manageable one -- flower or cow or rainbow or toe and we all agree: FLOWER.

But there will be those who, undone by degrees of difference that express themselves in the subtle shades of grey, require polarization: either/or is the only way to see and be.

I may find little or now beauty or mystery or life in this, but I'm certain of what is black and what is white and I can easily align myself on a side.

Those who insist that EVERYTHING must be seen and judged this way (because some things are and must be) force those who know that tones and hues exist to rebut by declaring that NOTHING is so simple as this.

Peace makers look for compromise. They might be wooed by simplified color with clear lines of difference and less choices.

But this, too, is distortion. Legalism. When I was immature, I needed rules to simplify my choosing. As I grow in wisdom, I am more able to see subtleties and shades. I am more able to choose among a multitude of choices.

The Difference Between - PART ONE

The difference between good and great; busy and too busy; funny and hysterical.
That difference is measured in degrees.

The difference between good and evil; truth and deception; light and darkness.
That difference is measured in direction.

The difference between chocolate and vanilla; cotton and wool; paper and plastic; Apple and Dell.
That difference is measured by preference and priority and purpose.

So, I'm wondering why we confuse these different kinds of difference.

Friday, June 22, 2007

June 22nd E.Postcard Update

If you click on this image, it will open in a new browser window in it's full size which should be easier to read.