Walking home from a film viewing tonight David and I saw a homeless (?) man going through a garbage can on the street corner. He looked pleased as he pulled a book from the trash. It was a Q group study booklet. The title was "Engaging Culture in a Post-Modern World." He put the book in his backpack and wandered off. There was something surreal about the moment. I'm still wondering what he thought about the message of the book.
If only you could see me now. I am sitting, staring, watching my computer screen do nothing. My mind looks like it has turned to mush, but it hasn’t. Perhaps a better metaphor would be this: my mind is whirling the multi-colored wheel of overload that you see on your Mac sometimes. In my past experience that wheel of “death” as we call it in our house comes just before a major system shut down. Yes, that’s an accurate metaphor. I’ll need a major system shutdown before long.
Q does that to you.
Today my brain has reengaged with Bobette Buster on the development of story, learned about systems and chaos as applied to artwork, pondered what works of art will be trophies laid down at Jesus feet and learned why the question of same-sex marriage is really the wrong question to be asking in the first place. I’ve learned that more and more people choose “none” to describe their religion of choice, and also learned that as a woman it’s finally appropriate to speak in terms of callings. I’ve pondered mental illness and the role of friendship in overcoming it. And all that before lunch.
I’ve met people transforming culture, transforming poverty, transforming our responses to both culture and poverty. In fact, everyone seems to be transforming something at Q. Perhaps Bobette was right when she said that every good story is about reinvention or redemption.
In the middle of it all, my city was bombed. The spot where I bring my visitors to see the finish line, where we joke about finally crossing the marathon line.
It’s all a little much to process today. So perhaps I won’t. Instead…here you can read some of my favorite quotes from the day.
“At the time of his death, 2/3 of Steve Job’s fortune was made from Story. Silcon Valley was just landfill.” — Bobette Buster
“Art comes from freedom within limits.” — Linnea Spransey
“From an economic standpoint, society can not afford the breakdown of the family.” — Dale Kuehne
“Secrets lose power when they exit the dark.” — Rebekah Lyons
“Story is the most powerful thing we possess. Story leads to awareness. Awareness leads to attitude change. Attitude change leads to action. Never say it’s ‘just an awareness campaign.'” — Jason Russell
“What if what we’ve been led to expect out of life — the New American Dream of realizing perfection — is false? What if the people who told it to us are wrong? Is there more to life?” –Tim Chaddick
“Have we exposed the country to such a weakened virus of Christianity that we’ve vaccinated them instead of infecting them?” — Richard Sterns
“The most dangerous word in the gospel is TODAY.” — Margaret Feinberg
“Go visit the holy sepulcher. But then get out. What are you going to do where He is not?” — Father Elias Chocour
“What if…the church were to participate in the creation of the best of everything? What if….we realized that the future is the integration and coming together of human will and Divine art?” — Erwin McManus
“Realize that others will never care about your vision the same way you do. And that’s OK.” — Brad Lomenick