Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Porch Stories: 15 years

On this week's virtual Porch Stories and in their actual lives, Kristin and Greg Taylor celebrate 15 years of marriage—you can read about their very mature anniversary plans for an awesome reflection of Kristin's "Seeking God as the Author of Every Story" blog description!

desert spirit's fire porch stories – 15 years: mercy roads

desert spirit's fire @ 15: Mercy Roads


Most years I write a blogoversary post; officially and formally desert spirit's fire debuted on the middle day of July – the 16th – but it feels providential that I didn't post closer to that day, because 2017 marks this blog's 15th year, making it the perfect subject for my own Porch Story today.

Fifteen years ago I'd very recently finished a year-long certificate in Community Economic Development. After too many rough, tough, disappointing years, when I excitedly began the CED program I believed it would help me re-enter a life of meaningful service to the city and to society. Two months after graduation, I still held that conviction. In the decade plus since then, Planet Earth's itinerary has included a national and global economic downturn that's affected all individuals and entities other than the ultra-rich and super-wealthy. Along with financial struggles, I'm still (yes, "still") trying to grieve other losses and situations that turned out very other than I'd minimally anticipated.

And there I will meet with you, and I will speak with you from above the mercy seat... Exodus 25:22a

Martin Luther tells us the cross of Calvary is God's Mercy Seat or Gnadenstuhl— God's Throne of Grace and Mercy where God meets us where we are, how we are, rains boundless mercies and offers resurrection hope.

A Porch Story tends to be the type of testimony of God's faithfulness we'd recount sitting on a porch with a friend or enjoying lunch in a kitchen or at a café. In other words, most porch stories are about the little incidents and mini-moments that remind us of God's presence, that fuel and fill us so we can keep talking the talk, walking the walk.

You know how the Apostle Paul frequently lists the many disasters, shipwrecks, and other calamitous adversities he'd experienced? At least once, maybe twice in this blog I've mentioned in passing I've been through a few "Pauline-style" catastrophes, too! {Maybe especially as a woman and} in the interest of keeping on keeping on, I've done my best to sail through and hardly mention them at all to anyone.

Let's turn that around?! Truthfully – yes, really – over the course of these fifteen years, along city streets, suburban byways, urban freeways and a few country roads, other wayfarers have offered me grace-filled surprises of welcome, hospitality, and participation. Other pilgrims have put aside their druthers to rain solace, mercy, friendship, love, and inclusion on me. Is looking to the neighbor's needs rather than insisting on our own not the way of the cross? Has that not been God's call to God's people for all times and in all places? Last fall when we had several lectionary readings from Jeremiah and Deuteronomy, I talked with my adult Sunday School class about neighborology—the word about the neighbor—that's central to Torah. Neighborology that encountered us right where we lived when the guy asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor" with Jesus' reply, "A guy was going down to Jericho..."

Who has been a neighbor to you? How have you been a neighbor? Who has shown God's mercy to you? To whom have you offered grace? What are a few of your mini-moment porch stories that fuel you along the way, fill others as they journey, to keep talking the talk and walking the walk?

porch stories button

2 comments:

Sue Donaldson said...

love that word: neighborology! having 7 in in 15 minutes -and we will share mini-moments with God to encourage our souls and egg strate and nectarine crisp for the tummy.

Beth Willis Miller said...

Love, love, love this post...I have had a "neighbor" who is also my best friend and prayer partner for 18 years...we meet once or twice a week for lunch and have a time for sharing and praying...we encourage each other in keeping our eyes focused on Jesus as we pray and seek His will in our lives and our families lives...thank you for stopping by my post on Niagara Fall grace...many blessings to you ❤️