Dee's Blog
Tue 03/25/2008
Being Reflective Rather than Reactive
Topic: Making Decisions

It is SO difficult for me to wait for a truth to be revealed, as I listen with empathy to the struggles of others.  I so much want to see things fixed, to see the student learn, to see the sick person find health and well-being, to help achieve a fast cure of an ill in society.  To see our institutions be something that the institution just can't possibly produce without a massive amount of work.  Because the problems that I see as so simple at times are really incredibly complex.

How I want to believe that my only speaking or writing the right words is going to produce something magical.  We are told that we can move mountains if we only have faith.  I really believe this is true--provided our faith is a mature faith, rather than one that sees a life and a theology that is constantly moving forward without regression. 

Our societies and out institutions, just as we as individuals, change very slowly at best.  Sometimes not at all.

So here we are again:  Praying for the wisdom to know the difference between what we can realistically change and what we cannot.  And being content to stand in the "tragic gap," even as we are in the process of sorting it out.


Posted by Dee Ann Miller at 12:01 AM CDT
Mon 03/24/2008
Two Similar Errors
Topic: Making Changes

Parker Palmer declares that standing in the "tragic gap" requires that we hold the tension between what is and the new possibilities that our souls are opening to see.  Basically, it's accepting the things that we cannot change because of where we are.  Rather than making  the primitive choices of either fight or flight.

Oh, how difficult it is to stand in that state of waiting!  Acting and speaking in ways that hold the tension, without demanding a change that cannot be at this time. 



Posted by Dee Ann Miller at 9:29 PM CDT
Sun 03/23/2008
Going to Deeper to Rise Higher
Mood:  happy
Topic: Power

As you celebrate Easter, may you find transcendence that allows you to leave the mundane behind.  Even as you enlarge the list of what is truly mundane.  May you think of higher things in a way that only transcendence allows you to do. 

Happy Easter!

Posted by Dee Ann Miller at 12:01 AM CDT
Fri 03/21/2008
Choosing to Embrace the Struggle
Topic: spirituality

The struggle that we choose to embrace is always an important one. It is embracing the struggle that is the most difficult part of the process.  We crucify ourselves when we choose not to do so. 

Posted by Dee Ann Miller at 12:01 AM CDT
Thu 03/20/2008
Re-Framing the Storms of Life
Topic: spirituality

The grace of God often comes to me as I am able to see the problems I have NOT had. Through this, I can see the luxuries that are mine, even in the midst of the storms.

Posted by Dee Ann Miller at 12:01 AM CDT
Wed 03/19/2008
The Promises
Topic: spirituality

What I believe about God's promises is that we have been taught a shallow version of the promises and a shallow version of God. We have been taught--as heretical as this may sound--to depend too much on the external and not enough on the god or God (however a survivor needs to write that, at a particular point in the journey). As opposed to finding the god or God within us that has been there since the day we were born. This is much deeper than the God we found at some point of conversion or transformation. The institutional church has made the same mistake, so that "just leave it in the hands of the Lord" becomes the watchword as we expect God to come down and zap things into being okay.

Posted by Dee Ann Miller at 12:01 AM CDT
Tue 03/18/2008
Rising Above the Story
Topic: spirituality

More and more of you, dear readers, seem to be choosing to embrace the journey of struggle in order to rise above the story. A place where we find new meaning for divine promises and test the promises that may not be God's, actually, but got attributed to God by people who were themselves struggling to either write or translate. We are all writers and translators, as I see it, of what we have experienced within ourselves, what we continue to test because of a mature faith that does not need all of the answers that fundamentalism teaches us we HAVE to have.

Posted by Dee Ann Miller at 12:01 AM CDT
Mon 03/17/2008
Take Up That Bed!
Topic: spirituality

One of the beauties of social activism, a beauty that I see as both spiritual and social, is that over time people find the means and the anger required to speak out about injustice. When our voices are loud enough and persistent, which I hope is shown in How Little We Knew, though I really had so much to learn when I wrote that (and still do)....when our voices are loud enough and persistent enough, we no longer have to see the institutional church or anyone else taking any action in order for us to be whole and more alive than we've ever been. This is the "take up thy bed and walk" part that doesn't need the church to find restoration and resurrection for us to move to higher ground. We learn to find it without the institutional church, in most instances. Or in spite of it. In outer space. Ironically, when we find the resurrection in outer space (in other words, with new eyes that act creatively because we are uniquely made in the image of God), ONLY then do we find resurrection in the inner spaces!

Posted by Dee Ann Miller at 8:49 AM CDT
Fri 03/14/2008
Topic: spirituality

It just dawned on me that the secret for changing the world is for each of us to learn to be good actors.  That sounds a bit flaky, coming from someone who espouses good health and abhors hypocrisy.

Yet it is not hypocrisy to act in loving, caring ways, even when we are struggling with our own inner turmoil.  Not unless we are neglecting to also act in loving and caring ways toward ourselves so that we can grow and become more mature and healthy.

Finding the balance of caring and loving people far away that we may never have even met, caring and loving for people in our communities, and doing the same in our families and toward those in our direct care, all while not forgetting to care and love ourselves first.   Yes, I said FIRST. 

It sounds SO uncaring and unloving.   Yet it's the most Christian thing, I'm convinced, and the healthiest things that we are called to do. 

For many people, it's the most difficult of all. 

Go love and care deeply this weekend as you think on these things.

Posted by Dee Ann Miller at 8:13 AM CDT
Thu 03/13/2008
The Tragic Gap
Topic: spirituality

Parker Palmer, on NPR's Word to Word yesterday, touched something so deep within me that I spent half the night tossing and turning as I did some positive wrestling with it's message. 

 He invited me and others to dare trying to stand in what he calls "the tragic gap," which he says is not at all tragic.  Yet definitely daunting, a place from which I believe most people would prefer to run.

I'm deferring to that program today.  Please, if you can find time at all, listen to this program today:

It will probably be the subject of this blog for at least a day or two.


Posted by Dee Ann Miller at 9:33 AM CDT

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