29 September 2005

The Narrative Genesis of Rita: A Credo

So Centenary shut down when Rita threatened, presumably (you'd think I'd have an "in" to the reasoning here since I work in the big man's office, but I don't) because they worried about losing power because of her great winds. Easier to shut things down before chaos has opportunity to ensue than manage chaos once it ensues. On the other hand, the sunny and clear weather that Monday and Tuesday brought the Shreveport-Bossier area sure did seem fine for class going, and my canceled Richard III last Friday night left me in a blank-verse bind.

Nevertheless, 2 days off = 2 days off. I celebrated by cooking and reading, among other things. . . .

Cooking: baked linguine, poppy seed chicken, chocolate pie, mom's sweet potatoes and apples, mom's stew. Hardly anything in the world makes me feel safe and warm (even if it's 90 degrees outside) like the smell of my mother's stew simmering all day long.

Reading: Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Colossians, and Lauren F. Winner's Real Sex: The Naked Truth About Chastity. The first book is in preparation for Centenary's book club meeting this Friday at Java Junction. The second book is what I'm teaching the college chicks at 7 am every Thursday. And the third book was a gift that has now officially made Lauren F. Winner my favorite Christian female writer; in fact, she might be the only one I think is actually good. Sure, you can find lots of female writers out there, and many write decently enough. You can also find lots of Christian writers out there, but few of them write decently at all.

Winner has a strong theological foundation for her discussion of the contemporary church and the communal nature of sex (yes, she really argues this, and it's rather compelling), our current phobia about discussing real issues and engaging in hard accountabilities with the Christian community. That foundation is the story of God, for which He made everything visibile and invisible. It's the narrative of redemptive history that heralds Jesus as alpha and omega, hero and lover, Word and redeemer.

I've been noticing that story of Jesus' supremacy lots lately in Scripture and in the world, and I've been telling and retelling that story often, with practical application not only to sex and sexuality but to typing and technology, magnolias and mathematics. After all, Katrina and Rita have made me love God's story, the one Paul sings in Colossians 1:15-20, more than ever before:

The Messiah is the pre-existent lord: He was before anything else, and He is lord regardless of everything else. The Father designed creation to demonstrate His lordship--the image of God suddenly had stuff to be lord over, and He ordained a time within redemptive history when that image of God would take on flesh and become the only perfect human being, living in stark contrast to the rest of us fakes. He lived like we were all supposed to live because the fullness of God dwelled gladly in Him, and He died for our sakes so that we could be reconciled in peace with the Creator, so that we could be alive to righteousness, so that we could actually be the real human beings we were made to be, so that we could share the inheritance of the saints in light, so that the Messiah is shown as having preeminence over all things.

As such, my identity is now in Him; my story is His story. The story of how I came to be doesn't begin with Temple, Texas, and my dad's old Monte Carlo, and how my parents could see the Scott and White Hospital from the end of our street, and how they drove to a small town and bought the chair that's now in my living room the week when I was born. Rather, the story of How I Came to Be is the one summarized above--that starts with the preexistent lord and ends with the preeminent lord, that writes me as just another glorious page in the exaltation of God.

Everything I do needs that filter. Jesus is the narrative genesis of everything from waking to sleeping, breakfast to dinner, food to leisure, academia to work, vocation to ministry, cosmos to romance, flora to fauna, sex to chastity. I need to think about reality through this story: the reason I do x or y is because Jesus is lord of everything.

Funny thing is, Katrina and Rita know that better than I do. Hopefully Rita's two days' vacations have shoved me into some better thinking and living than last week.

1 comment:

Grp. Capt. Mandrake said...

Lovely. Thank you Mrs. Strange.