Posted tagged ‘C.S. Lewis’

The Pastor’s Nursery

September 20, 2015

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                                  September 19, 2015


When I walk into my office at the church I pastor I need to step around the rocking chair, and then side step the rocking horse. It’s an obstacle course to get to my desk. Avoid the squeaky rabbit and the weathered doll baby. Toddler toys are huddled together in a corner whispering about life…right behind the changing table.

Not a typical situation, but one that I’m adjusting to. Our roof leak over part of the usual nursery childcare area has caused multiple examples of improvising. For a couple of weeks the babies and toddlers are surrounded by Bonhoeffer, C.S. Lewis, and Tozer. Perhaps the theology and examples of sacrifice will sink in!

Our nursery workers are scheming. I’ve heard them talking about switching my desk chair with the low-riding rocking horse. Nursery pranksters!

Adjusting. An essential part of being a community of faith is “adjusting.” Demanding preferences that are not rooted in God creates division and tension. Adjusting to the flow of the community enhances mission and ministry.

There are numerous opportunities for the fellowship of followers to practice a new spiritual discipline that I’ll call “yielding.” In the past it has been referred to in different ways…serving, fellowship, even worship. But kind of like the World History textbook we used to have in high school where you never quite got to the end of the book before summer vacation, “yielding” is that spiritual practice we never quite get to because of all the other things that we’re focusing on.

How do you yield? Put a rocking horse in your normal daily pathway and you’ll either kick it or take a side-step. We all need a few “rocking horses” in our lives, but especially in the tugging and pulling of a congregation.

Tomorrow morning when I open my office door and “Trigger” is hunched there ready to gallop it will make me think, and remember once again, that it’s not all about me!

When the roof leak situation has been remedied and the changing table goes back to the nursery down the hallway I may keep the horse for a while. It helps me keep perspective!

Coffee With Jesus…Fifth Cup

July 19, 2014

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                    July 19, 2014




I brought a clean coffee cup with me today to drink some java with Jesus. I have a heavy population of coffee cups in my life. Today’s mug-of-the-day features a Far Side cartoon on the outside that reminds me of the funnier side of life.

“I like your coffee mug,” Jesus says as we sit down.

‘It’s a Far Side cartoon!”

“Yes…I can see that!”

“And you like it?”

“Why wouldn’t I?”

“Because Far Sides can sometimes be a little…what’s the word…borderline irreverent.”

“That’s two words, and I usually laugh out loud at Far Sides, or, what’s the term? LOL!”

“OMG! Jesus using social media terms!”

“Excuse me, Billy Dean! But people take themselves too seriously too often. Perhaps there needs to be more LOL moments in people’s lives. The last time we chatted we talked about what makes your soul sing. My guess is that laughter is music for your soul.”

“Yes, usually! Not laughter at the expense of someone else, but laughter that comes out of life moments.”

“Far Side moments, so to speak.”

“Exactly! Moments that give me a glimpse that I’m still child-like.”

“Being reminded that you are a child of God.”

“I don’t want to say I’m totally sure on this one, but I’d like to think God has a sense of humor.”

“Why would you think he doesn’t?”

“Because he’s God!”

“He created aardvarks, didn’t he?”

“Good point.”

“…and prune juice!”

“Another good point. But prune juice is good for you.”

“But prune juice is disgusting…even to me.”

“But it shows that God has a sense of humor?”

“Hey, there’s a lot of jokes related to prune juice.”

“As long as you’re not the one drinking it!” I look down at my coffee mixture. I would never have thought that I’d be talking to Jesus about Far Side cartoons and prune juice.

“Remember when I asked that question back a few cups of coffee ago…how is it with your soul?” I give a nod of recognition. “A soul that echoes that it is well is a soul that allows itself to laugh.”

“Let me understand this a little bit, because you’re not necessarily talking about an audible chuckle or uncontrollable laughter.”

“Sometimes they emerge in those ways, but I’m talking about when you allow the presence of the Holy to delight you. Does that ever happen?”

“To use an analogy, kind of like when a Far Side cartoon grabs you for a moment. It’s a brief experience in…surprise.”

“Ahhh…surprise! That’s an interesting word to use to describe it. There was a book written a number of years ago entitled Surprised By Joy.”

“C.S. Lewis.”

“Yes. It seems that our conversation has brought us back a ways to some of the experiences of his life.”

“It’s quicker to summarize a far Side cartoon than a book, Jesus.”

“Perhaps the laughter of the soul is not so much about quickness as it is about contemplation.”

“Kind of like a cup of coffee, not to be gulped, but rather sipped.”

“Or a fine glass of water that’s been turned into wine!”

“As opposed to a glass of prune juice that you want to get down as quickly as possible.”

“A disturbing image for the mind, Bill!”