A person in our church was complaining bitterly and threatening to leave the church. His power and influence were waning and he was lashing out. After prayer and reflection, I decided that confrontation would escalate the situation into a polarizing fight. Instead of confrontation, he needed space. Like a child throwing a tantrum, he needed to cry it out and regain his composure.
The dream of a ladder linking earth to heaven is surely
among the most familiar images of biblical literature. From "We are Climbing
Jacob's Ladder" to "Stairway to Heaven," the idea has been deeply embedded in
our collective consciousness.
You, Jacob—the one fleeing from that seriously peeved and smelly galoot of a brother (whose face will eventually resemble God's face). You rushed toward that as-yet-unmet sweet cousin of your mother. Your birthright was bought and paid for, your blessing slyly played for. Make no mistake. The Trickster will be tricked, for every round goes higher, higher.
When I sit with the Washington Post and my morning coffee, I have a sense that I’m hovering on a threshold; like many Americans, I remember September 11 and feel as if I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Romans 8 sharpens my eyes to see more clearly a hope I cannot see on my
own. Paul has a way of encouraging me to peek over his shoulder. He
shares his spectacles of faith so that I can see with him—through the
immediate, into a wide-open country of all living hope.