Phlebotomic is a blog experiment that seeks to gather multiple perspectives around a common prompt, which is provided weekly.

Last week's prompt was "Beauty"...

This week's prompt is "Path"...

12 January 2009

Blue - the vast expanses and Memphis tunes

Well, this is my first ever attempt at writing a blog post. I have read many, wanted to create my own, and now my often disjointed and enigmatic and always eclectic thoughts will be laid bare for all to read. That is a very scary yet freeing thought. I hope I can add something worthwhile to this fellowship. Thanks for the opportunity to bleed. Anyway, on to the prompt.

When I read the prompt, the things that immediately popped up were the sky and the ocean. Two vast expanses that have created a sense of wonder and awe in mankind since our creation. I am sure we have all felt the smallness looking up at the clear blue of a summer day, and realizing that beyond what we can see is our galaxy, then others, on into the ever expanding universe. Or the feeling of standing on the shore looking out toward the horizon and realizing how tiny we are compared to the enormousness of the azure water. Two reminders of how small, frail, weak and needy we are. I always watch birds and fish with envy, as they can move so effortlessly through the expanse of the air or water, cutting and flowing through the blueness with a gracefulness that even the most highly tuned athlete cannot match. This forces me to realize my own limitations, as for all we are as men, we cannot do what these creatures can. At the same time of showing our limitations and paucity of strength, the sky and ocean also show the power of God, and how He has provided and bestows so much to us. We are so tiny and small, yet He cares for us, blesses us with so much, and allows us to come into His presence. How totally amazing is He! From the sky comes warmth, light, and the end result of weather, and from the sea comes the first part of the weather, food, and the ability to maintain our planet's climate where we can survive (for now, but that is another post for another day). Both are representative of God's vastness and strength and our weakness, yet also show His caring nature that we derive all of what makes us survive from these two "blues." We can use these as a means of travel, to connect worldwide as a total community of believers. These are what connect us together, just as the love of God and Christ His Son link us.

Also, as a former Memphis inhabitant, "blue" brings up visions of Beale Street, with musicians laying bare their soul. Todd Agnew has a song, "On a Corner in Memphis," about how real people are when they sing a secular song, especially a blues song, and how they "lay down their pride, showing us their story, or at least their side." And yet, in church, or in small group, or with an accountability partner, we put up a facade of perfection, and hide the raw, visceral truth of our struggles, doubts, and fears. We hide our failures and worries, too consumed with our putting up our front of being normal and okay. We are frightened of being rejected or of being ridiculed or of being real. His point is that if we all dropped the facade, and were real with each other, true growth and community could and would happen. What if we all realized that we are all broken, and only through transparency and openness can we truly represent Christ to each other and to the world? "What if Sunday School was on Saturday night, on a Corner in Memphis?" What would happen? I hope one day we can all see........


  1. Socrates said "the unexamined life is not worth living." I find that there is an increasing reality that people are not consciously hiding behind a facade as much as subconsciously fearful of discovering for themselves who they really are, what they really are and how they feel about life. It's a self-blindness and avoidance. Now that's a real tragedy! How do we promote community and transparency with relational zombies?

  2. We can only create and foster an environment where openness is encouraged, and judgement is not the first thing people feel. Then, they can "come as they are" and leave different. The Holy Spirit has to actually cause the transparency and desire to share and be shared to. Otherwise, the zombies win!

  3. Leave different in the sense that they have experienced grace and forgiveness, felt the love and peace that Christ offers, and want to have that relationship. Most definitely NOT the sense that they conform to what the other broken humans want, not wearing the same clothes, same hair, same manner of speaking etc. This is not a leaving your personality behind to become a "holy clone" wearing a suit and tie hiding behind another facade, rather a spiritual change from the impact of meeting Christ.

  4. I sometimes think one of the lost arts so effectively mastered by Jesus was that of posing the right questions. Rabbi Yeshua seemed to wield simple questions like samurai swords that cut the facade of self-delusion and reveal the real person, real question and real heart. To make someone known, offer yourself as known, reveal the known Christ - there's a kinetically-charged situation!

    Paul - what goes into creating this environment that you speak of? how do I build it, taste it, feel it, arrive at it?

  5. hmm... ya.

    "representative of God's vastness and strength"

    not in context, but that statement got me thinking about just how small a glimmer of reflection we might be...