Sitting here a few days before we really launch into the spring trimester, I'm struck by all of the papers I wrote last term. I find that as I get them back, I've actually forgotten that I wrote much of what I wrote. Not that I forgot the content, per se - but amidst the mess of this place I simply forgot that I had set myself down and tried to put my thoughts on paper. Amazingly some of my thoughts feel new even to me.
All along we've been asked to explore our personal hermeneutic. I was just as confused by that term when I started as many of you might be now - so I've created a diagram. I've also congealed my personal hermeneutic down into five movements. Over the next few days I thought I'd go through it movement by movement. Movement one begins now...
movement 1 - the beginning
The world has been spoken.
A single heart breaks.
A great wind comes.
Thousands of pieces are scattered across the universe.
A blanket of fog covers the tiny planet.
With a weary soul and some very worn out shoes, I have begun the search to recover the pieces of my heart. The problem is that most of the time I cannot see exactly where I am going. My vision is impaired; I cannot see clearly. I am confused and unsettled.
I am an artist.
Through the fog, I am inclined to see the world in terms of beauty and despair. It's an artist's job to constantly observe and explore new things and to discover new ways to look at old things. I am an explorer, forever wondering how things can be done differently or better. My heart beats fast when I consider the idea that we could be more than we are. I believe that God is wild, creative and mysterious, so the God I see doesn't make much sense. I am in love with awkwardness and while I'm not always comfortable with God's craziness, I am inspired and awed by it. My heart sees both humor and sadness. My heart sees the light and the dark. I do find that this place of seeing can be rather lonely, however. In a world that demands comprehension, especially concerning unseen deities, I often find myself in a place of aloneness for I want to experience God, not explain Him. While an explanation can change your mind, only an experience can change your heart.
Because I have experienced some abuse in my childhood, my hermeneutic is pervaded by feelings of justice, advocacy, and protection. I seek to challenge those that are in power and rise up those who are not. I long to protect those who are unable or unwilling to protect themselves. I feel called to be an advocate for hearts that feel they don’t have a voice or have been told not to speak.
In the end, my hermeneutic is coated with the tension between hope and fear. I have found that I seem to have more hope for others than I have for myself. While this ratio continues to level itself out, I am fearful to have more hope than I already have. My fear is that if I have real hope and things actually change, that I will then be held responsible and accountable for that change. My hermeneutic centers around this idea in what I refer to as my “dot of hope.” It is a little white dot that sits in the center of my heart calling me back to who I was made to be. Thus, I cannot help but see the texts I encounter in light of my little white dot. While my dot of hope may not seem like much, according to Jesus, it is all that I need.