A Wilderness Experience: When Life is All Consuming

One of the books I read in the wilderness was, Reluctant Pilgrim, by fellow Redbud, Enuma Okoro. It provided healing to my soul. Enuma and her publisher are kind enough to provide a chapter excerpt from an intimate moment in the wilderness. I pray that it blesses you as it has me.

The following is a chapter from Reluctant Pilgrim: A Moody Somewhat Self-Indulgent Introvert’s Search for Spiritual Community, by Enuma Okoro. Copyright c 2010 Fresh Air Books. Used with permission.

Lord, of heaven and earth. . . .

The night that Claire called I was getting ready for bed around 11:00 Pm. I knew something was wrong.

Continue reading “A Wilderness Experience: When Life is All Consuming”

Wilderness: What Are the Things You Need to Grieve?

Death is a word I am all too familiar with. I hate it for all the times it has visited my door and changed my world. In the past 16 years of my 33 years of living, I have lost eleven close relatives. That includes my mother and first born son whom I carried around inside of me for five months.

As a result of these devastating personal experiences, and observing the grief of others, I have come to the conclusion that the church generally (at least in practice) has a poor theology of grief. When mom died, I gave the good Sunday school answer (not because it was what I was supposed to say, but because I believed it). I rejoiced that she was now in Heaven basking in God’s glory with no more pain and suffering. Somehow the attitude of Christians and people around me was, “Everything will be okay.” After suffering a recent loss of her own, Redbud, Trillia Newbell, honestly acknowledged that “Death is not okay.” Continue reading “Wilderness: What Are the Things You Need to Grieve?”

A Wilderness Story: For Those Without Hope

I often find myself thinking about the injustices in America and how the church responds to them. Some individuals take opportunities to do what they can. Some churches are doing beautiful ministry to share the love and hope of Jesus, yet there are far too many who sit on the sidelines as spectators. Or worst, they ignore the problems because the injustices are not among their family, their friends, or the people in their church. For that reason, they simply pretend the problems do not exist, rationalize that America is the land of opportunity for all, and with self-righteousness wonder, “Why can’t they (the poor, homeless, needy, etc) simply do better?”

I am thankful that fellow Redbud and friend, Marlena Graves, is calling us to consider with compassion the marginalized in society who live in the wilderness everyday. How does God see him or her? How would God want us to respond? Read Marlena’s post here.