A year ago today, I had the honor of giving a talk at the wedding of a couple who I’ve grown close to over the past few years. The bride, Tina, teaches core connection/pilates/cardio line dancing classes at the Culver-Palms YMCA. Joy and inclusion seem to spill out of her heart, creating ever widening circles of love in our weekly workout family, which now includes an annual potluck celebration of love at my house every January. This talk meant a great deal to me because it allowed me to speak to their courtship, struggles, and the beauty and truth of marriage. Nothing gives me more pleasure than seeing how God works in and through people that they may grow in the knowledge of him.
(click to watch)
I, who live by words, am wordless when
I try my words in prayer. All language turns
To silence. Prayer will take my words and then
Reveal their emptiness. The stilled voice learns
To hold its peace, to listen with the heart
To silence that is joy, is adoration.
The self is shattered, all words torn apart
In this strange patterned time of contemplation
That, in time, breaks time, breaks words, breaks me,
And then, in silence, leaves me healed and mended.
I leave, returned to language, for I see
Through words, even when all words are ended.
Ancient Trees, 2
by Beth Moon
Fifteen years ago this month I had the opportunity to create something unlike anything I’d ever done—or had ever been done before in a church. The Renaissance Service (TM) took place on Wednesday evenings in the candlelit dark, inviting people to look to the arts as a window to the divine. There was poetry, prayer, Taize chant refrains, and a wonderful message each week about an artist or art form and how faith intersected informed them. My husband recently transferred some old video tapes onto DVD, allowing me to see for the first time one of these moments from a distance. It is only now that I realize what an awesome thing these vespers were, not only in their fullness, but as a testament to where I was in my walk with God. At the time these were created I had only been a believer for a few years. Yet this outpouring of beauty infused with the divine feels to me now like a whole life’s work. This is the gift we often call “first fruits.” If you have a little time, you might want to watch this “vintage” recording. I will still remember these services as some of the greatest evenings of my life.
Some of you may follow this blog because you like my books, or have heard me speak, or like to hear God woven into the culture in a way that sparks something in you. What you may not know is that, in the past year, I’ve become involved with some church planting/replanting work here in the City of Angels. I do this in and through a new L.A. chapter of a national organization called LINC. For the past 4 months I’ve been helping to oversee the services at a church in the West Adams area of L.A. where I am now a member. I blog about it every week or so. For those of you who are interested, you can click here and trace back the history of the past 16 weeks. It’s been quite an interesting process.
You can also find out a little bit more about LINC L.A. while you’re there. If the work speaks to you and you want to get involved somehow, drop me a line. Or, if you’d like to support the work financially, you can donate directly on the LINC L.A. site. The money will go directly to supplement the many volunteer hours I joyfully offer to HOPE, and other new ministry settings/initiatives in L.A.