Saturday, June 7, 2014

Hard Eucharisteo

Once again I am wakeful between 2-3 a.m.  Clearly my brain is still processing all that has happened. This story could have had a different ending for my family. Would I still be giving thanks?
Eucharisteo. Charis: at its root grace and joy. Eucharisteo: giving thanks. In ALL things. This is what Ann Voskamp calls 'hard eucharisteo.'

When I first got the news of what was happening, I went straight to my knees. Since then, I've been on my knees several times in gratitude, in questioning, in praise, in lament, in worship. We MUST be on our knees for this generation.

An SPU prof expresses just how difficult it is to process all the emotions. Beautifully said. This campus community is so strong and so filled with charis.

As I chatted yesterday with a student on Eastern's campus, who coincidentally is also named Jenny, she remarked, 'we're not safe anywhere.'  My response was, "we're not safe anywhere, but we are safe everywhere in the arms of God. He will carry us through."

My final text to Gennie last night was "Go live life!"

Friday, June 6, 2014

Pray for SPU

Please join us in prayer for the students and families at Seattle Pacific University. There was a shooting on campus yesterday. One male student has died and a female student is in intensive care after undergoing surgery last night.

Those of you who knew our girls when they were small will remember that bagels were a staple in our home.  But for a bagel, Gennie might not be here today.  

Our daughter, Gennie, is a junior at SPU and texted us late yesterday afternoon. The text that no parent wants to get: 'I'm safe. There is a shooter on campus. We're in lockdown.' She was on her way to meet a friend in the building where the shooting happened when she stopped to get something to eat, a bagel. When she arrived the police were there with one of the victims. She described seeing a lot of blood. She sheltered with other students in the building across the street until the campus was secured. Her friend hid under a table and was spared.

We are thankful for Gennie's safety but heartbroken for the victims and families.

She texted me late last night saying how much homework she still had to do for U Scholars and how she needed to finish preparing for a one question essay test today - which we have been chatting about all week - the question is "What does it mean to be human?" - this was for U Scholars - a culmination of all their science, theology and philosophy of the past 3 years.  They are to write a maximum of one page. I had shared with her earlier this week about my current devotional readings in One Thousand Gifts about how the meaning of life is to glorify and honor God (from the Westminster Shorter Catechism) to see His beauty and glory all around us and about my readings in The Pursuit of God about how the veil of self keeps us from a fuller intimacy with God.

 I assured her that classes were to be cancelled today.  I imagine the question will take on new meaning in the light of yesterday's tragedy.

"but faith is always a way of seeing, a seeking for God in everything. And if the eyes gaze long enough to see God lifted in a thing, how can the lips not offer eucharisteo? The truly saved have eyes of faith and lips of thanks. Faith is in the gaze of a soul" Ann Voskamp

Please join us in praying for this CCCU school and the students and families. This is the beginning of finals weeks for the students and graduation is scheduled for a week from tomorrow. Obviously classes are cancelled today and there is another prayer service on campus at noon. I am convinced that our prayers for this generation are vital.

God's grace and mercy be with us all.