Buried

BuriedToday’s Word: ‘Buried’ as in… if my nose is always buried in my phone I’ll probably miss the sunrise.

The baristas looked up when I walked in. Kacie, pulling shots like a pro, said “Good morning!” and Billy said, “Hey Paul, what’s up!” It’s become a near-daily ritual: swooping dark roast at the Caffeinated Palace. I greeted them back as I placed my order, scanned the app, then stepped aside to wait for the “sweet and intense” dark roast to appear.

My instinct, in this next moment is to look at my phone. I’m not looking for anything specific, and I don’t need any particular information. But the grooves I’ve cut, the behaviors I’ve learned lead me through a series of “gestures” that are now automatic.

With minutes to kill, extra moments to pass, and without any thought, my phone comes out, if it’s not out already. And with a tap, a flick, a swipe, a click, a pinch, or spread, or a drag, I’m pretty much lost in time that I’ll never have back. Much to my detriment.

But something different happened in this next moment.

I made the conscious decision to put my phone down, look up and notice the room; really notice the room. There were only four other customers in the store, and for one brief moment all five of us were buried in our technology. That’s a lot of tapping, flicking, swiping, clicking, pinching, spreading and dragging going on.

But as I looked around I began to notice other things: art on the walls, soft lighting in the corner next to a leather chairs, the smile on Kacie’s face, Billy’s ability to dance between the drive-through window and the Pick-Up counter.

And then there was the really beautiful sunrise going on outside.

The challenge I want to embrace is to be less a tool of my technology and more a student of my surroundings.

If my nose is always buried in my phone, and if my head is always down, I’ll never notice what’s going on all around me all the time.

And I’ll probably miss that sunrise.

#100days50words

Beginning

BeginningToday’s Word: ‘beginning’ as in… the Dream continues to create a new beginning. And that beginning continues with you. That beginning continues with me. That beginning continues with us; all of us together.

The Dream for health and wholeness that was imagined by a medical student who randomly picked up a book that was written by a writer sipping coffee one afternoon who heard a cellist playing melodies in the park where children flew kites with their families while a photographer snapped pictures, created hope because a record producer attended a dance recital while a crowd gathered to watch young dancers dance the Dream-Dance created by a dance teacher who was inspired at a dinner party by a drawing stuck to a refrigerator by a child who giggled and laughed out loud on a bus full of children on the way to school after a long night of dreaming the Dream-of-God-that-changes-everything.

Each month I gather with a group of parents preparing to celebrate the sacrament of baptism for their kiddos; the gift of God calling, naming, claiming, and surrounding them in love. They are joy-filled—every one of them as they hope for the “Dream of God” to be realized – unleashed – in and through their children. It’s only a beginning, but each time it happens it’s a new beginning! And that new beginning creates all kinds of life and more life! This new beginning continues with you. This new beginning continues with me. This new beginning continues with us; all of us together!

So let’s create the new beginning … again!

#100days50words

Healing

Healing (puzzle)Today’s Word: ‘Healing’ as in… when this Dream catches on, the hope for healing becomes a new thriving rhythm!

The story is illustrated, printed, bound and then published. The act of binding this book actually sets loose a new healing story!

Here’s what happens next: A young woman—a medical student at a university hospital, visits a local bookstore. She pulls the book from the shelf and reads the story written by the woman at the sidewalk coffee shop. Something is set loose deep within her. In that moment the disparate pieces of a medical mystery that has puzzled her and confounded her colleagues begin to come together. She drives to the laboratory. She gathers her colleagues. They organize their thoughts, they run new tests, they study the fresh findings. Finally, this young medical student and her colleagues realize that they’ve stumbled upon a possible hope for an impossible dream. It’s a new treatment for an old illness, a balm for brokenness, a remedy for a malady, a healing for heartaches. They discover a lifesaving response to a deadly disease and the Dream-of-God-that-changes-everything creates an awakening.

Something is happening: the Dream is catching on. When we dream this Dream, new stories are written and new possibilities are set loose. What’s happening is that the Dream becomes a new treatment which, in turn, could lead to healing.

And when this Dream catches on, the hope for healing becomes a new thriving rhythm.

#100days50words

Story

StoryToday’s Word: ‘Story’ as in… something happens when the Dream becomes a story.

The cellist plays music in the park; a large, green space in the midst of the city. On this beautiful day many people playing in the warm sun. A family enjoys a picnic, and as the cellist plays her music, inspired by Dream-Dance, children are flying kites. They are running, jumping, giggling and laughing out loud as their colorful kites dance in the breeze. All over the park people watch as the kites fill the sky with color and movement in this spirited Wind-Dance.

Something transformational happens as the kites dive and dance in the wind and soar to the rhythms from the cello.

Nearby, a photographer is taking pictures of the kites being flown by the children as they run, jump, giggle and laugh to the music from the cellist, whose friend in the recording studio shared the story of the Dance at a recital created by the teacher who saw the picture on the refrigerator that was illustrated with crayons and colored pencils by the little boy on the bus who overheard the little girl share The Dream.

As the cellist plays the beautiful melody, the music of the Dream-Song floats up and over the park until it reaches a young woman at an outdoor coffee shop. She is a writer. The music surrounds her, and the story that she has been struggling to create suddenly begins to emerge. In a flood of words and images, the story flows from her fingers into her laptop and onto the page.

A week later, after sharing the story with friends, one of them, a gifted speaker, retells the story to a large audience. This story is Dream-like; like no other story, like no other dream. In time, the story is illustrated, printed, bound and published.

Something is happening: the Dream is catching on. And when we dream this Dream, things happen. What’s happening is that the Dream is becoming our story. And when our story catches on, everyone begins to learn a new, thriving, rhythmic language.

#100days50words

Dance

Dance Emily JoyceToday’s Word: ‘Dance’ as in… once the Dream becomes a dance, then everyone begins to move into a thriving rhythm!

Months after the little boy’s picture winds up on the front of the refrigerator in the kitchen, his parents host a dinner party. They’ve invited some friends to join them. Several of them are standing in the kitchen, chatting away, sipping some really great wine (from the Marlborough region of South Island, New Zealand) when one of them happens to notice a drawing on the refrigerator. It is the little boy’s picture of The Dream.

One of the guests, a dance teacher, asks about it. She is inspired by the colors, the shapes, the grace and movement that she sees in this Dream-of-God-that-changes-everything picture.

Weeks later, still captivated, the dance teacher interprets the Dream-of-God-that-changes-everything picture into a Dream-of-God-that-changes-everything dance. She teaches it to a group of young dancers. One of them, a young man, dances the Dream-Dance at a recital. There is a large audience, including the oldest brother of one of the Dream dancers who watches with rapt attention. He is inspired, moved to tears by the Dream-Dance.

In time, back in the studio, he describes the Dream-Dance to a friend who plays the cello. Something is happening: the Dream catches on. When we dream this Dream, things begin to change.

What’s happening is that the Dream is becoming a dance. And when the Dance catches on, everyone begins to move in into a thriving rhythm.

#100days50words

Imagination

Imagination

Today’s Word: ‘Imagination’ as in… this Dream will spark some imagination.

Okay, so let’s imagine a room full of parents who have a life full of kids. The Dream-of-God-that-changes-everything unleashed in the lives of all of these kids is the bright, sundrenched, powerful, transformational, Spirit-breathed, other-worldly, and at the same time, very purposefully ‘this-worldly’ dream that God wishes to set loose in their lives. I believe that any one or all of the kids represented in any room full of moms and dads could, at any moment themselves, dream the Dream-of-God-that-changes-everything.

Let’s use our imagination with this.

A little girl crawls into her warm bed one night and falls fast asleep. She has a dream – it’s the Dream-of-God-that-changes-everything. The next morning she runs to the bus stop and tells her friend about The Dream. The Dream catches on as those two little girls sit together on the bus on their way to school. They’re giggling and laughing out loud, catching the attention of other kids around them. When one of the other kids on the bus asks, “What are you giggling and laughing out loud about?” the little girl describes The Dream-of-God-that-changes-everything in riveting detail and in living color!

There is a little boy sitting in a seat three rows back who overhears the ‘giggling and laughing out loud’ conversation.

Several days later, unable to get The Dream out of his head, he takes out a piece of drawing paper and with some crayons and colored pencils begins drawing a picture on that paper. It’s a picture of the Dream-of-God-that-changes-everything that he heard on the bus that the girls were giggling and laughing out loud about earlier in the week.

In time, the little boy’s picture winds up on the front of the refrigerator in his kitchen. It is held fast right there with a big magnet. The Dream catches on. Because when we dream this Dream, things begin to happen.

#100days50words

Dream

Dream

Today’s Word: ‘DREAM’ as in… we get to be Big Dreamers. So dream on!

Each month I gather with a group of parents preparing to celebrate the sacrament of baptism for their kiddos; the gift of God calling, naming, claiming, and surrounding them in love. These moms and dads have hopes and dreams for their mostly brand-new bundles of pure grace and joy that they hold so closely in their arms and so deeply in their hearts. They are joy-filled—every one of them as they hope for the “Dream of God” to be realized – unleashed – in and through their children.

During a recent gathering, I was nearly overwhelmed with the sheer sense of potential impact and transformation that any or even all of these children could have on the planet. “Following the example of Christ and empowered by God’s Holy Spirit,” these children could be the agents of hope and change, grace and newness of life that is borne out of the “Dream of God” among us.

Any one or all of them could be the ones through whom the “Dream of God” for a world at peace, the “Dream of God” for a planet free from the pain of brokenness of every kind, the “Dream of God” for the restoration of all things could finally come true.

Any one or all of them could be the ones through whom the “Dream-of-God” that brings peace out of war, love out of hate, trust out of fear, hope out of despair, truth out of falsehood, health out of sickness, wholeness out of brokenness, and even life out of death could become a reality.

It’s a big dream. And we get to be Big Dreamers.

Dream on!

#100days50words