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Fit for the Kingdom

What makes us fit? A good fit?
Our shape? Size? Color? Language? Nationality?
Our behavior? Net worth? Service record?
Our church membership? Community service? Volunteer hours?
Our education? Employment? Contribution?

Is it
How many lives we’ve touched?
How many stories we’ve listened to?
How many hands we’ve held?
How many sacrifices we’ve made?
How many gifts we’ve given?
What we’ve done? What we’ve left undone?

Is it
How much we pray?
How often we meditate?
How acquainted we are with God? a Higher Power? a Supreme Being?
How many Bible verses we can quote?
How obedient we are?
How dutiful, faithful, diligent?

What makes us fit for the Kingdom? a good fit in the Kingdom?

Our Creator does.
The One who knows the shape of the Kingdom space we were created to fill.
What does Creative shaping feel like?

A spin-whirl-hum, twirling,
A pinch-push-pull, settling,
A chisel-whittle-hone, admiring,
A plant-water-fertilize, tending, 
A spark-breath-glow, emerging

Going, grasping, gauging,
growing, glowing,
round and round, in and out,
down and up and toward.
All for the want of light.

The light of love pulls us 
Extends us
Stretches us
Prods us

When darkness comes,
Love reaches for us.

Our hand fits perfectly in This hand.
Our body nestles perfectly into This bosom.
Our soul rests perfectly in This soul.
In our Creator’s image, we fit.
We always fit.

“I declare my courage to participate in the building of the reign of God that is in the world and in me.” ~ Henri J.M. Nouwen with Nathan Ball


When Chemistry became Biology

What are we made of?

night sky

photo by Michael Halloran

the stuff of stars
the elements of the periodic table
concocted of chemicals that explode,
ions that interact,
molecules that relate.

We are the stuff of life.
No more, no less
and yet.

we think, and move
and have our being.

Somehow we animated,
went from sketch to living color.
Our chemistry became biology,
we moved from dead in our tracks
to alive and well.

Well, not so well.

Our chemistry is faulty, we say,
prone to pesticides and processed to pieces.
Our environment does us in, we say,
nothing to be done about the ways of the world.
Our bodies betray us, we say,
resenting the long hours and little pay.

Who would fault us for losing hope in them?

the One who made us,
who imagined our being.

The chemist who
connected our elements,
shaped our molecules,
formulated our reactions,
exploded our contents.

This One,
the only one present when
our chemistry became our biology.

When we came to life.

What would I wear to a job interview with the Creator?

I am mailing a package at the Exxon station down the road, (Yes, they are the only place without a line at the first of the year.) and the owner comes to weigh and post my parcel. I don’t know him well, but he is a kind and gracious man. We have never had a “faith” conversation, but the books and tracts on the waiting area table tell me he is a devout Muslim. He is dressed immaculately in a starched white shirt and shimmering magenta tie.

“Did you have a big job interview?” I ask him. This is, after all, a service station. I am standing among racks of processed package foods, while customers enter and exit paying for their gas, cigarettes and sundries. Behind the counter are two doors leading to the service bays where men with greased hands regularly pop in and out to ask about this transmission or that oil change.

He smiles at me, shakes his head, then looks and points upward. “With the Creator.”

“Ah, well, that’s every day,” I respond, rather lamely.

But after I paid, collected my receipt and stepped outside to make my way into my day I wonder, what would I wear to a job interview with my creator?

I mean, do you dress to impress? Put on your Sunday best? Shine your shoes? Make sure you’re matching, nothing clashes? Try to stand out in the crowd? To get His attention? They are all kind of laughable thoughts. I mean, who are we kidding here?

Yet, this Muslim man got me thinking. If each day as I went to work (or play or school or family) I dressed as if I were coming before my Lord to perform the day’s task in a way that was so pleasing to Him He would hire me, how would I dress?

We Christians tend toward the casual Friday, I think. “Oh, God accepts me any old way so why try so hard?”

Well, by His grace He does invite me for the job interview, and I know I don’t have to wear something that will make a good impression – because He won’t be fooled by what I wear. But what an opportunity – to dress up for God. To show up in a way that honors Him and His intention for me.

And then, what will I be wearing when I leave that moment? Will people ask me if I had a big job interview this morning? And if they did, would they be surprised to hear “it was with the Creator?” Or would they smile and nod as I did toward my Muslim friend. And wonder…

What would I wear for a job interview with my Creator today?

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