Kissing Fish by Roger Wolsey

My friend Roger Wolsey has presented us with a book that shines his theological background, however I find the most compelling is his personal journey shared within these pages. In Kissing Fish Roger gives us the raw open mind of God. The subtitle is the invitation to what Roger is presenting, and a perfect summery for the entire book, “a Christianity for those who don’t like Christianity.”

I encourage you to check out the book at http://www.progressivechristianitybook.com

Or check it out online at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Death Things (Just poke it!)

Over my years of contact and conversation with hundreds of people, I’ve often heard sentences that begin like, “It just died.”

Prefacing this I’ve heard everything from Marriages, spiritual lives and hopes that have died.

For century’s death has been a common metaphor for the hopelessness, pain and restlessness we often feel.

Have you ever woken up to feel broken, near death, but perfectly healthy?

When approached with death, Jesus tends to react in a way that boggles the mind.

 

In dealing with the death of the daughter of Jairus, Jesus says, “she’s not dead, she’s sleeping.”

 

I am seeing this as an invitation to think of death in a different manner than the current end of life state it’s been so far.

 

Death, as we spoke about at the beginning of this, is more than just dying physically.

 

We can all speak passionately about the subject of death despite some of us having little experience with people around us dying. This is because we’ve felt the death in a less lifeless way. We’ve experienced death in decaying dreams, in distant hopes and seemingly hopeless situations.

 

I’ve been there as I am sure you have too, I’ve had dead dreams, and I had dead relationships. It hurts and just as Jairus did, I want to scream, Jesus! It’s dead!

 

When Jesus encountered this situation revolving around death, his response was staggering, he said, this can be woken up.

 

That dead relationship, just nudge it a little.

 

Those dead dreams, just wake em up.

 

This is an invitation to not plan a funeral for those college classes, the business, that book.

 

Your dreams are not dead! They might be sleeping.

 

Whether or not we believe in this Jesus we can resonate with these words of hope because we all have some dead dreams.

Wake them up, they are not dead.

 

Baggage

About a year ago I had a seemingly strong man sit down with me and we had a short talk only to quickly find out he was dealing with much more than how much he was going to bench today. He openly admitted this past abuse he was still dealing with would give him a short fuse with people and lead to unprovoked anger with others. I listened and told him abruptly told him to Stop! he continued, by saying he was told by Pastors, friends and family to forgive. I told him to stop, I knew this was going to happen.

I said, forgiveness in the way those people want you to forgive is like a bandaid or a mask, it will eventually come off and people will see the real stuff your dealing with and act like your the one with the problem.

I told him, to start thinking of his unforgiveness as a real thing, because in all sense of the word, it’s very real to us who deal with it everyday. See this hurt, anger and pain as a physical weight, or a bag if you will.

I ended that day by expressing that he wasn’t meant to carry that much weight, so here I am, this tiny, small young kid telling this Huge, Muscular man He can’t carry this. I think in any other situation it would have been very bad but here, it was right. The pain and hurt that no one can see weighs more than anything in a gym.

A few years back I was on a flight to Michigan and I saw a weird act of kindness. While checking in at the self check in (because it’s quicker!)

I laid eyes on a family who was over their carry on baggage limit by one, and they were arguing about which would have to be checked.

A stranger behind them said, “I’m on the same flight I’ll take it. My ticket allows one more. Bag”

So he took it, later when boarding the plane, his laptop and bag took up his lap space while all the overhead compartments were full. He was in a predicament.

Now he was posed with the same question, “what are you going to check?”

The families baggage quickly became this mans baggage.

This was such a spiritual inspiration to me as I was being taught by God about forgiveness and dealing with baggage.

Biblical forgiveness

When we hold something, it’s a type of baggage in our lives. We have good and bad baggage, even good baggage can get heavy, meaning even when your doing good things, life can still become unbearable; people begin asking for more, people begin expecting more.

When we hold hurt, unforgiveness and grudges, we taking the hurt and pain of someone else and carrying it ourselves. If we let this happen a few times we begin to carry these huge bags with us everywhere.

Some of you are sill dealing with past hurts and you can feel it physically drain you, this pain and hurt can even kill you spiritually.

For you, this baggage is more than real.

It can be a rape, it may be a divorce, or a break up, the list can go on, but this you don’t need any examples on, you know what your hurt is, you know what baggage your holding.

The Hebrew word for one dealing with common forgiveness is “nasa” and it means to lift; to hold up and put down.

When we hold unforgiveness we can cause ourselves to hold not only our own baggage but the baggage of others we will not forgive. My unforgiveness is making me carry her issues with her mother. My unforgiveness towards her is making me deal with her childhood abuse.

I don’t know about you but I have enough baggage to deal with than having to deal with her issues too, I don’t have enough room to fit his problems too.

My baggage is beginning to be become filled with her baggage when I just can’t let go.

Getting rid of it

When I forgive I am able to let this baggage down. Its not about moving on, you can’t lose it, anyone that tells a women to forget her attacker hasn’t been attacked, anyone who tells a child to forget his abuse hasn’t been abused. Forgiveness is about letting go, lightening the load, and checking a few bags.

This forgiveness journey isn’t about trying to be perfect in peoples eyes and saying I forgive and forget, because no matter how much you say it, it probably wont happen that quick, this journey is about getting rid of extra baggage.

Jesus echoed this by saying, “cast your care upon me.” Or “Let me take those bags”, my version.

To forgive isn’t about forgetting, it’s about letting things down, and if you let these bags down too fast it might end up hurting. Let these bags down, one by one.

You were not meant to carry that divorce.

You are more than that abuse.

These bags are too heavy, they are making their way into your work, into your family life. The weight of these bags are going to kill you.

 

Adapted from my new book coming at the end of the Summer entitled, An Emerging Spirituality which will be available on Amazon (kindle) (store) B&N (nook) Apple (Audiobook) (iBooks) and much more please stay in touch for more info or keep checking http://www.Rickymaye.com