Wednesday, December 17, 2008

bear with me... more hans

By What Blessedness Do I Weep, by Jen Grabarczyk

As a mom, I don't have hours of free time to read. For the most part this bums me out, but there is a bright side: when I do make the time to read something, it usually has plenty of time sink in and saturate before I have time to move on to something else. All that to say... I'm still thinking deeply about "Art Needs No Justification" by Hans R. Rookmaaker.

In Chapter Two, Rookmaaker outlines a formula we can use to (in his words) "wake up" and respond to the state of the world: Weep, Pray, Think, Work. We wake up, open our eyes and see the atrocities of our world. We weep. We see our part in what is wrong with the world, and we see that we cannot fix it alone. We pray. We listen to God's response and invite His transformational power. As we are transformed, we engage our minds and apply our God-given reason. We think. As insight arrives, we are stirred to meaningful and purposeful action. We work.

Hopefully you can see why this is something I am still chewing on.

I can look at different aspects of my life and see how this formula has played itself out, even without my conscious knowledge of it. For example, as Jon and I have heard (and continue to hear) about children in this world without homes, loving parents, food, etc. we have wept. We have prayed for these children, and prayed for God to show us what He would have us do. We have thought about the problems, thought about who we are and what gifts and material things God has given us, thought about the desires and dreams we have, thought about how different choices we make would affect us, our children, and other children in the world. And soon we hope to work - filling out paperwork, getting fingerprinted, mailing in forms, interviewing, and someday bringing one of these children into our home as our own. Weep, pray, think, work.

What I love about this sequence is that it doesn't let us stay stuck in despair. (This is a temptation of mine... which is actually what I sat down to blog about today, but it will have to wait for a later post now.) Rookmaaker's formula reminds me that weeping should take us to our knees, that prayer should open our mind, and that contemplation should drive us to action.

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