Sunday, February 04, 2007

The Spiritual Practice of Loving Disruption

Hello! My name is Shannon and I’m going to be contributing some theological reflections to this blog on a hopefully regular basis (let's say watch for my posts on Sundays, and if you don't see one, leave a message on the last post with a big guilt trip about why I ought to be writing). I'm a young adult from the Vancouver, BC, Canada area who is a full-time theology student at Vancouver School of Theology, part-time office slave for a fisheries advocacy office, part-time research assistant, and pretty much 24/7 volunteer minister for the Community of Christ church. I'm sure you'll learn more about me as I post more. Christian has invited me to contribute another perspective to the blog, so here’s my first go....

Interrupting the orderly patterns in life happens to be one of my favourite hobbies. Examples would include my habit of turning the elevator buttons in my building so that instead of reading ‘P6’ and ‘P9’ they read ‘9d’ and ‘6d’ (look at them upside-down and you'll see what I mean) and a memorable moment when a schoolmate asked “you don’t know how to baste a turkey, but you know how to carve one?” (disrupting gender expectations is a particular passion of mine). If I had to draw you a picture of this practice there would be lightening bolts shooting out of my heart, zapping people to playfully wake them up from their usual ways of thinking in and moving through the world.

This play is like a spiritual discipline for me, since it is tempting to go through life with eyes cast low, mouth corners turned down, careful to not disrupt or change anything. It certainly seems like that would be a much simpler approach to living... But then I lock eyes with a stranger on the train and we both smile, or I see a hawk perched on a lamppost and point it out to my roommate, or I rub my cold nose on my friend’s neck as we lean in for a hug. My heart is captured by this adventurous, playful side of life.

Three and a half years of formal “theological education” (and still counting...) have helped me discover and then articulate that my Christian discipleship both comes from and shows itself in my deep, passionate love of the world. If, as some theologians have said, the world is God’s body, then just call me a passionate lover of God – and go ahead and take that word “lover” to mean whatever you want it to – yes, even that! With this much love for God and the world comes a passion for finding ways of articulating, demonstrating and living that love.

My theological reflections won’t profess to be decent or serious or perfect or pretty, but they will be honest, play/prayer-fully poetic and even a bit risky, little loving disruptions. They may be reflections on a French feminist psychoanalytic philosopher or recipes for in-season vegetable soup, but they will all flow from my own discipleship path. I hope you will enjoy reading them as much as I will enjoy writing them!

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3 Comments:

  • Thanks for the post!

    I look forward to more in the future!!!

    By Blogger Sean Langdon, at 3:26 PM  

  • Shannon.
    I look forward to reading your future posts as one who is also called, so to speak, to "shake up the status quo".

    By Blogger Mike, at 10:22 PM  

  • I enjoy your perspective Shannon. It reminds me of the Heyokas, the sufi-like sacred clowns of the plains tribes who take on the role of using humour, irreverance and the unexpected to give people a shakabuku experience.

    be bold.

    By Blogger Jared, at 11:14 AM  

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