Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Hope in Desperate Places--Wesley Foundation e-letter (Methodist Campus Ministry)

Hey folks!  Hope all is well with you!  We still have a lot going on this semester.  Our outreach season is getting ready to launch.  Next week after worship on Tuesday and during program on Thursday we will put together exactly what we will be doing for the churches we will be visiting.  Our outreach schedule is as follows:


Sunday, April 19thMt. Union UMC

Wednesday, April 22—Christ UMC

Sunday, April 26th—Faith UMC


I know God will bless each of these outings, and give us the grace to share boldly the wonderful things He is doing in and through this ministry.  Come and join us as we share.  It will be fun!


Thursday night is our free meal and program.  Remember to meet at Wesley at 6:30pm for dinner.  Around 7:10pm we will walk together up to Garrett ballroom where we will get to experience the Veritas Forum.  This is going to be amazing!  Dr. Fritz Schaeffer will be talking about how faith and science, and sharing how God is working through both.  I’m so excited for it!  Been praying for it for a long time!!!!


Now For Sami’s Ramblings About Jesus:


We are officially in the middle of Holy Week.  Since February this is what the whole season of Lent has been preparing us for: a time to focus on the journey Christ took to the cross.  It continues to be a part of the Christian year that brings me the most puzzlement and pondering.  I mean, I get the whole baby in a manger thing.  It’s so easy to cozy up to the warm images of Mary and Joseph staring with breathless wonder at the infant Jesus.  And Easter morning is cool.  It’s like the lilies are trumpeting out the joyful news that death has been demolished, while the smell of heaven wafts through the pews.  Who can’t get excited about that?  Of course the new Easter outfit helps.  And so does the whole, let’s look for eggs thing.  But Holy Week?  That one is so hard to understand.


Some people skip Holy Week all together.  They go straight from palm branch Hosanna’s to Easter morning Hallelujah’s.  I can’t seem to do that.  I guess it is because too much of my life seems to resonate with the uncertainty of Jesus’s journey to the cross.  There are too many unanswered questions in my life to ignore the one week in Christ’s earthly life where unanswered questions just hung in the air, especially the one that goes, “My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?”.   Sure we know that Easter is on the other side.  But the disciples did not.  His mother did not.  He even felt so staggered by the weight of what was to transpire that He begged His heavenly Father to make it go away.  In the middle of the darkest moments of Jesus’s life, answers just don’t come.


And that is why I have hope.  Hear Rainer Maria Rilke’s words to a novice poet seeking direction: 


I would like to beg of you, dear friend, as well as I can, to have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart.  Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language.  Do not now look for the answers.  They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them.  It is a question of experiencing everything.  At present you need to live the question.  Perhaps you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer, some distant day.


I have hope because I can hear the comforting words of Christ in the words above, comfort that comes from having to live through a hopeless experience, not being able to rush it, not being able to change it, but simply and courageously living it, listening to it, and allowing its story to bring its own answers to light, in its own time.  It gives me hope because it shows me that Jesus lived into the answer He was longing for, that the whole creation was longing for, one simple moment at a time.  And I know when I struggle, when I can’t find satisfying answers, His presence is right there living the questions with me until moment by moment that longed for answer begins to emerge. 


And this is the hope of Holy Week that I offer to you.  All of us have those things that we wish we could be done with already.  All of us have those moments that leave us begging God, “Make it go away!”  All of us have those experiences that demand all we have to give and more.  And the reason I cling to the hope of Holy Week is because in any given excruciating moment there is a Savior standing with us.  One who has been there, and literally done that.  One who knows what it means to endure through until something gives.  One who does not offer glib reassurances but who waits it out with us, bringing a deep compassion and quiet strength that helps us make it through too.  This is why I need the message of Holy Week.  I need to know that my Savior knows my heart, especially when it is breaking.


He knows your heart too.  In the midst of your pain and uncertainty, He gives you His own broken heart fully and completely, so that yours may be healed.  Moment by moment.  Patiently resolving within you all the questions that leave you aching, until the answers you’ve been longing for are there in your midst.


This is me trusting,





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Sami Wilson

Campus Minister/Director

WKU Wesley Foundation

United Methodist Campus Ministry



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