It means "writings." I write things.

10:02 AM

The Turtle

Posted by Brad Polley |

On my way to work this morning, I was careening down the highway at a "please don't give me a ticket" type speed, when I noticed a small box turtle crossing the road. I saw it in time to swerve, so I missed it. However, I was thinking about the fact that the turtle didn't have a snowball's chance in the seventh circle of hell of making it to the other side of the road. It's a fairly busy highway, and I watched as this thing crept across the road, with semis and Honda Civics whizzing by it at breakneck speeds.

My journey with God feels like that sometimes. It seems like I'm trying to make it to the other side of the road, but I can't go any faster than a crawl. Meanwhile, there are a million things trying to derail and destroy me. Sometimes these things miss, but other times, they seem to hit their mark. At times I just want to tuck inside my shell until everything blows over, but for some reason I can't. I keep hearing God's still small voice encouraging me to continue. So I go on, all the while asking this still small voice, "Um, can't you just give me a little help and remove the stinking obstacles, make the road a little less busy so that I can make it to the other side?" To which the Voice responds, "Um, you know that if it was easy, it wouldn't make it worthwhile when you arrived at your destination, so no, I won't remove the obstacles."

As I continue across the seemingly endless road, what I find is that I was getting more help than I realized. We're all getting more help than we realize.

8:48 AM


Posted by Brad Polley |

I've been thinking a lot about forgiveness, mainly how much I suck at it sometimes. The Church should be full of the most forgiving people on the planet, and, unfortunately, it seems to be the opposite in a lot of respects. The thing about forgiving other people is that, when we refuse to forgive someone, it doesn't hurt the other person, it hurts us. Forgiveness (in a manner of speaking) is a completely selfish act. It has to be, because forgiveness is more about us than it is about the person who wronged us. When we refuse to forgive, we become bitter, which ultimately leads to our destruction.

Writer Anne Lamott puts it this way, "In fact, not forgiving is like drinking rat poision and then waiting for the rat to die." I think that says it all. If someone wrongs me, it isn't the other person that suffers, it is I who suffers when bitterness eats my lunch. So who has wronged you? We all have wounds, and unless we clean them out by forgiving the person who wounded us, we'll become infected by it and ultimately die from the poison.

1:24 PM

The Killer

Posted by Brad Polley |

I don't know if you've seen the video of the Virginia Tech killer yet, but if you haven't, be ready for it to chill your blood. I watched it on today and it almost made me sick to watch it. On top of that, I couldn't help but be filled with sadness at this young man who threw his life away.

As I watched, I couldn't help but want to reach out to the guy and tell him that it didn't have to be this way. I wanted to tell him that, although people can be jerks, killing them isn't the answer. I wanted to tell him that the only way to truly conquer the evils he had endured in his life wasn't to lash out with more evil, but to destroy it with love. I wanted to tell him that you can never conquer evil with evil.

I also couldn't help but think about the rest of his life. Every killer has a story, no one wakes up one morning and starts shooting. The thoughts that ultimately ate him alive and cost the lives of 33 people started a long time ago. Was he picked on as a kid? Did his parents hate him? What injustices in his life led to the hatred? Don't get me wrong, I don't blame society for what happened, the only one to really blame is the shooter, I just can't help but wonder if he had ever seen what real love looked like.

As we mourn the deaths of the innocent, may we never forget about the guilty as well and see if maybe we can't prevent another incident like this one by showing the love of Jesus to everyone we come in contact with. Real love, transforming love; the type of love that melts away bitterness and builds joy in its place.

9:44 AM

Unrecognized Beauty

Posted by Brad Polley |

Recently, Joshua Bell, one of the world's best violin players, was commissioned by the Washington Post to play his violin in a busy subway station in D.C. during rush hour and see what happened. This article in the Post tells the story. Read it here.

Incidentally, the article is long, but is honestly the best piece of writing I've ever encountered in a newspaper. This article says a lot about our culture. It truly made me want to cry.

9:00 AM

The squeal

Posted by Brad Polley |

When Ezra gets excited, he makes this noise when he inhales. It's a hard sound to describe. As you can tell by the subject of this post, it sounds like a squeal, but I'm not sure that this word does it justice. It sounds like a devastating hybrid of this:

and this:

Apparently somewhere in the storied histories of my family and my wife's family, a ringwraith mated with a velociraptor, which mucked of the gene pool in such a way as to produce this:

It chills the blood, doesn't it? Look at the steely glance, the wrathful smile, and the razor-sharp teeth, just waiting to attack the first person that tells it "no."

9:47 AM

A series of resurrections

Posted by Brad Polley |

Seeing as how yesterday was Easter, I've been thinking a great deal about resurrection. I spent most of my life as a Christian talking about the Resurrection of Jesus in purely historical, and then future, fact. In other words, all I focused on was that the Resurrection happened some 2000 odd years ago to a man named Jesus, and then it would happen again to those who were faithful in the "Last Days." So what happened as a natural by-product of this was that I didn't really believe that the Resurrection of Jesus had any real impact on me as I live today. However, I'm starting to see that the Resurrection, far from being just an historical event, is really more about today than it was about 2000 years ago.

I can look back at my life and see that it is a series of resurrections. I can see times in my life where I felt dead inside, and yet God, in his love and mercy, brought life to a dead place inside of me. When I read the Bible now, I see that we serve a God who, if nothing else, delights in bringing life to dead places, and beauty from ugliness. He loves to take a pile of ashes and make them beautiful once more (incidentally, this plays out in his created nature; look at what's happened near Mt. St. Helens, the land s being resurrected from ashes). He loves to take a pile of dry bones (look at the book of Ezekiel) and make them live again. He longs to bring this world back to Eden and make it right and beautiful once more. In this light, the Resurrection of Jesus becomes incredibly real for this time and place. He longs for his people to bring beauty to this earth through a series of resurrections.

What he really desires is for his people to be involved in a universe-wide movement back to Eden. This means that we should find the poorest of the poor, and help them resurrect their lives, aided by the power of God. This means that we are to find single moms who are trying to get by, and help them to resurrect their lives. This means that we are to be good stewards of God's creation, and we should care about environmental issues. The list goes on and on.

I thank God that the grave could not hold Jesus, and I thank God that he longs to bring that same life to other dead places, places in you, and places in me.

10:20 AM

One of those days

Posted by Brad Polley |

Man, have you ever had one of those days? You know, the type of day where one thing gets to you and eats at you. The thing may not even be a big deal in the big scheme of life, but for some reason, it just gnaws at you. If you haven't guessed, I'm having one of those days. I need a hug.