God the Reliever of Burdens, Once More

10 May 2007

Today may be my first non-computer day.  Not that I am forsaking computers completely, but I may be without a computer to call my own for the foreseeable future.  And that is liberating.

During the big scale-back I was tempted to rid myself of my computer; even then ,the great de-officication was in my head.

See, I recently lost my office.  I gave it up, I should say.  The back sun-room that used to be a combination office and place-for-the-cat-stuff (i.e., the litter box and their bowls) has become a meditation room.  Icons cover the northeast corner,; beneath them, we’ve put up a shelf with a candle, a censer and its accouterments, the prayer book if I’m home, some prayer beads.  Beth has moved the plants into it, as well as her baptismal candle and the rocker.  The Little Guy even contributed a few worn stones he found on the beach.  The space that was mine —all mine— has become common space.  More beautiful, too.

And now, my computer is broken.  One of the big challenges posed by the de-officication was finding a spot for my computer.  With my office went my big, oversized, useless desk.  The desk was replaced by a nice file cabinet with a leaf that flips up to create a work surface.  The one non-file drawer is too small and flimsy to house even my tiny laptop.  It had lived for several days atop an old radio in the dining room.  With the computer being broken, the point is moot; you don’t have a storage problem if you’ve nothing to store.

God did not break my computer.  While I cannot explain how or why the computer would be working at 3:00 pm only not to work at 9:30 pm the same day, I do not think that God did it.  However, God does want to relive my burdens.  Although this  may not be God’s doing, it may also be God’s doing.  This is the beauty, power, mystery, and source of utter befuddlement and contradiction which is the Incarnation.

During our last meeting, my spiritual director related how the Benedictine ideal of humility is realized when we do something (even fail at something, I suppose) and recognize it as 100% our doing and 100% God’s doing.  And this is the Incarnation.  This is incarnational thinking.  God becoming human in the person of Jesus —true God and true human, 100% both, with no confusion, diffusion, dilution, mitigation or lessening of either nature— make it possible for the human world and the divine world to co-exist fundamentally and in a radical way, the implications of which Christians have been trying understand and live out for many centuries, succeeding at time and failing at others.

so when my computer went kaput, I tried to look at it incarnationally: God may not have done it, but where is God in this situation, where and to what does God call me to here and now?

Well, he answered my desire.  I don’t have to get rid of my computer, I don’t have to figure out whether that’s a good idea or not.  The computer has gotten rid of itself!

Thankfully, I backed everything up that very morning.  Also thankfully, if I felt I needed a computer, our family is in a position to make it happen.  But I want to see how long I can go without one.

I’ll check my email at school and on Beth’s computer, ‘blog either at school or at the library, and write in my notebook more.  Two inexpensive internet cafes are located within a few blocks of my house.

Hell , this might just help me start writing poems again in earnest.

3 Responses to “God the Reliever of Burdens, Once More”

  1. Rich Murray Says:

    I swear I’m not making this up. For the past several days, 2 words have been stuck in my head: simplify and humility. Heck, I’m thinking you’ve got some pure grace going on, brother.

  2. Tripp Says:


    There you go again.

  3. There’s enough Lutheran in me to realize that this is all grace.

    And enough Episcopalian to say, “It’s all my doing, too!”

    Seriously, the last few years and few months have been eye-opening for me. And it startles me that despite how much I have learned, I still don’t know what I’m doing 95% of the time.

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