Fortune Cookie Truth


I am not naturally honest. I am so sometimes by chance.

Fortune Cookie, Way Ho’s

I pulled this fortune out of its cookie a couple of years back. It’s been living in the ceramic bowl that holds my flash drives ever since. Sometimes it strikes me funny when I read it, other times it strikes a little too close to home. In either case, it’s true.

I’m not dishonest in the sense of lying or cheating; I do my best to act in good faith. But I doubt most people behind me in the grocery line have any clue who I am, and I don’t have any idea who they are. I don’t attempt to connect with everyone in a meaningful way. I’m not intentionally avoiding anyone, but an honest encounter takes courage, trust, and energy. It’s exhausting to swim beyond the socially acceptable shallow waters and head for the depths. If I saw every person for who he or she truly is, a sacred child of God, I doubt I’d get through the morning without tears of joy and compassion. If I allowed even strangers to see in my faulty life the hand of God, what might come of it? Such encounters don’t happen very often outside the small circle of family and friends.

But every once in a while, a random encounter as I open my post office box or return my grocery cart. A glance at the man with a red beard or a quick hello with the spiky haired girl stuns me with a glimpse of true holiness. By chance, I have eyes to see and ears to hear. I see my life and this world for what they are: sacred, blessed, and much more than enough.

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I am a Christian educator and writer.I have worked in churches, denominational offices, and seminaries. I have a PhD in Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary, with a focus on Practical Theology and educating in faith. In 2010, my book, "How the Other Half Lives: the challenges facing clergy spouses and partners," was published by Pilgrim Press. I believe that words can build doorways that lead to encounters with God through the Spirit.

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