Saturday, May 7, 2011

Faithful Minds

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
          Romans 12:2(NIV)

He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.
          Luke 10:27(NIV) 

About a year ago, I read the book, Fingerprints of God: The Search for the Science of Spirituality, by Barbara Bradley Hagerty.  What seems undeniable is that there are important neurologic markers of religious experience whatever your faith perspective.  What seems to be difficult is how this biology relates to the larger realities of our lives of faith.  More specifically, the studies look at individuals and not what happens between individuals.

Recently, I have had some challenging medical experiences.  What seems real to me is that the care and illness seems resonant with the larger stories of our Christian faith.   An “Easter Baby” is not resurrection, but it is a wonderful celebration of life in a world of death and suffering. 

This idea of spiritual resonance is not a new idea*.  It means that we see a new meaning in the facts of the care.  This is the narrative reality that we the facts fit together not just for the healing agent but how it can be understood by those who suffer.   It means that we need to be able to connect to those larger stories.   It means that we need to renew our minds and see that new reality.   It means that loving our neighbor is connecting with their stories as well as the larger redemptive story of faith, hope and love.

*A wonderful essay from Azusa Pacific University, “Love as Resonant Communication”, expands this theme of resonance.  Check it out. 

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