Don’t carry them around in your head!

I carry people around in my head.
What do I mean by that?
I often carry conflict around with me. If I’m in conflict with someone it will often be on my mind. If it’s someone who’s a close friend or someone I need to be able to work with I’ll sometimes carry them around in my head all the time. When that happens I tend to end up overwhelmed by the conflict. Sometimes I end up feeling like the person I’m carrying around in my head knows and has actually intended this. The odds are that the person I’m carrying around in my head has no idea.
I became aware of this the other day when Mehrin said to me, ‘You don’t need to carry them around in your head!’

I don’t need to carry people around in my head. They don’t need me to carry them either.

#Foodstagram and sharing our food

A little while ago I wrote a bit about how we may use social media to curate an identity. In that post I was mostly talking about my use of Facebook. I recently started using Instagram again. Like Facebook, I think using Instagram carries the temptation to seek attention, but one of the things I wonder about Instagram is whether it can also help us to pay attention.

I wonder about what we’re doing when we post pictures of our food online? The cynical part of my mind thinks that we’re seeking to show off how good our cooking or choice in restaurants is (curating an identity as a connoisseur) and I think there would be truth in that.

But I also wonder about whether our desire to share pictures of our food is related to our tendency to eat alone? Even in my household, where we have someone cooking dinner for the whole household each weeknight, I’m still often eating on my own at breakfast or lunch time. Could it be that we have an inbuilt need to share our food?

Another thing I was wondering about is whether looking at our food through the lens of a smartphone is an opportunity to pay attention to what we are eating and how we are caring for ourselves. For breakfast this morning I had some toast with butter, Vegemite and tomatoes. (Is that bogan, or is it ironic bogan hipster?) It’s a pretty simple meal, but I took a photo because I was eating some fruit. I often don’t bother to eat fruit, even though when I do I find that I really enjoy it. Taking a photo was an opportunity to take note of something that was good for me and made me feel cared for.

The Corporeality of the Resurection

Yesterday I spoke at Moreland Baptist Church in Brunswick, not far from where I live at the Indigenous Hospitality House in Carlton North. In the liturgical calendar Easter actually goes for several weeks, so we were continuing to reflect on the story of Jesus’ execution and resurrection. In the story we read, from John’s gospel, Jesus mysteriously appears among his friends in the middle of a closed room, still bearing the marks of his execution. He breathes on them his executed-and-resurrected breath, telling them that they have the power to forgive sins or leave them standing. No flames above the disciples heads like we find in the book of Acts. In John’s account, God’s Spirit is the breath of the executed-and-resurrected.

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Jesus’ friend Thomas misses all this and doesn’t believe it. He says he needs to see it for himself, to even touch the scars in Jesus hands and put his hand inside the hole in his body. Jesus turns up for Thomas’ benefit and challenges him to do exactly that.

Many people in our society today also find it hard to take the accounts of the resurrection seriously because of a lack of any material, corporeal evidence. However, I think there is actual corporeal, material confirmation of the resurrection out there. I have experienced it in the welcome and hospitality I have received from our First Peoples, despite the poor track record of Settler people. It is bodily because it has taken the form of shared food and drink, shared shelter in the bad weather, a hug of welcome. This is the forgiveness that the resurrected Jesus talks about.

I also see confirmation of the resurrection in the witness of Leo Seemanpillai. Leo
came to Australia as an asylum-seeker, and was living in Geelong when he received the news that his application for asylum had failed and that he would be returned to Sri Lanka. He feared that when he returned he would be killed, and in despair he took his own life. In his death Leo Seemanpillai returned our cruelty with generosity. He was registered as an organ donor. One of his eyes, one of his lungs, his kidneys and his liver were given to people who needed them. In a very material way, Leo Seemanpillai lives on in Australia, in our bodies, helping us to see, cleansing our bodies and giving us breath. This is the kind of forgiveness that the breath of Christ gives. This is not just as an illustration, an allegory or a parable. This is serious and it is real, and we need to take time to consider what it means.