From the chair:
7 Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
you preserve my life;
you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies,
and your right hand delivers me.
8 The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me;
your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever.
Do not forsake the work of your hands.
“The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me.” Even though I don’t know what that is (or whether I’ll like it), I find great peace in this prayer, because God is trustworthy. His steadfast love endures forever. What can we do–what would we want to do–but cry out, “Do not forsake the work of your hands”?
From the desk:
“Beyond the desert of criticism we wish to be called again.”
-Paul Ricoeur, The Symbolism of Evil, qtd. in David Jasper, Short Introduction to Hermeneutics, p.190
This might be my favorite non-Scriptural quote from the M.Div. at GCTS. I find myself quoting it (to others, sometimes to myself) week after week. Yes, as thinking people, we must walk through the desert of criticism. We must consider the challenges raised against God, our faith, the Bible, the Church. Yet, we deeply long to be called to other side, and I believe there is another side. There is something that’s not desert on the other side of criticism, and it’s a much better place to make a home.
“The chair” is the one Annie aptly chose for the corner of our living room, and it’s where I am committed to daily hearing from God’s Word–the Word I above all else hope to speak to others. “The desk” is the one by my coffee grounds and spare charger (if I get to the library early enough); it’s where I have the privilege of reading and thinking all day, where I intend to learn for others’ sake.