Tag Archives: Transparency

April 13th – April 14th, 2006

Passover. Listening?! I don’t listen well. I don’t really know how to listen. Even when I get away for one of my retreats – I do a lot of thinking – and a minimum of listening.

I’m going to try again. Just going to get on the couch and try not to sleep. Going to find a passage on which to meditate for a few minutes and then simply try to hear….maybe that’s the difference! I’m trying to hear something rather than just listening to what’s there.


That was a q relatively quiet Friday morning, and what  I heard was: “get up and go visit the places where you grew up.”

So I did.

I left work and drove to North Seattle and visited the Lake Forest Park home where I spent my youth from about 5 years old until I was 11. So strange. Parts of the neighborhood are so different now, and yet parts are so familiar. They put a pitched roof over the original flat roof on our home. But the decks, tool shed, and I think even the play house (now a storage shed) are still just like I remember them. Of course, everything seems smaller.

I received no major epiphanies.

The memories I re-lived were almost all good ones. It was a pleasant, if slightly surreal, feeling to be there.

I sat in my car. Just kept telling myself to “listen”, and didn’t really hear anything.

I moved on. Went up the road to the old elementary school, now Korean church. (Talk about surreal!)

No one was there, but I poked my head in the old Gym (now Sanctuary) and peeked in a few old classrooms. Followed the trail that we took through the trees to the road where the school patrol (crossing guards) did their duty. That was a real thrill for me in the 5th grade: being asked to be CAPTAIN of the school patrol.

I crossed the street and over to the “Nike Site” (an abandoned Nike missile base that we played in, now a city park) and recalled some distant memories. But the actual landscape has changed there. There was a reservoir that I had forgotten about. And I saw a view of the Seattle skyline that I never knew existed. I thought about the trail from our neighborhood that lead here…

As I came back up the trail to the former school I thought again about the school patrol, and how I stole the blue and red lapel pins from the storage lockers. I wanted those tokens of my success so badly. I wanted approval so badly. Attention. If there was any doubt that his battle for approval, recognition, attention and affection is a LIFE-LONG battle, there is no longer any.

I remembered for the first time in a while that this period of my childhood included regular bed-wetting, mysterious pains in my legs that I honestly cannot recall if I invented, my Mom invented, or were real, as well as thumb-sucking up until I was 10 or 11.

I remember Lee C. – my good buddy – she NEVER made fun of me for that. She was the only one who knew my thumb sucking secret – and she NEVER used it against me. Never. Thank you, God for Lee.

But it seems that I NEEDED more attention than just one simple, loyal and courageous friend could provide. I longed for it.

I recall lots of creativity: Many “shows” super 8 movie making, fantasy games; turning my closet into a super-hero lair, actually running around the neighborhood, IN COSTUME with Stan S. as my sidekick, looking for crimes to thwart. I think we actually committed a few crimes so that we could later “solve” them somehow.

I moved on from that house, and after only a couple of failed tries, found the house we lived in when I was born. Had some distant and foggy memories of the place. It was so small. It’s being re-modeled and no one was there so I could peek into the windows with impunity. Yep…that’s the place.

I tried to call my brother and my Dad on a whim to share the moment with them. Neither answered. I took that as a sign: shut-up Dan! Listen!

I listened some more. Still good memories, along with blurry “bad” ones. Conflict. Shouting. The older girls across the street: their house.

Listening. Speak little boy.

Early 2006

More hand-written scraps from late Winter / Early Spring 2006

God – I’m going to have to be changed at a very deep level (big surprise) regarding motivation. I realized that I was thrilled when an item got checked off my prayer list, not because you did something cool – but because I got something “off” my prayer list!

I confess: I am still deeply motivated by the idea that there is a destination; a completeness on this side of Heaven, that frankly doesn’t “require” you.

It would seem that I am more concerned with achieving than with being with you.


Man, was that last entry the truth or what?!

God, I am angered and frustrated at the depth to which my selfishness runs…more than selfishness: Megalomania!

It seems that my ‘self” will seize upon anything to feed. It feasts on the corpses of innocent victims swept away by a wave. It salivates at the failure of a colleague because it can stand upon their failure and in doing so, claim higher ground.

It is more important to me to be right than to live in the truth. I want personal success more than I want the Kingdom of God to advance.



He is always shooting for the big pay-off, the big win. I have stopped looking for the BIG pay-off, but I’m still gambling with the same goal in mind: approval, attention, affection; I’m just more conservative about my bets. I’ve learned to play the odds.

Pretending to have all the answers (which is what I used to do, and Napolean so aptly demonstrates with his “Wolverine hunting” story) is a BIG risk. If just ONE person were to actually buy into his story telling, they would be a nearly un-limited source of approval for him. Jackpot!

Back to me: Just because I can now acknowledge that I do not have all the answers (I’ve stopped telling my own versions of the Wolverine hunting story) does not automatically mean I’m not looking for a pay-off; that I’ve given up on gambling for approval. It might mean I’m just more conservative. I’ve left the high-stakes poker game and I’m just playing the penny-slots now.


How can we be authentic if we don’t know who we are?


I am content with human approval, food, sleep admiration, quantity, activity, being fat, being tired, a reputation, noise, weeping and  slavery when I COULD have perfect love, fullness rest, adoration, quality, adventure, strength, power, play, music, dancing and freedom.


Repentance vs. Penance. There’s not much said in the Bible about penance.


Longing/Desire 1Peter 2:2,

Holy Dis-satisfaction. Pslam 63 Luke 22:14 The Last Supper

Romans 8:2-25 Creation groans with anticipation

Philippians 3:12-21 Press on eagerly await.

“Cloud of Un-knowing” pp 12-13 “Look ahead now and never mind what is behind; see what you still need, and not what you have, for this is how meekness is most quickly won and defended. Now you have to stand in desire all your life long if you are to make progress in the way of perfection. This desire must always be at work in your will by the power of almighty God and by your own consent.”

Pslam 18 – I’m constantly inserting some kind of insulation between me and god. While contemplating the March services I think about the experience people will have, the feelings, significance, transformation, word upon word, upon word…not until God’s Spirit spoke did I consciencely consider introducing people directly to God.

I keep putting a washer, a condom, a lubricant, a bearing between me and the person of God.


Simple Living: We are beginning to purposely impoverish ourselves as the promised fullness of a busy life turns out to be hollow. The “better life” that previous generations worked so hard to give us was void of Christ, and therefore was void.