A Rock with a Heart
A Rock with a Heart
Ok, so here's my theology of incarnation.
Two of the sermons in this book reference one of the many "treasures” strewn about my house, specifically a little brown rock about the size of a meatball. It’s kind of lumpy and hard and drab. It’s chipped and cracked. But it has a heart-shaped hole in the side.
I have come to see this little treasure as a symbol of the Human-God relationship. We too are small, lumpy, often hard-headed, stiff-necked, and wounded by the inevitable challenges and suffering of human life. In comparison to God, more like a little brown rock.
But we do have a God-shaped hole in the side of our tiny, frightened, wounded and often hard human hearts. Nothing can fill that hole except God. God put it there with great love and tenderness to help us know whose we are.
And that's Incarnation, and that’s what makes it possible for us to love God and our neighbor as ourselves, to care for others—even those we don’t like or who frighten us, to reach for God and to find God, right here on earth, in each other and in creation and in the very ordinariness of our lives.
I think you’ll find that theme running in the background of many of these sermons.
Bette J. Kauffman was ordained to the diaconate June 7, 2008, at St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral in Shreveport, La., by The Right Rev. Bruce D. MacPherson, Third Bishop of Western Louisiana. She is currently the Archdeacon of the Diocese of Western Louisiana and serves at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church and St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church, both in Monroe, La. Her ministries include co-chairing the Diocesan Dismantling Racism Commission, community organizing through Northern & Central Louisiana Interfaith and Together Louisiana, and leading the local Canterbury College Ministry. She received the Diploma of Christian Studies from the Diocesan School of Theology in 2008 and completed a unit of Clinical Pastoral Education at Jefferson Regional Medical Center in Pine Bluff, Ark.
Kauffman is also a Professor of Communication at the University of Louisiana in Monroe and a photographer. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Iowa in 1980, an M.A. in Communications from the Annenberg School for Communications in Philadelphia in 1982, and a Ph.D. in Communication from the University of Pennsylvania in 1992.
Kauffman’s book of photographs and essays about the post-Hurricane Katrina flooding of New Orleans, titled WATERLINE: landscape with voices, is available online through Amazon. Her photographs are available online through Fine Art America.