Monday, May 14, 2012

A theology for the ‘wild things’

I want to place two “life moments” side by side, in order to help me reflect on the place of a theology of ‘wild things.’

During the last few months, I’ve been part of a religious group exploring the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience. The list is such a positive, life-affirming list and the resources have been challenging and helpful.

During the last week, Maurice Sendak, the writer of “Where the wild things” died. In memory, on the spur of the moment, on Saturday evening, we invited friends to mark his passing by watching the movie, “Where the wild things are.”

We missed it when it came out. It seemed an appropriate way to mark a man who had such an interesting ethos to ponder — “I like interesting people and kids are really interesting people.” And who wrote a book about a child and the ‘wild things’ that include fear, anger, grief. “Wild things” which Max, needed to learn how to live with, yet also “wild things” that made him a “really interesting” kid.

Which got me thinking about a theology in the ‘wild things.’ How, when, where, do communities of faith ponder not only the “fruits of the Spirit”, but the deeper emotions that make us human: anger, sorrow, denial, betrayal?

What about sermon series on these?

I mean, they were all felt, or experienced by Jesus. (See for example, some of my thinking/feeling from last year on the feelings of Jesus. And here). So Christianly, we should have plenty of resources. Often the emotions are tucked into Holy Week. (And part of what makes it so exhausting.) Watching “Where the Wild Things” are made me wonder if we need other places, beside Holy Week, in which to explore these emotions theologically?

Posted by steve at 07:07 PM


  1. All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small, all things “wild” and wonderful the Lord God made them all.

    I also like Leonard Cohen’s “There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in” (Anthem)

    I can live with being slightly cracked…. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Comment by Maureen — May 14, 2012 @ 10:12 pm

  2. Those are really helpful links thanks Maureen. Love the holding together of all things bright and wild,


    Comment by steve — May 14, 2012 @ 11:02 pm

  3. It seems that our experience in Christchurch over the last couple of years has involved (and for some poeple still involves) some of those ‘wild things’….And like Max, as we have had to learn to live with them, perhaps we have become stronger, better, changed people.

    Comment by jan — May 18, 2012 @ 1:53 pm

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    Pingback by sustain:if:able kiwi ยป A theology for the 'wild things' « Feeds « Theology of Ministry — June 1, 2012 @ 2:09 am

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