About Cary Umhau

Cary Umhau

I’m weary of my good intentions.  I’m tired of wondering “What if I took this stuff seriously?”  I’m thinking that almost 50 years of life, 36 of them as a person oriented towards the claims of Jesus Christ, is time enough to get myself organized, eat some Biblical baby food, and prepare to grow up.  It’s time for launching from the nest.

Raised in a privileged family, with luxury trips and occasional brushes with royalty, I thought the world as I knew it was the whole world.  Tim Keller, in a sermon that I’ll have to dig up, talked about his shock when an African-American friend told him that white people don’t think that they have a culture.  Instead, this person said to Keller (and I am paraphrasing until I find the sermon), white people simply think that their world is just the way things are.  Guilty!; that’s me.

More travel (to less privileged parts of the world), a deeper engagement with Scripture, the chance to worship and converse with other people oriented towards asking God what He really wants us to do about His teachings, reading more widely, observing the major city I live in… these have been gifts that have opened my eyes to the fact that there is more out there than what I know as well as a call to live into the faith I talk about and listen to the God I relate to.

How obvious.  Yet I may not be entirely atypical in my cluelessness and in getting to age 50 (in August, 2010) without much more knowledge than of pop culture or more experience than ethnocentric Americanism affords.  People skewered country singer Alan Jackson when he admitted in a song that he didn’t know the difference in Iraq and Iran.  He merely said what many of us won’t admit.

I’m a wife and mother.  I’m a Christian.  I serve in my church and occasionally serve my neighbors (but honestly, not very often).  I have enough trouble serving those in my house.  I try to give money to causes that need it.  I sometimes give money to people that need it.  But I’m much quicker to give money than myself, to talk a good game but eschew sacrifice.

I went to a good college, I got a Masters degree as an adult, I’ve worked in several different realms, but always with a theme of looking for  the nugget of gold in a pile of crap and working to clean it off, make something of it, and show it off.  I like it most when I can talk with others to explore how we experience God (differently or similarly), and I love imagining that I can occasionally help others see more of Him in a way that is attractive and surprising.

Details of my writing and career paths are available to anyone who can google.  Yet the details never matter as much as the heart issues.  Let’s stop asking people “What do you do?” and ask them “What excites you?” or “What are you learning?” or “How will you respond to what you already know?”

Those are the real questions, aren’t they?

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10 responses to “About Cary Umhau

  1. I just wanted to say, “Yes,” these, and others like them, are the real questions.

    I shall look forward to reading more of your thoughts as the Lord gives me opportunity. I came here, in the course of checking out WordPress as a tool, just to see why you were using the word ‘Jubilee’. I haven’t found out yet, but I look forward to it.

  2. Well, hopefully it’ll explain it more in the very first entry in the January archives or on the Jubilee Concept page.

    I’ll look forward to hearing how you interpret or answer these questions.

  3. Absolutely! This was the first page I looked at; I realize my comment could be interpreted to mean I couldn’t find it, but this was not intended. Your tag cloud is a big signpost. I really meant that I was so far off the beaten path that I looked forward to coming back when it was something I OUGHT to be doing.

    Actually, I almost commented on a page I read afterward but thought better of it: the subject deserves more reflection. It has been of great interest to me (as a concept) for decades. If we implemented it even imperfectly it would release so many captives, but to do so we have to understand as a society that people, preserving hope of a better tomorrow, and not making future generations pay for their father’s poverty or foolishness, are more important than possessions. Apparently even ancient Israel refused to accept this and did not celebrate the Jubilee as God intended.

    The little I have read tells me you are on a noble quest and, yes, one that needs to be explored with total dependence on Christ. I would warn you that waking up enough to ask, “Lord what do you want me to …” concerning those things others assume are already answered brings both blessings and tribulation from the Lord, but I see that you are already discovering this since you set out; your family frustrations have to be viewed in this light as the beginnings of answers from the Lord. The blessings far outweigh our “light and momentary” troubles though, so press on. God bless you in your desire to rest in him alone.

  4. Good post. I think many of us have the same problem you shared. In my case, God has called my bluff…’put up or shut up’….so to speak 🙂 He’s really zinged me with DO THE WORD…DON’T JUST GO TO CHURCH AND LISTEN TO GOOD PREACHING. DO….THE….WORD!!!! And, hey, the people all around me in those ‘highways and hedges’ are the sweetest, greatest, and kindest people …moreso than some of my ‘christian’ associates. Hmmmmmm. Interesting.

  5. Cary,

    This point below is a fantastic point. I love this blog and am clicking the point to “notify me of new posts via email”.

    Let’s stop asking people “What do you do?” and ask them “What excites you?” or “What are you learning?” or “How will you respond to what you already know?”

    Best.

    Tom

  6. Cary – I just read your article in COMMMENT – and am hoping you have found my book”A Profound Weakness, Christians and Kitsch.” Piquant UK 2005
    Similar sentiments – mercy for the visually maligned
    betty

  7. Madeleine Breen

    Dear Cary,

    I happened upon your blog while doing a search on Jubilee and fallow. How fascinating that you apply the 49 years to your 49 years of life! (I will be celebrating that day in 6 months.) Your words have given me a clearer understanding of what it means to lay fallow and how this can be seen in our life experiences. Thank you for assisting me on my adventure!

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