Over on the Covenant blog, this Thanksgiving morn, I write a bit more about Kathryn Greene-McCreight’s book, Darkness is my Only Companion, and I’m so, so grateful for those companions (especially Husband) who have kept walking in the darkness with me). (CLICK HERE)
Though I’m sleeping a lot this November (habitually a worst month of the year), I’m also seeing a lot more light than I have the last three years–and grateful for that.
(now, appropriately, I’m off to a gratitude-focused yoga class!)
Over the summer, my husband and I trekked back to our homeland–the upper Midwest. It was right on the heels of the flag removal in our downtown, and so after covering the weather (requisite subject matter for any conversation in the Midwest), we were sometimes asked, a little awkwardly, “So that racism in the South–it’s over now, right?”
As if there was a stomach bug traveling around and the taking down of one sheet of sewn fabric had finally quashed it once and for all. Continue reading
Last week we heard from Pastor Alan Dyer as he brought God’s Word to us from the twelfth chapter of Mark; he challenged us with the story that’s often called “the widow’s mite”—when Jesus lifts up the example of a destitute woman quietly putting two pennies into the offering basin right next to the charity of much louder and abundant givers. Rev. Dyer wondered what it would look like for us, too, to give all that we have to God: living faithfully in small ways like the widow and like a prayerful friend Alan had made—not seeking to be noticed for our faith and actions in big, showy ways.
In the next passage, Mark 13, which we have to wrestle with today, Jesus and his disciples leave the temple for the Mount of Olives. Jesus has turned over tables and exposed the power-mongering of the temple leaders, but as he exits the doors, his companions, the disciples, can’t help but be overcome by the greatness of the building they’re leaving.
The sheer size of the temple befits the place that it holds in the imagination and spirituality of Jews in the first century. These good Jewish men, the disciples, are like tourists in the big city, gawking at the skyscrapers, eyes wide at the shiny stones. “Look, Jesus, aren’t these enormous buildings amazing? Look at what people have done!” They’re enraptured by the shiny objects; hypnotized by the bright stones.
Jesus says right back to them: “Do YOU see these big stones and impressive buildings?” “Are you really looking deeply and closely at these monuments to human achievement?” “Do you recognize what it is that you’re taking in?” “Do you see the significance of these buildings?”
Then Jesus drops the hammer: Continue reading
When I was fifteen, I was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. On a bright and clear Thursday morning in October (the 31st to be exact) I woke up and couldn’t move. I remember starting to rouse myself and laughing ruefully at the thought of getting out of bed. An A+ student, oldest child, and member of the cross country team, I’d never chosen to just stay in bed before. I’d never experienced such stiffness and pain–though I vividly remember even more than a decade later that I felt no fear over my suddenly-old body. Continue reading
Two months ago, I started taping scraps of paper with peoples’ names on them to my office walls. Yes, I am suffering mental illness, but I’m told it’s not the sort which often results in erratic redecorating. Continue reading
The most important thing I learned in seminary is to come to other people and groups of people with compassion–put more simply–to interpret others charitably. Continue reading
I arrived in Manhattan two hours later than I’d anticipated; a severe accident on the interstate in South Carolina made me miss my reserved flight, but I hopped on the next plane to the Big Apple without incident.
The last weekend in September was the one I’d chosen to make my yearly visit to my brother in NYC, and this trip had the added bonus of catching a best friend’s baby shower. It also turned out to be the exact span during which the Pope would visit the city that never sleeps. Continue reading