Praise God

If you’re here this morning feeling triumphant and joyous and free because of the Supreme Court’s decisions this past week, praise God.

If you’re here this morning feeling queasy and uncertain because of the Supreme Court’s decisions, or because of hate that’s been manifested in our state and even across the street in the last few weeks, praise God.

If you feel like finally, finally, God is answering your prayers, praise God.

If you feel like, in light of this week, God must be taking a nap, praise God.

I do truly pray that there are people in these pews today of all those convictions, because there is merit in all those convictions, and familial love and diversity is a hallmark of the Kingdom of God.

God doesn’t look the way that any of us think he does. God doesn’t act the way any of us suppose he should. God doesn’t look like you. God doesn’t look like me.

God looks like Jesus Christ.

God is Jesus Christ.

Praise God, our Lord Jesus Christ.

And you know what today is? Continue reading

Happiness List: Good Friday Edition


I offer this afternoon a few pieces of art for contemplation, instead of the usual trappings of my happiness lists.  These efforts have invited me into the drama, depth, and grace of Holy Week in a new way this year, for which I am grateful. Continue reading

the morning after

when I woke up the first morning as Mrs. Hylden, the morning after our wedding, I came to a discouraging realization: I am still the same person I was yesterday.

I had this strange, unexpressed expectation that when I got married, I’d change–overnight.  I’d become a grownup and I’d brim with that patience and generosity and perspective that I’d always struggled to cultivate.

The morning of May 30th, I got up with an extra band of gold on my finger, a new name and a new commitment, but I didn’t really feel any different, and I surely was not magically oozing fruits of the Spirit.

Yesterday, I tried making gluten-free gnocchi for the first time.  Longer than forming the dough, rolling and cutting the individual gnocchi(s?), was the shopping–three grocery stores later, I only had to make one (not super effective) substitution.  As I was chasing down new ingredients and throwing myself into the deep end of gluten-free substitutions (having mastered gluten-ed substitutions awhile ago), I fought my frustration at the glacial pace and inefficiency of the whole process.  Scouring shelves, rereading recipes and searching google on my phone to find “substitutions for sweet white rice flour,” made me realize the same thing I’d learned when I woke up May 30th, 2011: Life takes time.

Earlier this year, a dear colleague from the cathedral took a new job; at a party, a parishioner asked her about the new work.  Reflecting on the joys and challenges of inhabiting a position with both promise and little preconceived shape, she said of change, “It keeps you honest.”  Rather than being lulled into complacency by certainty and repetition, changing circumstances encourage us to grow in uncomfortable but transforming ways.  We never wake up one morning having arrived, we (or at least I) rarely complete our to-do lists in one day, and no one–ourselves or others–change as quickly as we hope they would.  Life takes time.

Time to adjust to a new lifestyle–job, diet, exercise regimen, environment.

Time to heal from wounds–relational or physical.

Time to change our habits, learn new skills, be transformed into new people.

“Be present, O merciful God, and protect us through the hours of this night; so that we who are wearied by the changes and chances of this life may rest in your eternal changelessness; through Jesus Christ our Lord(Collect for Compline, BCP page 132)