Sermon, Last Sunday of Lent

IMG_1081Today’s sermon preached at St. A’s, the raising of Lazarus and Grandpa Chuck’s death.

Sermon Audio

It is because of my grandfather’s death that I stand before you this morning.

During a particularly difficult moment in my ministry, my grandpa Chuck, after whom Charles is named, fell ill and breathed his last. We were living in South Carolina at the time, far from snowy Minnesota, but I still visited him a few times in his last weeks and was even there to give him last rites the day he died.

Back home, I was struggling with my call, feeling stonewalled at every turn, denied at every door, frustrated with pouring so much effort into what seemed like a bottomless chasm. It was more than exhaustion, or a period of thankless plowing through; I was suffocating, like a flame submitted to a snuffer, gasping for enough air to keep breathing. In some ways my depression felt very much like death. Continue reading

analogies

IMG_1715These pairs of words were the bane of my existence in fifth and sixth grades. Discerning the most representative relationship between two words seemed like a pointless, tedious, exhausting job. And yet, after so many worksheets got so ground into my psyche, I’m counting on the deep recesses of my mind to know what to do with the analogies I’m acting out today. Continue reading

crying with the psalmist

IMG_1964“How long, O Lord, how long?”

I wonder how long it is that my mind will be in this space, that my refrain will be from the second part of the third verse of psalm 6, “low long, O Lord, how long?”  It feels like every day is the last one I can stand.  Sometimes, I ask my husband to drive me home or I sit and stare at the wall, paralyzed.  Psalm 6 gives voice to my frustration.  I roll my eyes and pound at my pillow, I complain and cry about this disease that leaves me dumb, disorganized, addled.  But I’m asking the wrong question. Continue reading