the enemy is not netflix. the enemy is depression.

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“The idea that every day is another opportunity to battle the constant barrage of thoughts that inform me of my every weakness both perceived and real, is often too overwhelming to contemplate and the TV – that always friendly source of absolutely brain free entertainment is an increasingly constant friend.” (cue emphatic “uh huh”-ing and encouraging-foot-stomping) – Katharine Welby

For me, tv is often a way to block out those damning voices Katharine talks about, and sometimes I think of it as a way to escape the unrelenting frustration that pops up like those rodents in Whack-A-Mole–I can just ignore them for awhile, let them all pop up unchecked, maybe they’ll even knock each other out with their incessant bubbling about. 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

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This week, I’ve been thinking about the thief on the cross to whom Jesus promises, “today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43).  It’s never too late to start over.

As the shine of yoga-camp-life wears off, and we’re traveling, my new healthful routine gets to having cracks in it and my body and soul feel the un-balancing starting to set in.  Instead of starting the day with psalms and meditation, I’m eager to get going, feed the animals, start the coffee, then suddenly I’m showering and driving to work, the day long-since begun and no quiet time to speak of.

How important it is, though, when I know not what a day will bring, to spend a bit of time waiting and asking to be filled up with strength and compassion for the day ahead–though I’m blind to the future, God, the giver of all strength and compassion, is not.  Indeed, God knows exactly what I will need.  God knows what a day will hold and exactly what I will need to survive, thrive, and serve him well in it.  Why not give him a chance to fill me up before it begins?

And I must remember, it’s never too late to start over.  Of course, a new day with its morning light and freshness is a natural, comfortable moment to start over, but it can be anytime of day.  The thief on the cross started over at the very last possible moment, and it still wasn’t too late.

The Three Crosses (Rembrandt) via

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Christ on the Mount of Olives, life-size sculpture in Strasbourg Cathedral, 1498

 This collection of sculpture twists time, featuring a few Jesuses–here seen both kneeling at the Mount and hanging on the cross. This combination artwork of both relief and free-standing sculpture bends expectations in many arenas–time, space, sound, light.  How does Jesus’ Passion bend and stretch our expectations?

what makes a true worshiper

2012-06-05 11.17.05Is there anything worse than sticking out in a group of people? Is there anything more humiliating than showing up for a party with an outfit that is far too formal or far too casual? Is there anything more uncomfortable than realizing that you don’t understand the jokes being told in a group, or that you can’t relate at all to the complaints and observations of daily life being made in conversation?

It is painful to be an outsider, to have that feeling in the pit of your stomach, knowing that you don’t belong. Like that Sesame Street feature: “One of these things is not like the others.” And yet, this is how Evelyn Underhill, the sister in faith whose example we remember today, spent most of her life. Continue reading