Thursday, March 28, 2013


We all have a bit of Judas in us, don't we? My heart is breaking today.  Jesus, with a kiss your friend led you to your death.  But even as it appeared that evil and darkness had triumphed, god had something beautiful and amazing going on.  Lord, get me through the next few days. Let me be have faith in the empty tomb.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

I am going to miss it...

I have been going to church nearly every day lately.  But now there won't be another service until 7pm on Thursday.

I am counting the hours.

sweet confession

I confess to you and your tenderness holds me.  You draw me close.  Your heart seeps into mine, turning the coldness and dark into warm light.

Jesus.  How sweetly you call.  How gentle is your spirit.  Even now, in the midst of this week of betrayal and pain, suffering and fear, you are gentle, oh lover of souls.  Oh, love.  You are sweet.  You reconcile us to yourself and ever hold open your arms.

Forgive me.

I love you.

Sunday, March 24, 2013


I am going to bring a little palm cross to work.  The cross was made by one of the many favorite teens from Grace Church with a palm from our Palm Sunday service.  I will put it up discretely so the clients who come into the center won't be confronted with it... but I am planning to put it where I can see it.

I love Palm Sunday.  I love all of Holy Week, actually.  The entire journey from Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a borrowed colt to Easter Sunday, complete with fancy dresses and decorated hats.  What goes on between those two moments is grueling, gripping, painful and incredible.  It is a week of coming face to face with sin.  It is a week when I have to acknowledge that I am one of those who waves palms joyfully one minute and then cries ''Crucify Him" to Pilate in the next.  Because it IS our sin that nails him to the cross.

I know that some of my evangelical friends are uncomfortable with the intensity around Holy Week.  Is it idolatry to put palms on your wall?  Is it really necessary to relive every moment of the crucifixion every year, sitting in a somber and quiet church reflecting on the 7 last things Christ said from the cross for 3 solid hours?  Or creeping towards a wooden crucifix and kissing the feet of him who is represented there?

For me, there is no controversy or conflict.  These rituals came from a church that did not yet have ready access to scripture for the masses.  These rituals were a way for everyday folks to physically, mentally and spiritually engage with the story long before Gutenberg invented his press.  And even now, for someone with no less than 6 copies of scripture in 4 translations, the physical act of standing and waving palms, or of kissing the feet of a crucifix gives the story an immediacy that just reading could not.  Those wooden feet are not HIS.  But these lips are mine....  And we are whole beings.  The physical is part of our faith.

So, the cross is going up.  The rest of the palms will be tucked somewhere in my home, to dry and wilt until I bring them to church to be burned for next year's Ash Wednesday service.  And I will pray that Christ will use this Holy Week to draw me closer to him.  And to glorify himself in the process.

Sunday, March 17, 2013


I am facebook friends with a kid my son's age.  Quite a bit of what he posts is hate-filled rhetoric against the church.

And I have to wonder, where does a kid learn to hate like that?  It makes me sad to think that his parents are encouraging that kind of prejudice.  It makes me sadder still to think that this boy is going to attempt to go through life with nothing but anger towards God.

I had a snarky attitude towards Christians growing up.  I spent years hating.  And suffering.

I pray for this kid.  I pray that his hatred doesn't win.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


I told my priest today that I felt like I have done a crappy job of Lent this year.  I just don't feel like I have paid enough attention to it.  Haven't felt penitential enough.  Have started the headlong slide into Holy Week altogether too fast.

He gently suggested that as Lent is a time of transformation, perhaps it has been powerfully effective, whether I feel like I am doing it right or not.  

My work is transforming.  We had a fire just before Ash Wednesday and have been spending our collective Lent trying to emerge from the ashes, reinventing our ministry and ourselves in the process.  It has been both joyful and brutal.  We, all of us, are the walking wounded.  But still maintain a sense of optimism and hope.  We see God at work and are so very grateful.  We are lifted by prayer and offers of help.  But we are exhausted, too.  Starting over is exhausting.

At the same time, I have been undergoing a major spiritual shift.  Something changed during my retreat last fall.  I have been attending church several times a week, reading scripture daily, thirsting for Jesus in a new way.  My heart is filled with peace and joy.  An indescribable delight.

And God has been giving me signs and wonders. He has given me companions on the path.  He has sweetly led the way and I have willingly followed.

But tonight, I am tired.  So very very tired.