• Christian Living,  God,  Worship

    How Marvelous

    It smelled clean – cologne and clorox – and the adolescent pheromones ran high. Our carpet echoed our Sister Church in burgundy bold. The chairs interlocked and faced the altar where wide steps landed on a deep stage with room for the most important ones. We stared at the plexiglass protecting the bathtub under a comically tall, thin gold cross. We sang hymns projected on the screens between house-made graphics of giant hands and mountains and rays of sun through clouds. I preferred the hymnal and bobbed my eyes to the notes as we sang mostly on key to majestic piano chords. Home. I felt so at home. I didn’t know…

  • Christian Living,  creativity,  God,  Reading,  Worship

    Wilting Well

    The roses wilt and I let them stay here, dying in the dingy vase by the winter-dirtied window. They sit on the food-stained tablecloth in the kitchen I have nested into comfortable beauty – it’s home with dirt and all. Because roses die lovely and I catch them in my quotidian busy, find in them a small sabbath while I labor. May I die lovely, too. In the dingy vase of this imperfect life – full of pain and aches of still-not-getting-it, full of disasters most unnatural, winters that make my lenses foggy, too. When I miss the beauty in decomposing – didn’t he say he made all things new?…

  • Birth,  God,  Jesus Christ,  Kingdom,  Love,  Pregnancy,  Worship

    Eve & Mary & A Baby Bump

    Life swells. Like a bruise, like a flower. It hiccups and blossoms and jolts about with new growth and this is never more clear than during pregnancy. And Mary’s swollen stomach wasn’t the start, wasn’t the end, but was in the middle of this growing, this death-becoming-life. We get word pictures of creation in labor at the moment of Jesus’ arrival. As this ordinary Jewish woman felt a miracle in her womb, every living cell felt it, too. But it wasn’t the beginning of a story toward redemption and it wasn’t the end of the work to be done. It was a climax. I love that image of Eve and…

  • Beauty,  Cancer,  Christian Living,  God,  Jesus Christ,  Kingdom,  Love,  Worship

    In The Likely Event that I Don't Get a Yearly Update In the Mail

    I didn’t get the Christmas New Year card out. Maybe I’ll squeeze it into the “Hey, we’re only a few days in and you know, life so it’s still acceptable for you to receive this” window. Probably not. I didn’t get the card out to tell everyone what a stupid, awesome, horrible, beautiful year we had. And I feel more compelled than I have in other years because this was a year. I mean, a damn year. This year earned her place in nostalgia – good and bad and ugly and lovely all swirling together in our memories. This year we saw God so.close. So up in our business that…