Thursday, March 13, 2014

Fat, Husky, Big-Boned Tuesday

Sometimes, the Spirit just hits one out of the park. For us at Grace, it was Fat Tuesday. A week out, I'm looking back and still basking in the glow. Little faces from Grace Day Care and Readiness Preschool lit with smiles and sparking with excitement. Families enjoying a free 'breakfast for dinner' meal. One little guy said, "Those chocolate chip pancakes were the best thing I ever put in my mouth!" Men of Grace (and a few wonderful women of Grace too) doing their servant thing in the kitchen. Grace Church folk wearing Mardi Gras beads. My dear friend John wowing people with Gospel magic. One of our youth in tears because she finally got to see a sloth live and in person thanks to the staff from Columbian Park Zoo. Children's Director Jonathan Thompson and Day Care Director Anne Hough working together to help families create memory stones. Candy English snapping pictures. For me, it was the perfect preparation to Ash Wednesday. We got to see 'how good and pleasant it is when brothers and sisters dwell in unity.' (Psalm 133:1). Then we turn around on Ash Wednesday and acknowledge all the ways we fail to develop that sweet life in ourselves and others. But Tuesday gave us the vision of how it can be. I'm going to hold onto that vision for a long, long time.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Critters

I'm sitting on the patio on a gorgeous late spring day. Trevor the Bearded Dragon basks in the real sun (his heat lamps suffice, but barely). The guinea pigs, Pigeon and Obi Wan, snuggle into the cool grass, eating at will. Kitty the dog roams, causing Trevor to puff out his beard and the pigs to freeze until she ambles over to lie sighing at my feet. I type. Nearby, on the playground, little voices shout "Come and get me," giggling. Trees dance in the breeze, whispering and shushing. Traffic hums along; people have places to go, especially home. Marvelous. Life. I don't deny that it has its cruel side. The insects' lives are short in Trevor's vicinity. Wars rage. Abuse continues. Children go to bed hungry. Unwanted babies come into being. Addicts numb themselves, dealers provide others with desolation. Is it wrong to praise God when so much is lamentable? Is it wrong to glory in beauty when my feet and words and presence might alleviate ugliness somewhere? It's time to cook supper, bring the creatures back inside where they are safe from predators. God, I sing your praise for all you have made. In my song, let me not forget those whose voices are silenced.

Friday, September 30, 2011

People do change. I know a lot of people who don't think so, but Trevor the lizard is proof.

Well, he's really a bearded dragon and he's hanging out on my chest while I type this blog. James has wanted a reptile for a long, long time. I always said no. Lots of reasons: 9-year-old boys' pets usually become Mom's pet, lizards are ugly and not cuddly, lizards eat live bugs, I am just not a lizard person, etc.

Well, the first one is probably going to be true, and he does eat live bugs. The other opinions I held turned out to be different. So I have revised my statement. Now, I might be a lizard person.

Trevor is fascinating to watch, and he is cute in his scaly, dragon-ish way. He loves to cuddle, if by cuddle you mean he hangs around on your warm skin. He chomps crickets and kale with great relish.

John Wesley talked in one of his sermons about 'invincable ignorance.' As he builds a logical argument to the 'if your heart is as my heart, give me your hand' quote, he says: “Perhaps some cannot know. For who can tell how far invincible ignorance may extend? Or (what comes to the same thing) invincible prejudice; which is often so fixed in tender minds that it is afterwards impossible to tear up what has taken so deep a root.”

There are undoubtedly some things that can't be changed about ourselves. I'll stop at saying people can't change, though. They can, and do, all the time.

Whenever I'm tempted to label people as this or that, I'm going to remember Trevor and maybe, just maybe, I'll be a little more open to who people are instead of who I always thought they were.

Friday, September 2, 2011

All in the Family

Maia is into watching reruns of Archie and Edith, Meathead and Gloria. It makes me laugh to watch it again. I was about her age when it was on the first time. I couldn't believe some of what Archie said.

Now I see truth in there, behind the rough exterior and the bigotry. I see his heart. Meanwhile, I've learned to question some of the things that Mike says. And Edith, of all of them, she is like the Christ figure in the TV show. She is love, always, for everyone. And she just gets put down, picked on, 'stifled.'

It's great to have this to share with my smart, witty daughter!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

It's All Spiritual

We are getting settled in our new home in Lafayette, starting the process of meeting our 'people' and the community. What's been weird is that the 1st floor of our new house is laid out very like our old one. On the one hand, that has helped us feel at home rather quickly.

On the other hand, I keep going to the 'old' locations for things like light switches and plates. I laugh at myself about 10 times a day as I reach for a switch or item that is not in the same spot in this house as it was in Elkhart.

One thing I am holding on to (besides God and friends) is that change forces my brain to make new cells! Plus, we now live in the woods. All that oxygen being generated by the trees ought to make me alert and on top of things.

It's not been without struggle, I admit. I do miss my Trinity family and the co-workers I've shared life with. Yet being where God calls you is an amazing place to be. I highly recommend it, even if it does disorient us for a while.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Lloyd

My friend and coworker. Lloyd, is sick. Not just kind of sick. Really sick. In the hospital in Indy sick. Scared everybody sick.

Someone asked me today if he is out of the woods. I wanted to say yes.

I didn't think I could. I think we are all 'in the woods.'. This week some crazy guy got all worked up and convinced a few people that the Rapture was going to happen on Saturday. A lot of people joked about it ithe circles I inhabit. A few kids got anxious.

Saturday came and went, and we are still here. Well, most of us are. Some people did die that day, and others on Sunday, more tomorrow. We each have our own personal Raptures. None of us is out of the woods.

That is what makes Christ's death and resurrectdion such good news, isn't it? We are going to go through it, and we will be fine. Death is not the end of the world, it is not even the end of our lives. We can trust this. The more we spend time with God, the morer the Spirit is able to reassure us. The more assured we are, the less we fear. The less we fear, the freer we are to love and risk and try.

Lloyd is improving daily, and I am glad. His life is stronger than the illness.

And when the woods beckons, when our bodies can't quite make it anymore, God is still good. Love never ends.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

100 Years from Now

As a youth, my mom, font of wisdom that she is, always used to tell me: "100 years from now, no one will know the difference." It was usually when I was upset about something, or hadn't been able to meet someone's expectations. Since then, Mom's voice has echoed in my thoughts many times. What will this current situation mean 100 years from now?

Last week, a friend and I argued. I rarely lose my temper outside my family (that's a whole other subject), but in our conversation I could hear my voice raise in pitch. Neither of us said particularly hurtful words. We simply drove each other crazy, pushed one too many buttons. We ended with apologies, hopes for future, but our voices were still tight with anger. My stomach in knots, I simply went home.

On Sunday evening, we met accidentally at church. Maybe accidentally; it turned out to be a gift. We looked at each other, she hugged me. We didn't solve any problems, but we acknowledged we're on the same team. Reconciliation. Peace.

100 years from now, the conflict will be forgotten. We'll both be alive and well in the world to come. Jesus told us that whatever we bind, will be bound in the world to come, and whatever we loose will be loosed.

I'm going for loose. An eternity of loose sounds pretty good to me.