Showing posts from August, 2014

to be human in the world

This has been a crazy summer to be human in the world. I get that crazy stuff is happening all the time, and probably always has since the very beginning, but it feels crazier, or more urgent, or more relentless, or something, right now.  Part of it is the never ending stream of information and opinion and footage and interpretation flashing in our faces night and day. OK, so that's probably a lot of it. And we get so caught up in the frenzied whirlwind that we find ourselves disconnected from life. Last Spring, a few weeks before school let out for the summer, the Spider Tree died. A beloved five trunk tree that has majestically and playfully graced the park near the elementary school in our neighborhood for decades, and made its way into local lore and art, lost one of its "legs" in a storm. Inspection revealed that the whole thing was rotten and had to come out. It was devastating for the kids (and parents) - notes and cards were left on the stump, an

in need of a course correction

Matthew 15:21-28 Stubborn Blessing – by Jan Richardson Don’t tell me no.
 I have seen you
 feed the thousands,
 seen miracles spill
 from your hands
 like water, like wine,
 seen you with circles
 and circles of crowds 
pressed around you
 and not one soul
 turned away. Don’t start with me. I am saying
 you can close the door 
but I will keep knocking.
 You can go silent
 but I will keep shouting. 
You can tighten the circle
 but I will trace a bigger one 
around you, 
around the life of my child
 who will tell you 
no one surpasses a mother 
for stubbornness. I am saying 
I know what you
 can do with crumbs 
and I am claiming mine,
 every morsel and scrap 
you have up your sleeve. 
Unclench  your hand,
 your heart. 
Let the scraps fall 
like manna,
  like mercy 
for the life
  of my child,
  the life of 
the world. Don’t you tell me no. Since we last saw Jesus, with the crowds at their kin

Absurd, Subversive Feasting

Matthew 14:13-21 It’s a pretty cool trick to have a bunch of food appear to feed thousands of people when there was only a very little bit to begin with.   Besides the Resurrection, t he Feeding of the Five Thousand is the only miracle that appears in all four gospels; it’s a super important story for the early church and clearly meant to give us a glimpse of who God is and what it means to be disciples.   And as bible stories go, it’s pretty tame and unassuming, so we love to tell it to children. It’s not scandalous or disturbing, and it has a happy ending too!  What’s not to like? Once, in the middle of what was the darkest and most wretched period of my life (so far), I had a conversation with my sister about an experience of unexpected and inexplicable blessing from God.   She was in the middle of a prayer meeting and some people suddenly got gold teeth. A miracle of the Holy Spirit, I guess, just to say God loves us.   She told me that, and how it had impacted her,