Showing posts from April, 2020

step by single step

Daily Devotion - April 30 I will send a brief message each day (except Mondays) while we are pausing gathering in person. - Kara Jan Richardson has a blessing that begins this way: For Those Who Have Far to Travel A Blessing for Epiphany If you could see the journey whole, you might never undertake it, might never dare the first step that propels you from the place you have known toward the place you know not. Call it one of the mercies of the road: that we see it only by stages as it opens before us, as it comes into our keeping, step by single step. There is nothing for it but to go, and by our going take the vows the pilgrim takes: to be faithful to the next step; to rely on more than the map; to heed the signposts of intuition and dream; to follow the star that only you will recognize; to keep an open eye for the wonders that attend the path... It is very hard for me to relate to  journey  metaphors right now. (In the same way,  home  metaphors are not re

Relishing the Pleasure

Daily Devotion - April 29 I will send a brief message each day (except Mondays) while we are pausing gathering in person. - Kara I like when things are easy to distinguish, clear, unambiguous. Especially my emotions.  This is not what I am getting these days.  How can I feel like things are more complicated and draining than ever, and ALSO simpler and easier?  How can I be both mourning and hopeful?  How can things seem both shocking and unreal, and also completely normal and ordinary?   If I pick individual ingredients out of the stew of me, I am apparently,  simultaneously , frustrated, energized, weary, grateful, sad, and content.   What?!?  In talking about what life has been like these past few weeks with my spiritual director today, I found myself sharing all sorts of joyful moments, moments of connection, and play, and rest, and fun.  They just kept bubbling up and out of me.  Then I said aloud, "Maybe I am afraid to talk about the hard stuff so I am


Daily Devotion - April 28 I will send a brief message each day ( except  Mondays) while we are pausing gathering in person. - Kara It's a drippy, thundery, gray and quiet kind of day today.   We gathered online for Church Coffee Hour this morning. Laughing together, catching up, touching base. Amidst all of the hard news and the suffering of so many right now, these little things are a gift. The brazenly joyful tulips, and bright, blossoming fruit trees are a gift. They preach to us: that God is still moving, that life is still going, that there is a deeper wisdom and order.   This hangs in my porch, outside my front door.   I walk past it to come into my house.  I walked past it this morning after my damp jog, and stopped to read it.  It's a good reminder.  It's helping me ask, "Who is God, and what is God up to right now?"  It's reminding me to wonder.   Today I feel invited to live in a state of wondering, to look around with that qu

Not like it was, but like it will be

Daily Devotion - April 26 I will send a brief message each day ( except  Mondays) while we are pausing gathering in person. - Kara Our congregation has been journeying through a year of questions, asking, “Who is God and what is God up to?” and “What is a good life and how do we live it?” along with some of our ancestors in the faith.   Here’s who we’ve joined so far:  Today's Scripture was  Luke 24:13-53 , in which we meet up with the famous...Cleopas!  You know,  Cleopas … I sort of love this because we  don’t  know. 2000 years later, we have no idea who he is, but he is name dropped here because  of course  the recipient of Luke’s letter, and everyone in the community of Jesus-followers at that time, would know Cleopas!  Nobody would think it necessary to  explain  who he is because it’s impossible for any of us to imagine that thousands of years from now, other people might be watching and learning from our lives and faith. Based on a few different an

Six feet apart and grinning

Daily Devotion - April 25 I will send a brief message each day (except Mondays)  while we are pausing gathering in person. - Kara     Spring has EXPLODED in the Twin Cities.  We are doing our best to social distance, giving each other wide berth, but we are all craving, longing to be OUTSIDE. Humans are suddenly everywhere. Today is a day to feel joy because it's contagious.  We are not WITH others, but we are NEAR them - bikes, rollerblades, strollers and so many walkers.  The motorcycles are out; the dogs are abundant. Hammocks hang double high hither and thither.  It's 70 degrees. So we're out in shorts, sandals, bare feet, masks covering grins, or bare grins - six feet apart and grinning. It feels hopeful. Suddenly we are wishing we owned a frisbee. Suddenly we are digging out the old, dog-chewed football and finding some public-feeling grass under wide sky. It's Diane's 75th birthday today.  And the whole Parkway is celebrating.  Thousands are honking

Starting close in

Daily Devotion - April 24 I will send a brief message each day (except Mondays) while we are pausing gathering in person. - Kara This poem is speaking to me this week: “Start Close In” by David Whyte Start close in,
  don't take the second step
 or the third,
 start with the first
close in,
 the step you don't want to take. Start with the ground you know, the pale ground beneath your feet, your own way of starting the conversation. Start with your own question, give up on other people's questions, don't let them smother something simple. To find another's voice follow your own voice, wait until that voice becomes a private ear listening to another. Start right now take a small step you can call your own don't follow someone else's heroics, be humble and focused, start close in, don't mistake that other for your own. Start close in,
 don't take

The New Normal

Daily Devotion - April 23 I will send a brief message each day while we are pausing gathering in person. - Kara ( Keep Calm and Carry On   was a motivational poster the British government produced in1939.  As WWII loomed, the poster was designed to boost the morale of, and give guidance to, the British public, through the "new normal," which included widely predicted mass air strikes on major cities. It debuted in 2009 on the wall of the dining room of the Root household to help me parent through a particularly rough season of dinner/vegetable battles with my strong-willed toddler. In April 2020, I began regularly consuming coffee from my mug with the "Keep Calm..." logo to help me through Quarantine). How are you doing today? For me, it is dawning (again!?!) that this will change us for a long time.  There is no snap of the finger back to normal. Our governor just canceled in-person school for the rest of the school year, and I'm watching coll


Daily Devotion - April 22 I will send a brief message each day (except Mondays) while we are pausing gathering in person. - Kara Our deck door is open. OUR DECK DOOR IS OPEN. Minnesota friends, the near 70 degree temps are leaking into the house and we are leaking out into the yard, and it is glorious. Ok, I just asked Alexa, and she says it's only 61, but  wow, does it feel great!   This morning a far-away friend thanked me for my daily messages, and said so many folks had become "preachy" lately and she was glad I was "keeping it real."   "Preachy" is a word that has come to mean, I think, a kind of sanctimonious safely removed, telling other people what to feel and think sort of thing. Which is too bad. Because, as an actual preacher, I crave good preaching and I appreciate it to my bones.   Good preaching watches for what God is doing in scripture and the world and shares about it. And a big part of that is looking right whe