Monthly Archives: April 2009

And Back Again

And very tired.

Conference was very good in so many ways – in connections with people; in inspirational speaking; in challenging stories; in new ideas for old programs.  Oh, yeah, and the food was terrific.

My sister was there and I love being with her.  She amazes me with her energy and passion for the Sudanese families she has befriended, for the children she teaches and with her interest in helping other cultures.  I think I absorb energy just by being around her and come away inspired myself.  She gave me a new book called Sex and Money produced by The Voice for The Voiceless.  It is gut wrenching to read and look at.  It is pretty hard to stay untouched by the women’s stories and the photography.

It was also good to do some spiritual direction.  Listening and attending to the movement of God in people’s stories also nourishes my soul as does the privilege of praying with and for others.  God is good.

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Filed under church, Travels

Off to Conference

So, in a day, I should be in Surrey for our church annual meeting and conference.  I haven’t gone as a delegate for – longer than I can remember. 

I am looking forward to this one.  There are people I want to see again, especially Randall and Lauralea and another of my former pastors, Keith Fullerton and his wife.  And I suspect there will be many others that I have come to know over the years.  That is the main attraction of these events for me – reconnecting with people, seeing where our separate paths have taken us. 

I sure do wish, though, that I had not come down with this stupid cold. 

Anyway, I’ll be taking off tomorrow at about noon and won’t be back till late Sunday night.  I’m hauling along my books so that hopefully I will get some studying done, maybe write one of the last two quizzes when I get back.  It will be nice to finish up the Greek course and get on with the reading for my summer course. 

And I want to be able to simply take a week or so to enjoy the spring and early summer that will happen so suddenly in the next three weeks.  I have a night at the lake courtesy of my staff that I need and want so badly to take advantage of.

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Filed under church, Studying, Travels

Memories

I decided to have Shredded Wheat this morning – not the preformed sort of sweetened little squares that are called Shreddies – but the bite sized shredded wheat.  As I poured boiling water over them and then drained the excess water away, the aroma reminded me so much of my dad.  He used to get the big bowl sized shredded wheat ready for us this way when we were kids.

A tinge of longing rose with the aroma.

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Filed under Dealing with stuff, Family

Easter

Christ passed through death and came out the victor.  That is one of the realities of my faith that I have been thinking about today.  He did this to redeem all the broken parts of our lives and of the whole creation.  We have reason to celebrate. 

The day has been full of such a variety of human experience – from worship of the risen Christ and the provision of hospitality to friends and family to egg hunts and too much food and chocolate eaten to quarrels and the sadness of hurt relationships.  I guess we had the whole gamut of highs and lows around here.  But mostly it was a good day. 

I love the early sunrise service on the river bank.  It seems appropriate,as the sun rises, to remember the new life we have available because of the resurrection.  Marc did a great job of leading us. We even tried to light the Paschal candle but the wind put a stop to that!

The rest of the day has been so full.  Being the matriarch means being hostess and seeing that there was food on the table from sunlight to sundown today.  The last of my children left a short while ago with a good portion of the leftovers.  All those foods forbidden on my diet and eaten today anyway have to leave this house.  Unfortunately, they left the pies and too much bread around and took the ham and turkey.  But I will have to get back on my diet in a serious way starting tomorrow.

And now I need to sleep. 

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Filed under church, Day to Day, Family

The tension of living with longings

I have a deep longing that sends me searching for the presence of God and there are many days when I would love to be a hermit or something with nothing but time to seek God’s presence.  But, down deep I don’t think that is exactly what God wants most for me.  I know that God’s gift of life to me requires that I live daily in conformity with his principles, loving him with all my heart and loving others as Christ himself demonstrated, by being willing to give away everything I am to serve others. 

I struggle with the tension of longing to spend time in God’s house, in God’s presence, on one hand, and, on the other hand know that God is present in the lives I touch with my work, with my mothering and grandmothering and as a friend.  I will perhaps find evidence of God’s presence best in the people I am willing to be a servant to, even if they are family.  The latter is the hardest task somedays (and so “common” – no  glamour to be found) but likely the work that is most faithful to the way of Christ. 

So, tonight I’m babysitting.  Although he is hardly a baby any more.  And he is fun and calls out the child in me as we stomp in puddles on the path. And his mom will be out enjoying an evening on the town – because I love her and have to let her go and enjoy life.

Still …. becoming a hermitess has its appeal.

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Filed under Dealing with stuff, grandchildren

Seven Stanzas At Easter

In preparation for a class which I am taking this summer, The Theology of Caring and Health, I have been reading a book by Kenneth Bakken; The Journey In To God; Healing and Christian Faith. At the end of the first chapter he quotes a marvelous poem by John Updike.  It seems right for this season and it stirred something deep in me.  Poetry tends to do that for me and this one made me stop and catch my breath for the deep truths it was teaching me.

Seven Stanzas At Easter

Make no mistake: if He rose at all
it was as His body;
if the cell’s dissolution did not reverse,
the molecules reknit,
the amino acids rekindle,
the Church will fall.

It was not as the flowers,
each soft spring recurrent;
it was not as His Spirit in the mouths
and fuddled eyes of the eleven apostles;
it was as His flesh: ours.

The same hinged thumbs and toes,
the same valved heart
that – pierced – died; withered paused, and then regathered
out of enduring might
new strength to enclose.

Let us not mock God with metaphor,
analogy, sidestepping, transcendence,
making of the event a parable,
a sign painted in the faded credulity of earlier ages:
let us walk through the door.

The stone is rolled back, not papier-mâche,
not a stone in a story,
but the vast rock of materiality
that in the slow grinding of
time will eclipse for each of us
the wide light of day.

And if we will have an angel at the tomb,
make it a real angel,
weighty with Max Planck’s quanta, vivid with hair,
opaque in the dawn light, robed in real linen,
spun on a definite loom.

Let us not seek to make it less monstrous,
for our own convenience, our own sense of beauty,
lest, awakened in one unthinkable hour,
we are embarrassed by the miracle,
and crushed by remonstrance.

John Updike

The formatting of the original is slightly different but the blog publisher does not seem to like words that are out of line.  Each stanza has an indent that seems to add impact to the words.

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Filed under Poetry and Stuff, Quotes, Reading

For Spring

Just a bit of a new look.

The geese are back.   The river ice is beginning to look mushy.

Sunrise service is planned on the riverbank by our house.  It is suposed to be +8 tomorrow and if it actually is, we will be able to have it without shoveling snow.

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Filed under church, Day to Day