Monthly Archives: January 2016

In the shadow

“you who sit down in the high God’s presence, spend the night in Shaddai’s  shadow” (Psalm 91:1)

I do that. I can do that.

So much right now is unknown, more questions than answers. The not knowing threatens to overwhelm. All of the things that can’t be done are so in my face.

But I know how to breathe. To be still. To listen. And in the night times when the fear can come, I would like to be in the shadow.

So for tonight, this is the place to rest.

Changing light

The light pools, pouring into the street below like rain. Blue white Mercury, chilling all in its path. Memories stir, drawn by the eerie light to surface. 

It was pink, warm, comforting; as much as a city light can be. He changed it, the neighbor, cherry picker in his electric truck just right for the work. 

Now the light pulls me back into the past. Another bluish light, another window, a tiny girl. The icy glow frozen in time, terror illuminated in its broad circle. 

The warmth of the rosy  light resonates within now, impenetrable by a streetlight. The memories are mine, no longer lurking in the shadows. Released from their shroud, they lose their bite of power. 

Grace like rain

Live in the moment. 

The grace that’s in this moment is your mana. (Ann Voskamp)

This is a very in the moment season. Between the post concussion symptoms and the healing of the broken bone life is gotten very still. There is pretty much only this moment right now. I am losing a sense of linear time.

But in that moment the manna comes. Just what is needed; no more. If I try to save it up it goes rotten. It doesn’t keep.

Manna looks like a neighbor showing up to get laundry, like $100 bill coming in the mail for cleaning, like someone at school paying for the kids lunches so they don’t have to pack, groceries coming unbidden to the door, meals not on the meal train that pulled up to our stop anyway, a team of women cleaning the community house at GracYa, chauffeurs for every doctors appointment and every trip for school, healers who offer their gifts of acupuncture and chiropractic, scholarships that come unbidden for sports and conferences, people to show up when courage fails. 

Manna. Just for today. It doesn’t keep; but it just keeps coming. 

And it is enough.

Call it like it is…

When do we begin to name what is?  So many places in our culture have a different set of rules. Let the phrases trickle through your mind that you have heard over the years:  that’s just how it is in medicine, that’s the job of the church, that’s how people talk in sports.

When do we begin to name what is? There are words for this: sexual harassment, spiritual abuse, bullying. It takes courage to use the names. It takes courage to call what I see in me what it is: Control, contempt, manipulation. I learned to call it by nicer names. Those names do not recognize the violence for what it is. Even when there are no words:  Silence can be violence as well.

It takes courage to name what is. Courage comes each day like Grace. It is not something that I have to drum up; it is given. 

Dare. Begin. Name. 

I need Thee every hour

In joy or pain…

This has been one of those days. It is a day when I have to choose truth. And so I put music on, and I take a shower, and I go for a walk. 

What will my rhythms be in this strange season I have been suddenly thrust into? This one handed, no car, season. This food at my door every evening, laundry returned folded, season. 

I was trying to think last night what I can do. The thought came, I can breathe. I forget that sometimes. But I am alive! Perhaps this is the season for me to notice my breath.

I can be present. I can do the work of being all the way there. I can welcome my children, with my eyes, with my voice, with my presence. Perhaps this is the season for me to be present. 

I can listen. There is lots of quiet space. I longed for that over the holidays.  Now I’m here in the quiet, and it has a sound of its own. Perhaps this is the season for me to listen. 

I have a frame that hangs in the corner, empty. It represents the Mystery, The unknown of what is ahead. Perhaps this is the season for Mystery. 

Breath. Presence.  Listen. Mystery. 

Advent:  Dia de los Reyes

The last day of Christmas, epiphany. The day that the Kings come, always late. The children place their shoes outside the night before, filled with hay for the camels. The next morning under the blue lights, squeals fill the dark as candy and gifts were discovered.
The last day, feels like all the others with the doctor after doctor after doctor and call after call after call. The chaos that swirls from a serious car accident threatens to envelop anyone around.
We played a game around the table the other night, putting words to the week since our world splintered with the crash of metal against metal. The words were vivid, hard to hold. “The wrong kind of excitement, underwater, no, chaos, numb, Submerged, intense.”
How do we begin to frame this, this ending of advent? Perhaps that is not the question. Advent ended in chaos, not the twinkling of lights. The crazy run for the border from a family desperate to save their child. That doesn’t sound so different than the stories of so many families that we love. We don’t find out anything about what happened in Egypt. Maybe they lived on the fringes, perhaps they stayed under the radar. That’s not the story that is told.
Maybe Jesus understands chaos, when I have to call a friend to peel me off the ceiling. I wonder if he is present when the friend of a friend stops to get laundry, or someone tells the children they can order anything they want at any restaurant and it will come to their door. Maybe he is present as we sit helpless,    Unable to navigate the system. When Dr. after Dr. brings more questions than answers, steeped in fear and risk and danger. Is he present there as well? Does he remember the sense of danger as his parents ran, the adrenaline that’s  around him and imprinted on his Cellular memory? Is he  as we begin to seek out those with gifts of healing and intuition, who remember the way the body is designed to work? Eucharisteo. Presence.

Silent night

The house still, the flurry of people loving us gone.

 Sleep has come, and now eludes me.

My mind is not still, details swirling like an Arizona duststorm.

So many things to figure out.
The glow of gratitude, of being alive;

Fades in the harsher light of a naked bulb.

We are alive, and there are infinite details.

Things to research, submit, figure out.
So many involve asking for help.

Very few doable alone.

I am not afraid to ask;

Forced humility honed on the wheel of suffering.
The rhythms of daily life are drowned out,

The beat a distant memory.

Children marked by trauma flounder in this swirl,

Change, the enemy; their world not safe.
I sit by the tree as night holds its hush for one last hour.

“Spend the night in Shaddai’s shadow…”

The grace comes for this moment;

Not the days, or weeks, or months ahead.
I forgot that today.

I tried to solve so many things.

Real things, needed things.

For children, for clients, for food.
But in the middle of the myriad of details,

Done one-handed;

I forgot the ONE thing.

It took people with skin on to remind me.
“You are not alone”.

The sound of the breaking of that lie 

Ricocheted through places unseen,

This summer.
And so I sit in vigil by the tree,

Listening for the whisper of the One Incarnate.

Bigger than my fear, 

Bigger than the preaching that distorted HaShem.
Here.  Now.  In the stillness.

And ready to walk forward with me,

In the days of enforced stillness ahead.

May I have ears to hear the whisper.

A whole new year

And so the year is
done, ending with a bang literally. I’m so curious what God is up to I am voice texting this blog because someone totaled our car yesterday. Lots of things hurt, and the story will emerge day by day of what the reality of the injuries are.  But for today, it is enough to be alive. It is enough that my children are alive and my husband is alive.

There will be lots of days where the glow of gratitude fades, swallowed up by doctors and insurance, frustration and weariness with asking for help.  Perhaps on those days I will need to be reminded. Or maybe it is enough to have others around me, Jesus with skin on.

I gave up making New Year’s resolutions a long time ago. Instead, I like to spend time on the last night of the year reflecting.

This year has been a year of grief, mourning new parts of my story. It has been a year of joy, coming alive in ways I never imagined. It has been a year of daring to hope, courageously choosing  truth day by day in the midst of it all.

I am curious about this year.

Perhaps it is a year of stillness, not by choice. Perhaps it is a year of strengthening, body and spirit. Perhaps it is a year of speaking out, inviting women and men to enter their stories and to dare to speak them. Perhaps it is a year of asking questions, and listening between the lines of the answers. Perhaps there are mothers and babies, teaching me new things that I need to know.  Perhaps it is the year of beginning to write, one of the five things I vowed never to do.

Whatever each today holds, may I have the Courage to enter. May a shout of triumph over evil will resound in the places that are unseen. May it be. 2016.