Tag Archives: easter

The story’s not over…

how can this friday be good?
what a crazy parody, to nake an instrumemt of death the symbol of a faith. and then to celebrate a death day like a birthday…
the bottom line is this:
the story’s not over.
sunday’s coming.
and in the upside down kingdom, this is good news indeed.
i have a story. maybe you do too. (actually, here is a secret…we all have a story).
there is beauty in my story.
there is violence in my story.
there is lots of not knowing in my story.
i need to know that sunday’s coming.
and so tonight, we tell the stories. the stories of the brutality. the stories of the desperation. the stories without hope.
stories of friends who keep falling asleep right when a friend needs them most.
stories of a guy who talks about peace and then chops off an ear with a smelly fishing knife.
stories of sarcasm from a dying con, gallows hunor, perhaps?
stories of a sabbath filled with darkness and absence. a sabbath where the fragrance that lingers on the women’s hands is the spices of death, not of the baking of the challah.
and in the middle of the stories, i can hold my own not knowing a little more gently.


Lenten writings: changing times

My advent ran into Easter! Three months into rehab from the car accident seems long. A year is the projection, for the nerve in the arm and for the concussion. The broken bones are strengthening. Soft tissue damage takes longer, but my arm is out in the open. 

Today is Easter. Breakfast in the garden at Hope House, followed by baptisms. On Good Friday, Neighborhood walked the paths of Canaan in the Desert, listening to Kit narrate the story of Jesus’ last days. A weekend made for me; natural light, evening and morning. After a long period of isolation, it is so good for my spirit to remember that I am deeply rooted in the very fabric of community. 

And this journey, this week; remembering another journey so long ago. Yesterday impacted me the most. Saturday, the day we know the least about in Holy Week.  Bits and pieces in Sxripture suggest much was moving in the places unseen. Sounds like another time in the void, where the Spirit of God, the Ruach Elohim, the great wind, moved over the face of the waters (Genesis 1). 

And now Jesus. Moving in the darkness, in the chaos, in the places unseen. Bringing life, hovering, calling forth, stirring. The Street Psalms community came to neighborhood. Kris Rocke challenged us to look for Spirit in the midst of chaos. 

This has been a time of crisis for our family, a chaos in the aftermath of the accident. I am curious then, in the light of Easter, to look for Spirit. 

The Ruach Elohim. 

Here. Now. In me. 

Lenten writings: by name

I have called you by name, you are mine… (Is. 43;1)

Maybe this is all we know of heaven; to be called by name. 

There is the name each of us was given, at birth. As a midwife, I see people choose names for many reasons:  a favorite aunt, a family tradition, the season, circumstance, the meaning. Often in today’s culture of peeking in at a baby’s private parts, the name is chosen midway through the pregnancy. 

The last book of Scripture says:

I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it.

I was named “Joanna”, Ιωαννα, Grace. As my father’s sermon illustration explained, after 18 years of waiting for a child it was sheer grace. 

I found that hard to hold as I wrestled as a grown up with the reality of my story. How could a child be longed for and then so violated? And so I asked God about it, and the answer came. Your dad named you for his own reasons. I have named you “grace”. You are living into that name. 

Mary the Magdalene came, in tomorrow’s Lenten Easter story. She showed up at the cross too, choosing to stay in the pain. She had known agony; 7 demons Jesus cast out of her. And so she comes, drawn by love, to finish the embalming process cut short by the Sabbath. And He is gone. Her hope, gone. 

She asks the gardener where the body of her Lord is? Does he know where they have taken Him? And He answers with one word, Mary. 

And it is enough. More than enough. Her name, spoken by the One who knows her story. 

Joanna came too, to the tomb early in the morning, that first day of the week. Nothing more is said. Perhaps He spoke her name, too. 

Joanna. Grace.