Standing in the den two nights ago my husband rubbed his hands through his hair, looked at me and said, “Have I come undone?” I said, “Well, I’m sure you have. Listen to this. . . .” I opened a book and read something I’d found earlier that very day. Stumbled across it really. “Let’s face it. We’re undone by each other. And if we’re not, we’re missing something. If this seems so clearly the case with grief, it is only because it was already the case with desire. One does not always stay intact. It may be that one wants to, or does, but it may also be that despite one’s best efforts, one is undone, in the face of the other” (Judith Butler, Undoing Gender, 2004, 19).Read More
shining sun and skies azure
praying in time with my own beating heart
the smell of my daughter’s hair
remembering the rhythms of work
soup for dinner
pumping weights and running three miles
listening to the lament of crows
(opening notes. . . of a requiem . . . for grief)
Lenten Lament on Grief
Yesterday was the first day since Lent began that I did anything I’d call productive for work. Why? Well grief keeps kicking my backside. And all my other sides, for that matter. I’m attending to it. I’m not rushing to get back to things. But it keeps spurting out in surprising and unsettling ways. So I’d like to write an honest lament about grief’s effects on me.
“On practicing Our Faith” On practice. On practicing our faith. On practicing our faith with the Jesus story.
Where exactly are we in the Jesus story, right about now? Let’s try to locate ourselves on our journey through the Jesus story. The lectionary. You recall what that is: the list of scriptures that reaches out across the Christian landscape and leads us week by week and season by season through each church year. Each year we follow the Jesus story in the Gospel readings . . .
My father-in-law John has a saying: “How you practice is how you play.”
Lent should not ever really begin the way it did. But then tragedy does not seem to have a timetable. At least not one I like. My feelings are still too raw to blog about this now. And some of you who read this are raw as well. So I’ll stick with one of the prayers I prayed in the funeral today. It’s a prayer for children, and it followed a reading of Luke 18:15-17. Jesus Christ, we love our children. You love our children. You love us as your children. And so we bring you our children now . . .Read More
“Letting Go: An Ash Wednesday Reflection”
DRIVING TO CHURCH IN THE GATHERING darkness of a late-winter afternoon, I find myself in a state of persistent indecision. By the time I arrive at the Ash Wednesday service at my church, I’ve still reached no conclusion about what I should give up or take up for the Lenten season. Like most years, as Ash Wednesday approaches I wonder what will make my journey more meaningful. What do I need in this season? Some years the need is to let go of some burden; in other years the call is to take up some spiritual practice. Still other years I settle on nothing and wander through Lent more lost than the children of Israel in the wilderness.
How can we live generously?
When I landed in Charlotte, NC, yesterday the first email message I read on my phone said that Howard Cockrum had died. I was struck immediately by two deeply felt responses: grief and gratitude. In life we’re sometimes lucky enough to have friends who are truly worth knowing, people who manage to love us with no strings attached, faithful ones who bless us with gifts, love and generosity, people who become family and who share without holding back.
How much is enough? I’ll start with (another) story of disorientation. It began three days ago. On Sunday night I flew to St. Paul. It is fairly uneventful as flights go. I sit alone. I read and write. I plan for the week. On the ground this calm uneventful evening starts to unravel slowly. Snow is pouring.Read More