Wednesday, January 11, 2012


"Good morning, this is God..." reads the front of the card on my desk, the one my baby sister sent in October. Beside it, a friend's 2012 New Year's note and new parents' pink birth day thanks bring a smile.

Tucking my treasures into the
wire catch-all above my desk,
I think about good and bad days, the ups and downs life takes. My stash contains paper affirmations, notes of thanks, wisps of weddings, funerals and births, puffs of ordinary weekdays and long weekend holidays.

Days of bright hope. Dark nights of despair.

the image upsets my little Catholic girl
The little Catholic girl in
my head says NO NO NO
to Smoking Jesus. My inner
rebel enjoys her discomfort, embraces the many changes birthed in our adult pain.

This image brings laughter, then tears. I remember the darkness. The permission to rest. A friend witnessing the struggle. Encouraging words.

As I read the New Testament as though it were a novel - the little Catholic girl screams NO NO NO at the casual word NOVEL - the Bible story of Jesus feeding thousands with
a few loaves of bread and a couple fish is framed by granite bookends, deep adult pain.

When Jesus learns that his cousin, John, has died He withdraws
by boat, privately, to a solitary place.

The crowds follow Him.

He has compassion on them, heals their sick, gives them something to eat.

Later, sending the disciples ahead by boat and dismissing the crowds, Christ climbs the mountain, seeking solitude, prayer.
Jesus stays there alone, late into the night.

Christ grieves deeply. His pain opens my heart.

I cry out in fear.

Jesus responds,“Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

Matthew 14 NIV
Photo Credits Smoking Jesus Loaves and Fishes

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