Friday, March 22, 2013

My Peeps

Do you really want to be converted? Are you willing to be transformed? Or do you keep clutching your old ways of life with one hand while with the other you beg people to help you change? - Henri Nouwen, The Inner Voice of Love more

Clutching. Definitely clutching.

I read this book in the spring of 2012, when it appeared on my front porch, a clandestine delivery by a friend, her husband driving the get-away van. The Inner Voice of Love arrived with Cheetos and chocolate, my comfort foods, in what was one of the darkest periods of my life. I read the whole thing, crying, sitting in my rocking chair, in our living room, the place where my journeying tightly with God began. 

And still I push away, refusing to be transformed.

You know that inner voice. You turn to it often. But after you have heard with clarity what you are asked to do, you start raising questions, fabricating objections, and seeking everyone else's opinion. Thus you become entangled in countless often contradictory thoughts, feelings, and ideas and lose touch with the God in you. And you end up dependent on all the people you have gathered around you. - Henri Nouwen, The Inner Voice of Love

I started kneeling the other day, taking a submissive posture during prayer. 

Yes, Lord. It is time to let go of my peeps, rely solely and soul-y on You to lead me on this journey. Rw

Monday, March 18, 2013


I remember sitting with the other pall bearers at the funeral for my paternal grandfather, a quiet defiance coercing through me as I sat back in the pew, eyes staring forward, chin tilted slightly up, jaw clenched, challenging someone – anyone, everyone – to confront me.

I wanted my father to be tortured and shamed in this moment with this one simple act: my refusal to take Communion.

Lord, forgive me! What an ugly place for my soul to be!

This culmination of my defiance began long ago, shame shadows haunting me, isolation, a dark divorced place, bitterness like mold growing within me twisting a core Catholic belief – bread and wine becoming the true presence of Christ – into a toxic prison assuring my own exile.

Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner 
worthy of the gospel of Christ.
Philippians 1:27 NIV excerpt

Yesterday, watching Perry kneel not just once but multiple times – broken beautiful humanity demonstrating the joy of the apostle Paul and the divine obedience of Christ – opened my hardened heart to the realization that I rarely kneel ... often exhibiting pride in not kneeling, a pattern of defiance and isolation extending back decades.

Grieving Woman


"Why not?" the selfish toddler me demanded. Why can't non-Catholics, Evangelicals and Protestant denominations receive Catholic Communion? more >

Monday, March 11, 2013

$30 VIP

reformed trafficker now
educating vulnerable youth
"$, $30 VIP, 1/2 Hour Rate Available" reads the sign, posted boldly where all who enter might see.

On another night, in another city, the "Champagne" room is far from the entrance and stage, beyond the engaging bouncer at the desk who arranges some thing. The customer and young woman disappear for a time. By chance i look up to see her return. She stops momentarily, bends to slip on her shoes. She is a daughter, a sister, a girlfriend, a teen-aged adult.

She is Cinderella. See her stiletto slippers?

Our daughters in middle class homes grow up thinking "I'm a princess to be rescued and loved."

The sellers of sex know the fantasy.
charged with trafficking
two midwest teens

We parents buy into the media-perpetuated lie: "traffickers are brutish dark strangers" not fun and engaging young women, or well-spoken intriguing and attentive sweet guys.

The heartbreak in all of this madness is the youth that get caught in the trap. Not grabbed from the street by strangers or randomly kidnapped from homes. Vulnerable youth are invited – romanced by beautiful promises, distorted shadows of grace, hope and love.

The dark twisting is often coercion, skilled chameleons changing color, flagrant and unexpected hues:
- a big city shopping day ends in a nightmare;
- a spontaneous romantic destination devolves into isolation, abandoned without money or car;
- a high school sweetheart softly asking, manipulating, then demanding sexual favors for friends;
- a video filmed without permission now sold to others who devour and share.

Children are growing up vulnerable. Innocence is being eroded each day. Will we let go of the "prince" and the "princess" and replace fantasy with open communication and unconditional love?

Embrace the young lives around us with God's grace, hope and love?


inspired by
Holly Austin Smith

Parents, don't come down too hard on your children 
or you'll crush their spirits. - Colossians 3:21 MSG

Thursday, March 7, 2013


Reading my friend Kimberly's blog always brings tears, sometimes tears of laughter, more often tears of sorrow so deep as to take my breath away.

I saw a tenderness in the father’s loving concern for his child, and a hopeful trust in the cradled child as she looked into her father’s face. This may sound normal to you, but it is extraordinary in a land riddled with fathers who abandon their children through war, famine, fear, or through trauma that seems to emotionally just shut them down. - Matt McGowen, guest blogger, Life that Matters 

This morning as I read about a father and daughter in Sudan, my heart also grieves for daughters here in the U.S. whose fathers abandon them, often putting them at risk economically, physically, spiritually. Abandonment in our culture - perhaps in all cultures - opens the door for the enemy's cruel lie of worthlessness, a false belief that she is not worthy of love.

We are all worthy of love.

What is is about U.S. culture that is traumatizing our fathers? Our young men?

What is the first step in healing? What is the first step in the restoration of Hope?

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. - Philippians 2:1-4 NIV

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

What We Talk About When We Talk About God by Rob Bell

Celebrating the growing sense that our Spirituality is in some vital and yet mysterious way central to who I am as a person ...

 I believe God is with us and for us ... ahead of us, pulling us forward ...