Sunday, August 24, 2014


This past week someone i supervise openly defied me.

In the days that followed i plummeted into old patterns, played and replayed the conversation i would have ... only to lose my voice hours before she again walked in the door.

More than two years ago this image joined the mixed-media multitude adorning my desk.

In many instances i have learned to listen more ... 

... and still i fret and wait impatiently, revisiting past conversations, imagining future conversations, exchanges in which i manipulate the other person into seeing things my way ... or rather, more honestly, doing things my way.

More than just a symptom of a summer cold, the loss of my voice seems to be a summons ...

... a summons to fret less, to really walk this walk as though i believe God is bigger than any earthly scheme, to wait patiently for His perfection in intervention

... to hush

Be still before the Lord
    and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways,
    when they carry out their wicked schemes. Psalm 37:7

The wicked draw the sword
    and bend the bow
to bring down the poor and needy,
    to slay those whose ways are upright. 

But their swords will pierce their own hearts,
    and their bows will be broken.
Psalm 37:14-15

... to continue listening more, talking less, being an instrument of His love in a world with many too many broken hearts.


image © Keith Kimberlin, Universal Designs 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

daily bread

The clock reads 6:00 a.m. The promise of a bright orange sky greets me as I let Harley out the front door. I feel peaceful this morning, the kind of peaceful that has been missing for awhile.

I put on the coffee and scoop dog food into Harley's bowl. I think about making toast. I think about bread, and the food pantry, and how often guests are disappointed that there aren't more sweets – cakes and cookies. At first glance it seems silly, then yes, I understand. I too crave the fleeting euphoria of sugar-infused sweets.

I am thankful. I am thankful for tangible gifts and people with generous hearts.

I am thankful for Jeff, the Brownberry rep, who drops off hundreds of loaves of beautiful bread each week.

I am thankful for sweets. I am thankful that my self-soothing addictions are caffeine and chocolate, sugar and salt – that I grew and outgrew my more deadly addictions: alcohol and promiscuity.

In the peace of this beautiful morning I feel the long arch of the universe, God's infinite plan for my life – for every life.


Sunday, August 10, 2014

A personal choice

My friend, my pastor, hands me a magazine, The Economist, open to page 9.

His eyes are deep pools of honesty and wisdom. His voice expresses true interest in my thoughts in response to ideas put forth. As I take my seat in the
9 a.m. Bible study, I glance at the first few lines. Fear rumbles in my upper abdomen like a handful of river rock: The business of sex... the world's oldest profession more
The first paragraph is filled with enough divisive labels and broad stroke mis-assumptions that I am tempted to dismiss the article and the editorial staff.

The second paragraph slaps me across the face: This newspaper has never found it plausible that all prostitutes are victims. The words never and all ignite the warrior-advocate within me.

The business of sex – prostitution – is not a profession.

The business of sex is the demand-driven grooming and consumption of human beings, the rape of a child – thousands of American children – girls and boys forced into service typically around age 13.

The business of sex is a dark and brilliant evil concealed in the shadows created by the entitlement of the buyers – typically white middle- and upper-class American males – an evil upheld and facilitated by the inaction of silent bystanders, behind-closed-doors consumers, and not-so-innocent witnesses who dismiss the often silent cries of boys and girls, admonishing them with shame, advising Shhh. Don't tell.

The human lives within the business of sex are diverse and complex.

The manifestations of brutality – rape, prostitution, pornography – complex and diverse.

I seek a language understood by the buyers of sex, especially those protected by middle- and upper-class status: substantial financial penalties, the doctrine of joint and several liability.
Eradication of such heinous crimes may be advanced by not only incarceration, but also the imposition of a financial penalty. – Restitution, All or Nothing, New Jersey Law Journal, March 28, 2014,

I implore all who would hear me to question statistics, to contrast and compare The Economist's dissection of data from one big international site that hosts 190,000 profiles to the Urban Institute's study revealing the size and structure of the underground commercial sex economy in American cities. Abstract and Presentation

I kneel in prayer:
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Ps 123:8