Saturday, January 31, 2015


As a child being raised in the Catholic church, i remember a gripping and claustrophobic fear of death, my imagination transporting me to the total darkness inside my girl-sized casket, being underground with worms and June bugs. i was in second or third grade.

i remember bits and pieces of conversations, the adults in the church discussing human death and buried bodies awaiting resurrection, my young mind catching phrases and images, never enough to fully form an accurate understanding, obscured by my tangible belief that everyone but me fully knew, that asking a question would surely reveal my shameful and glaring ignorance.

The child-me is nervous as i type, we've erased and rewritten, consulted the thesaurus and checked the spelling in an effort to delay.

"Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out—those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned." - John 5:28-29 NIV

As the recorded voice of Max McLean reads aloud the words in John 5, i feel as though we -- me, the child-me, and perhaps all breathing humanity -- are in many ways already dead, choosing to lay motionless within our caskets of addiction and pride and fear, turning our backs on the light of Jesus' calling on our lives, standing backward on His path, seeking to avoid the darkness by closing our eyes.

That is not what God intended. That is not what God intends.

God is wiping away shame and ignorance, offering restoration to everyone and anyone.

As i read and listen to the words, God is unfolding the shaded gray knots of shame and inviting me to explore with an open heart the stories within this library we call the Bible. God is inviting me and the child-me to see things differently, to turn from our fear, to hear his voice, to rise and live, to proclaim "This is the day the Lord has made!" - Psalm 118:24 NKJV


photo credit: Lovely Sun Rise ...

Friday, January 16, 2015


I often give evil too much credit.

In the predawn hours on this wintery Friday, my dog Harley is nestled on my lap. Sleep eludes me, so we are in the living room, snuggled into white cotton blankets, finding comfort in the back-and-forth motion of a wicker rocker. The street lamp outside the window illuminates a clean, white snow. The light of the floor lamp near our rocker floods the pages of a book, allowing me to re-read The Shack.

There is something about December's short winter days and long cold nights, something magnetic and dark, something that pulls me toward despondency. And in the weeks that follow, in the days of January, as I climb out of the dark and uninhabitable caves of depression I am helped by revisiting familiar stories: Gone with the Wind, It's A Wonderful Life, The Shack ...

These are the earthly measuring sticks against which change in me is self-measured.

Like a lost gift found behind a wilting and abandoned Christmas tree, something I hadn't seen before leaps from the page, bringing life to my tired soul. I close the book, stopping to ponder the idea that darkness is not a thing of itself with mass and shape and power, but rather darkness is the absence of light, evil the absence of good.

Christ Jesus has illuminated the way.

Those who trust in Jesus have been given redeemed hearts, but our bodies and the world in which we live is still physically affected by sin. Our bodies still die, our psyche is still marred, we still are prone to the selfish pursuit of being our own god, and Creation is still screwed up, but this is not the end. Our redemption has just begun. - from Beliefs,

So never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord ... For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time—to show us his grace through Christ Jesus. And now he has made all of this plain to us by the appearing of Christ Jesus, our Savior. He broke the power of death and illuminated the way to life and immortality through the Good News. - 2 Timothy 1:8-10 NLT excerpt