Hear it on Sunday

The Big Thing

Luke 10:38-42

Mary was a slacker.

There. I said it.

Mary was a slacker and an underachiever and lacked ambition.

Oh, I know — don’t I know — that in side-by-side comparisons, it would be Martha who was found wanting. Martha, who planned and prepared and executed with perfection — He would peer straight through Martha’s heart and say, Your sister has chosen the better thing.

But Martha understood the importance of the Rabbi’s visit that day. She knew the social mores. She sensed as though instinctively the need to honor their guest with a proper meal, in a properly prepared home. This was a really big thing.

And she was the one that got that. 

Mary, she was  the one you’d find lying on her belly in the grass, picking daisies when there was the wash to do. Always talking about light and color and the moment.

Mary was all about the wonder.

And she never got a thing done.


But Does He Have the Ganas?

But Is He Willing?
Mark 1:40-45

But Is He Willing?

Around the table, fingers flipped through thin white pages and skimmed headings and margin notes for a clue as to the whereabouts of a story that may, or may not exist.

My class of good sports let doubt fall to my favor, not quite ready to confirm or deny whether I’d made the story up. I couldn’t even confirm or deny, truth be told.

We had to move on before we answered it. So the assignment for our next meeting? Browse the Gospels to see if, in fact, Jesus did have this conversation I had imagined.

:: (more…)

Like Terms

John 21
John 21John 21

He’s hunched over the table across from me, studying for his algebra final. If he passes, his time in eighth grade math counts for high school credit. If he does better than passing, he keeps his A for the quarter.

I have his study packet and recite equations. He scratches numbers and symbols and x and y into empty spaces on lined paper, tight-gripping a dull pencil I wish he’d walk downstairs and sharpen.

We get stumped on one and both try to show our work to come up with what we already know is the right answer. The old test has already been graded. I write the numbers on my tablet, where between math problems I’m working out my own equation.



John 11 -- because Lazarus never seems to run out of things to saySaturday

Saturday is a cave, a friend wrote.*

Saturday’s gray clouds groaned and contracted last weekend before the sun crowned early Sunday morning in the midst of dismal overdue Spring. When Resurrection Day, Redemption Day, pushed out pink with loud celebration, it felt as though it could be my first.

And I wonder, if perhaps in some way, it was.

Soon after, songs of redemption joy still ringing in my ears, I considered again the waiting, the dark cave that is Saturday. The moments . . . the days . . . the months . . . the years that split us wide, straddled between Friday’s devastation and Sunday’s resurrection.

We pondered together, my Sunday morning adult fellowship and I, Saturday waiting.


Shortening God’s Arm

Shortening God's Arm

Shortening God's Arm

Indulge me another repost? I’m regrouping a bit. Some of these from the archives have much more to say than I do at the moment.


Just how long is Your arm, Father? How long is long enough for me?

The question formed as I knelt beside a queen bed in a hotel squeezed between Iowa cornfields. I rose early and lingered there before joining the growing crowd of family in the breakfast nook downstairs. I flipped through thin pages looking for Isaiah 59, wanting just one thing. I felt hungrier for the sustaining words of this one short verse than for an AmericInn breakfast no matter what the ads say. (more…)

Let it Be

Let it Be

Let it Be

It’s a lot of smoke and mirrors, really — this thing I grasp so tight like I can actually do it.

If I stay still, close my eyes, and don’t exhale, then I might really start to believe it.

But I always end up peeking through the tiny crack of an eyelid just in time for the the mirrors to fog up and the smoke to wisp away.

I find myself holding nothing. Nothing.

Control is simply not something to be had. (more…)