Lent

Seeing Christ

Seeing Christ

What if “helping” wasn’t just about meeting other people’s needs – as lofty and beautiful as that is? What if those connections were Christ’s way of meeting us, getting under our skin, getting inside us?

What if it’s true – that Christ is already here… in every act of compassion… in every connection we make? In the stranger, in family, in friend? Even – can I say it? - in ourselves?

Prepared for Patience

Prepared for Patience

What does it mean to wait with an expectation of goodness? It’s not being naïve about the dark; in fact, it’s just the opposite. You only carry oil if you think the dark will last a long time. They are not fools.

But you can live in the dark and carry the light of Christ at the same time. Especially if you are preparing for something good. Peace. Loving-kindness. Compassion.

It takes tenacity, but it is possible. And what this parable tells me, is that it’s exactly what Jesus wants for us, and for this world.

What’s “Fair” or What’s “Enough”?

What’s “Fair” or What’s “Enough”?

In this parable, at least, the issue is not about who is getting more than they deserve. It is not about comparisons at all – who is better than whom, who is more deserving than anyone else, who is more ‘worthy.’ If our focus is there, it will only lead to resentment and bitterness. The issue, in this parable at least, is whether everybody has enough – because the kingdom rests on God’s generosity, which is a model for us all.

As We Forgive Our Debtors

As We Forgive Our Debtors

I am not telling you that you should forgive others. That’s not mine to say. That is a deeply personal decision, and one only you can make. Only you can know if it’s something you’re ready to do. What I want to say is that you can forgive. That’s the gift God offers us. That is part and parcel of God’s grace. It is possible. Difficult, of course. Almost certainly not once-and-for-all, but a process. But it’s possible. And profoundly, deeply healing.

Peace Be in Your Hands

Peace Be in Your Hands

It’s not easy… I think of the people I’ve known, who care for others who are fragile. Parents of newborns and babies and toddlers, playing with their children, holding them, feeding them… it’s beautiful to watch, a delight. But we don’t see how hard it is in the middle of the night, when they’re exhausted, when that adorable baby has colic, is screaming with ear infections, won’t sleep. How much harder peace is when the demands never end… 

I think of older adults caring for parents or husbands or wives, fragile bodies requiring round-the-clock care. The wife with dementia who doesn’t know day from night, up at all hours, wandering… The husband whose disease makes him violent, not like he was in his right mind, but frightening… The parent, weakened from pneumonia, from infections, who can no longer get up on her own but keeps on trying, and falls… How much harder to have peace in your hands when the care is so draining, so draining. 

Where does peace come from then? 

It comes from Jesus… from his own hands, washing us clean… from his own love, washing our feet… from his own tenderness, and humility, washing away our impatience, our tension, our anger, our fear…