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Showing posts from April, 2009

...And What About the Trees?

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While at the Grand Canyon last week I found myself drawn to the trees that line the rim.
These trees are growing at an altitude of 7000 feet, at the edge of a stone precipice that drops to the base, 7000 feet below, where the Colorado River flows. I wonder how it is that these trees manage to grow and live? Where do they get their nourishment? What kind of soil is tucked beneath the stone surface? Some of them, obviously do not survive...but even dead and dry they retain a profound beauty...

It appears they manage to grow in what is essentially stone and through harsh elements - wind, sun, snow, rain - with little protection, little to sustain and nourish. Not just one tree, but many trees. I wonder how long they have lived this way? Hundreds of years? Thousands? And, do new trees pop up now and then? And if so, how? How would a seed find its way into some crevice, grow roots, and send up a shoot that would become a tree? It seems incredible to me, as I walk on that stone rim.


Perhaps I…

She-Verbs

Samaritan Woman John 4:7-30

She came
She drew (water)
She said
She said
She said
She answered
She said
She left
She went
She said

Elizabeth and Mary Luke 1:24-25, 28-56

She conceived
She remained
She said

She was perplexed
She pondered
She said
She said
She set out
She entered
She greeted
She was filled
She exclaimed
She said
She remained
She returned

The Author of Our Lives

A reflection on Acts 3:12-19 and Luke 24:36b-48

A little over a month ago I attended the Tucson Festival of Books. It was the first time Tucson had sponsored this event and I landed upon it while reading the local newspaper one morning over breakfast. What a great idea, I thought. And so the following weekend my husband and I wandered up to the U of A. I was most excited to attend the presentation offered by Poet Laureate Billy Collins.

I first heard the poetry of Billy Collins at CREDO, an eight day event for Episcopal priests sponsored by the Church Pension Fund , which focuses on wellness: financial wellness, spiritual wellness, physical wellness, and so on. The leader of that particular CREDO offered the group of us an opportunity to ponder our ministries through the poetry of Billy Collins.

Dan and I arrived early, in plenty of time to get a good seat in the large ballroom where Billy would speak. A long line of people formed, waiting for the door to open twenty minutes before the …

A short poem

Not "Revelation" - 'tis that waits,
But our unfinished eyes -

Emily Dickinson in "The Enlightened Heart: An Anthology of Sacred Poetry Edited by Stephen Mitchell

A Week to Remember...

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It is difficult to believe that it has been more than a week since Easter. The time in between has been, well, something else.

On the Monday after Easter I went shopping for supplies for a continuing ed event which would be held Thursday through Sunday. It was an odd shopping trip as I tried hard to imagine how much would be enough for the number of people coming, especially because I didn't know any of them.

Tuesday I awoke to a scratchy throat and very high winds in the area. By Wednesday the winds had not only continued ceaselessly but had increased in intensity. So did my sore throat, which I blamed on the dust and dirt and particles in the air.

Wednesday morning I also headed to the big city three hours north of where I live to begin setting up the continuing ed event. I have been one of the planners and helpers of this event since last fall, and have looked forward to it for months.

Thursday the continuing ed event began in the late afternoon. It was so wonderful to meet peopl…

Easter Week

It is difficult to believe that it has been a week since Easter. During this week since Easter I headed north

Gardeners of Love

A reflection for Easter Year B

A group of scientists decided that humankind had come a long way and no longer needed God. So they chose one scientist to go and tell God that they were through with God.

The scientist said, "We've advanced to where we can clone people and do many miraculous things, so we've decided that we no longer need you."

God listened patiently, then replied: "Very well. Then let's have a human-making contest."

"Good idea," the scientist said.

"But," God said, "we'll do it just like I did back in the good old days with Adam and Eve."

"No problem," the scientist said, bending down and grabbing a handful of dirt.

"No,” God said, “First you go make your own dirt!"

-- Joyful Noiseletter, 2-2000, p. 2, "The Lord''s Laughter," George Goldtrap.

I have lived in a lot of places and in each of those places I have planted gardens or at the very least tended to flowers already …

If I Were Preaching Good Friday....

I might read this reflection from "Peter Abelard" by Helen Wadell, written in 1933:

"From somewhere near them in the woods a cry rose, a thin cry, of such intolerable anguish that Abelard turned dizzy on his feet, and caught at the wall of the huts. 'It's a child' voice,' he said.

Thibault had gone outside. The Cry came again. 'A rabbit,' said Thibault. He listened. 'It'll be in a trap. Hugh told me he was putting them down.'

'O God,' Abelard muttered. 'Let it die quickly.'

But the cry came yet again. He plunged through a thicket of hornbeam. 'Watch out,' said Thibault, thrusting past him. 'The trap might take the hand off you.'

The rabbit stopped shrieking when the stooped over it, either from exhaustion, or in some last extremity of fear. Thibault held the teeth of the trap apart, and Abelard gathered up the little creature in his hands. It lay for a moment breathing quickly, then in some blind recogn…

God's Passion: A Broken Heart, Overflowing with Love

You know how it is, you’re brushing your teeth, or looking out the window, or driving along absent mindedly, when all of a sudden you think of someone you haven’t thought of in years.

That happened to me just the other day. I thought of this man I used to know, a friend of my sister in law, named John. John was a quadriplegic, a spinal cord injury as the result of a dive into a lake, hitting rock bottom. He was married at the time of his accident and had a young son. After the accident he insisted on divorcing his wife so she could lead a life without having to take care of him. He retained joint custody of his son, who used to visit him regularly.

I met John while I was still in massage therapy school and needed to find a way to accumulate hours working with a marginalized population – people who would otherwise never receive the benefits of a therapeutic massage. I was fairly certain that the massage would be beneficial – increasing circulation to muscles that were atrophying from l…