Showing posts from November, 2006

Lord, open our lips

These days my life revolves around two things: praying the daily office and IV therapy. The IV therapy takes about 40 minutes start to finish; cleaning and prepping, flushing with saline, connecting the port in my arm to the port carrying the antibiotic, waiting 30 minutes for the antibiotic to be delivered into my body, and then flushing with saline (to keep the line open and clear) again. Although this process is becoming more routine it still fills me with a bit of anxiety, fear of doing something I strive to make the whole experience peaceful, reflective.

I begin by playing a CD of soft classical music, maybe Mozart. I do the prep and start the IV. Then I open my Book of Common Prayer and pray the daily office of Morning Prayer (5am), Evening Prayer (5pm), and Compline (11pm). My 11am "treatment" I read some reflective piece from the book, "I Have Called You Friends", essays on reconciliation written to honor the ministry of our newly retired Presidin…

Home at last

I have been a healthy person all of my almost 50 years. Yes, I've had the annual cold or flu, but otherwise I've been healthy. Which is why my recent bout with a serious infection from a tooth has given me a whole new perspective on life, health, pain, and grace. Entering into the hospitial nearly two weeks ago via the emergency room I found myself completely at the mercy of the doctors, nurses, and staff. My pain was so great that I was unable to do anything but plead for relief. They cared for me with such compassion, I will be forever grateful. And my husband really stepped up to the plate, both in his care for me and in his multi-tasking to work at his job and are for our house of kids and animals. I was scheduled to be in the hosptial until today, Sunday, while some of the procedures put in place to help me heal did their job. But thankfully this happened faster than anticipated and I was sent home on Friday.

Being home again is such a blessing. Although I have to take it …

In the hospital...Thanksgiving

Ten days ago I came to the emergency room of a local hospital suffering from an infection. The root cause, a tooth. The infection lodged itself between the bones off my jaw and skull and the massiter muscle of my check and blossomed out distorted my face; causing great pain and fever. The hospital tried IV antibiotic therapy for 36 hours before doing surgery to drain the site. That was one week ago today. I continue to heal well, grateful for the skill and care of the doctors,, nurses, and staff, not to mention my family.

As I write this I am using a hospital computer, thanks to the generosity of the nursing staff and residents. Three drains remain in my face enabling the remaining infection to drain out. These are slowly being "advanced" or pulled down and out to facilitate draining in the rest of my face (the infection spread up from my jawbone to my temple). They anticipate sending me home on Sunday or Monday, which will have been two weeks in the hospital. I will go h…

Friday Five: Red, Blue, and Purple

1. Favorite red food: well, since Thanksgiving is around the corner I'll say homemade cranberry sauce. Otherwise tomato sauce for pasta, all kinds!

2. Tell us about the bluest body of water you've ever seen in person: the Caribbean from the southern coast of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Actually it is an amazing blue-green, but so beautiful.

3. It's movie rental time: Blue Planet, The Color Purple, or Crimson Tide? I've only seen the Color Purple.

4. What has you seeing red these days? I've been suffering from a fractured tooth - oh so painful! The dentist filled the fracture, which only caused increased nerve pressure. Yesterday the dentist and I made the tough decision to pull it (YUCK). So while the nerve pain is gone I am left with severe jaw pain from the extraction process. The pain definitely has me seeing red, not to mention my inability to do things like get my sermon written for Sunday. Plus I have to go to our annual Diocesan Convention today and…

A Jigsaw Puzzle Life; an All Saints' Day Sermon

Tomorrow we are transferring to Sunday the feast of All Saints, and I am also transferring the lesser feast of All Souls. I think I read somewhere that the ancient church blended these two feasts in one day...but regardless, I am unable to get folks to come out for anything but a Sunday morning, so into one they are.

My reflection for this Sunday will use an image of a jigsaw puzzle, beginning with how much my family and I enjoy putting them together. Recently my cottage mates at the IMAGINE conference in Kanuga put together a puzzle. This puzzle was a picture of a North Carolina covered bridge, very pretty. But it really seemed that many of the pieces of the puzzle were missing, we almost gave up on it. Over time, and with diligence we put found all the pieces, many were very odd in shape, not at all what the empty space would lend you to think it looked like.

Life is like a jigsaw puzzle: sometimes feeling like a jumbled pile of pieces that seem unrelated and disconnected. Putting the…

From Nomads to Pilgrims

Last week I attended a presentation by Diana Butler Bass on her research and study of churches today. She sees a phenomenon happening in some churches as they emerge from the depths of almost dying to being renewed. She calls this process a journey of moving people from being Nomads to being Pilgrims.

I have read her books, so some of what she presented was not new. But at the presentation she offered a "model" using tinker toys (so funny, so good!) to describe the three-pole socio-cultural-religious movement in our country today; unpacking liberal to conservative, established church to intentional church, and modern world view to post modern world view, and how they all interconnect. This model really gave me language for understanding how some churches are dying and others are growing or re-growing through reconnecting with Christian practices and tradition in a new way. She gave me language to articulate what I have been struggling to describe for years. She helped me unde…