Showing posts from February, 2009

Lent 1B

A Reflection on Mark 1:12-13
1:12 And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness.
1:13 He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him.

Recently, I ran across a curious list with the title: "Great Truths About Life That Little Children Have Learned." Perhaps you’ve seen it? Regardless, let me share a few of these "great truths" with you.

(1) " No matter how hard you try you cannot baptize a cat."
(2) "When your mom is mad at your dad, don't let her brush your hair."
(3) "Never ask your 3-year-old brother to hold a tomato or an egg."
(4) "You can't trust dogs to watch your food for you."
(5) "Don't sneeze when somebody is cutting your hair."

These seem like very wise and practical truths spoken from the reality of children.

Ash Wednesday ushered in the season of Lent with the invitation that we observe Lent in a holy way. The Book of…

Broken, Healed, Renewed...

A reflection on 2 Kings 5:1-14 and Mark 1:40-45

D and I joined the Episcopal Church after we had been married for 4 years. Our daughter Jessica was about one, and dressed in her frilly Sunday best with a big bow in her hair, the women of the church thought she looked just like the little girl on Full House.

The Church we joined was about 150 years old, in a Northwest Chicago neighborhood. D’s grandparents and mother use to live just around the corner from the church. Our house, at that time, was a few blocks away.

The Church was a white stucco building with red doors. Inside was red carpeting, stained glass windows, and light oak pews, altar rail, and altar. It was small but charming. The people were friendly enough, the priest kind. Before long we were in an inquirer’s class learning about the policies and practices of the Episcopal Church. In the fall the Bishop came to visit. He confirmed me and others in the class and received Dan. Attending church, working in various ways in the li…

Which One Will Live?

A reflection on Isaiah 40:21-31 and Mark 1:29-39.

Two and half years ago I suffered a serious illness. From a fractured tooth came an abscess, from the abscess came an infection that ran 2-1/2 inches through my jaw bone. The infection followed the nerve in my jaw, leaving me unable to feel most of my bottom lip, chin, and teeth. The infection then travelled up the side of my face. All of this developed over the course of one week, taking me from a dentist who thought I had TMJ to a hospital room and a team of doctors including a surgeon, an internist, and infectious disease specialist. At first the hospital attempted to cure me with IV antibiotics, and after about 24 hours it seemed like it might work. But by 36 hours it was apparent that it was not. By 48 hours I was prepped and waiting for surgery.

I remember waiting for the surgery; it was about 5:00 in the evening. I was taken down to the surgical unit and left in this holding area. Alone. Well alone except for some guy in surgical …

The Web of a Cup of Coffee


I often think about the way in which we are interconnected, one life to another, in ways we can hardly imagine. I think of movies like, "It's a wonderful life" or "Crash" or "Family Man" (with Nicholas Cage and Tea Leoni)....each of these movies reflect the idea of our interconnectedness, each in a different way. My recent visit to Agua Pietra, Mexico raised this concept for me once again. I'm sure there is a lot of synchronicity in the work of C.R.R.E.D.A. - the rehab center - but I am mostly thinking about this after our visit to Just Coffee. Or, as they call it "Just Coffee, Caffeine with a Conscience."

The story of Just Coffee is a story of networking at its best. First there is the Presbyterian church (USA and Mexico)and their combined ministry with the Episcopal Church on the border of the US and Mexico. Immigration on the southern border is so complex that it cannot be simply reduced to "illegalities." Doing so …