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Showing posts from December, 2017

That's my story and I'm Sticking With It....

A friend of mine is fond of telling a story about her life and then concluding with, “That’s my story and I’m sticking with it!” A few years ago my husband, son, and I were watching the Grinch Who Stole Christmas, the version that came in 2000 with Jim Carry as the Grinch. I remember thinking that they’d  changed the story, a lot, in order to make a full length movie out of it. It was significantly different from the version I saw as a child. Then our son said, this is the only version of the story he remembers. Same story, two versions… Christmas also has two stories, two versions. We have the commercial one with Santa and parties, shopping and sales, and gift giving, and advertisements announcing that this is the most wonderful time of the year. Although it’s not for everyone.  I have had Christmas’s when I could not afford to buy a single gift. I know what it feels like when the Christmas I am celebrating is not the Christmas our culture describes. That year challenged me to explore t…

For Such a Time as This

Perhaps the most profound challenge I have faced in the eighteen years that I have been ordained is my experience with the people who come asking for assistance. Some of these people haunt me to this day, either because I helped them or because I could not. How does one help a teenager, perhaps homeless, who comes to the church seeking a place to get warm, sleep awhile, and maybe get some food? I gave him a bag full of coffee hour muffins from the freezer, invited him to sit in the warm sanctuary, where he laid down and fell asleep on a pew, and I kept watch over him until I had to leave. He rode off on a bike, and I never saw him again. 
How does one help an out of control woman who comes panhandling after worship on Sunday morning, moving through the crowd of parishioners having coffee in the narthex? How to respond appropriately to her erratic, perhaps psychotic angry yelling? I offered her what I had, but it wouldn’t do, she wanted more and more, and left, angry, and yelling obscen…