The body bags of pandemics and wars

Sheltering in place during the coronavirus pandemic, I’m tucked away into my bedroom, where my time is defined by solitude and screens as I move between projects. Right now, I am working at my desk on various tasks: responding to emails, returning phone calls, setting up meetings. In the background, my radio hums quietly, theContinue reading “The body bags of pandemics and wars”

Belief in the risen body of Christ (but what is belief?)

Happy Easter!! He is risen! Alleluia!! It’s not exactly an Easter song (it’s the Canticle of Zachariah from Luke 1), but it has been in my head since Sunday morning. Maybe because it’s a joyful tune. Or possibly because of the promise of peace and justice. Anyway, it’s super fun and I love it! Alleluia! God knows,Continue reading “Belief in the risen body of Christ (but what is belief?)”

Questions as a path to unity

Years ago, while teaching theology to 9th graders, a particular student tugged at my heart. Each day he would come into my classroom and listen thoughtfully. His face would twist up with frustration and confusion while he heard me explain how the Bible came to be and the call of discipleship. The questions seemed toContinue reading “Questions as a path to unity”

Tending to our wells

I spent part of last night cleaning and peeling a recently harvested pile of wormy rutabagas with another sister. We probably ended up having to compost at least half of what had been pulled up from the soil, because some sort of creatures had created little homes in the vegetables. The waste was certainly disappointingContinue reading “Tending to our wells”

Anxious resistance

I had a knot in my stomach all day. I couldn’t focus at work. I lost my appetite. I felt exhausted as soon as I woke up. My mind was running with a thousand scenarios of things going wrong. I became keenly aware of that familiar feeling: a low-grade but persistent anxiousness; a lump thatContinue reading “Anxious resistance”

Being a companion through the mystery of suffering

I’ve never had any training in hospital chaplaincy, and I know little about medicine. Like many people, I feel awkward and uncomfortable around suffering. I prefer what I know how to manage, like the classroom where I teach. But when an acquaintance’s granddaughter, Elizabeth, was in a serious bike accident, I didn’t hesitate before agreeingContinue reading “Being a companion through the mystery of suffering”

Still, I am moving

During prayer this morning, I tried to count up all the major changes that have happened or are happening in my life lately. I totally lost count. The school year ended just four days ago. My youngest sister got married about a week and a half ago. Now, I am in the middle of packing forContinue reading “Still, I am moving”

bonds that build and never break

I am not afraid of death.  I do not fear death because somehow I am confident that I’ll get to know Jesus better at that point and I really look forward to that. But, I don’t want to die. I am afraid of grief.  Grief can damage faith.  It can destroy joy and break peopleContinue reading “bonds that build and never break”