Showing posts from June, 2007

Two Souls

(Google images. An artist friend of mine told me a beautiful story yesterday, a story of how she took "the narrow way" with her teenage son. The result was an opportunity for the Spirit to work in both their lives, creating deep connection and a strengthening love. Within this story, in order to say something about how much she loves her son (who is the fourth of her six children), she mentioned something a friend of hers, who was pregnant, had said to her once: "I have moments now when I'm aware of two souls within me." Moments when I'm aware of two souls within me . Wow. That just took my breath away. I've not had a lot of grief about being childless. I grew up thinking I'd never marry. Marriage was for my sister who was pretty . I was the smart one, so my appointed role was to get a good job, make money, and take care of my mother in her old age. My sister married young and had two children, so I was able to play at 'week

Courage - Cherishing the anger at injustice while healing the pain

A quote I've found meaningful: "Our commitments to healing and liberation require risk because the love and trust required to love fearlessly open us to injury. To remain open and to receive the world's gifts requires us to maintain a capacity for vulnerability, and the tragedies and limits of human life can weaken our trust so that we move from love toward fear and withdrawal. Our vulnerability means we are not completely immune to forces of evil...To commit ourselves to the work of God's love and justice means taking enormous risks in order to keep healing and liberation alive in the world. We must be aware that the forces of oppression, hate, and violence are strong and canny...organized to resist relinquishing their power...We require COURAGE--strength of heart--to challenge evil, even as we remain suspicious of our most self-righteous polemics and defensive postures. Courage enables us to cherish our anger at injustice at the same time we are attuned to the opp

My Saturday

A couple of days ago my back starting hurting with the same pain I felt with the compression fracture. I had thought that was healed (from staying in bed for so long with respiratory crud a couple of weeks ago), so I'm a bit concerned. My concern led me to stay in bed most of yesterday, blogging and reading blogs -- it was a good way to spend my day off. I did take all three kids to lunch, and we went out last night for a movie: Fantastic Four. (D loves all the action hero comic book movies. I'm not particularly fond of that genre, but as they go, this last Fantastic Four movie wasn't bad. It helps when they're meant to be funny.) Anyway, today will be a test. I'm standing up to cook all morning--chicken and dumplings for lunch. It's for Father's Day, a bit late, since Beautiful Genuine Drummer Girl was in Small City to the South last weekend and Lovely Passionate Feminist had to work that Sunday. We'll see how I fare. After that special lunch

beautiful and amazing, British Idol

With thanks to the blog, Quotidian Grace , and he wins!

John Cobb on growth and trust

John Cobb is one of my favorite theologians. It was through his book, Christ in a Pluralistic Age, that I resolved my inner dilemma regarding the divinity of Jesus. With that dilemma removed, I was, of course, able to both think of myself as a Christian with more integrity and to come to love Jesus with a passion that transformed me. Cobb is a process theologian, but his writings aren't limited to systematic theology. My brother, Daring Quiet Writer, has read Cobb's work regarding Buddhist-Christian dialogue. And in my Ph.D. program I ran across Cobb's book on pastoral counseling and pastoral theology. This is a quote from that book: "Growth is never the simple addition of something new to what is already present. If it were, it would not be resisted so strongly. Instead, to add the new is to change the old.... [The old] must receive, quite literally, a new form. Because we identify ourselves with what-is, with what we have achieved, with what we already are, th

Five Things I Dig About Jesus

Kievas tagged me for the "Five Things I Dig About Jesus" meme. 1. The Christ--Principle of Creative Transformation (John Cobb). 2. Loved women and children and the dispossessed. 3. Courage. 4. New Life from and through Death. 5. Mirror for how humanity can and should be. If you haven't already been, consider yourself tagged!


Linda's blog very often has posts that are truly art . In these posts her writing has that quality to it that takes me right into the moment, right into the room (or the jogging path) with her, and I feel the pathos or the life or the grief or the joy. More than that, the beauty of her writing--the structure, the words chosen, and that mysterious 'something more' that true art requires--is so deeply creative that it leads me to the Creator. I remember one post about a woman colleague of hers who was so close to trusting, on the very brink of the kind of vulnerability that transforms, and yet ultimately backed away from it. I was in tears. Oh dear God, please help this woman cross over into LIFE, I thought. One of Linda's most recent posts is about life--Life all around her, all around us, have we but the eyes to wake up and see. I hope you'll read it. Read it, and give yourself permission to be where she was when her words came forth. I think you'll be inspired

Embracing Chaos (Susan Howatch)

I enjoy Susan Howatch's novels about the Church of England. Her characters are terribly flawed, easily recognizable. Here's a quote from The High Flyer: (p 301) A long while later I said to Lewis: "I can't stand there being no order. I'm so frightened of the chaos." "It's like being thrown into the deep end of the pool, isn't it?" said Lewis casually. "The rules that apply to life on dry land no longer apply. You're immersed in water, a substance which as the potential to drown you. If you're not accustomed to swimming every instinct tells you to yell in terror and grab the rail at the side of the pool, but in fact this isn't the way to deal with the problem. You have to make the problem no longer a problem by embracing it -- you have to let go of the rail and launch yourself out on the water because once you're swimming, playing by the water-rules instead of the land rules, you find the water's stimulating, bracing,


NPR aired a story of a young Iraqi man today. 19 years old, I think he said. I didn't hear it all, but part of what he said was how he was so happy, in the beginning, that we had rid the world of the tyrant Saddam--he and his rock back could sing about how "Saddam Sucks." He agreed to be interviewed back in 2003 by some news outlet with the proviso that it would never be shown in the Middle East. Al-Jazeera got hold of it and aired it. Next thing you know, this 19 year old hears himself being condemned, by name, by the local imam at Friday prayers. His life was in danger. His family kicked him out, so he lived full time in the Green Zone (I guess he had a job there; I didn't hear that part). In the story today this young man was saying how, before Saddam, it was awful to be unable to express your political views, but at least, if you kept your mouth shut, you didn't fear for your life. Now in Iraq, you cannot walk the streets without fear for your life, no

Clever Repartee

I really love my husband. For many reasons, one of which is how he loves to tease and play verbal tennis. And he's so good at it. I can keep up with him for a little while, sometimes , then my mind just goes blank. But my friend Grew Up in Foreign Land is better than I am, and last night she and D really kept that ball in the air, tossing one clever repartee after another back and forth, back and forth. I just found it hilarious! (I'm a good audience, as D says. It's true. I just laugh and laugh at good puns or at this kind of cleverness. Comics are SO intelligent!)

Visit with Friend from College Days

My friend from college, Grew Up in Foreign Land, is coming for a visit today. She lives in Florida now, so we don't see each other often. I'll never forget what she said during the rehearsal dinner for our wedding three years ago when everyone was standing up and toasting us. It was something like, "When we were in college together, Kathy (I was Kathy back then) always seemed a little unhappy to me. She no longer seems that way." She said it more eloquently than that, but it was along those lines. I was struck by it because it was so true, and I viewed it as a witness to the growth that I've been working with God to accomplish through these many (30!) years. I was grateful for what I took as a very affirming comment. I'm looking forward to her visit. Grew Up in Foreign Land always has something interesting going on and an interesting slant to her view of life. Her parents were business owners in another country. I had a very different Christmas celebr

8 Random Facts

Songbird tagged me for a meme – 8 Random Facts about me : 1. My undergraduate degree is in journalism and political science, but right out of college I went into the business world. 2. I was one of the winners of the 4th grade talent contest playing “Baby Elephant Walk” on the piano. 3. I'm always happy when I'm connecting at the soul-level with others, and when I'm a witness to someone "coming alive" spiritually. 4. Something Songbird said reminded me that when I was 18 (or so), I went with my sister, Beautiful Blue Eyes Laughing, to a psychic to have our fortunes told. The woman predicted the name of the man whom I would marry. She was right. 5. I have always LONGED to know how to dance, but I'm rather two-left-feet-ed. 6. About 20 years ago I was a precinct chair for the Democrats in my area. I’ve lived in Texas my whole life. It was an easy job. 7. My husband and I are planning a trip driving the Blue Ridge Parkway in November. WooHoo!!! Can’t wait!!! 8.


It's June. It's hot. Damn hot. When I was little my father used to always comment, "It's damnhot outside." Honestly. I thought it was one word for years. D tells me the reason I'm a Christian is that hell is too damnhot for me.

The Dying Man and My Memories

The dying man is still dying. The family's managing, but of course it's taking its toll on them. I spent several hours with them on Friday, arriving around 11 and staying for lunch and into the afternoon. Good things happened. Old family friends from across the country are arriving to say their goodbyes to him, which is extremely meaningful to the wife/mom and the two daughters. As I left we gathered around his bed. I read scripture and a poem I'd brought about thresholds. We held hands, including his, and prayed. Earlier in the day I had a chance to simply hold his hand and sing a hymn. Beautiful experience, really. I'm so privileged to spend this holy time with them all. He's dying of the same thing that killed my mother, COPD. Part of the experience for me was simply watching him breathe, seeing how difficult that is for him, hearing the rattle in his throat and chest, and being taken back to September 1994 when my mother lay dying in the hospital, breathing just

Preaching this morning

I'm preaching this morning. The scripture is the story of Jesus meeting the widow of Nain at the town gate and raising her dead son to new life. He has "compassion" on her and so brings new life to her son, and to her. Compassion is near the very center of my value system, so I chose to focus on that. I just hope the sermon comes close to conveying both the difficulty and the 'giftedness' of compassion. May God be worshipped this morning.

The dying man and Love of ministry

I got to spend some time yesterday with a family who's father/husband is near death. He's almost 90. They've moved his bed out to the family room in front of a big picture window looking out into the back yard where they have a pond and waterfall and lots of beautiful trees. As I stood there yesterday I saw several different types of birds, squirrels, a neighborhood cat. Really lovely. When I arrived yesterday the hospice nurse was telling the wife that her husband's condition was worsening. She, the wife, had greeted me at the door in tears and the tears continued freely as the nurse spoke to her. She's very tired; it's already been an ordeal. The wife and the daughter and I sat in the living room and they told me stories of the dying man. Great stories. He's been a caring dad and husband. We laughed and carried on. Important grief work, and good. I don't know this man. My prayer is that he has "heard the Way" (see bottom of page). He seems

Humility and the Glory of God

I've always loved this from St. Irenaeus: "The glory of God is a human being fully alive." (Of course, I've changed the original and ridiculous male language.) When we are fully alive we reflect the glory of God. Imagine that! In my pastoral counseling practice, I often hear women complain of depression or anger. Everyone is different, but in one way or another when she moves toward living more fully--whatever that may look like for her--the depression or anger dissolve. Sadly, Christian theology contributes to the suppression, the half-deadness, of women--and men, too. Catholic theology, interestingly however, has this to say about "humility": Humility has 3 elements: 1. Awareness of, and responsiveness to, God’s glory. We fall on our knees in loving adoration! 2. Confrontation of our own person with the Infinite Person. We become aware of our sin and weakness. 3. Awareness of God’s calling us by name. Whether we feel “worthy” is not the point.

Ode to my Sister

Today is the birthday of my nephew, Handsome Boy. I called him this morning to wish him "happy birthday," and he sounded good. Said he had already bought some new tennis shoes with the money I sent. It was so good to hear his voice. It's been over 15 years since my sister, Beautiful Blue Eyes Laughing, moved to South Carolina-- along with my brother-in-law Booming Bass, my niece, Blonde Beauty (who was 10 when they moved, I think), and Handsome Boy (who at that time was only 7 years old). Plus my mother--she moved with them as well. Beautiful Blue Eyes Laughing made sure that our mother always had a couple of rooms in their home that she could call her own, and that she felt welcomed and at home there. And I think it was good that Blonde Beauty and Handsome Boy got to know "Gran" the way they did during the years that she was with them. Beautiful Blue Eyes Laughing has always been like that. Growing up, she was the one who tried to keep the peace in the family,

Family Summer

D's on the road heading south this morning to pick up Genuine and Beautiful Drummer Girl for the summer. YIPPEE!! When she gets here then all five of us will be here together for the next couple of months. That will be so great. I'm really looking forward to it. Young Man with Integrity graduated in May and is in a 'holding pattern' for a while this summer, waiting to hear from law schools in D.C. If that doesn't pan out this year, he's considering moving to D.C. anyway to look for work toward the end of this summer. Whatever happens, we expect he'll be moving out soon to be on his own. Wow. That will be a big change--for all of us. When I married D, Young Man with Integrity had been living in a dorm, but he moved back home about that same time, so he's been part of my married home life all along. I'll miss him when he moves. Lovely Passionate Feminist finished her first year of college dorm life last month. She loved it. It's been an amazing thi

Savoring the historical D

I married well. Conversation getting into our car, having just finished dinner out at a local restaurant: D: Have you ever thought that you're living part of life just to get to something else? K: [with intensity] I used to. D: No, I just looked at the name of that store: "Fast Braces" and it occurs to me how I used to think I just needed to get the braces paid for, for each of the children, then I'd ... whatever--then I'd have the money, or then be able to do something else. K: Yeah. OK. I thought you meant that in a different way probably. D: No, I probably did mean it in the way you're thinking. K: Oh. Well, I always think of that part in Ruben Habito's book where he talks about going to work in order to pay the bills, then coming home in order to eat, then cleaning the dishes in order to use them again, then going into the living room to watch television and go to bed, all in order to get up again the next morning, to go to work in order to

true hospitality

One of my big projects at church has been to put together a monthly concert series. My church is downtown, so we've designed the series such that downtown workers can take their noon lunchbreak, walk on over to the church, hear about 20 minutes of beautiful music, go downstairs for a free meal, and be back to their offices by 1:00. It's been a big success--well, relatively speaking. We have quite a few "regulars," people working in these huge companies who tell me how much it means to them to have a place like this to come to once in a while. Today was especially fun for me. First, I woke up with some energy--first time in over two weeks. Second, my dear friends C. and R. came-- always SO great to see them! We even got to catch up a little during lunch. And third, I just had a sense of how much I like people and enjoy being a minister, providing a welcoming space for people to be. I have 'learned' the sense of hospitality that I want to provide for people by e