Tuesday, June 30, 2009

who touched me?

Sunday's Gospel reading was from the book of Mark - the story of the woman who had hemorraged for 12 years. Because she was considered unclean, she was not able to be a part of her community. How tragic. And yet her desire to be healed pushes against all cultural norms as she makes her way through the crowd to the only One who could give her what she needed.

The dictionary definition of "hidden" includes the following: being out of sight; not readily apparent; concealed - I love the manner in which the woman's face is hidden in this artwork, as she emerges from the shadows, reaching out from the darkness, as the light emanates from the robe of Jesus.

The following prayer speaks of such hiddenness. Truth cannot long remain in the shadows. Today may we all consider what it is that we fear to be brought into the open and may we all reach for the hem of the One who asked the crowd, "Who touched me?"

"Glory to you, hidden Son of God,
because your healing power is proclaimed
through the hidden suffering of the afflicted woman.
Through this woman whom they could see,
the witnesses were enabled to behold the divinity
that cannot be seen.
Through the Son’s own healing power
his divinity became known.
Through the afflicted woman’s being healed
her faith was made manifest.
She caused him to be proclaimed,
and indeed was honored with him.
For truth was being proclaimed
together with its heralds.
If she was a witness to his divinity,
he in turn was a witness to her faith. . . .
He saw through her to her hidden faith,
and gave her a visible healing."

From the Commentary on Tatian’s Diatessaron by Ephrem the Syrian, quoted in Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture: New Testament II, Mark, edited by Thomas C. Oden and Christopher A. Hall (Downer’s Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1998). taken from here.

Does anyone know the source of this artwork?

Monday, June 29, 2009

books, books, books

"It was clear that the books owned the shop rather than the other way about. Everywhere they had run wild and taken possession of their habitat, breeding and multiplying and clearly lacking any strong hand to keep them down." (1963) ~ Agatha Christie ~

When I enter a place such as the one pictured my pulse quickens -so many books - so little time. To me these are not just bounded piles of paragraphs, but teachers, comforters, and old friends. And there is always the possibility of discovery - of new points of view - of differing ways of interacting with the world- And because of the sensory experience of a bookstore I just don't know if I could ever be completely happy with reading from a Kindle...

this photo is of the San Francisco Book Co.

pure joy

Do not
the most moving
of our life
find us

Marcel Marceau

Photo courtesy of Todd Baker <<>

Thursday, June 25, 2009

best teacher ever!

"The teacher you need is the person you’re living with." - Byron Katie

This is one of those quotes that reminds me that the planets are not circling my head. So whose name would you place on that blank line? A parent? sibling? spouse? friend? child? pet? or yourself?

tired of the journey?

Over the last several days I have talked with many who have bumped into and tripped over all the sharp edges that the furniture of life can confront us with. The list has been endless - physical illnesses, financial ruin, relational betrayal and mental deterioration...and the theme that I could almost reach out and touch in each of these stories was exhaustion, whether it be physical, mental or spiritual....

I have a room in my home to which I bring those stories - my granddaughter Lydia calls it "The God Room" - it's filled with religious icons, candles, crosses and books. Lydia likes to color in there. I like to "just be" in there. As I sat in the God Room this morning, ruminating on the story of Jesus meeting the Samaritan woman at the well, I was struck with these words from the story: "Jesus, tired out by his journey, was sitting by the well."

I thought of all the people I had spent time with this past week - all of whom, just like Jesus, were tired out by their own journeys. It was comforting to once again realize, that Jesus could relate and continues to relate to all of our human needs. What did He do when the journey became too much? Nothing. He didn't try to figure it all out or come up with a new plan. He stopped what He was doing and rested.

The verse was a wonderful reminder that in the midst of all that assails us, we can truly find rest, for in those moments we are called to sit by the well for a spell. So here is my prayer for all of us this day....

Gracious God, Lift up all your children, whose suffering is beyond their strength to endure this day. May we recognize that You too knew such exhaustion & stopped to rest when needed. May we feel Your love, Your mercy, and Your compassion as we give You all these burdens that we are just too tired to carry any longer. May we find our rest in You. Amen

art: The Samaritan Woman at the Well by He Qi

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

happiness is a box of new crayons!

We could learn a lot
from crayons;
some are sharp,
some are pretty,
some are dull,
while others bright,
some have weird names,
but they all have learned
to live together
in the same box.

~Robert Fulghum

and all God's children said, Amen!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

let there be light

Too many Christians use the Bible
as a drunk does a lamppost -
for support rather than for illumination."

William Sloane Coffin—
"A Passion for the Possible:
A Message to U.S. Churches"

Monday, June 22, 2009

Is today going to be "A Good Day" ?

Here are the first words of this video:"You think this is just another day in your life? It's not just another day. It's the one day that is given to you today. It's given to you. It's a gift. It's the only gift that you have right now, and the only appropriate response is gratefulness." Br. David Steindl- Rast

Having "a good day" is a choice that each of us can make. May we all choose wisely.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

dear readers,

thanks for all your lovely comments. i am doing what the doctor ordered - staying in bed for a few days, taking my meds, sleeping, and giving myself time to heal. at this point i'm thankful that the operation went great & that God gave someone the grand idea of creating laptops :)


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

sling time

Good Morning!
I won't be posting for a few days
as I'm going in for a bladder sling
this morning at 8:30....
this is a simple surgery
performed in under 15 minutes...
and after looking at actual pictures
of bladder surgeries online,
I opted instead to post this picture
of a Singapore Sling :)

aren't you glad?

love ya!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

be gentle

While climbing out of my car in front of Safeway last week, a woman ran out the door of a nearby store, into the parking area, calling and waving to a friend she had spied across the lot. In the process she managed to drop her cell phone, which broke into several pieces. As she stared down at it her friend approached, looking happy to see her. The phone owner's response? She looked up at her friend and said, "Look what you made me do!" And now on to today's quote:

"To argue that someone "made" us angry, or the child "made" us irritable or the interruption "made" us edgy is to argue that we are controlled by something outside ourselves. We are slaves to our environment. We have no control over our thoughts. Nonsense. It's simply the excuse we use to explain why we choose at any given moment to be less gentle than we can be."
- Joan Chittister, O.S.B.

Monday, June 15, 2009

beware of dogma

"Faith is what you’re willing to die for.
Dogma is what you’re willing to kill for.”
– Robert Shahan.

I stole this disturbing quote from Muthah today.
Why are we so hung up on the right or wrong way to believe?
Here is a definition from Wikipedia:
"dogma is the established belief or doctrine held by a religion,
ideology, or any kind of organization: it is authoritative
& not be be disputed, doubted or diverged from."
Who have I killed today by holding the leash of my dogma too tightly?

Sunday, June 14, 2009


We just returned from a 4-day camping trip to Lake Cushman, WA. What a beautiful spot on the Hood Canal & what a wonderful way to start the summer - which is why I'm posting this prayer:

Let Me Live Grace-fully

Thank you Lord,
for this season
of sun and slow motion,
of games and porch sitting,
of picnics and light green fireflies
on heavy purple evenings;
and praise for slight breezes.
It's good, God,
as the first long days of your creation.

Let this season be for me
a time of gathering together the pieces
into which my busyness has broken me.
O God, enable me now
to grow wise through reflection,
peaceful through the song of the cricket,
recreated through the laughter of play.

Most of all, Lord,
let me live easily and grace-fully for a spell,
so that I may see other souls deeply,
share in a silence unhurried,
listen to the sound of sunlight and shadows,
explore barefoot the land of forgotten dreams and shy hopes,
and find the rights words to tell another who I am.

Ted Loder - Guerrilas of Grace, p. 131

Thursday, June 11, 2009

seek truth

Whatever you face this day,
remember the following:

It's not them, it's you.

It's not there, it's here.

It's not then, it's now.

~ Author Unknown ~

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


"Dogs are our link to paradise. They don't know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring--it was peace." - Milan Kundera

This is Paisley.
She is standing in her pool.
Does she look content or what?

Monday, June 8, 2009


"Why is it
that the churches
that have all
the answers
don't allow
any questions?"

J.S. Spong

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Trinity Sunday

Most Blessed Trinity,
the Lover, the Beloved and the Love
that exists between them:
May we so share in your divine dance,
that our lives may be forever entwined with yours.
both now and forever. Amen

St. Augustine, 4th century

I delight in the names listed in Augustine's prayer.
Fred Beuchner gave us: God beyond us, God among us, God between us.*
The New Zealand Prayer Book: Earth Maker, Pain Bearer, Life Giver*
"What words would you use to describe the mystery,
the holy ground where God happens in your life?"*

*these thoughts & the question were taken from
E. Bloch's+ sermon on The Holy Trinity, 6/7/09
St. Paul's, Port Townsend

Friday, June 5, 2009

Hidden Corners

"We need to find the hidden corners of our lives where we have not forgiven ourselves -- for who we are, for who we are not. And it is not always easy. Sometimes we have to dig through tragic emotional wreckage. Sometimes we have to rip open scars we think have long been healed. Sometimes we have to tear down beautifully crafted psychological edifices. But to live with a pure heart and an open spirit, we must have the courage to face these challenges."

Kent Nerburn, Calm Surrender, Walking the Hard Road of Forgiveness

artist: Julia Breckenreid

May we each realize today that the absolute love of our Divine Creator, encompasses all our strengths and weaknesses, all our successes and failures, and that we are called and able to forgive ourselves and move forward, with God's help. Amen

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Hood Canal Bridge

Thirty years ago on 2/19/79 the west half of the Hood Canal Bridge sank in a storm. What a shock that was. David and I had visited the Olympic Peninsula in November of '78 to purchase land, so by the time we moved to Sequim after our wedding in June of '79 the bridge was resting in 300 feet of water and it would take almost 4 years to replace. Although there were several other avenues to leave the Peninsula, (fly/drive around/launch your own boat) this bridge was the easiest, quickest and most direct route to ferries, and the 1-5 corridor.

Work was hard to come by in those days and life did indeed seem uncertain. But we survived and when the bridge reopened in '82 everyone in town drove out to just drive across it over and over. That may sound silly but it was so much fun! We felt connected. And it was free for that one day only. (A toll was placed on it the next day in order to pay for the repairs.)

Last year we learned that the bridge would have to be closed for 6 weeks this spring for needed repairs, I wondered if I'd feel like I did all those years ago. I didn't. Sequim has grown so much since then and as I am not a daily commuter, I didn't have to deal with the frustration that many others did. The WSDOT did a great job of providing buses and ferries to keep people moving. David and I only had to make one trip in order to get to the airport & that went smoothly.

I've been checking the Hood Canal blog for the past few days (yes, even a bridge can have a blog) and I'm here to tell you that our wait has come to an early end. (Thank God for monetary incentives.) Commuters will be relieved and local businesses will look forward to more customers.

It's not that I plan to jump into my car and cross the bridge a few times tomorrow but it's good to know it's available should I desire to leave the Peninsula for a bit. (Click here for some great photos.)

Do you remember the scene in The Truman Show where Jim Carrey finally overcomes his fear of water and drives across the bridge in search of the "real world"?

Well this is not like that.

OK, maybe just a little bit.

Leader file photo by Frank Garred.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

say what?

"It’s never what people do that makes us angry,
it’s what we tell ourselves about what they did."
Marshall Rosenberg

so don't believe everything you think!

is the spirit ever weary of loving?

"While I write this letter, you are present to me as I am sure I shall be present to you, when you read it. We wear ourselves out with our scribbling to each other, but is the spirit ever weary of loving? We find rest in those we love, and we provide a resting place in ourselves for those who love us."
–Bernard of Clairvaux, Letter No. 90 (1127 CE) in The Letters of St. Bernard of Clairvaux (B.S. James ed. 1953)

Are you finding rest in those you love? Are you able to provide a resting place for those who love you? What does that look like?