Wherever they are, they have traveled far. Not at home, known and comfortable. Not on the road, exhausted from the journey. Arrived but unsettled. No room in the expected places, no welcome in the usual way. Whatever they expect, they can only imagine. Preparation leads to prayer's edge: picturing what might be, trusting what could come, unknowing until inhabited. They have seen the shift to parenthood from outside, but never for themselves. They cannot know until they arrive. However she feels, today is the last day like this. Feeling his kicks and squirms, marveling at the stretch of her skin, carrying the heaviest weight her body will hold. Tomorrow will bring transformation for both of them. Whatever she knows, control is not hers. Mysterious forces guide birth, and his will be the most sacred. Turns out the baby's lungs trigger labor, the pneuma within us, the Spirit wanting to breathe. However tomorrow looks, it will turn upside down. Scripture does not mention a … [Read more...] about the day before Christmas
Scripture & Parenting
A beloved theology professor of mine in college used to start each class with a simple prayer, repeating, "Be still, and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10). One line spoken slowly, one word dropped each time until there was only "be." Years later, a favorite writing teacher did the same during a week-long workshop. Let us pause each day to breathe into the spaces between the words. I took their wisdom to heart, prayed these lines with children and adults. Always searching for more Scripture that can be stair-stepped with perfect simplicity. Now I've found another. . . . Beloved, we are God's children now. (1 John 3:2) The first Scripture I ever memorized, for an all-school Mass. The first time I ever got to proclaim the Word, second grade if memory serves. White mimeographed reading pasted onto construction paper. I had to yank the microphone all the way down and perch on pink saddle-shoed tip-toes, and even then I could barely see over the ambo. But the thrill … [Read more...] about beloved. be loved.
Crusts & Crumbs is a new reflection for Sunday evenings: thoughts on today's Scripture from parenting's perspective. If you're hungry to connect faith and family, let’s chew here together. "The Lord, your God, is in your midst" (Zep 3:17). Do we remember this, when we're together at table or party? Do we call the truth to mind, as we're racing through airport or freeway? Wherever two or three are gathered, there is God in our midst. Even a family of two - a married couple, a single parent with child, a grandparent and grandchild - are full family. And, Scripture says, full presence. "For great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel!" (Isa 12:6) The space between us is sacred, then. We hug and kiss, or jostle and fight, or bristle and ignore. Dynamics between family members are hyper-charged this time of year, Hallmark movies and holiday cards plastering perfect smiles on our edgy expectations. Can we measure up to our own hopes, let alone our culture's commercialized … [Read more...] about crusts & crumbs: God with us
Crusts & Crumbs is a new reflection for Sunday evenings: thoughts on today's Scripture from parenting's perspective. If you're hungry to connect faith and family, let’s chew here together. "The anxieties of daily life." Is there anything more ordinary? Preaching on perplexing signs and terrible fears that will signal the end of times, Jesus speaks words of caution: "Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life" (Luke 21:25-28, 34-36). We laugh and swat away the first two, easy enough. But the last? Who among us is not dogged by anxieties? How could they be dangerous as drunkenness? Worry walks hand in hand with the work of raising children. From the beginning parents circle round small concerns and shrink from larger fears. Will the child be safe? Healthy? Strong? Worries change as children grow and parents age, but anxiety is still wound tight with love. How could we possibly parent without worry? But … [Read more...] about crusts & crumbs: pray, hope, don’t worry