Showing posts from 2011

My Zacharias (which means "the Lord recalled") Moment

Each year I wait for it, that one moment when Christmas sort of gets me.  And I resist it. 
I didn’t used to resist.  “Getting the Christmas Spirit” was something I longed for, waited for and worried that others might achieve before me.  As a young person, I would search my soul each day after Thanksgiving and feel disappointed if I wasn’t into the spirit yet.  This was exaggerated with a stab if one of my family members or friends shouted out first, “I’ve got the Christmas Spirit!”  It was like vying to catch a cold or a cool breeze on a hot day, it was a mood you could not choose and feared might not come at all.  But it always did, eventually. 
My favorite Christmas moment was one Christmas Eve when I was about fourteen, that age for girls when everything is romantic and magical anyway.  I’m sure I’d already caught this annual mood we celebrated, but at midnight when they turned down the lights and lit candles and began to sing Silent Night, the light change caused the reflection in…

Learning about Leadership by Leading the Blind

This is the story of the time (I had) when I ran into a blind man.
I was the director of a program and was responsible for several staff both professionals and support staff.I hired a man named Tim who had been completely blind from birth.He taught me a great deal about the experience of living with a visual impairment, and about life.
I knew enough to ask him to tell me how to work together to address accessibility.He reminded me that he was capable of asking for help and together we developed an understanding in our relationship of boundaries, though this was a bit different process than the development of other relationships, at least for me.I learned to remember to offer him a ride if our co-workers decided spontaneously to go out for lunch.I also learned not to hover or do anything for him that he didn’t ask for.He taught me how to lead him holding on to my elbow, which was necessary if we left the building.
Early on, he needed this just outside the building as the sidewalks were a …

Observing Grief

The headline from Florida read, “Service held at wrecked church.Tornado victims try to stay optimistic ahead of long cleanup”.The picture was of a meandering, shoddily dressed gathering of folks standing around, some facing the makeshift alter of their destroyed church now reduced to a mass of mangled steel beams and splintered wood.A broken cross was propped up next to an American flag in front of this and a man in a black suit is seen standing high above them, apparently on a wooden box, his arms flung open somewhere between heavenly prayers and embracing his little flock, his head thrown back looking toward heaven.A band can be seen to his right, a second man also flinging arms, presumably the conductor.The quote from the preacher read:“We grieve with you and there will be days that life will wear you down.“But life does go on and we’re here to help you pull it together.Don’t let bitterness set in.” I read this in juxtaposition with C.S. Lewis’ A Grief Observed.One the sentiment of …

Overcoming emotional pain associated with an illness

Consider the Birds and Lillies: A Sermon for Epiphany 8A

for the readings for this sermon click here:

Child-like Gifts

   For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known.

I hold a painful childhood memory, of that time before adulthood when one was no longer allowed to love adults from a childish place.  I suppose this is what St. Paul spoke of when he used the phrase “putting away”.  The memory of the experience of that kind of love is like the crispness of last Spring’s breeze.  I would luxuriate in such a breeze in August.  I remember the pain of its rejection like a winter wind too.
I had just turned twelve that Spring and befriended, or at least tried to, a girl who was turning fourteen that July.  We were hanging out at our parents’ country club pool, though I was from the wrong side of town to her higher-class circles.  I didn’t know that then.  I also didn’t realize what it meant to strive to become sophisticated and how much awkwardness this would take before we were there.  Are we there?
Her n…