Archive for January, 2011

Snow Glory

It says that in Heaven
there will be no sun and no moon
no stars to brighten the night
There will be no need,
for the Glory of the Lord
will render those other lights
dark in comparison…
I always wondered…

a bit forlorn

and quite fond of my own

perception of light….

how this could be?
But last night,
at 1 A.M.
the dog
who got into something
he shouldn’t
quietly whimpered at my bedside
in sheer but polite desperation.
Ironically he is not the gentleman dog

to say the least,
yet strangely,

one of the reasons we have kept him around

is that he knows when the house is asleep
and that if he needs to be let out

he will sit at the side of our bed and whine…. softly
As he has matured these nighttime interruptions have become increasingly more
frequent and definitely more annoying,
So Ethan and I take turns
venturing into the dark cold night.
Cooper seems to have a sense whose turn it is to rise, and sits
at the appropriate side of the bed,and softly whimpers.
Wakened from a warm, deep, dreamless sleep,

it occurred to me that it was
my dreaded turn,

Too aware and too guilty to roll over and pretend
I did not hear his request….

For this would only breed contempt, and woken children who

would be grumpier than I

and reply with a double
more insistent complaint.
So I disobeyed every want in my body that begged for irresponsibility and

rose… bitten by the cold
beyond the confines of the down blanket
begrudgingly muttering louder than was necessary
whose dumb idea
was it to get a dog anyway?
On my way to the kitchen I stepped on  Logan’s  boot

suddenly aware that he had stayed out late

sledding with his friends that night knowing morning would

probably bring a snow day…
Ugh…and its snowing….I cried…
nattering on with lament…. my internal diatribe complained and scorned

“how come when its my turn to walk the darn dog…its not just cold..but  a blizzard….”

I pulled my boots up over my flannel
pajamas, swearing under my breath
that SOMEBODY else…. has to take this mutt
out before bed…
I wiped the sleep from my eyes with the edge of my mittens
and pulled the scarf up above my nose bracing for the
wind that would greet me as I walked out the door.
And then I stepped outside…
My complaint was hijacked mid muttering

And I  spoke out loud the only word I could find…” WOW!!!”
This was absolutely beautiful..

the sounds of life were muffled by the snow
And it was louder than any silence I had ever heard…
And every surface, road, sidewalk, and
tree was covered with at least a foot of snow…
And it was brilliant
and white
untouched by living
sacred and silent

And I just kept thinking….
of how Bright it was..
like noonday sun,
I could see everywhere
not a star in the sky ,
no moon to be seen and I was able to
see by just the reflection of the white.
And I was almost brought to my knees,
As I gazed at this snow glory

turning in every direction to see…
as I realized this was only a taste of
what heaven would be…

“The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it,
for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp”
And at once I knew…this was one of those times
when God reached down
into creation to show me

And that even in frustration
of unwanted wakening
and cold air…
He is there
calling to me
showing me His love
in creation lessons
in Snow Glory…
and I am humbled that I
often venture into
with irritation instead of delight
when I am reminded  that at any moment,
even at 1 AM on a snowy Wednesday night
God shows up to teach me.


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The Call about Nancy

I wonder if she ever thought of us,
the way it used to be.
When we were eleven or seventeen or twenty three
and wondered if it could be different…
Sitting around the lunchroom table deciding
who was in…
and who was out.
How we prayed
it was not our turn
to be hated.
But we all played the game
And still somewhere
knowing deep inside our cores
that there was never really hate,
only fear
and that we really did love each other
more than we even knew how to explain
and would have died for to prove it.

I wonder if she ever thought about
the times we would hunker down in her father’s basement
surrounded by undone laundry and dusty picture frames.
watching General Hospital while eating
Doritos and blowing smoke rings
so we could pop them with
our fingers.
Thick as thieves,
Band of Sisters
We would be friends forever…

And yet it only took a small separation,
one leaving for college,
another married ,
full time work
and suddenly it was different…

we were strange to her,
And she thought our life choices
made her life choices a barrier….
but it was only a taunted perception…
I think…
looking back now with more mistakes than I can count
and fully aware of how easy it  was and is to
make them… I am shamed by how we might
have come off as self righteous or proud.

And how that must have wounded her…

I am so deeply sorry

sorry that  it wasn’t different

sorry that I couldn’t find her

even though I searched for two years

sorry that I did not have the chance to know then…

what I know now

about real love

and forgiveness

and faith…

I wonder if she she ever thought of us,

how we used to be and

reached for the phone

to call
one of us….

any of us..
I wonder if she knew

that we would have dropped everything

and come running..
like we did
when the call came…
that there would never be calls from her again.

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Twenty two,

That was the age of the two in the news
One took life,
One gave it away…
And I am wondering what all this giving and taking
is saying about the faith we share,
or the lack thereof
The first generation of the unchurched
seeking the sacred through
children of the mothers and fathers who turned away
from the mothers and fathers

that spoke of one faith and

lived another

children of the mothers and fathers

who didn’t conform
or checked out
or worshiped their work.
Spitting the bitter tastes from their tongues

of those who
claimed to be sinless, with authority

and in the name of God
but warts are always evident
in  humanity,
Like oil rising to the top

it is not long before we are all exposed and

separated by the light of true  holiness.

Her funeral will be this Sunday,

Her family has flown in from Brazil

A light extinguished too soon

by her own hand

an overflow of brokenness

which in silence went unhealed.

Her husband said, if she had only ten dollars left to her name

and you asked her for it,

she’d give you eleven.

And across the country

today in Tuscan a mother weeps for her

nine year old girl

who was at the wrong place,

at the wrong time.

In the hands of one who thought wrong

was right for all the wrong reasons

And I am wondering what could have been done
to save those who were lost
Words that would have made the difference
Time together
Time Apart
Time,  just more time,
to figure out the need.

If we only had more time….
Twenty two….that was the age of the two in the news
one took life, one gave it away.

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