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Showing posts from October, 2011

Anticipating Excess

I have been amazed over the past 18 months at the thoughtfulness and love that has clearly gone into the selection of gifts our son has been given. From handmade wooden cars made by Nana and Papa to the soft and silky monster doll purchased at a local/handmade church good shop by his adoptive clergy g'ma. Our son truly has been blessed. On one of the parenting forums I read fairly regularly there are fairly frequent (read annual, usually around this time of year) discussions of how to handle gift giving occasions if your values run contrary to the mainstream (e.g. no plastic; no batteries; or no sweets). These discussions become fairly heated and hackles are raised. In response and in reflection I recalled the jars of pennies and handfuls of ribbon candy my great grandmother and great aunt would give us when we visited...

Every time we visited my great grandmama when I was a child she gave us piles of, stuck together with age, ribbon candy. She was housebound for the most par…

PICU Reflections

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I spent two years working as a pediatric hospital chaplain and some of the deaths still haunt me. Today, I was reflecting on the beautiful, difficult and painful work of love which the staff of pediatric intensive care units undertake each and every day.

Please, don't scroll below the picture if reading about a child's death is going to bother you.




I never did find out how she died. She came in unresponsive and the incessant pounding of resuscitation was the only movement I ever saw. The bags of fluid gurgled in and then out as her lungs became fluid overloaded and her hair was coated with vomit and saline. Her skin was golden and then dusky and I was there when the light went out of her eyes and I knew that she was gone.

Yet, they pounded on...hoping against hope, straining for some miracle that they had long since ceased to believe in. I sat with her parents as they watched. Taking in the incomprehensible we huddled in the corner. She was gone and I knew, yet we pr…

Proper 22A, Scripture I Thought I Hated Until I Had to Write A Sermon...

I have a friend, who writes her sermons with the question in mind--”where is the grace”. And, this week as I struggled with this parable from Matthew I found myself searching, digging deep for the grace in the midst of a story that is, quite frankly, horrific.

Taken as allegory, we have a story in which we identify the wealthy landowner as God. The tenants are the Pharisees, the Isrealite people who kill God’s messengers. Then, as a last resort, we have a son, the son of the wealthy landowner, who is then read as Jesus. He is killed as well. Then, the landowner, God, kills all of the tenants and puts new tenants in place--presumably tenants who will follow the rules.

Now, I find this story vile. I find it vile largely because it tends to lend itself to self righteousness and vindication on the part of Christians--see we have the true faith and you folks who don’t listen to God are going to get in trouble!!

Thankfully, this story is not an allegory, it is a parable. And para…