Sunday, April 29, 2012

At the Altar

When I stand at the altar it is easy to love.
Consecrating, elevating,
Tearing the bread
Then a pause.
For you.
Given for you.

Sometimes averted eyes,
Others a bold smile.
A hand wrinkled with age
A little palm.

A crumb falls to the floor
And taste
The flour and water binding
At the altar

Where it is easy to love.

Saturday, April 28, 2012


Several years ago, when I was a pediatric chaplain, I attended an Amish family in the wake of a horrific buggy accident.  A minivan had hit the family buggy full of children.  One of the little boys died instantly and was taken to the county coroner's.

I walked with the family to the coroner's where they were able to view the child.  Their grief and anguish was thick and overwhelming.  But, in the midst of the gasping sobs which colored the air, the grandfather and uncle of the boy pulled aside the coroner and calmly asked permission to measure his body.  The coroner was confused for moment, but then they explained.

They needed his measurements to build his coffin.

A final ministry...and I can imagine the blessing it was to fit together the boards, to lose themselves in a familiar work done in love.  

Friday, April 27, 2012

Sermon, Easter 4B, Sunday of the Good Shepherd

Working on a sermon for Sunday, and the texts tend to lend themselves to platitudes.

However, in thinking beyond the postcard views, I find myself wondering

is it only in death that the sheep fold is filled?

What happens to sheep that overgraze that land

And, how do we move on?

My own little sheep at 9 months...
Full sermon to come...

Thursday, April 26, 2012


Last night it occurred to me that I don't have the recipe for my mom's chicken hekka.  Seriously, she made the best hekka I have ever had and no other hekka could compete.  And, for the bulk of you who don't know what hekka is...well, I'm sorry, because it's delicious!

So, lacking her hekka, I made a casserole with cream of mushroom soup.  This was also delicious, but it was not hekka.

It's funny the things we miss...

Hmmm, now I want a spam musubi from Pukalani Superette.

Comfort food from far away.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Jiggedy Jig

Home again and wondering what it means to have roots.  What it means to put down roots.  And, wondering what happens when everything is uprooted while the buds are still flowering.

Grateful, oh so very grateful, for our little family of three.   Mama, mommy and the boy child.

Thinking about how to extend the roots so that if something happens, the buds will stand a chance.

Monday, April 16, 2012


Road trip and travels coming up, so it's going to be quiet here for a few days...

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Mostly Okay

Except for when I'm not.  The day to day continues and then, a moment.

When the sharp edges of imagination, I was not there, break in.

Then a toddler giggles, friends laugh and glasses are raised.

I forget, then remember, then forget again.

Then wish I could forget.  But, then remember.

Grace and other good things.

Friday, April 13, 2012

On The Way Home

On the way home from the zoo I had the momentary impulse to call my mom.

You see, I didn't have many friends in middle and high school, and this worried my mom quite a bit.

So, as I've made my group of mom friends, I have found myself calling on the way to (or from) play dates.

Mostly because I knew how much my mom would like hearing that I have friends now.  And to prove, something...

I left a message on my grandmother's phone instead--but it just didn't feel the same.

Thursday, April 12, 2012


When I was in prodromal labor (for those not in the know, weeks of contractions that did nothing) I coerced my beloved into playing scrabble...often.

I wanted to continue the family tradition.  My mother was induced and stuck in the hospital for three days prior to my birth.  Apparently my parents spent those three days playing scrabble.

I like to imagine that.  My mom and dad, excited about my birth, getting out the scrabble board and putting down words one tile at a time.

I hope they spelled love.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Next to Ka'ahumanu shopping center on Maui sits the old pineapple cannery.  As a child, whenever we passed by, my mom would tell us about the summer job she had there.  Apparently the acid from the pineapple was so strong that it would eat through the canvas of the worker's shoes.

I thought of this last night when I peeled the pineapple she had sent through the "fruit of the month".  A couple of months ago when we were talking she mentioned that she had asked them to send extra pineapple in particular.

As I twisted off the crown and carefully carved away the "eyes" of the pineapple, the acid of the juice stung a scratch on my finger.  And, after only a couple of slices, my tongue was prickly from the fruit.

The acid had begun to eat away at me as well.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Be Not Afraid

From a sermon I heard preached 7 years ago...

"the opposite of faith isn't doubt, it's fear"

I've never  been sure that I agree with this statement.

But, I'm starting to suspect that it's true.

"Be not afraid" they cried.

My deepest prayer today is that there was no fear.

But I suspect that there was.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter Monday

My grandmother was dismayed that I didn't preach on Easter.  How does one say "death never wins" when, right now, it feels like it does?

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Phone Call

I'd wish her a Happy Easter of course, inquire after church and ask what she was going to have for dinner.  Oh, and I'd tell her that the fruit of the month she sent arrived and that it was a pineapple...thank you mom.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Good Friday

My mother's obituary is written, proofed and paid for.  It will run Easter Sunday...feeling envious that the disciples got another chance to set things right.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


The most recent picture I have of my mom is from several years ago and one that a sibling sent is too blurry.  Today I would call her and ask her to send me a photo of herself that she likes--ideally a headshot.

I need it for her obituary, and I want her to like it.

Monday, April 2, 2012


If I could call my mom today I would tell her that I am a little worried that the boy child isn't speaking more.  I would also tell her that he loves jigsaw puzzles.