As a woman who is often distracted by many tasks, I have felt belittled—almost shamed—by this story. If there is “only need of one thing,” then what are we going to do when the clean clothes run out and the fridge is empty and the ring in the toilet is getting so aggressive that the kids are nervous?
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A self-cropped mop of curls hung around her face which was as red as anger and hurt can make it. The toe of her one-inch heel was missing a few of the plastic jewels that crusted the surface. When she stamped it onto the long-ago polished wooden floor, her fingers, still a little chubby with babyhood, were fisted, tight.
About fifteen years ago, I first heard about sustainable agriculture. Now, I come from a good, composting family. We had reusable shopping bags way before they were cool. But we never used the compost. We just didn’t throw food scraps in the trash. We threw them in the backyard. But in the world of sustainable agriculture, there are ways of doing things. There is tilth to consider. And biome—or was it biomass? And runoff.
Are you ready for a little grammar lesson? In the sentence "I am a lay theologian," there is a subject, I, and a predicate, am a lay theologian. The adjective lay modifies the predicate noun theologian not the subject I. And this feels important enough to risk your eyes glazing over with terrifying flashbacks of diagramming sentences.
In the mountains of Western North Carolina, the grass is growing again, the birds have returned, the carpenter bees are eating a perfect circle in the railing of my front porch. Spring has returned. The nights are soft and clear, and a certain yearning has returned to my heart. I love to wander under the twilight sky, deep into the evening—because, in the twilight, I can inhabit an edge.
Good Friday Meditation
The dishes have dried. The crumbs and snippets of yarn have been swept up. The sticky notes have been tabulated. National Gathering 2019 is a snapshot; taken, shared, and finished. In that moment, at that place, we were the Missional Wisdom Foundation, gathered.
There is something deep in the naming of a child. My husband and I have named five children, and not once did we do so lightly. We scoured baby-name books, made sure the middle names fit phonetically with the first names, screened favorite names for unfortunate meanings, and, even after all that, my hand shook as I wrote each new name down on the blue birth certificate form. After all, our names shape us.
This is week five. We are more than half way through our Lenten Journey, and I am hearing the rustling of plans.
Are you coming here for Easter? What should we eat? Do the kids have new outfits? Shoes? Easter baskets?
Easter isn't here yet, but it is close enough to be nudging its way in.
A woman stood at the mouth of a cave. Any beauty her face would hold tomorrow had turned to gray, stern grief overnight. Her hair lay raggedly on her shoulders; her feet were dusty. She felt dry and limp—too exhausted to scrape together enough spirit to form tears, but, unbelievably, she could feel them soaking into the neck of her cloak.
From the Reports from the Spiritual Frontier website:
Join us for a conversation with Andrea Lingle of the Missional Wisdom Foundation, as she shares about how conflict can be a means of grace. Hear her share about how true community can be exhausting, what it means to thirst for righteousness rather than thirst for rightness, and first steps that communities can take to have conversations that convey both moral clarity and grace. Hear her also share about Missional Wisdom’s new book: Rooted in Grace, which is a practical primer for communities looking to have these type of difficult, grace-filled conversations.
In his book, Returning from Camino, Alexander Shaia explains that the advertised destination of any given pilgrimage is not the end but the turning around point, and it is only through the long process of returning to walk the ways of the mundane and usual that the work of pilgrimage is brought to fruition.
. . . the darkness covered the face of the deep . . .
As we journey into the literal dark of the northern winter, we are asked to embrace that which has been declared worthless. Darkness. Rest. Waiting.
…the earth was a formless void…
Advent is a journey of preparation, and either I am not that good at preparation or it is really hard. There are just so many contingencies to consider.
In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth…
In the beginning.
The beginning is a starting place. It is the sunrise over a day that has not yet seen the rust and wear of the afternoon. It is a new chance to live. It is a place to choose, once again, who you will be. Whom you will serve. Whom you will allow to be your teacher.
Once there was a group of people. These people lived long ago, and, therefore, far away, but they were not so different from you and me. They loved, hoped, ate, and bickered. They had been following a great leader, but he had left them. They had been instructed to wait, and, like so many who wait, they did so fretfully.
Paul Tillich's The Courage to Be gave me language to articulate a knowledge that is deep within me.
To set the table is to commit to grace.
A set table implies a willingness to believe that our needs will be met.
At the table, the nutritional needs of the body will be supplied by the production of the earth.
The great promise of the table is that we are invited to join in holy community/communion with family.
Two years ago, my second child told me she didn’t want to get married. I paused the dishwashing I was doing, suspicious that there was a reason she felt compelled to announce this. After a little digging I discovered that she didn’t want to get married because she didn’t want to have children because...