Sunday, September 25, 2011


i will tear the heart of my soul in two
and You must lay therein
You must lay yourself
in the wounds of my soul.

-mechtild of magdeburg

Saturday, September 10, 2011

"As I have read the Gospels over the years, the belief has grown in me that Jesus did not come to found an organized religion but came instead to found an unorganized one. He seems to have come to carry religion out of the temples into the fields and sheep pastures, onto the roadsides and the banks of the rivers, into the houses of sinners and publicans, into the town and the wilderness, toward the membership of all that is here. Well, you can read and see what you think."

-wendell "jayber crow" berry.

Monday, September 5, 2011


A truth so universal: God is One.
A thought so consoling: He is with us in distress.
A responsibility so overwhelming: His name can be desecrated.
A map of time: from creation to redemption.
Guideposts along the way: the Seventh Day.
An offering: contrition of the heart.
A utopia: would that all people were prophets.
The insight: man lives by his faithfulness; his home is in time and his substance in deeds.
A standard so bold: you shall be holy.
A commandment so daring: love thy neighbor as thyself.
A fact so sublime: human and divine pathos can be in accord.
And a gift so undeserved: the ability to repent.

-abraham joshua heschel.

the joy set before us.

"There is this crazy tendency I have - and maybe you have it too - to believe that joy is a single shining moment of happiness. That it's the high peak on a line chart, the instant when everything comes together and adds up and is good. It is always a moment, or the next moment at least, that we are waiting for. When all of life aligns the way we want it to. Right?

But in stooping to peer under the rocky entrance of a Bethlehem stable, I find that my theory falls apart. Because here is Joy to the world: his skin red from birth, limbs flopped to his sides in newborn-sleep. Here is a mother - exhausted? A father - scared? Amid the chill of night, here is the stink of manure, the quiet chaos of new life. The unsettling hush of a place that is not home. Here is Joy: an infant in a feed trough, low enough for sheep to be curious and to knock him awake with their chins. Our Redeemer? At face value nothing aligns, and it doesn't make a drop of sense.

Joy is not the froth and lightness we tend to long for and expect. Joy is an anchor; it is heavy. It falls into the coldest, deepest dark places, where the current and pressure are enough to crush bone, and it holds there. On the surface the waves crash and roll, and we are not steady but we are held, and somehow that is beautifully enough. So when the soldier is not yet home, when the cure has not yet been found, when the loneliness hasn't yet faded, there is Joy. When the hurt hasn't yet seen its end, there is Joy.

When we wait and wait and all for nothing because the happiness we've asked for doesn't arrive, there is Joy. The Lord is come."

-lisa fleischaker.

(Amen, Amen, Amen).