Friday, March 30, 2012

In this world you will be rejected.

Today I read letters from parents who truly meticulously Love.

Today I feel carefully loved, today I remember having been loved that way in all my yesterdays.

Today I'm tucking away these letters for the days of forgetting. For tomorrow's storms.

Child, study your sorrows and lean into how Accepted, how Provided For you are.
Study the way you are feeling today. Because I love you, I ask this of you: lean into your “otherness” – learn the contours of its face, feel out the steady grip of its hand. Because I intend it to be your lifelong companion. It is a truer friend than those who surround you now. More than I want your comfort I want you to be an alien and a stranger. . . that not-fitting, that dissonant chord, that unease in the midst of ease that has been the faithful travel companion of the children of God for millenia. . . 
Here is what you must come to see: what the lunch table calls your enemy I call your friend. “Otherness” is a sensation not to be dulled or diminished but to be cultivated and cherished. So though it goes against every mothering instinct, I will not pull the thorn from your flesh, not because I want to withhold comfort, but because there is no true comfort in a lie. This world is not our home. We are sojourners, travelers on our way to the only true comfort the human heart can know. I will not help you populate your life with things that lessen your grip on this reality. 
Because I love you, yes. 
// "Otherness" (Jen Wilkin).
What the world calls your enemy I call your friend.
The pain, it was provision. Not a curse.
He does not curse His children.

The rules and boundaries... are not to bind you, but to keep you safe... instructions, so that you will know which way to go... a trellis, so you will be able to climb and find the sun.
// "In the Sun" (Irene). 

Friday, March 2, 2012


Unflashily familiar--this too is mercy.
Last time around, I was hung up on the silence of God.
Now in the stillness, I am embraced by the Substitution of Christ.
When some beloved voice that was to you
Both sound and sweetness, faileth suddenly,
And silence, against which you dare not cry,
Aches round you like a strong disease and new-
What hope? What help? What music will undo
That silence to your sense? Not friendship’s sigh,
Not reason’s subtle count; not melody
Of viols, nor of pipes that Faunus blew;
Not songs of poets, nor of nightingales
Whose hearts leap upward through the
To the clear moon; nor yet the spheric laws
Self-chanted, nor the angels’ sweet ‘All hails,’
Met in the smile of God: nay, none of these.
Speak THOU, availing Christ! – and fill this pause.
// Elizabeth Barrett Browning, "Substitution."

Speak, Lord, tenderly into the present pause. Grow your church in the space she left us--in the space He left us.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

What have we against Death?

I am not my own.
Q.   What is your only comfort in... death?
A.   That I... am not my own, but belong unto my faithful Savior Jesus Christ; who with his precious blood... so preserves me that without the will of my heavenly Father not a hair can fall from my head; yea, that all things must be subservient to my salvation...
// The Heidelberg Catechism, Q1.