Sunday Scripture ~ Psalm 142:7

The epigraph for Psalm 142 reads:  “A contemplation of David.  A prayer when he was in the cave.” How wonderful that David knew God could hear him from his gloomy hiding place.   He knew very well that God was with him there in the cave. I cry out to the Lord with my voice . . .… Continue reading Sunday Scripture ~ Psalm 142:7

The Gift of Wonder and God’s Glorious “And”

The Gift of Wonder and God's Glorious "And"

Wild extremes live on the bandwidth that comprises Christian faith. At one end of the scale are those who believe scarcely a thing at all, but even this is not as frightening to me as those on the end of the spectrum who have God all figured out. With algebraic precision, they are able to… Continue reading The Gift of Wonder and God’s Glorious “And”

A Melody Above the Noise of Your Grief

God sings a song of renewal and restoration within your pain.

Written by real people with genuine feelings--often worn closer to the surface than this stoic New Englander might like--the Bible gives voice to a full range of emotions. There is plenty of joy, lots of celebration, and this has found its way into our worship. However, we are less comfortable with the practice of biblical… Continue reading A Melody Above the Noise of Your Grief

When Words Fail: Living and Lamenting through Dementia

Walking Through Twilight: A Wife's Illness--A Philosopher's Lament

It's a common experience:  the brain goes in search of a word that just will not materialize. Finally, eventually, the elusive word does come, even if it takes a thesaurus to prime the pump, and we rejoice because in conversation and in writing, finding and savoring the just-right-word to frame a thought is supremely satisfying.… Continue reading When Words Fail: Living and Lamenting through Dementia

Thanksgiving Celebration and Lament

Nearly thirty years ago, I married into a family that celebrated Thanksgiving Day with All-American fervor, featuring a day-long gathering and a loaded table. As the new bride, I was eager to prove that I had what it took to be the holiday hostess. Having done my research, I had planned all the best sides,… Continue reading Thanksgiving Celebration and Lament

Laughter on the Pathway of Lament

When we read about women in the Bible, there's a tendency to flatten them out into cardboard characters, one-dimensional and distant.  Kate Merrick was in that camp as well, intimidated by the fabulous woman of Proverbs 31, judging Bathsheba, missing the depth of Mary's sacrifice in saying yes to God, and brushing Sarah off as… Continue reading Laughter on the Pathway of Lament

Celebration and Lament

The walls had been rebuilt. The people living in and around the city of Jerusalem had gathered. Along with the fresh aroma of new lumber from Ezra’s wooden platform and his strong voice ringing out over the hum of the crowd, celebration was in the air! Within the barely-renovated city walls of Jerusalem, there was… Continue reading Celebration and Lament

Pain, Emotion, and God

Elisabeth Elliot coined the most memorable definition of human suffering that I have ever heard:  "Suffering is wanting what you don't have -- or having what you don't want."  These words came to mind often as I read Between Pain and Grace, because Gerald W. Peterman and Andrew J. Schmutzer have initiated a fresh conversation which does… Continue reading Pain, Emotion, and God

“Come into the Dark and Lament”

Robert Frost's thrush is not singing a solo in his invitation to lament, but is adding to the words of the prophet Jeremiah, and has now been joined by Soong-Chan Rah in Prophetic Lament:  A Call for Justice in Troubled Times. In Frost's poem, the invitation is declined, and perhaps he had good reason, as he was "out… Continue reading “Come into the Dark and Lament”