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Showing posts from August, 2016

What I don't know about suffering

Someone asked me the other day how I justify the work that I do with my spiritual beliefs.  She wanted to know how I work with trauma, how I see trauma, how I experience human suffering and still love God.

"Why would God allow all of this suffering?"

That's the question of the ages.

There is so much that I don't know or understand about God and about human suffering.  But I'm okay with, "I don't know."  The only thing that I DO know is that I have witnessed God suffering with me and with others.  Many Christian authors and theologians have called God the One who suffers with.  Jesus was the one who wept with the people around him.  He cried and anguished over their suffering.  He healed them.  And then He was tortured and suffered excruciating pain.

In 2003, I lost a son to stillbirth.  I have never felt such anguish in my spirit.  I suffered physically (24 hours of labor and complications after), I suffered emotionally, I suffered mentally, I suff…

Jesus, the obstacle

Photo from

"But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light." 1 Peter 2:9 NLT
But we're not like what?  The verse before quotes Isaiah 8:14, which says that Jesus is like a stone that many people will trip over. 
Earlier this spring, I was running along a path much like the one in the picture above.  Around mile 3, my feet became heavy and my toe caught a little rock that was sticking up through the soil.  I went tumbling down into the rocks and roots and now have a good seven inch scar along the base of my elbow.  
I think the scripture is saying that Jesus is like that little rock.  Not so much a grand boulder that sits heavy in our path, but a little stone that sometimes trips us up.  
Before I first encountered Jesus, I was running along that path in blindness.  I tri…

Love lift me up

"Therefore, if you have been raised with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  Keep thinking about things above, not things on the earth." Colossians 3:1-2

When I read this, I think about Psalms 61:2 that says, "lead me to the rock that is higher than I."  Living in Kansas, we don't have many rocky outcroppings that are too high.  But if you have ever been some place that has mountains or plateaus, you know the experience of looking up and seeing the horizon blocked out by the majestic land.

As I mentioned earlier this week, I have been trying to lift my eyes and my heart above the chaos happening all around.  Not that I have become ignorant to the day's events, but I have been working to separate myself from the anxiety and fear that it often causes.  This morning, this was my prayer.

I picture myself raising my hands up like a little child wanting to be held by a loving parent.  I remember this happenin…

No one is an island: Put-in-Bay and racial mutuality

My family and I spent the day at Put-In-Bay (PIB), Ohio--an island in the middle of Lake Erie--also known as South Bass Island.  I grew up going to this island.  My dad and I rode the several miles across the warm, green water to dock at the rocky shore.  Dad spent many hours fishing from the dock while I rode my pink bike around exploring the historical monuments and markers, watching the planes and helicopters moving around the island, and venturing in and out of the souvenir shops with my twenty-dollar bill. 

On holiday weekends, the dock would be full--sometimes boats tied together 3 or 4 deep.  On these weekends, the island was full of revelers staggering drunk around the parks and shops.  I stayed in the boat and listened to their ignorant ramblings.  There were fights.  There was a lot of laughter and singing.  And once I saw a couple having sex in the boat next to ours. I covered my ears and tried to sleep.

1.  A White Paradise
The next day, the party-ers were passed out on p…