Thursday, December 25, 2014


the space, nearly full, quickly emptying
lights dim
air mildly smoky with freshly extinguished candle sticks laid on seats and floor
a few bunches of excitable friends huddled in groups talking, laughing, planning
and christmas tomorrow
but she sat with us, sensitive
when he walked by, this shepherd who leads with humility, compassion, gentleness
on his way out, to home, to prepare for the morning's celebration with his own family
he stopped, caught her eye,
fully aware of her situation and the choices that she had made to bring her to the very bottom of herself
to where she sits, empty, quiet, insecure, fearful
his full attention on her, subtle, one hand pointing, one hand over his own heart
i didn't catch his words
but the non-verbals communicated loudly
we love you. we're walking this road with you. you're not alone. we know what you've done, we forgive you, and we're right here.
merry christmas, daughter.
merry christmas, sister.
we do know and we do love you and we will go forward together.


that rich Immanuel-reality, "God with us," the very first reason for any of the december 25 celebrating
it drowned this year under the build up and the decorating and the gifts
and i felt it too, gasping for a few breaths, something that would anchor me back into the Life which came all those years ago,
my purpose for existing
but with so many exciting things going on why would i slow myself to sit in a place of remembering
unless Life Himself
would graciously withhold some of the holiday euphoria from me, remove blinders, make me to see
that this is the very purpose for His human existing
He came to be flesh so that He might sympathize with us - children, brothers and sisters with Him
john piper explains the reasons for Christmas from Hebrews 2
God came - Jesus -
to sympathize with mankind,
to die,
to destroy death/the devil,
to deliver mankind from the slavery+fear+death

so, "the reason for the incarnation is the death of the Son of God"

...and if we are freed from the slavery of death, we are the freest of all peoples, and that is owed to the fact that the devil is destroyed by having his accusations removed, because Christ died, because Christ partook of the nature of mankind, and that happened because of christmas...
and because we're freed in this way, we are also the most humble and grateful of all people.

and this is why we can say with all sincerity,

merry christmas.

Saturday, December 13, 2014


a few friends have asked why i'm not writing much lately
and the obvious answer is time
the holidays
out-of-town friends here, home
and the not-so-obvious answer is that i've been dreaming
and none of these swirling ideas are close to fruition
so i don't have much to say
but i do feel
like that little girl, lollipop in hand, wide-eyed, curious
with wonder
if God really is preparing the ground
for my little mustard seed
if this dream is the one
that combines my passions, my loves
with His
if this is the merging that i've been praying and inching toward all my life
pray for me
with me
for patience to listen and wait
for obedience to step when i hear that quiet leading
for humility to start small, to be small
for confidence in God, not me, but me because of Him