May 7, 2020 Happy birthday, Mom. I remember you and see you in the peonies growing outside, the green grass, the coffee I sip, the sweets I will eat, and looking back at me in my mirror. Maybe I will make some waffles later today. I still miss you all the time. There would be … Continue reading Many rooms
I found out yesterday that a friend of mine in Texas died. It wasn’t a surprise – she was ninety-five years old and pneumonia had set in a few days ago. Her name was Frances and she was a member of my church in Texas. Her husband had been a pastor, and together they had … Continue reading Frances
We all have our stories of ashes, don’t we? Mine, I think of a home that once existed – now just a memory. Yours might be the ash and ruin you found your life in after poor choices made. They could be the ashes of dreams you had for a relationship or the ashes of the prayers you prayed that a cure would be found or the ashes of a loved one whose body finally gave up its spirit at the end of a long life. Ashes are the sign of something that once was – but no more. We sweep them up and toss them away, we bury them, scatter them, or store them away and try to forget about them.
Yet today, we are marked with them. We choose to be marked with this sign of death and endings. Why in the world would we do such a thing?
(Written on the eve of All Saints, 2013) Last night some of the youth from Our Savior’s and Trinity and St. Olaf’s met here for a cemetery walk. We had done this before a couple years ago – it's an opportunity to come together and learn more about the cemeteries here in this area and … Continue reading All Saints (a sermon)
I was not surprised when I heard Joe’s heart stopped beating. We all knew that his heart beat in time with Audrey’s heart and when she died a few months earlier, it seemed so had the spark of his own life. He spent the last few months journeying through the motions of his days. He … Continue reading Joe
Henry Scott Holland wrote, “Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just around the corner. All is well. Nothing is hurt. Nothing is lost. One brief moment and all will be as it was before. How we … Continue reading All Saints
You have me still You have me You have me You have my heart completely. - Gungor Jesse was sick last night. It was the awful throwing-up-every-half-hour kind of sickness. He cried because his stomach hurt so badly and he hated the vomiting. Sweet child. I kept thinking back to when he … Continue reading I Didn’t Know
The church bell tolled ninety-one times this afternoon as we brought her out to the cemetery. The wind swept like a brush through the grass and picked up bits of dust, carrying it far off over the cedars and live oaks. "Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust," I said and sprinkled the … Continue reading The Bell Tolled 91 Times