The Cross

Even from a distance of 2000 years and a decent set of personal anecdotes about the constancy of God, not everything Jesus did or did not do makes sense to me.

Which helps when my prayers get different answers than what I want.

Because I do not need a Savior who feels the need to do what I find logical or necessary.

I just need a Savior.

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A Letter to “Family,”

I was born into a traveling family. Growing up I struggled with issues of identity and loss. What was home? What was this nagging sense of displacement?

I remember traveling in Italy as a young child and looking for the face of my grandmother in the crowd–despite my knowledge that she was not there. There was no chance that my middle-aged grandmother had jetted off for a Roman holiday in the spring of 1977

I had family members who I loved who did and said and believed things I did not. I found their beliefs deeply painful. How could I love them but not their way of seeing the world?

I settled on loving them but not the faults in their world views, and uneasy, precarious compromise, and one I have not much improved upon in all the years since.I struggle with disappointment in the collective institution of “family,” just as I have with “church,” “friendship,” “community,” and “club.”

People fail each other in big and little ways all the time, but Jesus never does. He is this extraordinary voice for justice, for love, for honor, for hope. His family resemblance marks the best of us.

Jesus does not look like a white guy in a flowing robe. He does not look like any of the famous pictures we have of him.

What he looks like is Love. Love that protects. Love that shelters. Love that never fails.

And that kind of family resemblance is hard to miss…when we find it among us in this broken world.

Matthew 12:48-50

1 Corinthians 13

Measuring Time in a Teacup

Nondescript kitchen window transforms itself into stained glass as I overthink which teacup, settle on porcelain white so different from the non-Euclidean trees green, alive, and fierce in this hot summer wind

I drop

two bags into the single cup, pour water from the kettle, assess how full the tea tin used to be

Last time we were alive

Together.

Writing with Invisible Ink

Now that I have seen the diamondback rattler in the domain of children I see him again everywhere–the darkness notched between sidings and foundations, lassoed water hoses resting in the sun, tree branches in the grass, all become the skin and flesh and memory of the foolish man who held just the severed head of his deadly foe too close to human skin.

We keep the most dangerous pets coiled in emptied potato salad containers, hastily labeled with words too awful to write down in anything but

Invisible ink.

Ghost Child

To be clear you are all grown up now and living somewhere as I try yet again to excise what you have done to us all from pictures of beautiful children.

You were

You are a dangerous male child

But what you will be

Is mountains told to throw themselves

Into the Sea.

Mark 11:22-23 NIV

[22] “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. [23] “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them.

Apophenia

I pull the elephant ears out of the water, one and then a handful and then none for awhile, risking dead fish and live snakes to find you. At dinner the little boy asks what miscarriage is and my answer is accurate but brief because why tell a little boy about lost siblings and the trees grown in their place or the way that forgetting is not better than carrying this

This memory of you dark, indelible angel, in the midst of all I hold dear.