Sunday, July 25, 2010

What Really Matters

Yesterday my husband, myself and a couple of our very good friends made a two hour drive up I-5 to attend a BBQ. In and of themselves, I believe that BBQ's are worth the drive. I love summertime afternoons spent sitting in the shade, visiting with friends and eating all the fare that ripens in the summer months. There is something peaceful and fulfilling about all of those activities combined together. This BBQ carried a little extra joy for me, though. It turned out to be a family reunion of sorts, bringing numerous people together with whom we used to go to church with. Our former pastor was up from Los Angeles, speaking at a church in Gresham. Through the faithful efforts of a few friends a potluck was arranged and the opportunity was presented to visit with friends we hadn't seen for quite some time.
My heart was overjoyed as I was able to give and receive hugs from those in attendance, and a contentedness began to settle over me. As the BBQ chicken finished cooking, it was time to eat. We all gathered and a time was afforded for Pastor Keith and Pastor Coco to say a little something. What Pastor Keith chose to say spoke the loudest to me. All the time he has been ministering and leading people has taught him this: the things we think matter, don't really at all, and the small things are what matter the most.
Relationships, living life in relationship, is what we were designed for and what we are called to. The truth is the church is full of messed up vessels. We're cracked, beat up, tired vessels that can do our best, but at the end of the day, its just that. Our best. And our best is flawed. But as we realize that we are all flawed, and in desperate need of the Holy Spirit to soothe over those rough edges, its there that we see the beauty of our inadequacies. Where we are lacking, God is full. He will fill us to overflowing, not just fill in the gaps. And how much sweeter to learn of this process with others? I have been attending churches since before my mind could comprehend what was being said, and I have witnessed these cracked vessels. I am one. But over and over again I have also witnessed God's faithful love being poured out, and it happening through relational ministry. I want to get back to what really matters...

Friday, July 23, 2010


I married my best friend just over a month ago. I could never have imagined that it would be so sweet to be married. Truly, I am blessed.
"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her..." Ephesians 5:24-26

Smile lines

I study the smile lines that have been slowly etched into the corners of these eyes over years of life, and I see joy. Thick, brown eyebrows stand sentinel in protection over eyes that can speak so many words without ever moving, without a word being uttered. The warmth of the mouth that is curled up into a slight smile reminds me that even my most awkward moments are accepted, and there is safety in these arms. I rest easy, warmed and content while seeing that not even my smallest move is left unnoticed. Its a love, a care, an interest that is deeper than any that have come before and I am more amazed by this fact than anything else. In these eyes I know I am home.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


I just met a woman who received a diagnosis today. She was informed that she has cancer in her lungs and in her liver. She told me that my x-ray would reveal that everything was not all right in her chest. She told me that it would show the cancer. As the tears began to well in her eyes, my mind raced for what to say. Everything seemed inadequate, and truthfully, it was. I have never recieved such news. I have no idea what she was feeling or thinking. She whispered that she was scared. I quietly explained how I would achieve the picture. I didn't know what else to do. My day had been tiring; my week, exhausting. However, I felt a humility being set down on me as I realized the blessing my day had been. I am alive. I can breathe easily. I have health... I went to her room to complete a stat order; I left very humbled.