Thursday, February 28, 2013

Life and Death and Life: Our Resurrection Hope

Perhaps it seems morbid, but it’s on my mind today. Is the potential loss of a loved one a good reason to not love? Is the fact that a friend might move reason not to reach out? Is the fact that a relationship might not work out reason not to date? Is the fact that a child might die reason not to have children? Is the fact that a husband might die reason to live alone? Does the existence of pain and the potential for sorrow mean that I should not love? These are the sorts of questions that I think when I witness pain. Was it worth it? Were the happy times worth this great sorrow?

One of my coworkers lost her husband last night unexpectedly. He was not ill, and only in his early fifties. They should have had another ten or twenty years together at least. Instead, she is now grieving and arranging his funeral. Everything had been normal as she came home from a day at the office, until she found him already gone. Can life really change so quickly? Can everything be different in an instant?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

And so it begins - Lent 2013

I’ll begin by giving away the ending – By God's strength I did not eat the cookie.


My initial response to the idea of Lent is generally, “Oh that sounds like a profitable exercise. I’ll lose some weight and start some healthy habits…Wait, that sounds like a bummer!” This year was no different. Strangely I had been sort of looking forward to Lent beginning – simplifying life, having more quiet time, eating less and exercising more. That is until yesterday when I realized that I would not be able to eat my favorite treats, so I proceeded to eat a bite of everything that I would miss for the next 40 days including meats, sweets and drinks.

With the sunrise on this Ash Wednesday morning, the Lenten fast began. It seemed quite an ordinary day besides the growling of my stomach. “This whole Lent thing will be a piece of cake!” I thought. “I’m a veteran.”

At work we had our weekly staff meeting, and then were called into a conference room to celebrate the completion of a year-long project. The celebration was nice and encouraging until they passed out cute, chocolaty, sugar cookies – our little treasure troves. Now it might not sound appealing to you, and sugar cookies are far from my favorite dessert, but it certainly looked good in its little plastic wrapper.

I sat there holding my cookie and staring at its glittering golden sprinkles. “Surely it would be okay if I ate this cookie. I definitely earned it by my contribution to the project. It is mine. If it is a gift, isn’t it okay? What could one cookie matter? Who makes up the rules anyway? Aren’t they a bit arbitrary? You don’t have to tell anyone at church. You could frame it that everyone was eating their cookies and it would be ungracious to decline the offer…” The thoughts, excuses, and possible schemes swirled in my mind, as I walked back to my desk.