Aslan, Ashes and Jonah: the Incredible Opportunity of a Lenten Prophetic Witness

One of my favorite moments in The Chronicles of Narnia occurs in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe when Aslan, the golden-lion Christ figure, breathes life into creatures who had been turned to stone by the White Witch. Having released the statue-captives from bondage, Aslan immediately prepares them for battle: The stone lion Aslan … Continue reading Aslan, Ashes and Jonah: the Incredible Opportunity of a Lenten Prophetic Witness

The Fishermen and the Risen Christ: 153 Reasons Why I Love and Believe the Story

The first paragraph of Norman Maclean's A River Runs Through It delighted me with its authenticity when I opened the book on a camping trip many summers ago. "In our family, there was no clear line between religion and fly fishing," the narrator begins, noting that his father was a minister who tied his own flies. … Continue reading The Fishermen and the Risen Christ: 153 Reasons Why I Love and Believe the Story

How to Speak of Easter Hope without Harming the Humble Christ

Swiss painter Eugène Burnand renders the confusion and hope of Peter and John's first Easter morning with such poignancy. They'd learned of the resurrection from some women friends who'd been told by an angel, and particularly from Mary Magdalene, told by the risen Christ himself, to tell them.  And then they ran to see that … Continue reading How to Speak of Easter Hope without Harming the Humble Christ

“Brother”: A Song for Holy Thursday’s New Commandment

This evening marks a beautiful night:  the night Christ gave us a new commandment: that we love one another. The night he stripped off his outer garment, knelt and washed his friends' feet, telling them they must do likewise, serving one another.  The night he took bread and wine and said, "This is my body, … Continue reading “Brother”: A Song for Holy Thursday’s New Commandment

Judas and Isaiah: Our Betrayals and Our Hope

  At the Passover meal before his death, Jesus said to his disciples, "One of you is going to betray me." And along with all the others, Judas said, "Surely it is not I, Lord?" My Lenten examination of speech and silence leaves me convicted, at times almost helplessly so, of the many ways I … Continue reading Judas and Isaiah: Our Betrayals and Our Hope

Do Everything without Complaining or Arguing

When I was newly married and helping put my husband through his final year of college, I worked at a drug store behind the camera counter which doubled as the return desk.  It was a deep immersion into the world of complaints. One of the most memorable was a post-Christmas encounter with a man dissatisfied … Continue reading Do Everything without Complaining or Arguing

How to Create True Intimacy (and Avoid Gossip’s Tempting Secrecy)

Little by little, I've been reading Dignity: Its Essential Role in Resolving Conflict as part of a book study with some fellow early childhood educators who want to provide the very best for the children and families they serve. The author, Dr. Donna Hicks, has spent almost two decades facilitating dialog in communities in conflict … Continue reading How to Create True Intimacy (and Avoid Gossip’s Tempting Secrecy)

Why We’re Accountable for Every Careless Word

"But I tell you, on the day of judgment people will render account for every careless word they speak.  By your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned."  (Matthew 12:36) Careless:  "not giving sufficient attention or thought to avoiding harm or errors." It's not a comfortable thing for a … Continue reading Why We’re Accountable for Every Careless Word

Do Not Heap Boasting Upon Boasting

  "Speak boastfully no longer, do not let arrogance issue from your mouths." This verse is from Hannah's song of praise after learning that her prayer for a child had been answered.  Her canticle (1 Samuel 2:1-10) is rich with thoughts we find in Mary's Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55).  Both women display a humble soul, for … Continue reading Do Not Heap Boasting Upon Boasting

Trouble with Words is Heart Trouble

In the gospel of Matthew (15:18-19) Christ tells us exactly where all our tongue-trouble is rooted:  "But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile. For from the heart come: evil thoughts murder adultery unchastity theft false witness blasphemy These are what defile a person..." Our trouble with … Continue reading Trouble with Words is Heart Trouble