Saturday, February 6, 2010


This blog touts itself as a place where this writer will share, now and again, her meditations on struggling through this temporal world with disability. It's not what you might think; it's really quite a life. But there are moments when I grow damn sick and tired of one-handedness, of limping- of lacking ability. I can hear the little voice in my head now that says " be grateful, you are not worse off and get over your sorry self-pity". That, I suppose, the theologians would say, is the voice of evil itself trying to assert that one's pain and suffering is of no matter, because the precept of meaninglessness stands for the proposition that nothing matters, not even or especially suffering. Thanks be to God that proposition fails miserably. As we've discussed before at this blog, a proposition of truth, even if its core is to assert that nothing matters, still asserts truth. That my friends is the wily answer for the father of lies. When your arch enemy attacks with the wind of relativism whispering "did God really say, or stop whining, you don't matter anyway", you must turn with the sword of truth which is the Word of God - stabbing falsehood well and good.

Saint Paul encouraged the Corinthian church by saying:

I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:10

Because my Saviour knows my every need and the excruciating minutiae of my weaknesses, I can rest in him. Do I always? Sadly, no. Thankfully, his grace is sufficient, even when I wrestle with lack.


I posted on facebook at the first of this year that I'd be calling the year by its proper name- "Twenty-Ten". I haven't the stamina to keep up with all the syllables it takes to say "Two-thousand and ten" It might sound like a trifling thing to you, dear reader, but heck, it's a shortcut with which I can, and will live. I hope you can. All this introduction and meandering to say that I wrote a poem a while back with numbers in the title. And I re-titled it today so it could go in this decade.


Look how we’ve far we’ve come:

to see slaughter
of man in broad daylight,
while distracted experts
argue the temperature of earth.

There is no one righteous, not even one.

Watch the ascent of humanity:

Pharisees in Babylon order she has the right;
Science ordains the puncture of a helpless skull,
Does the pith in the verse stab your mind?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The More Loving One, by Auden

Because every once in awhile, I will post another's poem, today I choose Auden. And in the doing of it, I ask you to ponder the true "more loving one" He who made the stars has endured every hatred and indifference, including the full wrath of his own father. It is beyond me just as the stars themselves are, to fathom the greatness of God. Today, there is the staggering reality of an earthquake. How can a loving God allow something so cruel to unfold?? To which I first respond: GREAT question! Then, if I've my wits about me, and am open to indwelling of his Holy Spirit, I can, and have responded: have you considered what this loving God allowed his own son to endure...for our sakes? How can I be indifferent to that kind of love?

The More Loving One
by W. H. Auden

Looking up at the stars, I know quite well
That, for all they care, I can go to hell,
But on earth indifference is the least
We have to dread from man or beast.

How should we like it were stars to burn
With a passion for us we could not return?
If equal affection cannot be,
Let the more loving one be me.

Admirer as I think I am
Of stars that do not give a damn,
I cannot, now I see them, say
I missed one terribly all day.

Were all stars to disappear or die,
I should learn to look at an empty sky
And feel its total dark sublime,
Though this might take me a little time.

"The More Loving One" by W.H. Auden, from Collected Poems. © The Modern Library — Random House, 2007. Reprinted with permission. (buy now)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Sinking Sand

The prior post about my dear sister and Flannery Making A Way stirred me to ponder where & in whom it is I place my trust. I love my sister. I admire Flannery. I am thankful for a home and a roof over my poor head. But were I to love my sister or the words of Flannery more than dear Jesus, I would be entertaining worshipping the made and not the Maker. The words of Edward Mote resound:

My hope is built on nothing less
than Jesus' blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus' name
On Christ the solid rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand.

It might look as though life is rich and full where family is at the core, or where your keepsakes and possessions are dust free. A life of abounding order and streak-free windows is nice, but not trustworthy.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Making a Way

When we get our spiritual house in order, we'll be dead. This goes on. You arrive at enough certainty to make your way, but it is making it in darkness. Don't expect faith to clear things up for you, it is trust, not certainty. - Flannery O'Connor

Her words have a seal of authenticity; Flannery O'Connor's short life remains vivid to me because she was a damn fine writer, and she suffered terrible pain. So she knew about suffering in a unique way, and therefore her voice is trusted, even to this day.

Over the last few days, I've been staggered by the kindness of my sister, her tending to my house with me, de-cluttering, cleaning and preparing it for sale. Now the house, is, as they say, on the market. I keep telling my sister, I could not have done it without you- and it's true. I would still be floundering and staring at all the stuff, wondering what to do next. She, armed with zeal like the north wind, buoyed me toward the finish line. Left to my own devices, I'd drift along, halfway content the rest of my days in dust and old daydreams. Maybe I could have finished this project of de-cluttering without her, but it would have been a lonelier job, and six months in the doing of it. With her help, I did it in almost one 14 hour day. We threw out a load of old stuff- things I did not need, things I would never use, that today could be smiling at someone from a pale Goodwill shelf.

And so we made our way. In the midst of it, when the piles of clutter were enormous, when my bones creaked and muscles ached, I did not think it possible. But as I watched my passionate sister carry on through the day and night, I was energized and inspired. Several times she would stop to clutch her back and sigh. I grew weary too and temperamental at times, biting my tongue on occasion, and letting it slip on others. Nevertheless, we muddled through. In making our way through that long day, I've been the one to reap the fruit of the labor. My home is a showplace.

My sister is the Flannery O'Connor of home fixer-uppers, she's a doer with stick-to-ittiveness. She calls it like she sees it. She loves the truth. And she inspires me. She is more like Flannery than any of you could ever know; her suffering has lasted a lifetime. And it has shaped her into a stunning woman with an authentic voice-for hers and Flannery's I am ever grateful.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

For all the Saints

Today is All Saints day. At worship this morning, we were invited to celebrate the saints who've gone before us by testifying to their witness in our lives-how they, the saints at peace in Christ, showed us the Gospel. Instead of a gospel sermon in the usual fashion, were were privy to the gospel via stories of redemption & remembrance. It was a sweet time of honoring the dead in Christ.
For me, many souls came to mind. Istill say, the woman appointed to speak the crux of the gospel of Jesus Christ to me, was Betty Williams. This morning I could have attested to her faithfulness. If I were to stand right there in front of you now, dear reader, I'd repeat what I've said before.
I'd say she taught the Word so as to send it out to the dark recesses of my dark heart for safe-keeping. That, when some thirty years hence, I went overboard drowning in sea of relativism and caverns of darkness, her sound exposition of the Word of God resonated. It still does.

She would be the first to tell you that she herself was not faithful, nay, God himself was perfectly faithful for her, in sending Christ. As it turns, because of God's great faithfulness to saints like Betty, the rippling continues. We too can join with those who have gone before and declare the righteousness of God as our salvation. He, seeing our great need, came to us, lived among our kin, lived a spotless life for us, then took our iniquity on himself. To beat all, he defeated the last enemy death by his bodily resurrection. Thanks be to God for that great gift, and for sending his earthly shepherds who urge us to consider the efficacy of the Christ's gospel.

Sola Deo Gloria

The End of Rest?

Contemplating the end of convalescence, I decided to come back to blogging for awhile. It has been since late September that I last penned (tapped/typed) a thing. Work will be back on the docket tomorrow. So, it is with tad of sadness I bid adieu to this time of repairing. Perhaps I can take a slice of this time with me back to the 'work day' mentality; may I remember to rest, to take it slow at first, and to lean into the goodness of God when the insanity of the daily grind intensifies.

As you all ponder work days, whatever that means for each of you, be it the proverbial 9-5, the home-office freedom, the cold calls of sales, the government servant, or the soul looking for work, be mindful of what your body tells you. And foremost, be mindful of the fact you were created, not dreamed up or morphed. Take time to worship the God of creation. Be still, know that he (alone) is God.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


There's much to do before I head out the door Monday, September 21 for the hospital. I'm headed there to part with my uterus, fallopian tubes, and one remaining ovary. I'm ready to leave now, but hospitals are not in the business of welcoming the premature these days unless you happen to be an infant.
I keep looking for that other shoe to drop, but no thing prolapses. Waiting has been more difficult than this, and, compared to other waiting done, this pales. The prior post on peace might have a thing or two to do with that, the Giver of the Peace the more, I'd say. So I'll wait for the difficulty with one eye open. My restless heart is restless like the Egyptian Bishop's, til it rests in Thee, O Lord.

And I got to thinking (this, my friends, is one of the dangers of being me, a two edged sword, is the act of thinking) what about the etymology of this word, hysterectomy? I recall seeing a photo in a psych textbook depicting a forlorn woman wailing in the confines of a mental institution whilst suffering with what was then called hysteria. Hysterectomy: hystera Greek for womb, and ektomia, for cutting out of. Those pictured women in that textbook were thought to be mad with hysteria, Hippocrates theorized, because of a lack of conjugal relations. His proposition: the uteri dried, was therefore light, migrating north in the body, pressing on other vital organs, creating an interior physical disturbance that would, therefore, lead to madness. Like much of what is 'theorized', by the scientific, I can only shake my head and mourn for those dear women who were misdiagnosed by those situated to do so from Hippocrates to the present day.

I can assure you that if a lack of sex were the cause of hysteria, I too would be featured in the pages of a textbook, swooning from the condition. Think me too forward? Perhaps.

I can steel myself from the misinterpretations of the word hysteria, the stigmas, the wrong-doing, because, it has not been done unto me. I've even joked that I'm submitting to a hysterical-ectomy. For those dear souls, men & women who suffer from mental illness, this is not the case. Their battles have nary a thing to do with floating uteruses. I'm no modern day crusading Dorthea Dix. I haven't the the fortitude to fight that cause, I'm a vain blogger who's getting ready to lie down to ether, reflecting on the etymology of a word. As I reflect, I wonder if we might, you and I, stop and ponder before uttering words like hysterical, hysteria, or any other word for that matter.


For the troubled mind, for the weary, for the broken-hearted, there's but one solace. I submit to you it is the peace of Christ. Just as his supremacy is like light scattering darkness, so his perfect peace is. It is not because I believe it to be true, it is not mere existential truth. Nay, this peace of Christ has been from before the foundation of the world. This same peace reconciles us to the Father through Christ the son, by the Holy Spirit. He is the first, he is the last. No one comes to the Father but through Christ. I cling to the Gospel of peace for my life in the now, and for the life to come. Sola Deo Gloria.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


Witness this wonderful rendering of T.S. Eliot by Nashville artist, Dick Murphy.
Today has been a lovely day full of the prospect of hope, due in part to Dick's fine capture of the brooding poet. Also, life is sometimes difficult beyond imagining. There are griefs, sorrows, hurts, and sufferings too numerous to count. Sometimes we find ourselves situated between a rock and a hard place. Eliot knew these dire roads. Yet he used words to provoke hope:

I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope

For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love,

For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith

But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.

Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:

So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.

from The Four Quartets East Coker

Thanks be to God for the gifts of T.S. Eliot and Dick Murphy.