Monday, April 9, 2012

the day after easter

the day after easter
is when we still walk around radiant.
love has come to defeat death forever.
and love stays--to comfort, sanctify
and redeem all of the broken.

we wait
and don't wait.
we have
and don't have.

we wonder
what the full glory light will reveal
and somehow also know, now.

as i see my husband and child laugh together
as we stand as a family of the church
eating the bread
drinking the cup
we know
that even though we wait
and long
deep down, deep down:
it is finished.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Three months old. Lately when she wakes up at 5 a.m. and it's just too early to get up yet, I go in and bring her in bed with us. She relaxes immediately with her arms thrown over her head, snuggles in and sleeps a while longer being near us. When she eventually opens her eyes in the morning, these are her happiest moments of the day. Laying between me and her dada, she looks up and finds the ceiling fan and flashes a big, gummy grin, arms and legs waving in excitement. She starts talking to me and ducks her chin down in this coy way that I can't resist. Eyes bright, cheeks warm. I smother her with kisses. Her name, Ada, means happy and noble.

Pause life here. Just here.

This is love, definitely love.


Recently I was riding in the back seat of a friend's car on the way to hang out with some of my favorite people. We left the babies home for the night, which hasn't happened too many times yet and still feels strange to me. My friend was driving and talking with her daughter on the phone. She spoke a blessing over her: May the Lord bless you and keep you, may he make his face shine upon you and give you peace. It was such a tender and beautiful moment that I felt like I was intruding on something very precious just hearing her speak these words to her child. There is a lot of love, a lot of love in the voice, in the words.

Again, today I was reading another friend's writing and she said she prays this same blessing over her daughter at night. I've seen both of these friends fight for things they care deeply about, fighting and holding on desperately to promises of blessing and hope when the season is dark. It may seem strange to say it this way, but such raw trust is so moving. It helps me remember what matters, and there is nothing shameful about it. It is why they take the care to say such a blessing with their small ones. It somehow reflects the glory of God in a way not much else can.


Ada's middle name, Amani, means “peace” in Swahili.

We now say the blessing together. Me and the baby girl.

There is this, now. Just this. It may all be messy and confusing, but here we are together. With the love that almost doesn't feel like it gets to be chosen, but rather has happened to us. Irrepressibly, much like grace.

When I feel this love it is easier to remember who we are and what has been given us.

May the Lord bless you and keep you,
May he make his face shine upon you
and give you peace.

He has and he will.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

amani ya mungu

After tea and some sweets shared, we sit in a circle in their living room in the early spring evening. The lights shine out onto the street and inside it is warm. We sing and pray and read some scripture. It occurs to me that sounds familiar to this baby will not just be the car radio, or the traffic passing on our walks in the park, or mama and papa talking. She will already have heard the voice of a friend reading Psalm 102 and the sound of others praying for the cares and concerns that are close to home and across the world. The sound of acapella singing of hymns will be something she already knows. A soft shuffling rhythm and a melody that stays with you through your day. "What is the Lord's peace? It is a mystery..."

But I do know that it is good to be part of a family.

Amani ya Mungu kweli ni za?
Ni za ajabu
Zaweza kwenda juu
Zaweza kwenda chini
Zaweza kwenda mbele
Zaweza kwenda nyuma
Upande, upande
Kwa mataifa yote
Upande, upande
Kwa mataifa yote

What is the Lord's peace?
It is a mystery
It can go up
It can go down
It can go in front
It can go behind
It can go all around
to all the nations
It can go all around
to all the nations


Ephesians 2:17-22

"17Basi, Kristo alikuja akahubiri Habari Njema ya amani kwenu ninyi watu wa mataifa mengine mliokuwa mbali na Mungu, na pia kwa Wayahudi ambao walikuwa karibu na Mungu. 18Hivyo, kwa njia yake, sisi sote, Wayahudi na watu wa mataifa mengine, tunaweza kumwendea Baba katika Roho mmoja. 19Basi, ninyi si wageni tena, wala si watu wa nje; ninyi ni raia pamoja na watu wa Mungu, na ni watu wa jamaa ya Mungu. 20Mmejengwa juu ya msingi uliowekwa na mitume na manabii, naye Kristo mwenyewe ndiye jiwe kuu la msingi. 21Yeye ndiye mwenye kulitengeneza jengo lote na kulikuza hata liwe hekalu takatifu kwa ajili ya B wana. 22Katika kuungana naye, ninyi pia mnajengwa pamoja na wote wengine, muwe makao ya Mungu kwa njia ya Roho wake."

"17 And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit."

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


A prayer waiting for the baby: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?"

Friday, February 25, 2011

"I’d rather have the mystery and the madness and the rains
cause hell’s the only place you can be free of all love’s pain

I have no claim on the future
so here I lay me down
and God is a friend to lovers
he makes the bone, the flesh, the ground
and he walks with us, make no mistake
and holds us when our hearts, they break

And I can hear the band of angels singing now
like a story from the page is read aloud
but this is not make believe"
all the miles
sandra mccracken

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

"There are things you do because they feel right & they may make no sense & they may make no money & it may be the real reason we are here: to love each other & to eat each other's cooking & say it was good." storypeople

Thursday, February 17, 2011

when in the early

when in the early morning hours
we wake up to unexpected spring,
i push the hair back from your forehead,
your even breathing the same
as in your just-before dream.

i, too, dreamed.
dreamed of waking up and seeing your face,
and then i did.
and the trees swayed outside the window,
and the warm wind creaked in the eaves.
and then i thought of a hundred other miracles
that i had never noticed before.