Wednesday, December 8, 2010


our small corner of the world wakes up to rain one morning. the bitter frost has decided to interrupt our one long september. i watch as those around me do life: raising kids, finding someone to spend the rest of their lives with, making vows, experiencing loss, wrestling with calling and career, seeking out their true names. i look around during this time of stillness and waiting and see that there is Someone telling a bigger story. and see that the redemption that is pushing its way through is not something i can presume to rush or understand. i think of the places where ache and falling apart haunt some with sleepless nights and terror filled days. what sense does this make in the story? yearning and hope together that the promises are true.

o come, o come.

we put on a new mix, a birthday mix. the kind of music that hits you so softly right in the gut. so beautiful that all you can do is cry, the feeling of home in songs first heard yet familiar. the wind gusts against the windows and i take up the task of baking again. the house has needed this. i have needed this; the return to works of the hands that allow the heart to meditate on other things. the sounds of things being accomplished in a slow and prayerful way, and the music that fills the warm house are a balm. small works of cultivation all around, the sense of simple joys.

the sound

Thursday, December 2, 2010

three wise men and mary

from "Kings in Judea", a play in The Man Who Would Be King by Dorothy Sayers

Caspar: Alas! the more we know, the less we understand life. Doubts make us afraid to act, and much learning dries the heart. And the riddle that torments the world is this: Shall Wisdom and Love live together at last, when the promised Kingdom comes?

Melichor: We are rulers, and we see that what men need most is good government, with freedom and order. But order puts fetters on freedom, and freedom rebels against order, so that love and power are always at war together. And the riddle that torments the world is this: Shall Power and Love dwell together at last, when the promised Kingdom comes?

Balthazar: I speak for a sorrowful people--for the ignorant and the poor. We rise up to labour and lie down to sleep, and night is only a pause between one burden and another. Fear is our daily companion--the fear of want, the fear of war, the fear of cruel death, and of still more cruel life. But all of this we could bear if we knew that we did not suffer in vain; that God was beside us in the struggle, sharing the miseries of His own world. For the riddle that torments the world is this: Shall Sorrow and Love be reconciled at last, when the promised Kingdom comes?

Mary: These are very difficult questions--but with me, you see, it is like this. When the angel's message came to me, the Lord put a song in my heart. I suddenly saw that wealth and cleverness were nothing to God--no one is too unimportant to be His friend. That was the thought that came to me, because of the thing that happened to me. I am quite unlearned, yet the Word of God was spoken to me; and I was in deep distress, when my Baby was born and filled my life with love. So I know very well that Wisdom and Power and Sorrow can live together with Love; and for me, the Child in my arms is the answer to all the riddles.