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why did He have to die?

It’s been quiet around here lately. Partly because my body has – quite literally – been twice mended in the last two months.  Twice cut by surgeons, twice put under anesthesia, twice numbed and stretched and torn and steri-stripped and re-sewn. I was happy to accept the first “mending,” if you will.  I had appendicitis.  I was feverish and in pain, nauseous and dizzy.  So when the nurse finally wheeled me into surgery after tossing and turning all night in the ER, I felt nothing but gratitude. But I’ve had a harder time submitting to this second “mending” – I […]

green.grapes

God restores lost things

After we moved from Northern VA to NY, a few things “went missing.” My spoon rest from Italy.  A binder of recipes handwritten by my aunt.  One lone black sandal. I looked for these missing things for awhile, sorting through the clutter of boxes and piles, scrounging around in the basement, trying to remember where I had packed them.  But eventually, I just gave them up for lost.  I started referring to them as “things lost by The Move” – as if The Move was this thoughtless beast who left precious things behind. But in reality, I think I lost them. […]

birdinhand

what will eternity be like?

I watched my daughter chase after a flock of mourning doves yesterday.  She ran towards them at full-speed, arms outstretched, trying to “catch” one.  Apparently she wanted a bird to “land on her arm,” so she could “hold it” and “stroke its feathers.”  Clearly too much afternoons watching Mary Poppins, with the whole “tuppence a bag” woman. Once I got over my inevitable bird-flu panic and stopped yelling “PLEASE DON’T TOUCH THE BIRDS!,” I noticed how disheartened she looked as each and every bird flew away. I put my arm around her and explained about how wild animals are happier […]

water.plank

when the pool doesn’t heal you

I was complaining recently.  Not good, godly complaint, like David in the Psalms when he cries out to God. More like grumbling-complaining.  Like the Israelites after they’re freed from Egyptian slavery and they end up crying in the desert, wanting meat instead of manna, wishing for the cucumbers they left near the Nile River instead of the milk and honey of the promised land. Except the cucumbers in my story have another name – Humira.   The medication that was supposed to deliver me from my arthritis.  The medication that doctors just took me off. So I was complaining to […]

window to remembering

Can God heal your memories?

In his essay collection, Secrets in the Dark, Frederick Buechner writes about a dream so vivid that it woke him from his sleep. In the dream, he stays in a hotel room that he comes to love. It’s a small space but one in which he feels deep peace. He describes it as a place of healing and light. After a time, he leaves the room in order to do some traveling but later returns to the hotel in hopes of being given the same space. To his dismay, he’s assigned a room that feels dark and cramped. When he […]

fruit-mango

Why is it good to cry?

“Why is it good to cry?” My daughter asked the question while I was driving.  Tears were rolling down my cheeks behind my sunglasses and I had hoped she wouldn’t notice. I took a deep breath. “It’s good to cry because that’s how we share our sadness with God,” I reasoned.  “We cry and then He comes to us.  And He makes the sadness beautiful somehow.” She squinted her eyes in confusion. “But He doesn’t come down to be with us, does He?” In some ways, she’s right, my four-year-old.  God came down once, in the person of Jesus, and […]

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Does Jesus feel your pain?

I have rheumatoid arthritis.  And as part of my treatment, I give myself an injectable medication that’s shipped to me directly.  Usually the package is pretty standard – a white foam cooler, a package of syringes, alcohol swabs, and pages and pages of warnings.  Which I promptly recycle. But last week, I noticed something new taped to the top of the cooler – a set of brightly colored cards.  The top one said, “Keep Calm and Carry On.” At first, I thought it was some sort of marketing material – something to remind me to keep calm & call the […]