“Zacchaeus, I used to like you!”

20 11 2007

I’ve always liked Zacchaeus—until today. I think I would still like him, had I not been asked, by an online prayer site, to think how I would feel if I were in the crowd, and had been one of those angered at Zacchaeus for his unethical tax practices. Apparently, I have identified with Zacchaeus in the past, and not with the crowd: I have loved this passage because it speaks to the love, grace and forgiveness that happens only through Jesus Christ. I have been grateful for that love, grace and forgiveness, and wanted to give that to others. I’ve probably preached on this text, or read devotionals, and commentaries… and encouraged others to respond in love and forgiveness.

Yet today, I’m part of the crowd. I’m angry, and grumbling at the Zacchaeus’ in my life, who knowingly mistreat me and those I love. And, I’m kind of mad at Jesus, too, for going to Zacchaeus’ house—doesn’t Jesus want to hear my story first? Don’t I get to tell Zacchaeus what I think of him and his tax practices?

But we aren’t the judges of that, either. I am not saying that we need to automatically release Zacchaeus from responsibility, and go on as if nothing happened. Proper and just procedures need to happen to hold people accountable. But I am saying that whether the Zacchaeus’ in our lives have a turn of heart or not, we are called to forgive. (not necessarily trust again, but forgive) I am called to forgive, and to let go of the grumbling long enough to see Zacchaeus through Jesus’ eyes.

I should say that I still like Zacchaeus—after all, I have been Zacchaeus to many other people over the years. But today, I feel like I’m in the crowd. Help me, Lord, to see the Zacchaeus’ of life through your eyes. Help me to forgive. And help me to remember that you have also forgiven me.

headaches, roofers, and dogs, oh my!

20 11 2007

I woke up yesterday with a headache. Not surprising, because I’ve been a bit stressed recently. But then the roofers came. Yep. I was hoping to go to work, but my head hurt so much I could hardly move. I thought about going to work to sleep on the church office floor, because the pounding noise of the roofers above was making my head want to burst. But I stayed home, because (a) I could hardly move, and (b) I felt bad for the dogs, with all that noise. They don’t like it. They cringe. Abby moves around, trying to find a safe place to hide. Entropy gives me a look like, “What the heck are you doing to us?”

The good news is, today my head feels better… the roofers were kind enough to show up late, and I was able to sleep in, and the dogs… well, the dogs are in for a long day again.

a birthday party

12 11 2007

Tonight we had a birthday party for the dogs… Check out Sandie’s blog for pictures and description. Sandie and kids came over to help us and dogs celebrate.

Two years ago…

12 11 2007

we were getting ready for our embryo transfer, finally. After months of waiting, months of delays, months of injection after injection… it was finally happening.

Yesterday in church I met the daughter of a church member, who was going through infertility treatments when we were going through the embryo transfer. Only, their treatments were successful, and they have a beautiful baby boy to prove it. Meeting them was good, as I had prayed for them back then… and she said she continues to pray for us, now. Meeting them was good, because they are the daughter/son-in-law/grand-son of members. But meeting them was also difficult, as it reminded me that we could have a beautiful baby (over a year) now… but don’t.

So in this prolonged season (do “seasons” actually last more than two/three years?) of waiting, I am sometimes sad. I have been able, recently, to put my feelings about childlessness in a box on the shelf until I have time to deal with them again. Been able, or had no choice, not sure which. In order to keep moving forward with life, while waiting for this endless adoption process to come to a joyful end, I’ve had to put my feelings away for the time-being. But last night the box fell off the shelf, and the feelings came tumbling out, making a huge mess. And I’m feeling sad today. Sad, and pressed, and crushed.

How long, O God? How long?

more Peru pictures

6 11 2007

Town women on the way to Puno, Peru..

Lago Titicaca, Island of Taquile

Reed house on the Reed Islands, Lake Titicaca, Peru

Cathedral in Puno

Home, Sweet Home

6 11 2007

It’s so good to be home. California was fun, even the meetings are fun. Being on this National Board is always encouraging, and so enjoyable, meeting the other board members, hearing what’s going on in the broader Covenant. Being with Grandma and Uncle Jerald was good. But it’s so good to be home.

The dogs gave me such a fun welcome. Abby was excited for about, oh, an hour! Entropy kept wanting me to pet him…over and over. And when I stopped he tapped me with his big paw. Abby had to stay near me. So cute. And Jim? Jim bought me coffee at Starbucks on the way home from the Milwaukee Airport.

Home, Sweet Home.

Good things

5 11 2007

(I wrote this the other day when I was on my way to California for meetings.)

I’m sitting at the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport, in the service center, with my laptop plugged in. I won’t be able to post until I have internet access, whenever that is. But I’m not about to pay the hefty fee for a one day internet access pass. Maybe if I had thought of it earlier, but not now, when I only have three more hours until my flight. I’m exhausted, worn out, tired of problems, tired of worrying about problems.. yet unable to let those worries go. Wish I could. Maybe I could if I prayed more, worried less.

In the meantime, here is a list of good things about today:

• Today on my way to pick up Jim at the Madison airport, I brought the dogs in the car. Entropy had his head sticking out the back window at a stoplight. Two guys in a Town & Country-type car were looking at him. These were big guys. Not that that matters, but I find it amusing, for some reason. I smiled at them. They smiled back, but you could tell they were stunned by Entropy’s size. They rolled down their window, I rolled down the passenger side of my car, (they were two lanes over), and they asked me, “What’s his name?” “Entropy,” I responded. By now Abby had joined Entropy, sticking her head out the window. “Entropy”, the driver said to the passenger. “Entropy”. Then I said, “He’s a cutie, isn’t he?” “Yeah”… they said, “A cutie.” Then I said, “He’s a big teddy bear.” “Well, he’s BIG!” the driver said, as our light turned green and we drove our separate ways.

• Picking up Jim at the airport. We actually were together for four hours today, before he dropped me off at the Milwaukee Airport. This is strange. For a couple who works together, lives together, does many things together, it is quite strange to be apart for over one week, with the exception of four hours. Not a bad thing… it’s good to have some time. But I miss Jim.

• A Starbucks Eggnogg Latte sample in the airport. I didn’t think I would like it. I like coffee, I like lattes, I like eggnog.. but together? I liked it. It was very good.

• Lots of walking in the airport. I am not feeling well today—lots of fibro pain, as well as coming off of a stressful couple of weeks. But I made myself walk and walk and walk through several concourses, just to get exercise, since I have a nearly-four-hour flight later.

• A good book. I’m “reading” (listening to it on CD) the book blink by Malcolm Gladwell. Fascinating.

Grandma Gammon

5 11 2007

I am in the Sacramento Airport, on my way home after a few days in California for meetings in Turlock, and a day/night with my Grandma and Uncle Jerald in Modesto. It’s a treat to be able to visit with them. Grandma is 90 years old, and she keeps saying she won’t be around for long. I told her she’d better hang on until she meet our daughter. She sent me off with two jars of her homemade jam, and a container of her homemade raisins. (from their grapes). She and Uncle Jerald utilize their lot to the best of their abilities, and are always eating from their produce.

Yesterday Grandma and I spent time looking through photos, hearing stories about my relatives, her relatives, etc. It was a joy. I’d like to sit with her for several 4-hour chunks, listening to stories about our families.

And last night, we all played Rummy-O, a game she and Uncle Jerald play frequently.

Grandma has a fun sense of humor. As we were looking at some photos in an album, we were clearly getting to point of photos of her nieces, great-nieces and nephews, etc.. she couldn’t remember exactly who was who. At one point we got to a photo of a cute infant. “Who’s that?” I asked. “Who’s that… hmm… I don’t know…” She thought for a minute, then said, “Someone’s baby”, then started laughing.

I’m thankful that since I live in the Midwest, and Grandma lives out West, I’ve been able to visit her twice in the past three years.