Day 22: outside the lines

31 03 2011

outside the lines (coloring book pages from Fall '10)

As bad as I often feel for the Pharisees and their cluelessness mixed with fears and jealousy, today’s passage makes me want to throw my hands up at them and ask, Seriously? A man born blind….. blind his whole life. He can see today! Thanks to Jesus Christ, the man who colors outside the lines.

I like to color inside the lines as much as the next person. But there are times when a little coloring outside the lines is fun. And, there are times when coloring outside the lines is transformative. I wonder, then, what it would have taken for the Pharisees to see Jesus as the Messiah, and not as a threat… to see changed lives, and not only rule-breaking.

And, I wonder, how often have we, the church (the world-wide church) tried to limit the kingdom of God by criticizing those who color outside the lines?

Day 21: emu mud

31 03 2011




Dirt + warmer days awhile ago (not lately) + Mr. Emu walking by his fence = emu mud. Emu mud + _________ (fill in the blank)  doesn’t = much that I’m aware of. I could be wrong.

Dirt + Jesus’ spit + a man-born-blind = a life-altering event.

For a modern-day-paraphrase, try reading John 9:1-41 from The Message.

Day 20: still daylight

30 03 2011

John 9:1-41 is the Gospel text for this coming Sunday, the 4th Sunday in Lent.

still daylight

In the passage, a man born blind encounters Jesus and is healed–and naturally, there are many questions from many people about this encounter. Another long narrative from John. Another life changed. Another opportunity for God to be glorified.

In John 9:4 and 5, Jesus says: “As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

We pay attention to day and night, light and darkness, in the physical sense. We know that when the sun goes down, “it’s beginning to be darktime” as Kajsa says. We are aware when the darkness begins to disappear in the early morning, and the sun rises.

But how aware we of the spiritual lights and darknesses in our own journeys? How much attention do we give to the light of the world at work in our own lives, each and every day?

Christ Jesus, light of the world, help me to be aware of your presence and work in my life today. Amen.

Day 19: water, bottled

29 03 2011

After church on Sunday, several people helped hand out these water bottles. A little reminder to everyone about… well, about whatever it reminds them about. Jesus Christ the living water, the water of life, the Samaritan woman.

Thank you to those who helped hand them out, buy the bottles, print the labels, coordinate it all, put the labels on the bottles, etc.  Thank you!

Water, bottled

Day 18: hidden face

28 03 2011

On Saturday (Day 18), Kajsa and I played outside for awhile. She played on her trike for quite awhile, but we also drew and wrote a lot with sidewalk chalk. Our driveway lends itself to lots of chalk art,

which is quite fun. Now, however, she’s getting to the point where she sometimes wants to correct her mistakes in chalk art. And so she uses her mittens to try. Which kind of messes it up a bit more, and certainly doesn’t keep mittens nice and clean. Not that mittens should stay nice and clean, but it’d be nice to not have to wash them too often.

Before I took this photo, she was showing me her chalky mittens. Then she started teasing me and hiding her face. This wasn’t one of those moments when a child hides something from a parent because she did something wrong. Clearly that happens. And we do the same with God. Or we try. And yet, when we want God’s help, we don’t want God to hide God’s face from us.

I love that the Samaritan woman at the well did not hide her lifestory from Jesus. It helps that Jesus knew it, and told her so. But she still didn’t try to make excuses, or hide more, etc. Instead she seemed to gain some freedom from being known -as is–by Jesus the Messiah.

Hiding our stories or faces from God is kind of hard, given that God knows it all anyway. But that doesn’t mean we are always rational about our relationships with God. At times we hold our hands up, trying to hide our faces, and our feelings. Or maybe we’re honest with God when we talk to God, but mostly we hide our faces because we’re too busy and distracted to face God ourselves.

I realize I’m writing this on Monday, and the post is supposed to be for Saturday (when the photo was taken), but I have been thinking about the woman at the well still… and I hope I continue to learn from her story and encounter with Jesus.

Day 17: craving clean

28 03 2011

craving clean

Cars crave clean. Yep. Don’t we all? Even though we may like some of our unhealthy habits and activities, when it comes down to it, I would argue that we all crave clean.

The Samaritan woman has received a bad reputation over the centuries of scholarly analysis. Worse than she deserves, I think. But clearly she had her issues—at least relationship issues. 5 husbands, a live-in-boyfriend, probably a social outcast. My guess would be that even though she continued getting into relationships with men, she likely craved clean.

Enter Jesus, thankfully. Enter Jesus who treated her with respect, even while revealing that he knew her story. Enter Jesus who offers to help us all get clean with no gimmicks, no empty promises. Thanks be to God!

is it spring yet?

26 03 2011

I’ve been taking pictures for “Journey to 4.24”, but haven’t had the chance to write my posts, yet. So, instead, I’ll post two fun pictures from playing outside this afternoon. It was cold and windy outside. But fun. With lots of laughter.