Day 16: laundromat

24 03 2011

Day 16: another conversation starter

As it turns out, the local laundromat is a conversation starter as well. No, they don’t have Trivial Pursuit cards on the washers and dryers. But I walked in today to wash two comforters, with the hopes of also getting some sermon work done. Before I set my bag down, a very friendly young woman began talking to me… and with the exception of about 15 minutes alone in the laundromat, I was in conversation the whole time.

I was a bit frustrated at first. I really wanted to get some work done. But after about 20 minutes, I realized that this would be futile. The laundromat was a place to connect, to listen, to share. I’m grateful that we have a washer and dryer at home. But I’m also grateful for the opportunity to hang out with some people I would not have met, if I had tried to stuff my large comforter in our washing machine downstairs.

Day 15: thirst

23 03 2011

Day 15: thirst

I was so thirsty this morning. I couldn’t figure out why I had to keep drinking water… and more water… and still more water. I couldn’t seem to quench my thirst.

“Man!” I said to Kajsa, “I am SO thirsty. I wonder why I’m so thirsty?” I didn’t expect her to answer, and frankly didn’t even think she was listening. But Kajsa quickly said, “I think maybe you didn’t drink anything when you ate your breakfast.”

Hmmm. Come to think of it, I hadn’t. Good observation, Kajsa.

On a normal day I drink water throughout the day. One of my three favorite cups is often partially filled with water and on the kitchen counter, so I can grab water as I’m passing through. There are times when I am more thirsty than other times—such as this morning. But mostly, my water-drinking is a “drink as much as you can throughout the day” approach, so I can stay hydrated.

I’d like to say that my spiritual water-drinking is the same approach—and on some days, it is. But on some days, it’s simply a “grab the water glass only when I’m super-thirsty” approach. How much more ready I am for the bad days, and the difficult situations, when I stay spiritually hydrated. When I return to the well of living water not only as desperately-needed, but throughout the day.

Help me, God, to keep turning to you, and the well of living water. All day long!

Day 14: bridge

23 03 2011

Though this Sunday’s image is water–living water–I also like the image of a bridge. Jesus as the bridge that helped the Samaritan woman walk across to a new life. Not a perfect life! But a new life, one in which no matter what others said about her, or did to her, or expected from her… she would find strength in the joy of Christ’s forgiveness and love.

Day 14: bridge

Day 13: conversation starters

23 03 2011

(based on John 4:5-42, the Gospel lesson for Sunday, March 27th)

Day 13: conversation starters

Monday evening (Day 13), several women and I ate dinner at the Elm City Brewery in Keene, NH. (I recommend the Blues Burger.) Sitting on each table was a glass bowl, holding Trivial Pursuit cards. Fun. I like that type of thing in restaurants. We didn’t need the cards, because we had plenty to talk about, but I can think of situations where a bowl of conversation starters might be handy.

In his encounter with the woman at the well, Jesus needed no Trivial Pursuit cards. In fact he never needed a conversation starter. Jesus used the common, everyday, ordinary objects and people to engage in conversation. Granted, it might be funny if he had pulled a few Trivial Pursuit (Palestine Edition) cards out of his pocket. But he had the well, and the water… he conversed with a woman about her story, both past and present.

In what ways can we follow Jesus’ example, and talk to people using the commonplace and everyday stuff? I’m not saying that Jesus would be against our using something like Trivial Pursuit cards—but I am saying that we don’t always need them. At times the tools are right there in front of us, to reach out to those around us.

Day 12: frost heaves

23 03 2011

Day 12: frost heaves

If only. If only there were more warnings about the frost heaves of life. You know, those thing that occur in winter-time, the places in the winter-worn roads that can potentially do great damage. The frost heaves on physical roads can do enough damage–especially when they come without warning. But the frost heaves of life do more damage to the psyche, to our spirits, to relationships, careers, health, etc…

It’s not often that when faced with a frost heave, I thank God for loving me anyhow. But after the fact I do. After the fact–days, months, maybe even years later–I am able to thank God for loving. for loving the world, for loving us, for loving me… for being present throughout the rough roads.

Frost heaves are almost a ridiculous analogy for what we experience in life. Really. But, given a road trip, winter roads, and night-time, this is the photo I took–and like. As I drove to Pilgrim Pines (in New Hampshire) on Sunday night, for the annual Clergy Women Retreat, I thought a lot about God’s love for us. For me. For the world. And I gave thanks for God’s presence in the light, and in the darkness. I give thanks for God’s presence on the smooth, and the rough roads. I give thanks for the love and support of God, and for God’s people, in my life.


Day 11: can’t even imagine

20 03 2011

I can’t even imagine the kind and depth of love that God has for us… so much that he would let his Son die.  I obviously have immense love for my daughter, and hurt when she hurts, joyful when she’s joyful, etc.. but my love is still human love. Flawed, etc. So when I think I can imagine God’s love for us…. I can’t think much farther, because it hurts to imagine our loved ones being hurt so much.

But God so loved us. Incredible.

Day 11: can't imagine

Day 10: Sumneytown Traffic

18 03 2011

Day 10: Sumneytown Traffic

As I took this photo today, sitting in traffic on Sumneytown Pike, I had some good thoughts. At least I thought they were good. Whatever they were, I thought they were good enough to photograph the moment and blog about it later… but whatever they were, they are now gone.

Oh well.

Better luck tomorrow.