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the rising

2 Apr

“It is not enough to celebrate Easter and say, ‘Christ is risen.’ It is useless to proclaim this unless at the same time we can say that we have also risen, that we have received something from heaven. We must feel appalled when the tremendous events that took place, the death and resurrection of Jesus, are proclaimed again and again and yet actually nothing happens with us. It has no effect.” -Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt, in Bread and Wine

The day after Easter, I am not sure what to do.


On Easter, I rise.

We go to church. We shout our alleluias, we sing “Christ the Lord Is Risen Today.” Afterwards, we feast. I cook a turkey for Easter dinner, my first ever, won in a trivia contest. (Don’t ask.) Josh and I watch basketball with some friends, eat turkey and potatoes cooked in cream and carrot cake, drink good beer and good wine.

And we go to bed, and then it’s back to life the way it was, before the Lenten disciplines, before weird lifestyle changes or diets or food given up. Christ is risen, and things are back to normal.

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one word for 2013: here

17 Jan

What we need is here. –Wendell Berry

california coast

Four and a half months ago, we drove our boat of a Buick through the desert and into San Diego. It was the last leg of our cross-country trip. Two weeks, 3000-some miles.

“Do you want to stop for lunch in Arizona?” Josh asked me. “No,” I told him. “I just want to get there.”

We had waited to be here for six months, since Josh accepted the offer to study at University of California, San Diego. And even though we didn’t know where here was then, we had waited to be here for years. A place where I could be in ministry, where Josh could study and teach. Where we could be together, both doing the work we had been called to do.

We pulled into a space at the grad student apartment complex. Opened our door with our key. Moved in the few boxes that we had fit in our Buick. And we began again here.

Sometimes I have been good at being here, at being where I am.

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crying in the car {day one: kentucky-tennessee}

19 Aug


They say that all beginnings are hard. Maybe it’s true. They always are for me.

Here’s a tidbit about me: I am the worst person at moving. On the planet. Believe me. They did a study, and it was me.

And a second tidbit: I have to sob during every exciting event.

This is how it all melts down.

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canaan (and california) bound

16 Aug

Every time I move, I listen to the same song.

I lay in my bed about seven years ago at the Mennonite Central Committee retreat center, trying to sleep. I pressed play on my Discman (yes, my Discman). As the rolling hills of Lancaster County slept, Andrew Peterson crooned, “Sarah, take me by my arm, tomorrow we are Canaan bound, where westward sails the golden sun and Hebron’s hills are amber-crowned.”

The next day, I would fly the wrong way around the world. To London and then Beijing, to teach for a year in Southwest China, a place where I knew no one and about ten words of the language. I felt a bit like Abraham and Sarah, loading up all that I couldn’t leave behind, following a whisper and a promise.

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