Random Lenten/Corona Thoughts

“If I only had time, I’d write more.”
“Without distractions, I’d get more done.”
“If only my children didn’t have so many activities, we’d be a closer family.”
“If only my wife/husband were home to help with the children…”

Are you finding, as I am, how weak are most of the excuses we tell ourselves? In addition to this observation, what else are you learning about yourself during these days of enforced isolation? What suspicions about your heart—things that busyness and crowds and schedules masked—are rising to the surface? The Hebrew cry to God is one that we (I) too often overlook or ignore. The words have a poetic, musical tone that can easily divert our attention from its hard message:

Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.*

 Eugene Peterson’s paraphrase packs an unexpected punch:

Investigate my life, O God,
find out everything about me;
Cross-examine and test me,
get a clear picture of what I’m about;
See for yourself whether I’ve done anything wrong—
then guide me on the road to eternal life.

Can Corona Isolation—along with Lenten quiet—lead to deeper understanding, repentance, new life?

Another thought:

I have a friend who, when she recommends a book, I take special notice. When she casually mentioned her chosen Lenten devotional, I had no idea it would become my mainstay during these Corona/Lenten days. See if these words from Walter Brueggemann’s A Way Other Than Our Own resonate with you. (Incidentally, this book was published in 2017 and probably written a year earlier. Truth knows no time restraint.)

(On Isaiah 54:7-9) Ours is a time like the flood, like the exile, when the certitudes abandon us, the old reliabilities have become unsure, and “things fall apart.” …We grow more strident, more fearful, more anxious, more greedy for our own way, more despairing, and, consequently, more brutal… From out of the chaos, however, emerges this other voice rooted in memory…shaping our future not in hostility but in compassion, not in abandonment but in solidarity, not in isolation but in covenant, not in estrangement but in well being.

The Easter claim is not simply about resuscitation but about a new reality in the world that is unrestrained by the force of fear, or violence or privilege.

 There is a way into the future in your life, because God is at work doing strange, wondrous things for you and in spite of you, and your job is to get your mind off your ways of need and control, to give your life to God’s large hidden way in your life.

 And finally, this prayer:

We are constricted by stories of scarcity. Break through these false tales with the surprising truth of abundance. May we bask in your shalom and then perform your story of generosity over and over again.      Amen


*Psalm 139:23-24

Corona Virus and the Christian

The words barrel into us with a paralyzing thud: corona virus, national emergency, airports, schools, churches closed, store shelves empty, hospital beds at a premium. How does a follower of Jesus live well in the midst of the crisis? We have memorized and quoted scripture’s “fear nots,” but in the dark hours of the night or when mesmerized by media, we realized that the words have not walked the journey from head to heart.

We in the Western world are now living the reality that our brothers and sisters around the globe face daily: distress, deprivation, denial. We, like they, are called to live sacrificially so others can heal, prosper, and find peace with God.

Walter Brueggemann* writes about Jesus’ encounter with Nicodemus: Jesus says to him: “You’ve got to start over! …You’ve got to become as vulnerable and innocent and dependent as a little child. You’ve got to forego your social position, your achievements, your wealth, your reputation. You’ve got to let go of all the things that make you self-sufficient and that alienate you from the wonder of the gift of God. Start over in vulnerability, in innocence, and in dependence…

During these days when panic threatens, Brueggemann’s words take on special meaning. Perhaps every time we wash our hands—as prescribed!—we acknowledge that before God we are vulnerable and dependent. Truly, our help comes from the Lord and, in that truth, we dwell in peace and reach out to our fearful neighbors.

Eusebius, a bishop and historian of the early church wrote about Christians during the deadly plague: All day long some of them [the Christians] tended to the dying and to their burial, countless numbers with no one to care for them.  Others gathered together from all parts of the city a multitude of those withered from famine and distributed bread to them all.

May it be true of us.

*A Way Other Than Our Own

Ash Wednesday and Lent

It’s Ash Wednesday and when I come home from church this evening, I’ll have an ashy cross on my forehead.

This morning I sat in a favorite café pondering “Why Ash Wednesday? Why Lent?” I certainly didn’t grow up with Lenten observances. In fact, I suspect that church leadership probably frowned upon such observances as getting a little too chummy with “popish practices.” Proof? My mother (definitely not a leader; definitely influenced by leaders) wouldn’t even buy Christmas cards that pictured Mary and Baby Jesus.

I sort of slid into Advent and Lent. All those Lutherans in Minnesota. Heretical authors like Madeleine L’Engle, John Stott, Fleming Rutledge, Dallas Willard. Methodist, Lutheran, Presbyterian pastors in Bonn. And—oh yes—the prophets and poets Joel and David.

Had I investigated these observances early on, I could probably have found justification for Advent: an effective custom to dilute pre-Christmas greed. But Lent? Haven’t we been freed from such legalism as fasting? Doesn’t amazing grace pour over us like an all-enveloping white robe? Fish on Lenten Fridays? What about Peter’s sheet-from-heaven vision?

Back to this morning’s café experience. Hard to concentrate with music pouring out of the loudspeaker. Clatter from the kitchen. Conversations at neighboring booths. (Why can’t people remember that we use inside voices in public space?) All this “noise” is merely a picture of the world’s less definable—but often more heart splintering—noise that constantly fights to distract me from the God of my heart, from the “think on these things” of Philippians, the “pay the most careful attention” and “keep your eyes fixed” of Hebrews.

Let’s face it, I need prompts to keep my focus and Ash Wednesday and the Lenten weeks accomplish just that. When tonight’s smudgy ashes begin to fade, I’ll remember them and think more seriously about responding quickly to the Holy Spirit’s convicting nudges. I’ll ponder the meaning and results of repentance. I’ll meditate on the days Jesus and his friends were traveling to Jerusalem, “interrupted” by people like little children, blind beggars, and a little man in a tree so the interruptions in my life pale in comparison.

Tonight the ashes will remind me that no good thing dwells in me, but because Christ faced the fires of the cross, was figuratively turned into ash, and then raised into fulness of life, I too have been made whole.

Easter is coming. But not yet.

Christmas Isn’t Over!

Just because the tree is recycled (or packed away), candles, ribbons and trinkets tucked into an overflowing closet, crèches boxed up, carols replaced by praise songs—Christmas isn’t over. In many faith traditions, most of these accoutrements of the holy season remain in place until Candlemas, February 2nd, the celebration of Jesus’ presentation at the Temple.

Maybe you’re like Ginny who wrote this letter to God: Dear God—Please put another holiday between Christmas and Easter. There is nothing good in there now.* No matter your personal Christmas End date, however, Christmas is cause for remembrance and even celebration throughout the year.

If you’re like me, after all the Christmas packing up, almost every year I find one decoration that was overlooked, although this year that number increased to three! Instead of groaning at the thought of opening a box to tuck them away for eleven months, what if I leave at least one out in full view as a reminder of the miraculous, unbelievable, unexplainable incarnation? God so intent on reestablishing the intended love relationship between him and his obstinate, self-centered, sinful daughters and sons that he suffered the indignity of birth in Bethlehem, the loneliness of life rife with misunderstanding and rejection, and death as a proclaimed criminal.

While we Westerners pride ourselves on rational thought, I fear we’ve neglected the potential of imagination—the importance of pictures and symbols to remind and arouse us for what I call heart thinking. (Others more skilled define it as meditation or contemplation.) Just as pictures in albums (or on our phones!) of children or special pets elicit warm memories and gratitude for their presence in our lives, so that forgotten Christmas angel, bell or candle can be a reminder of God’s goodness. All year.

* Stuart Hample and Eric Marshall,  Children’s Letters to God, Workman Publishing, 1991

What’s Your Christmas Theme?

A friend proudly described her 2019 Christmas motif: “My decorating theme this year is all about nature. Tree ornaments of birds, squirrels, bunnies, pine cones…”

I tried that one year, announcing to the family that blue would be theme: blue lights and ornaments on the tree, blue star on top, blue candles on the Advent wreath. Cacophony ensued, blue disappeared, and out came the multi-colored lights, handmade star, dented balls, and lopsided angels.

Many of those decorations have disappeared through the intervening years due to moves within the continent and across an ocean, but new tokens are in place, gathered from many corners of the globe. The tree isn’t perfect—bought on sale at Lowe’s—it leans slightly to the right. Candles (unlit!) also tend to tilt. And if you look closely, you’ll see a crack in one of the balls. Definitely an un-themed tree.

Or is the theme simply “memories”? I bought the little Austrian girl ornament during a wintry trip to Innsbrück.  A red-headed high school boy in my Bonn Sunday School class gave me the star. You could find a replica house from Lithuania and a streetcar from New Orleans. A fluffy lamb is from Linda who’s now in heaven. From Renée is a miniature nest with three tiny robin’s eggs. And the framed tree is from our grandson who barely squeezed in the OmaOpa inscription.   So many stories. So many memories.

A Christmas tree can be themed or—as in our case—a blend of memories. But if you look closely at our tree, you might see a central focus in the midst of the higgledy-piggledly ornaments. Can you see it between the red candle and blue angel? The Austrian girl is below and to the right. It’s the small gold nativity scene. And several other nativity representations are hidden among the branches. In fact, if you walk around our house, you’ll see this theme in every corner. The tall white porcelain Mary, Joseph, manger, and shepherds from Bonn are on the hutch top shelf. On a shelf below are the miniature figures—complete with camels, sheep and lambs, wise men—made by our friend June. In a favorite and unique nativity scene from Zambia, all figures (including the angel!) have black “skin.” Roughly carved wooden figures from Israel inhabit the stable made by our son so many years ago. (We’re puzzled how a wooden hippo found its way into the stable, but we carefully place him next to sheep each year. One year we even found him on the stable roof Christmas morning.) Across the mantle and in almost every corner, smaller nativity scenes remind us of the true meaning of Christmas.

Our un-themed tree could be a picture of Christmas itself. Some—maybe only a few??—celebrate with family united in political and religious views. Others have bruised tongues from preventative biting during heated discussions.

Some dress in holiday finery while seated at laden tables. Torn jeans and stained tee shirts the mode du jour with a beans-and-hot-dogs menu for others.

Cooing babies and excited toddlers elicit smiles in certain homes, while unmoving parents or grandparents occupy a corner chair in the haze of Alzheimer’s disease.

An impending birth announcement is greeted with whoops of joy, while tears slide down cheeks as recent losses cripple the soul.

What is your Christmas 2019 theme? Not the theme on the tree or in the house. The theme in your heart. Can you find joy in the midst of tears?  Refreshing solitude though alone? Hope replacing regret? Joy through tears?

Look away from the tree, from the circumstances, from a groaning world and gaze at the central theme: that stable with Mary, Joseph, and God.

Thoughts on a Snowy Day

Have you been waiting breathlessly for a follow up to my last blog on the subject of “Mine”? You can breathe easier now because I don’t seem to have much more to say on the subject except that God is repeatedly nudging me to the old-yet-always-new truth in Romans 12:1 and 2 as paraphrased by Eugene Peterson in The Message: So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life–your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life–and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so self-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

Note the underlined the words. How easily I drift toward the culture that says “MINE” is the norm instead of staying on the path that leads to “well-formed maturity.” Yes, even at this stage of life when maturity has supposedly(!) been reached. God is never finished with his formation project and I can choose whether or not to follow the plan.

The picture above is taken through my dining room window after last night’s snowfall.  If you look closely you might see the screen’s grid which somewhat distorts the snowy view and the candles’ reflection.  But the candles in front are seen clearly. When I look at my culture’s expectations, I need to remember that the view is distorted. I need to keep my eyes on the light–on the Light–so God can bring out the best in me, continually developing well-formed maturity.

MINE!

FightCan you see and hear the frustration, anger, tears, screams as young children tussle over the same toy? Adult conversation momentarily halts as the battle increases until a caregiver wades into the fray to prevent the battle from turning into all out war.

Recently I became aware of an inner tussle with the word MINE front and center. It started—or was fed by—an insurance company’s television commercial of a woman’s “she shed” burning. It’s a comedic ad that’s gone viral but for me was a reminder of a (somewhat) humorous remark I made to my husband as we prepared to return to the U.S. after twenty-plus years of living outside our “birth borders.” During the most recent years, the ministry office was in our home and while it was convenient to figuratively roll out of bed to the desk, more than a few inconveniences existed. During work hours, our “home” was an open book.

So when we mused about the kind of house we wanted/needed in the U.S., along with built-in closets (only wardrobes in Germany), a fireplace (if possible), and maybe even an icemaker in the refrigerator, I reached for the sky and laughingly said, “How about a small shed in the backyard where I can sit for writing, reading, thinking? No doorbellShed and a lock on the door would be nice!”

We eventually bought a lovely home (with fireplace, closets and icemaker!) where there was at least space to retreat—but no She Shed. Eventually we downsized to a condo which fit our needs, but retreat space became even more limited. Then age, health, and finances required a second downsize. It is a perfect place for our needs and I rejoice that God supplied the space even when the “odds” seemed to thwart our plans. No She Shed. Not even a spare room. No space that is exclusively MINE.

While a “man cave” has gained not only in interest but is often seen as a necessity for men who need a place to unwind, think, “privatize” after the demands of the workplace, similar space for women has only recently been studied. Hence the popularity of that commercial?

The other morning when that inner tussle threatened to distract me from moments dedicated to prayer, I began examining my demand for MINE. Why this niggling thirst for something, some place, that exclusively belongs to me? A place with a lock and without a doorbell! What else, who else do I insist is MINE? And why?

And with those questions I end this session! I welcome your thoughts on the subject (mj.ehle@comcast.net; MINE in the subject line) and promise to return with your observations and more of my own.

 

Snow in the Desert

Don’t be fooled by this picture! It’s snowing today in Colorado Springs with gusty winds and temperatures dipping from yesterday’s 80° to this morning’s 20°. I pulled spindly petunias from the flower box two weeks ago and the herbs are gone until next spring. Although the optimists among us predict warm sunshine for the weekend, I fear that summer is truly over.

In case you hadn’t noticed, no words have landed on this page since May. (And if you didn’t notice…oh, dear.) My summer wasn’t one of lying in the sun, thinking deep thoughts, musing about life, people and God. Oh yes, life was present, people surrounded me, and God was near…but He wasn’t saying much. Have you ever had those days? Or weeks? Or months? Maybe not quite a desert, but definitely a dry spell?

Mine wasn’t like Elijah’s. I wasn’t afraid. I wasn’t running for my life. I didn’t cry out, “I have had enough, Lord” (1 Kings 19:4). I sang with 5,000 others at our Cru Staff Conference and relished times with old friends. My mind was stretched and challenged as I learned from experts at a writers’ conference. (Best part of that week was living with, eating with, shopping with, laughing with my daughter!) Lunch with friends traveling through town was delightful and, yes, even planting those herbs and petunias brought joy.

But it was dry with only occasional sprinklings of water from the Word and the Spirit.  I know I’m not the only one with these experiences, many have encountered not just dry days, but months of deep depression. The list is long: Mother Teresa, C.S. Lewis, Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Wesley, and others.

The person—like this writer!—who wants answers, if not easy answers, is driven to the word “why.” One man wrote, “Many prominent Christians have shared their thoughts on why this happens: ‘you’re recovering from a time of sin, dealing with a season of doubt, stuck in an old-fashioned rut,’ the list is endless.” I don’t have a holy answer to why this happens. But I’ve decided that, at least for me, it’s just a time to BE. To review God’s past nearness and blessings. And most difficult, it’s a time to keep on keeping on. Not with dullness of spirit nor spurts of manufactured gaiety, but with determination and knowledge that God will may reveal himself in new ways, with new words, at a new time.

So…with tonight’s meeting cancelled because of the snow, with chili steaming for tonight’s supper, and with the aroma of cinnamon rolls permeating the house, it’s time to simply say, “Thank you, Father, for being with me in the snow, in the desert, for tempting me with the fragrance of your presence.” Like the scene pictured above, the sun—the Son—is always present.

A (Late) Mother’s Day Message for My Granddaughters

Because we were traveling in the days preceding Mother’s Day…and then recovering from travel…these thoughts simply floated around in my brain, never finding their way into print before last Sunday. But when thoughts continue to nudge, I’m slowly learning to pay attention and so here’s my Mother’s Day message to you, Molly and Megan.

I am blessed with two intelligent, healthy, beautiful, becoming-wise granddaughters. (I thought of including your pictures but decided such public view was neither necessary nor prudent.) You possess the exquisite combination of inherited genes, exhibited in sometimes surprising ways. Although we haven’t had the privilege of living near you and thus missed the everydayness relationship, nevertheless our visits have included an extraordinary journey of observing you develop from those baby days, through childhood, teen years and—for one—into blossoming adulthood.

This isn’t an advice-from-Oma piece! Nor is it exactly a what-I-pray-for-you piece. Maybe a bit of both but also including thoughts gained over the years, especially in recent years.

I grew up in a family, age, community, evangelical Christian culture that pretty much proscribed a girl’s future. “Good” Christian girls married, had children and…if God gave a somewhat secondary call…nursing, teaching, missions could be added. Specific and undeniable gifts of leadership, teaching, music, etc., would be secondary to that primary call. I followed willingly into that pattern and have no regrets. A husband, four children and volunteering in church happily filled my hours. Eventually, I followed my husband into Christian ministry.

It was that last step that triggered my first uncomfortable and whispered questions. (And whispered only to God!) I had been a vocal enthusiast for Paul’s submission teaching, but niggling reservations began to surface. Was I only Bob’s “assistant”? Why did only men give the lectures at Lay Institutes for Evangelism? Why didn’t women serve on decision-making committees? (And in one wonderful church we attended, why didn’t (couldn’t?) women speak up in business meetings?!)

It was during a difficult time in my life—in all our lives—that I began to understand that my identity was more than, and prior to, any role of wife and mother. I began to comprehend that, while physically accompanied by others, I essentially walked through some valleys with God alone. This was a time of exploring more deeply who I was as woman-created-by-God. It was framed with confusion, wrenching emotions, struggles with Scripture, tears and even quiet inner rebellion.

And then, through no effort of my own but definitely through God’s ingenious grace, I discovered devout, wise, intelligent, female authors and scholars who began cracking open too-long tightly closed interpretations of Scripture, uncovering the difference between cultural (even church) expectations and biblical truth. I’d grown up with a picture of an apron-wearing Proverbs 31 woman and a subservient, spineless Eve. I’d been taught that Eve’s primary role was “helpmeet” and the church explicitly defined what that meant.

Carolyn Custis James was one of the women shedding light on my path. Hear these words from her own pursuit:

My first serious encounter with my calling as an ezer happened in the middle of the night. It was around 3:00 a.m., and it changed my life. I wasn’t tossing and turning in bed, but wide awake, pouring over books, smuggling volumes out of my husband’s study, and searching for answers. I felt like a detective and I knew I was onto something. For years I had been troubled by interpretations of Eve that left me and a lot of other women out in the cold. I was looking for answers, but I was not at all braced for what I was about to find.

 God could have given any number of labels to the woman. He chose ezer, which in English Bibles is translated “helper.” Kenegdo is translated “suitable” or, as in older English translations, “meet,” which explains how we ended up with “helpmeet.” This in turn has led to interpretations of the woman as the man’s assistant, wife, mother of his children, and manager of their home, which as we’ve noted excludes some 60 percent of females in this country alone. How many millions of women and girls are we leaving out worldwide?…

 Focus on the wife as her husband’s helper has led to the belief that God gave primary roles and responsibilities to men, and secondary, supporting roles to women. It has led to practices that communicate that women are second class citizens at home and in the church.

Now what? Would I, should I, turn into a flag-waving women’s lib advocate?! You would not have observed any (maybe many?) outward changes, but thought patterns, an uncomfortable examination of my identity, re-thinking of my goals began slowly to emerge. As I investigated the word ezer in the Bible, I discovered that it’s almost always prefaced by the adjective “strong” and frequently used in a military sense, i.e., a “strong warrior.” Both Ruth and the Proverbs woman are called women of valor.

God began—and continues—to mold me into the ezer of his choosing. This isn’t an easy path as anyone who’s endured military boot camp will assert. But that’s also his goal for you. God may grant you the privilege of marriage, motherhood, singleness. He may call you as business owner, inventor, coach, photographer, veterinarian, chef, writer. His call is never to anything less than Holy Spirit driven completeness, enjoyed in any so-called role. Dream big. Focus on the world not some small corner of it. Learn, learn, learn. Ask questions, especially uncomfortable ones. Love well. Dig deeply and daily into God’s Word. See yourselves both as Mary and Martha. (Actually, a blessed combination of both!). Discover the urges in your heart and ask hard questions of God about why he put them there and what he wants to do with them. Be patient.

Someone said, “Some people will only love you if you fit into their box. Don’t be afraid to disappoint.” God’s boxes are never sealed shut and they’re bigger than you can imagine in your wildest and most beautiful dreams. See yourselves poised on the brink of God’s unfathomable future. And rest assured that I love you.

Oma

 

Thoughts Between Good Friday and Easter Sunday

Recently a tech-savvy friend* blurted out her frustration over an equipment glitch. Overhearing the outburst, I calmly suggested that maybe an alternative might/perhaps/perchance/conceivably be tried. Note my caution indicated by those underlined words, a caution expressed because this friend is not known to be patient with non-tech savvy people such as myself.

Although my suggestion was first met with mentally rolled eyes, almost immediately the process was successful and I walked to another room. As I sat ready to open a “spiritual” book, that squiggly imp called Self whispered: “Once again you didn’t get thanked,” and for a comfortable few minutes I basked on the shores of self-pity. But the imp’s voice was soon countered by another message: “This happened to Me too. Remember those cleansed ten lepers? Only one stopped to say thank you.  And oh, yes, let’s talk about what happened recently… ”

Yesterday as I hurriedly ran several errands, I misplaced the silver chain I was taking to the jeweler for repair. Retracing my steps and activities, I remembered having the chain in my hand when unlocking the car. Did it fall after I placed it on the passenger seat? I scoured the car and trunk floors, emptied jacket and pants pockets, fumbled through purse pockets (no new purses with more than two compartments). The chain was nowhere to be found. I’m unsure of the chain and its pendant’s monetary value, but it was one of my mother’s few prized pieces of jewelry, and I’d put off the repair too long.

I honestly was too busy yesterday to worry overmuch about the possible loss…I would look later…but it nagged “at the edge.” And this morning upon awakening—and after coffee—the missing chain was one of my first coherent thoughts. Later as I walked around the rear of my car, THERE ON THE GROUND WAS THE CHAIN! After a moment of self-congratulation—”I knew it was somewhere!”—I went on about my day. Never once intentionally thanking God. I’d like to think I had a grateful heart, but I honestly don’t recall actual words of gratitude.

Just like the nine lepers.

I’ve spent this past Holy Week digging deep into the experiences of Jesus during His last week before the cross. Was I in the palm-waving crowd? Did I offer Him food and rest in my Bethany home? Did I flee the blood-soaked cross or remain weeping with the other women?

Yesterday, Good Friday, I meditated on the horrific scene of his beating, head whipping from side to side, blood dripping from the gashes in His cheeks. Unbidden the words of the prophet Isaiah came to the fore: “it is by his wounds that we are healed.”

Sometimes it’s hard for those of us who “accepted Jesus” as children to truly understand the depth of our sin. Perhaps we’ve never substantially rebelled or participated in gross sin. From what deadly disease have we been “healed”? Doctors say that certain diseases—when symptoms are ignored or disregarded—can “sneak up on you.” Persistent fatigue or shortness of breath may indicate heart or kidney problems. Frequent thirst and slow-to-heal wounds may be red flags for diabetes. Left too long without attention these symptoms can become deadly.

My ingratitude—though unintentional—is a directional signal: pay attention to how pride’s talons can easily grip my soul. Watch out for actions and attitudes (symptoms)—even unintended—that lead more to death than life. I’m convicted about how long it’s been since daily beginning my prayer time with confession. Some might want to “ad lib” confession but I find a prayer offered through the centuries to fit me, changing only the pronouns from the plural to the singular, adding silence for the Spirit to speak personally:

Merciful God, I confess that I have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed. I have not loved you with my whole heart and mind and strength; I have not loved my neighbors as myself. In your mercy, forgive what I have been, help me amend what I am, and direct what I shall be, so that I may delight in your will and walk in your ways, to the glory of your holy name. Now speak your word to me, Holy Spirit…   Amen.

It seems a long and undulating way from tech issues to jewelry chains to my sin and the cross but here I sit. Between Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

*Unidentified to remain in a good relationship.😏