Sometimes we drive in the dark

Every once upon a time I take the girls

Driving in the dark

We look for places to call home–ramshackle garage, vape shop, dry cleaner with its window smashed

In the apocalypse there is still no

Room left in the inns of the world they ask

Why did she have to stick the needle in her arm? Why did she stick the needle in her arm? What was it about the needle that

Caused us to lose her?

The little one has poured her anger out over her minders all afternoon

Unwilling to face what it costs them

So I try to de Bergerac her through the necessary obsequities

I tell her I will whisper the words and she will shout–

I’m sorry

I’m sorry!

I’m sorry I was mean before

I’m sorry I was mean before

I was working out my grief

I was working out my grief

And sometimes there is anger in grief

And sometimes there is anger in grief

She has such a comical little girl voice

But when she says these things I know what God means

When He whispers in my ear

Beat Yins to the House!

When we met Mary and Charles they had some vocabulary specific to the western Pennsylvania region. They used the word yins for the second person plural, the way a Texan would say y’all or a Parisian would say vous.

I’m-gonna-beat-yins-to-the-house! She would yell joyfully, running up the small hill to the porch.

Eventually she lost the yins

But I am praying that she did

Beat us to the House

Shibboleth

When Mary talks now on the Fisher-Price phone of loss, she speaks with a five year old’s falsetto. She is breezy, upbeat even, and we exchange pleasantries through the medium of her daughter’s voice.

Mary, the girls have your laugh, I try to tell her before the line cuts off. Mary, I always wanted to be your real mom, I tell her before the line clicks off. Mary, that last day haunts me. The girls talk as though you still have the giant carnival unicorn, as though you tucked it under your arm and carried it right through

The earth will soon dissolve like snow/The sun forebear to shine/But God who called me here below/will be forever mine

Well, will He?

A little over a year ago I wrote emails to Catholic official all over the state of Texas. Called some. Beseeched others. Got one response and one sympathetic conversation with a lady who said she would send along a message.

At the time I was deeply concerned because an international healthcare system with a Catholic identity was facilitating the expansion of a medical records system owned by a woman with very un-Catholic values.

I wrote the Vatican.

No response.

As Biden announces he has been blessed and authorized by the Pope to get communion and keep doing what he is doing, I can’t help but think that the list of bad popes is incomplete , and should include a few more, the guys who weren’t active felons or thieves, just cowardly or selfish or fooled by the allure of celebrity or power.

It raises two questions for me–when is a useless police department better than no police department? A bad police chief better than no police chief?

And more importantly–will Jesus find faith when he comes back? Will any of us have the courage to stand for peace for the vulnerable children targeted for destruction in their mothers’ wombs?

Luke 18:7-8 NIV

[7] And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? [8] I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”

What Angels Do

Daniel 10:12-14 KJV

[12] Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words. [13] But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia. [14] Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days.

We have so misunderstood and utterly misrepresented

What angels do

Who they are

Or how they might appear

(While surely they might be anyone–

Women, children, the dispossessed)

They stand their ground

Fight for us

Maybe when it would seem

We are otherwise entirely

Abandoned

Test of the “I Was”-es (Part 1)

Matthew 25:35-39 KJV

[35] For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: [36] Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. [37] Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee ? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? [38] When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee ? [39] Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

The test of the I-was-es:

Seeing Jesus in all our weakness and need

The Exercise of Faith

Recently I told this story to a friend facing loss–

It was a beautiful, uncharacteristically sunny day in Beaver, PA. There was a cop car parked a block from us, I suspected they suspected I might run to Canada with you. You had a cute Sesame Street ensemble on, replete with orange coat. Our church friends were there to help us through.

Your dad wept. He is not usually a crier. I did not. I did not believe at that time that you were going to be away more than a long weekend.

I knew God was gonna bring you back.

The pain that followed was truly unspeakable. I questioned my faith. How could I have been so sure that I would get you back?

I asked God

And He said

“You were not wrong to believe you would get her back, it was just your timeline was off a bit.”

I know you will always be God’s baby girl, because you have always been mine💗

Jerichos

Long before her son’s whirling and untimely demise, my paternal grandmother believed in her traction with elected officials. I remembered this belief upon my first campaign, which was, parenthetically, about the loss of a single child and an unjust judge.

Who save me

would draw a line between Mamaw and the rise and fall of Hasmonean kings?

Amidst all this talk of unjust judges and rising kings

I tell myself there must be

sycamores in Jerichos still

Awaiting His return

My Covid Story

Around Thanksgiving I got Covid. I work in a doctor’s office, so eventually all of our staff got the disease as did our immediate family.

Symptoms and severity sorted out by age. The youngest two had the mildest symptoms, the oldest–me, ended up in the ER for a day, facing a diagnosis of damage to my heart and lungs.

First, let me say, that I am mending. I am the recipient of miracles and healing.

But the 24 hours leading up to the ER visit were really scary. The day in the ER was a gift. The oxygen machine they sent me home with was a gift.

And my current pulse, O2 stats, and general health–belong to the grace of my Ransomer.

Jesus gave me miracles, as He has done my whole life.

Covid is a really scary disease. It leaves some scars. It leaves fear and memory of the pain and uncertainty.

But Jesus is bigger than mountains. Jesus is bigger than tiny killer viral agents.

And Jesus never walks away from us.

I know I have been saved and given the gift of my life back.

I will do what I can to praise the One who saved me.

And I will use these beautiful lungs to pray for all of us.

That we feel him there with us,

No matter what.

Woman Up!

I have never been a roller coaster girl. Too queasy, but these days the ride is all mental grit and actuarial tables–I stop in the credit union parking lot just as the preacher on the radio quotes Jesus–ask anything in my name and I will give it to you!

Ok, God, I tell Him, make those doctors brave

Could substitute kind, generous, humble, compassionate

Feels impossible, I tell Him then

He reminds me

Impossible

Is His specialty.