It all started with my hairdresser. I had been talked into (true confession here) letting her do my hair, always, because frankly, I suck at it. So I saw her every week. The salon was trendy. Modern. The music? Not my favorite. Worldly. The workforce was straight, gay and in-between. Visibly. My stylist had tats. (Tattoos, for the uninitiated). Piercings. Creative dress. A different hair color and/or style, regularly. And I absolutely loved her. She reminded me that, years before, I had been her family doctor. Can’t make this stuff up. And she loved me. Out loud and effusively. So … Continue reading Go Ye…Means Today
I was twelve years old when I was told that I was worthless. Growing up, I never had any doubts in my abilities. I was pretty confident in myself and maintained a healthy self-esteem. I had good fr… Source: Twenty-Nine: Eleven Continue reading Twenty-Nine: Eleven
Jesus loves the little children All the children of the world Red and yellow Black and white We are precious in His sight Jesus loves the little children of the world. (And everything is beautiful…but I digress…) I grew up singing this song in church. Meaning it. I came of age in the 70’s and early 80’s. They taught us that racism and sexism were gone; conquered. It was SO wonderful to hear it. And the handful of black friends at my upper-middle-class school and neighborhood seemed to bear it out… I came to Jesus young; I will always be … Continue reading Red and yellow, brown, brown, brown; Jesus got it going down. On race and racism.
So, once again, we see Jesus. Being absolutely crazy. He had just commanded us to pray that the Father send Laborers into the Harvest. (Matthew 9:38) And, in typical Jesus style, he immediately (hearing from that same Father), set about bringing the answer. He called his own twelve guys, instructed them, and sent them out. Matthew 10:5 (The Message version) Jesus sent his twelve harvest hands out with this charge: “Don’t begin by traveling to some far-off place to convert unbelievers. And don’t try to be dramatic by tackling some public enemy. Go to the lost, confused people right here … Continue reading Serpents and Doves. On wisdom, love and winning the world.
When I was a sophomore in college, I attempted to change universities. With disastrous results. And my mother came to help me race across two states to get back to my own college and sign in before they cancelled my … Continue reading Give Me Oil in My Ford; Keep Me Trucking. On the importance of stewardship.
I stepped into the exam room to face a frightened 4-year-old girl and her mother. (Apparently, somewhere alone her brief life journey she had an encounter with a doctor that involved pain. Can’t imagine where.). Tears were in her big blue eyes; her bottom lip trembled. Seating myself at her eye level, and breaking out my best and brightest children’s TV voice, I asked her if she knew of Doc McStuffin. The wheels began to turn. Her eyes lit up with recognition. “Well, I’m Doc McKaren. And she’s my friend.” I showed her my stethoscope, my otoscope, and my blood … Continue reading Of French Braids and Frozen Hair. An essay on human nature.
I once attended a Bible school, housed in a giant round building with a HUGE sky-blue dome. No kidding. The minister was a thin man, short, with a very gentle spirit. He wore soft-gray conservative suits. His wife, also a minister, was a all and rather large woman with a loud, direct manner and a preference for floor-length, ruffled dresses. In the 80’s. This was a “dancing” church. Speaking in tongues, right out loud, was common. The music was loud. We had a lot of fun. But we could never figure out why the world at large thought we … Continue reading Of cheese puffs and trail mix. An essay on love.
Anxiety. What is it about life that makes us spend most of our days with our fists and teeth half-clenched, instead of living as if we’re laying back in a hammock, swinging? Check yourself. Right now. Are your muscles tight? Is your lower face and jaw tense? Are your thoughts…racing? Or are you sitting in the (imaginary) sun, taking a deep breath of…heaven? What is it that makes us anxious? What, on earth, are we…So. Worried. About. And, on a related note, do we ever feel “good” enough? When I was in high school, our Drill Team (women’s high-kick /dance … Continue reading Shaking in my shoes. On anxiety, and achievement.
I didn’t date a lot in high school. I was in a couple of great youth groups that taught the difference between dating and courtship. And, honesty, the trauma of my own parents’ divorce probably made me hesitant, too. So I committed my life to Jesus, and didn’t really…date. Until the summer after I graduated high school. My best friend, at the time, was a truly amazing, gifted, humble, kind, positive young man named Peter. He happened to be Hispanic; I hadn’t noticed. We shared together, for years, in a ministry team at a Christian camp, (and during the school … Continue reading On Seeing Clearly. And Shooting Straight. (Or “Why I am a Sexist, Even Though I Don’t Want to Be”)
When my oldest son was about three, he did something I will never forget. We were avid church-goers. And, one day, my son and I were messing around. And he started singing. “Je-sus.” In his little sing-song voice. “Gah-ah-ad.” My mother’s heart was thrilled. All that Sunday school, paying off in deep spirituality. In a three-year-old. He kept singing. “Je-sus. Gah-ah-ad. And the heli-cop-ter. Vroom. Vroom.” I wanted to cry. Then I started to laugh. And then, I laughed until I cried. It’s so easy to put expectations on our kids. To want them to be the next prophet. Or … Continue reading Jesus, God, and the Helicopter