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Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Hurdles


                In a moment of tired frustration, I returned to my habit of wrestling with the Lord.  “Why,” I asked, “are women doing all the work and, yet, they are the ones told to stand back?”  During my argument with God, I noted my observations in the churches and explained, “If the women weren’t doing so much behind the scenes – in other words, if the women weren’t ‘hidden leaders’ – nothing would get done!  Why, then, Oh Lord, are they told to back off?”  Finally, with a tone of cynicism, I asked, “Do You really wish death for Your churches, Lord?”

                A few months after my inquiry, I had the following dream:

                A bullet fired off for a race to begin.  Many runners, both men and women, started running together, but once the hurdles came along, the women took the lead.  I saw the women leaping over the hurdles.  These were the usual brand of hurdles, about as high as the runners’ hips.  After the women, I saw the men running behind them, trying to catch up.  They were approaching their hurdles, but these hurdles were not the usual brand.  These hurdles were higher than their heads!  Next, I saw a great hand come forth from heaven toward the hurdles, ready to take the hand of any runner.  But the men did not see the great hand, and they kept struggling, unsuccessfully trying to leap over the hurdles above their heads.  Next, I saw the women stop running, turn around, and cheer the men on.  Then I saw the women see the hand in the sky.  Then, the women began to scream to the men, while pointing to the sky, “The hand!  The hand!  Grab the hand!”  Some men heard the women, looked to the heavens, saw the great hand, and took the hand.  The hand pole vaulted these men over their hurdles and the men continued running.  Other men saw what happened and took the great hand too.  The women cheered and waited for the men to catch up.  Once the runners were all together again, they all continued the race.

Today, my understanding of these issues runs deeper than the dream conveys.  At the time, however, the dream gave me the liberation I needed.  Perhaps it can do the same for other women now.

May we all learn to run the race together.  Amen.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

From Babylon to New Jerusalem


Much of today is marked by grief, and grief trumps resolve in this moment.  In mourning, may our hearts move to Christ and to the love He taught.  May He then turn our mourning into dancing.

The following poem is a revision of one I wrote shortly after Katrina.  The original version further blended the two events and expressed deeper sorrow over the inadequacy of "resolve."  

We could say the word for this poem is "Paradox" for it calls us into love and harmony, while it also looks at ourselves in a way that could draw a few into anger.  But transformation can only come through facing those areas calling for it.  May we be willing to  carry the humility that leads to the New Jerusalem.  Amen.


“Grieve”
The word we thought we'd cry
as we watched our towers of pride
Fallen!  Fallen!

“Resolve”
The word we embraced in its place,
swearing to move forward
in our own direction of pride

“Repent”
The word that resists resolve
by choosing to turn around
and move in a direction of humility

“Confusion”
The word God chooses
for those who rely upon themselves
and not upon the Lord

“Help”
The word the victims cry out
when their leaders choose resolve
and forget their plight

“Mercy”
The word we cry
for healing in our land,
brokenness of our pride,
sadness for affliction,
grief not only for harm done unto us,
but also for harm we have done unto others,
and a change in our own hearts and minds

“Love”
The new word
for a new time
when harmony will reign
My photo
Pacific Northwest