Why I Want You To Cry For Me

mourning

When I die, I hope people cry for me. I know you're not supposed to say that. I don't know if I've ever gone to a funeral or memorial service where someone didn't say, "So and so doesn't want you to cry for them." Or "We should be rejoicing today instead of mourning." And it's kind of silly, because I also don't know if I've ever attended a funeral or memorial service where no one cried. We are not good at grief. And I think Christians are kind of the worst at it. Because most Christians believe in some kind of after-life, there is a strong tendency to simply look at this life - this wild, gorgeous, messy, intricate life - as a kind of gas station stop. Compared to eternity, what is 80 years? A drip, a molecule, an atom. So no grief necessary, we have eternity. I understand … [Read more...]

First World Problems

first world problems

I get to do a ton of things that I love. I teach piano lessons to some of the most interesting kids and adults. I get to play in a cover band with some of my very favorite people. I get to be a stay-at-home-parent to my kids. I get to see my husband every day. I get to work on writing projects that feed my soul and that I hope will be beneficial to other people. I get to speak about topics that are meaningful to me. I live in a time when I get to converse with friends who are near and far with minimal effort. So I should never feel overwhelmed, right? I should just be happy, happy, happy because I get to do all the things that I love, right? Except nope. I feel overwhelmed anyway. I absolutely understand how lucky I am. Don’t get me wrong - I’ve worked really hard to be able to do … [Read more...]

More than “just”

just

A couple of weeks ago, I received an email in which I was called a gross, disgusting name. I deleted the email almost immediately, but something like that doesn't delete from your mind very quickly. Or ever, I expect. It was awful because I ceased to feel like a person in that moment, instead I was just a body part. I wasn't someone who had feelings that could be hurt by name-calling, I was a symbol of something that had hurt this person in the past and I became an easy target for that anger. On reflection, I can recognize this. I can see that this person also had scars. They had been wounded and they were responding out of that painful emotion. But that day I just felt terrible, and when I told my husband about it, I said, "Some people are just assholes." With that statement, … [Read more...]

Don’t upset Jesus!

point

I just read another piece calling out someone for calling out someone else. Maybe there was a third level of calling out in there. I'm not sure. It's all pretty muddled at this point. The point is, calling out people is bad and we need to call them out on it. There aren't many things that make me want to quit blogging, but the unending circle of making sure we're morally superior to "those other guys" is one thing that makes me vaguely consider it. Let me be very clear. I am totally okay with people writing blogs wherein they disagree with the writing/teaching/tweeting of any other person. It's usually big names like Mark Driscoll or John Piper or Rachel Held Evans or Rob Bell. They do something that rubs someone the wrong way. So folks will write about it. Some will write about the … [Read more...]

Down In My Heart

fear

  Growing up we would sing was "I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart!" I was the kid who would always shout "Where?" at the end of each line and my classmates would jubilantly respond with "Down in my heart!" We would always sing lots of extra verses. We'd sing joy, but also, "I've got the peace that passes understanding down in my heart!" And we would sing, "I've got the love of Jesus, love of Jesus down in my heart!" Love was an assumed part of the song and of our lives. We knew that Jesus told us to love our neighbors. We were told the story of the Good Samaritan, so we knew that our neighbors were often unlikely suspects. We knew that God is love. Yesterday I stumbled across this video at Hemant Mehta's blog. It seems that every time there's a … [Read more...]

Repost: What I’m Really Saying

heart

This post originally appeared on August 3, 2012. I know at these end of the year link-ups, you're supposed to include your most popular posts. But that's not my favorite post, and that's what I like to link up. This was a response to my most popular post, and I think it's the best way to wrap up my year. Because love is always what I want to be saying on this blog.   So I was kind of overwhelmed by the response to my post from last Friday. It was way huger than I imagined and kind of knocked me out for a bit. I mean, when your words even get shared on Google +, you know you’ve said something. Here’s the deal. I don’t want to “say something.” I mean, I do, but I think far too often what I really want to say gets lost in the details. I’m blessed to have a number of … [Read more...]

Repost: Dear Child

Hold Your Children

This post originally appeared on May 3, 2012. It was the only way that I could respond to the words said by Sean Harris to his congregation about kids who don’t meet gender norms. My own children fit almost no gender stereotypes, so his words hit especially close to home and it broke my heart to think that my kids could ever hear that at church. But please know that these words are for whoever needs them, not just children. You are loved.   Dear Child, Do you know that you are dear? If you hear nothing else, read that and hold it in your heart. Keep it close, because I know you may have heard that you’re not dear. But with all of my heart today, I want you to know that you are. I’ve listened to the words that your pastor shared with your parents and I just want to hold … [Read more...]

Repost: We Stayed

This post originally appeared on October 10, 2012. It doesn't happen often, but it feels pretty good to go back and read something that you're a bit removed from and to say, "Nope. Wouldn't change a word." This post falls into that category for me.   Three years ago, when Jason told me that he no longer believed in God, I had questions about our marriage surviving. I thought he might leave. He thought I might leave. We could have pointed to the statistics that said that we were now three times more likely to divorce, and no one would have blamed either one of us for taking that option. Our religious and irreligious communities would have supported us. "He's an immoral heathen, with no ability to appreciate life," mine might have said. "She's an irrational fool, intent … [Read more...]

One Word for Better Love

4679724314

Let love be your only debt! If you love others, you have done all that the Law demands. In the Law there are many commands, such as, “Be faithful in marriage. Do not murder. Do not steal. Do not want what belongs to others.” But all of these are summed up in the command that says, “Love others as much as you love yourself.” No one who loves others will harm them. So love is all that the Law demands. ~Romans 13: 8-10, CEV We talk a lot about love in the Church. Love your neighbors. Love your enemies. Love one another. And because we know that we're supposed to love people, there tends to be a lot of "I love you, but I don't like you" floating around. We've all probably been on the giving and receiving end of being loved but not liked. It certainly doesn't seem like love. And … [Read more...]

Let Our Loves Be Changed

On Saturday night, Carlos Whittaker tweeted: Worship leaders. Don't pray for hands up this weekend. Anyone can stretch. Pray for lives changed. — Carlos Whittaker (@loswhit) October 28, 2012 But before he tweeted that, he had a small typo (that sadly, I did not screen capture). In his first tweet, Los invited worship leaders to "pray for loves changed." I'll be honest, I prefer the typo version. In our churches, we talk a lot about our lives being changed or we talk about changing lives. And in order to do that, we give our lists of rules. Dos and Don'ts that will make you a better person. Neatly packaged clichés that lead us to be neatly packaged Christians. One time an expert of the Law asked Jesus how he might inherit eternal life. Jesus turned the question back on him … [Read more...]