28 March 2007


15 March 2007


(magnolia, by Ethel Hiller)

It's always awkward to start back again when there's been a lull. Lack of internet access leaves me feeling disconnected and a little bit more aware at the same time.

Sacred rhythms. I wake in the mornings and make strong coffee and sit here, reading something that reminds my soul of who it is. I am reading more poetry and praying more, listening to music, allowing myself to think about things that have been dormant for a while. I find that if I am not quite intentional about pursuing these things--solitude, prayer, meditation, looking for the miracles happening all the time in the world around us--I miss out, feel haphazard and lost. God is near, present, watching, participating, speaking. I am struck by how quickly I lose my hearing, lose my sight, stumble and become afraid.

Spring has arrived, and I feel awakening, feel like I can taste those audacious green buds and white blossoms on my tongue, hear the world saying, "See, we know how to put on the best show." I watch, I listen. The heavens, indeed, declare the glory.

12 March 2007


I'm in Florida hanging out with some incredible friends. It has been three days of good conversations and laughing and fun. I've missed Kyle & Michelle's friendship--it's pretty amazing to pick up where we left off when they returned to the states two years ago to have Isaac.

In the middle of returning to the states to have a baby, Kyle and Michelle began the process of adopting Prema, a precious little girl who they found three years ago wandering the streets of Calcutta. She is eight now and living with them, being nurtured in some amazing ways. She is deaf and is struggling with Reactive Attachment Disorder, which occurs in situations when children's first several months or years are marked by trauma and insecurity. They do not know how to attach to a caregiver because they've always had to care for themselves. Anyways, Kyle and Michelle are pretty much amazing--becoming fluent in both American Sign Language and in the therapies required to work through RAD. It's an incredibly tough job. They are showing Prema, who acts out and tests limits like an 18-month old, what communication, discipline and unconditional love look like--things she has never known.

Isaac, their two year old, is the kind of kid you smile just thinking about. When I got off the tram to go to baggage claim, Isaac and Kristin were there, and Isaac said, "Welcome Ange! (weh-come, Anch)." I taught him how to say, "It's balmy!" and am working on "sense of humor". Isaac is a funny little guy who loves to talk.

Kristin is the ultimate beach girl (and I am sunburned), and we've been enjoying the 80 degree weather and driving in Kristin's dad's convertible. Can't say that's such a bad thing. It's been great to hang out with Kristin and hear her heart for the girls of Sonagacchi. Saribari is doing well and God is bringing his kingdom one heart and life at a time. The WMF staff have a new freedom to love and nurture in very broken lives. They themselves are being transformed. This is where it's at, in my opinion....Love (excellence, thank you Elder Jones) is God taking broken lives, weakness, the seemingly irreparable and lavishing his perfect grace and goodness all over it. There is a tenacity required, a commitment to believe that only he can transform hearts, only he can give us the strength to do what he asks. There's more to that discussion, but for another time ;)

Yesterday we had breakfast and great conversation and played at the beach. Prema frolicked in the water and gets to be a kid and swim with her dad, make sand castles with her mom. That's a miracle I don't mind watching.

The sunset was gorgeous, it was a great day. We're all sad Court had to work and could not be here for this mini reunion. I'll post pictures later. Hope St. Louis is treating you all well. Peace out.

06 March 2007

Father comforts child

"For he has not despised nor disdained
the suffering of the afflicted one;
he has not hidden his face from him
but has listened to his cry for help." Psalm 22:24

I have seen the unspeakable things. In fact, I have experienced them.

Lashes on my back. The jeering crowd surrounding, my face contorting. Nail in each hand, spear in my side, crown of thorns that pierced my brow. These were nothing compared to the burden I took on—the wickedness, the measure of evil. I held it within my heart—the father turning his face from me. Utter forsakenness.

That man that you saw beaten and bloody on the train platform—the one whose face no longer held shape—the terror in your heart, terror at the apathy of the people standing around oblivious to his pain, terror at your own desire to flee and not show love. I was there.

Each of those you mourn—I was there. I am always there.

The young girl raped and abandoned, the one who was kidnapped, sold, and abused. The one who lives in slavery, whose vacant stare belies that her heart has closed because intolerable abuse. I see her. I know her. I love her. She is my creation, made in my image.

She is at the center of why I came to walk among you—why this intervention was the most painful, sacrificial, and only option.

The unspeakable things done by you and toward you—I carried them in my human heart.
The knowledge of their affect on you and the catastrophic ache that they caused each of you—I alone have experienced all of them.

For these things I died—for the unspeakable things—to put an end to the scorn and silence, to the torture and hopelessness.
Consider the great love of the Lord. (Psalm 107:43)

Even now you wrestle and mourn. Even now the doubts gnaw at your mind and you do not have the strength to believe that I am good, that I love you, that I love them. That I have seen the suffering—and that I have the power to do something about it. You strain, immobilized by powerlessness. You carry burdens on your shoulders—the faces of the brokenhearted, the faces of the women and men and children who need my love. You carry your own burdens as well. You collapse under the weight.

I need to tell you this: You cannot save yourself.

Open your hands. Stop striving. Receive the gift of my love.

My child, this is what perfect love looks like:
I give you a new heart.
I put a new spirit in you.
I breathe new life into the dry bones.
I rescue you from idolatry when your thirst causes you to come back to me.
I prepare a table before you in the presence of your enemies.
I restore your soul.

I know about the unspeakable things. I have seen them, I have experienced them. I died so that you might know my forgiveness. My healing. My restoration. My perfect shalom.

I welcome you with open arms. Come and receive. Repent. Believe. Be healed. And see how I desire to redeem even the unspeakable things for my glory, and for your healing.

04 March 2007

prayers during lent: meditation on pride

"Pride is a denial of God, an invention of the devil, contempt for men. It is the mother of condemnation, the offspring of praise, a sign of barrenness. It is a flight from God’s help, the harbinger of madness, the author of downfall. It is the cause of diabolical possession, the source of anger, the gateway of hypocrisy. It is the fortress of demons, the custodian of sins, the source of hardheartedness. It is the denial of compassion, a bitter pharisee, a cruel judge. It is the foe of God, it is the root of blasphemy."

John Climacus, sevent-century monk
from The Cloister Walk

02 March 2007

Nocturne: Figment of Spring

Still night with waning moon--on which someone has sipped (it is not so full).
The porch chime is quiet, the trees sleep. A cat comes and sits on the stone steps with me as if we are old friends. Crickets and cicadas make the only night noises. There is something bewitching in the stillness. The cat and I go walking together barefoot across the green lawns.