Category Archives: Life

The Space Between Gratitude and Glory

“You can make people feel,” he told me. That’s high praise, coming from a world famous poet and a marvelous compliment coming from a person who is in touch with “all the feels.”

But it’s not me “making people feel.” The stories I share and the way I share them is thanks to the people who have inclined me to open the door to my feelings and offered a safe space for me to feel them. It’s my gratitude for these lessons learned, messages communicated, insights shone, and perspectives gained that spills onto the page.

My new book, Made to Move: Knowing and Loving God Through our Bodies comes out in February. It is a “devotional workbook” for individuals and small groups but not your typical book of devotions. It’s not a daily, Jesus Calling, kind of reading to assure you that Jesus loves you and God will never leave you, though I subscribe to both of those beliefs.

No, this book is really, well, I guess its the product of the practice of writing thank you notes that my mother began in me all those years ago. It started me writing notes to people who I thought deserved a thanking. And not just the canned version:

Thank you for ______.
I’ll use it for _________.
I really appreciate it.
Thanks again.
Fondly,
Me

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Photo by PIRO4D from Pexels

But the real version — the “felt” version — written with the Lord’s guidance, letting a heart that was truthfully grateful take the lead. Somehow, gratitude lets us turn the knob on the door to a passageway we didn’t know existed. It opens onto the hallway of feeling. All feelings. None prohibited. It is a safe zone where trust can abide and healing reigns.

Because feeling can be hard. It can be gut-wrenching and head-spinning, earth-shattering and life-altering. But, it can also be breathtaking and awe-inspiring, heart-healing and life-giving. Life offers us the opportunity to turn the knob and enter in, not knowing what we will find on the other side.

The courage to do this doesn’t come from the author who invites you in, but from the Author of Life who is there to facilitate your discovery. Whatever you find there, I will help you handle. Whatever you need there, I will supply. Because I will be with you in the feeling, the you who emerges will be changed.

I don’t “make people feel.” I invite people, through words birthed in gratitude, to experience their feelings and then to be healed by the only Healer I know whose work lasts forever.

My book is a thank you note to the world. Each page, a person. If it “makes you feel,” I am grateful because I know God’s grace is at work in that space between gratitude and glory.

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Humaning Together

I don’t deserve what I have
any more than
the desperate refugee
deserves to flee for his life
or the starving child
deserves to go hungry.

Yet, I know them by heart.

As the mother
with hungry children
gives them what little
there is, and her portion, too.

As the one
without a home
seeks companionship,
respite and a way home.

I, with a home,
a kind word, a drink of water,
to offer in shelter
to the one who needs sanctuary.

I, with life’s bread,
to offer in sustenance
to the one who is hungry
and the one who is going without.

This is my nature, too.
Doing human.
together.

Dear Christine, Dear Brett

Dear Christine Blasey Ford,

I believe you.

For the same reason Bible scholars offer to believe the first disciples, witnesses to the resurrection of Christ. Though they could not produce physical evidence other than their first-person testimony (which varied from evangelist to evangelist) and could not provide tangible proof for investigating authorities. No, they are to be believed because no one would lie about something that cost them so much. Nearly all of them died brutal deaths for the testimony they refused to recant. “We have seen the Lord; He is risen.” (See John 20:18, Matthew 28:6)

The testimony you have given has cost you dearly. May it bring you closure and peace.

***

Dear Brett Kavanaugh,

I am sorry.

Our young lives should not direct the course of our whole lives. When we do things we may regret later, encumbered by still-developing minds, bodies and souls, should we have to answer for these?  I’m not sure. But I know this: denying them is deadly. Womankind is now being encouraged to be vulnerable, to share, to face our fears, and we are. (Thank you, Brene Brown.) This is bringing us health and strength and stature. But mankind is trailing behind. Vulnerability, honesty, and sharing are something men — especially men in powerful positions — still avoid if they want to continue their pursuit of wealth, power and worldly success.

I wish, for your sake, that you didn’t have to wipe this incident from your memory. That you didn’t have to find reasons why political foes would put someone up to saying this about you. That you didn’t need to save face by glossing over facts and inventing new truths. I wish you could look back on your life, face up to all that’s happened and live out of its lessons. For we are all meant to. I wish, for your sake, there was a Brene Brown for men.

Then, you could look at Christine Blasey Ford and apologize for the hurt you caused, the harm you may not have been aware of, and then you could share how you have allowed the incidents of your life to shape you. In-form you. Make you a wiser you. And we could believe you and hope that you would bring this maturity of self and clarity of character to our Supreme Court.

I wish our world was a better place for men, as it is fast becoming a better place for women. Unfortunately, in our current circumstance, now one question remains. If a sexual harassment indictment is brought against a Supreme Court Justice, can he (or she) be removed from a lifetime appointment?

Sincerely,

A Concerned Citizen

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