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A curious thing happened to Joseph on the way to divorce

So much.
So much casting shame and guilt.
So much accusing of conspiracy and falsehood.
So much indicting for behaviors unbecoming and deeds unwelcome.
So much righteous indignation.
So much misunderstanding.

And yet…

cimg1472This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. (Matthew 1: 18-19)

Joseph, the faithful, had every right to cast out his young bride-to-be, who apparently, was not. And yet… he grew curious about how this came to be. He questioned how it may have come about. He deliberated on the action he was about to take. He wondered if there was more to this story than he yet knew. And then,

an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:20-22)

Who am I falsely accusing?
What conclusion am I jumping to?
Where have I misread, mistrusted, and misunderstood?

How, in my righteousness, which I have called faithfulness
have I hurried to divorce – even quietly –
rather than consideration, consolation, provision?

Where, in my failure to be curious,
have I rushed to the … and now!
rather than abiding in the … and yet?

Seek first to understand, and then to be understood.

Which do you believe?

“There’s probably no God so stop worrying and enjoy life”

…read the back of the service van
weaving through the crowds gathered
to marvel at St. Stephen’s Cathedral,
where all are welcome to enter
free of charge.

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When ‘probably not’
opens the door to ‘possibly is’
the great bolt of worry
slides aside to unlock a
Joy greater than
Life itself.

What if we entered in?

Will there be turf or grass in heaven?

Now THAT’s the testimony of a kid who loves soccer! No question in her mind that the game awaits, just what the field conditions will be like.

And that’s something to think about. Seems that “what awaits” has been a serving on my plate these last few weeks.  A larger portion than usual. So, let’s see…

Grass has a lot going for it. Natural. Lush. Plentiful. Bends. Gives. Nestles. But it does need mowing and tending. If you wear it down too far, it doesn’t come back. (evidence: goal mouth of every park field) It tears out in big clumps that may disrupt the roll of the ball. The divots may trip you and turn your ankle. And the puddles, oh, the slosh and mud after a sopping rain. So unpredictable, it’s playability.

So, perhaps the turf. Always lush. No mowing or tending. It springs back and cushions landings. Always a true roll and never a divot. And never puddles, so no need to delay or reschedule the game. Turf is always available. But wait. It gets hot. Very, very hot. So hot that you can see the heat rising from the surface and feel it searing through the bottom of your cleats. And true, we don’t cancel for rain or storms, but that means we have to play in driving rain and sleet and storms. And that perfect roll? It may be responsible for more ankle sprains and knee injuries in the grabbing of cleats in cuts and turns and pivots.

So, turf or grass in heaven? Turf is starting to sound more like that other place. Sure, earthly grass has its downside, but heavenly grass wouldn’t, right? Heavenly grass would be eternal. It wouldn’t need mowing. It wouldn’t dig up or wear out. It wouldn’t need rain or fertilizer. All the nourishment it needs would be provided. No charge. No cost. No sweat.

And let’s face it, nothing in heaven is artificial. Turf is synthetic. Heaven is for real. And it stays that way.

My problem is I keep trying to transplant my view of heaven, and all I have to go on is the experience I have on earth. We’re promised a new heaven and a new earth. No pain. No sorrow. No tears. No mourning. Everywhere, a new game where truly, truly I tell you, everyone wins.

If I can’t figure out how we can have winners without losers then I guess I haven’t got the whole picture yet. There’s so much left to ponder and so much left to learn. But I got this one:

There will be grass in heaven. And what a game we will play.

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