A few weeks ago two of my friends got married. Marriages in general are joyous and celebrated occasions, but this one even more so. They had been married in every sense of the word, except legally, for years, standing by each other through raising a child (now a teenager), job changes, house remodeling, cancer—you name it—the usual challenges (and pleasures and comforts) of a married couple. But they did so without legal rights and protections.
I recently watched the French film L’Equipier. It tells the story of a young man who, in 1963, arrives on the small island of Ouessant, off the coast of Brittany, a province in western France. He is newly hired by the Maritime Commission to work on a lighthouse offshore. It is staffed in 24/7 rotation by a small team of light keepers, all locals.
We share a birthday, Bernadette Soubirous and I. She was born in the year of the Great Disappointment, 1844, in Lourdes, France. Hardly superstitious, but terribly romantic, this means much to me. I have no expectation that anything will come of visiting the sacred place where aquero (“that”), the small young lady, the Immaculate Conception, visited Bernadette. But with my husband Peter and his Roman Catholic parents, I make the pilgrimage.
Parents Todd and Tracy (not their real names) reflect on grace and God's greatest commandment through relationship with their child.
Three words. We heard just three words, and our world changed forever.
It’s hard to put into words the emotions and feelings that happen when life suddenly spirals out of control. One moment our life was moving along relatively smoothly, and then with just three words, life became a road filled with blind corners, potholes, washouts and dead-ends.
the sunrise over the dairy,
like a slice of almond cherry pie,
all for you.
These words appear in my mind as I run round a bend in the river valley. It’s 6:00 a.m. and a flock of swallows skims around in the morning light. Over them the vast sky opens up as my path cuts through fields of corn. I am caught up in an overwhelming sense of God’s embrace. Beloved, I know you would love a slice of almond cherry pie, but here’s this.
Continuing reflections on the spirituality of parenting....
It’s 3 AM, and we’re having another conversation about who should rock the baby, based on who is likely to get more sleep this night.
At least, that’s what I think we’re talking about. We might actually be talking about the theological implications of molinism or how to assemble a nuclear collider for all that I can follow the conversation.
This morning we found a snake by the back door. Couldn’t be sure, from our timid distance, whether rattler or bull snake. If rattler, we’d grab hoe and chop. If it were in the wild, we’d leave it be, but this close to house, close to tender bare feet and curious dogs, it’s too dangerous. If a bull snake, we’d welcome it to make its home in the crawl space under the house. They’re harmless, handy actually, for eating rodents.
Since we couldn’t tell, we let it slither away.