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Showing posts from 2019

The Cross and the Flames

We barely enter into this Holy Week before we are met with images of Notre Dame Cathedral ablaze. And only a few weeks ago, three historically black churches in St. Landry Parish, Louisiana also went up in flames. Thankfully no one was killed and injuries were minimal.

While all these incidents are terrible-- the loss of irreplaceable history, memories tied to a pew, an altar, a song, a life-altering experience of God's grace and mercy -- they are by no means a tragedy. Tragedies must end with the humiliation of the hero. Yet consider the responses: Louisiana declares, "they did not burn down our spirit". Paris sings hymns over the din of sirens. Those aren't tones of humiliation, they are echoes of resurrection.
Some have come to believe Christianity cannot function without a building. Never mind Christ's own temple was torn down at the end of this Holy Week. Never mind the early Jewish believers met in homes after being kicked out of their own temple. The trut…

What Do You See?

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It was a very eerie moment. The man at our table had been quiet for most of his meal. Suddenly he held up his fork and dangled his half-eaten steak. “What do you see?” he asked us.
My father’s question came several years into his Alzheimer’s journey. Confusion was his constant companion on our vacation. It would show up unannounced, possessing him, willing him to say and do things completely out of character for a retired United Methodist minister of 40 years, and devoted husband of half a century. So, for him to hold out his food and ask, “What do you see?” was, well, unexpectedly expected.
Mom mercifully broke the awkward silence. She tried reassuring him that he was holding the steak he had ordered. She had assumed (not without reason) her husband was having trouble remembering what he had done only a few minutes ago. I tried next to reassure him it was cooked correctly. My assumption (also not without reason) was my father might be living in an alternate reality where he was eati…