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Mar 8 18

Who am I?

by davesandel

Who am I?

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Jesus said, “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.”

– From Luke 11

Who ever said Jesus was a meek and mild peace-maker? Over and over he points out dire consequences if his listeners choose not to follow him. Jesus knows exactly who he is and he wants us to accept what he says about that. He calls God Abba, and he knows God is OUR father too. We belong together.

Who am I? I am not just my thoughts, not just my feelings, not just what I do. I am not only my strengths and not only my weaknesses. These are all gifts from my Maker that let me do my life. They are NOT who I am. Jesus knew who he was; will following his ways help me know who I am?

A pre-requisite to knowing myself is to know God. What did Jesus do to know his Father? On Sunday, our teacher Greg saw four ways for us to follow Jesus into intimacy with our Father:

First, I can “know my identity in Christ.” In many languages, which sometimes involve words, God has plenty to say about who we are, and I can listen like Jesus listened. Faith follows listening and trust follows faith.

Second, I can be obedient. Obedience follows trust. The rule-maker loves me, this I know, and so it’s not just respectful but easy to obey him. I can “run in the path of his commands, for he has set my heart free” (Psalm 119:32). Obedience builds and demonstrates relationship. Jesus “only did what he saw his Father doing” (John 5:29 and 8:28).

Third, I can have faith in forgiveness. I can talk to God and share everything. He forgives what I think, what I feel, what I do, but much more importantly, in spite of every reason not to do so, God forgives ME. God has faith in me and trusts me.

Fourth, I can engage with God emotionally. When I feel loved beyond all failures and success, I weep with joy and pour out my own love. I am the sinful son returned to my prodigal father’s house, rejoicing, celebrating, so in love with him.

This gets at a transformative answer to “Who am I?” When God forgives what I do, I am relieved. But when God goes further and forgives ME, my life is renewed and redeemed at the very deepest level. Even if it’s only for a moment, I join God in what Thomas Merton called “la pointe vierge,” the “virgin point” where God abides in me always.

Then I know what God has always known I am: his always-and-forever-loved son.

 Lord, when words take flight and all I have are these tears of joy, I know who I am. In the culture of your abiding love, I am yours.

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Mar 7 18

Powers that be

by davesandel

Powers that be

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Moses said to the people, “What great nation has statutes and decrees that are as just as this whole law which I am setting before you today?” … And Jesus said, “Do not think I have come to abolish the law. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.”

– From Deuteronomy 4 and Matthew 5

How old were you when you first asked, in one way or another, “Why is there evil in the world?”

Once upon a time, I think it was a spring day in the sixth grade after lunch on the Chester East Lincoln school playground, my friend held another classmate’s arms and I hit him with my fist, right on the jaw. Then I walked away. That classmate died recently, and in all these years I never took the courage to go to him and apologize, although I thought about him often. Obviously, I still do.

Sin and Death win when I accuse others but refuse to acknowledge my own guilt. Paul prefigures Freud’s theory of projection in Romans 2:1: “When you pass judgment on another, you condemn yourself because you, the judge, practice the very same things.” I am neither angel nor demon, and neither is the one I hit on the jaw. Threads of goodness run through us all, as do threads of evil. God’s grace sorts out these threads, but I cannot.

I’m sure my classmate did something to offend me before I hit him. So what does that prove? It proves nothing because I allowed the Law to hang on tight to that foothold of offense. My adolescent self-righteousness applied the law only to him.

We don’t grow out of this adolescence; it just gets worse unless we learn to see others’ points of view, unless we try on their shoes and walk a mile, unless we open our doors to those so much different from us they seem evil.

Now Jesus comes to fulfill the law, and he shows me how to bless those who curse me, how to turn my cheek and love my enemy. All of us are fearfully and wonderfully made. Everyone is the same kind of different as me. We all fall short of God’s glory.

Who will rescue me from this inglorious body of death? In this context the Law, so wonderful in its inception, becomes “a bondservant of the Powers. Sin and Death, along with their captive the Law are for Paul the sum of all evil” (Fleming Rutledge, Crucifixion, pp. 35-36).

There are various ways to say “devil.” Like … “Powers.” Rutledge’s words are less medieval but just as menacing when she describes “the existence of the unique, semi-autonomous agency whose status as the Enemy of God means that it operates from a sphere that lies outside of and beyond human control.”

The war in heaven involves us, but it is beyond our control. We can’t find the right questions about evil. It would be better if I stop asking God questions about evil and begin thinking, “What questions does God want to ask me?”

Of course, when God speaks it is scary. Job quaked in his boots as God said, “Gird up your loins like a man; I will question you, and you will answer me.

But the fear of the Lord is beginning of all wisdom, right? Rutledge nails it when she says, “The new understanding imparted by the Bible comes from a source lying beyond our ability to frame questions” (p. 20). Better to be still, ask God to know the offensive ways in me, and let Jesus show me the “unforced rhythms of grace” (Message, Matthew 11).

 Father, in Job’s misery of unknowing you rescued him, but not by answering his questions. And Job said, “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. I repent in dust and ashes.” In this dust, in these ashes, I turn toward you and sit in silence until you choose to speak.

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Mar 6 18

Complete reversal

by davesandel

Complete reversal


Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Your ways, O Lord, make known to me; teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my savior.

– From Psalm 25

In her landmark book The Crucifixion, Fleming Rutledge says, “If there is one thing certain about the children of Israel, it is that they did not deserve their election” (p. 11). God chose them; they did not choose God. God loved them even when they rejected God.

They? Them? What about us? God chose us, and God loves us, and we are a far cry from deserving it. If any fingers are pointed at me, they should be the accusing kind. But instead Jesus puts his hand on my head and I put my arms around his legs, and we sit together at the well.

Being loved has the amazing effect of making me loving. In Rev. Moon’s Unification Church forty years ago I wondered at the Japanese sisters’ tears when we talked about God. I wanted to cry too, but I could only watch. I wanted to love like that. Being with those girls in our worship epiphanized the rest of my life. God rested on me in that moment and it changed everything.

So now I read Psalms in the morning, sunny or not, busy or not, anxious or not. Gradually I experience more of the communal aspect of this prayer, because loving God also means loving each other. In Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s underground seminary, thirty people lived together and prayed together. They prayed the Psalms:

The Psalter is the prayer book of Jesus Christ in the truest sense of the word. He prayed the Psalter and now it has become his prayer for all time. The Psalter is the vicarious prayer of Christ for his church. And the new humanity of Christ, the Body of Christ on earth, continues to pray his prayer to the end of time. Even if a verse is not one’s own prayer, it is nevertheless the prayer of another member of the fellowship; it is quite certainly the prayer of the true Man Jesus Christ and his Body on earth. (Life Together, p. 46-47)

The community is vertical as well as horizontal. I learn to love others and love God. God’s love for me imbues me with value, but still I am not in charge. God is the subject and I am the object, even though I easily forget that obvious truth in my everyday life.

In reading the Psalms as part of the Body of Christ and remembering that Jesus Christ is reading them through me, I can expect what Bonhoeffer calls “a complete reversal” in my point of view and the way I live:

It is not that God is spectator and sharer of our present life, howsoever important that is; but rather that we are the reverent listeners and participants in God’s action in the sacred story, the history of the Christ on earth. The fact that Jesus Christ died is more important than the fact I shall die. What we call our life, our troubles, our guilt, is by no means all of reality. Only in the Holy Scriptures do we learn to know our own history. (p. 53-54)

The crucifixion and all of the Bible is about God, not us. We ask better questions, and get better answers, when we ground our own lives in God’s, and our own sufferings in God’s. And reading the Psalms opens a wide-open highway into this adoration and growth.

Teach me your ways, O God. Lord, let me walk in your truth. Lead me in the way everlasting. I lie down and sleep, O Lord, for you alone make me dwell in safety. Let me dwell in your house forever.

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Mar 5 18

Panting for God’s presence

by davesandel

Panting for God’s presence

Monday, March 5, 2018

The valiant Syrian commander Naaman contracted leprosy. He came to Elisha’s house and the prophet sent him the message: “Go and wash seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will heal and you will be clean.”

– From 2 Kings 5

Most creation myths begin with conflict and crisis among the gods. But in Genesis the story changes, and as John 1 describes, we see the Father, the “Logos” and the Spirit living together in peace. You might even say they dance and laugh together in creative joy. Can it be true that we are too are invited to the dance?

Now think of how Naaman must have seen his gods. They were not necessarily his friends. They gave him victories, yes, but they also gave him leprosy. What would you have done? He looked around for a more friendly ally in the sky.

And I catch my breath when I think of Elisha, sitting with his servant, alone in his house praying. Elisha was not surprised by Naaman’s arrival; he had invited him to come. But how did he know what to tell this intimidating soldier?

Some monastic communities “pray the Psalms” together, several times a day, seven days a week. Their 24×7 week is 168 hours, just like mine, but they “work around their prayer rather than pray around their work.” Trappist communities like Gethsemani in Kentucky, Mepkin in South Carolina and New Melleray in Iowa use Benedict’s sixth century prayer book, and they sing through all 150 psalms every two weeks.

In Life Together, Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s primer on community, he said of the Psalter, “God has prepared for Himself one great song of praise throughout eternity.” Elisha joined in this prayer, and I imagine him too praying the words of God several times a day, seven days a week.

Naaman longed to be clean. Elisha longed for God. God loved them both. “As the deer pants for running water, so my soul pants for you, O God.” Naaman found his way to obedience and humility, and his flesh followed along. He was made clean.

For Naaman this was a red-letter day; for Elisha it was a day like every other day in his portion of time, as he joined with God in the “one great song of praise for eternity.”

Like a bird from prison bars has flown, I’ll fly away. Lord, must I wait for death to find you and praise you and be with you? What can I do today? Can I sit with you and sing and pray your prayers today?

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Mar 4 18

We’re in this together

by davesandel

We’re in this together

Third Sunday of Lent, March 4, 2018

Brothers and sisters, Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

– From 1 Corinthians 1

Lutheran pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer was hung on a gallows by the Nazis in 1945, just days before armistice. That Jesus died before him, hung on a tree, comforted this preacher of Christ. In all the most important ways, this intellectual and moral giant removed power from himself and acknowledged it in Jesus Christ. He sorts out implications for the individual in his most famous book, The Cost for Discipleship.

What of Christians in relationship? How then shall we live? How can we pour ourselves out to God as a gift offering? Bonhoeffer’s less-well-known book Life Together claims radical difference for Christian community.

He wrote this book under pressure, waiting for the Nazis to come and close his underground seminary. Soon after Bonhoeffer tried to leave Germany, returning for a few months to Union Theological Seminary in New York. But he could not stay away from his homeland. He sailed home and was eventually arrested, imprisoned for two years, and finally executed.

To my mind, Dietrich Bonhoeffer has earned the right to be heard.

What does he say about relationship and community? “Through Christ alone do we have access to one another, joy in one another, and fellowship with one another.” That means in spiritual community there “is never any ‘immediate’ relationship with one another.”

Instead Christ will always be our mediator. I know and love you through Christ, not directly. You know and love me through Christ, not directly. This changes everything, because both stronger and weaker personalities co-exist without control. Conflicts change in the presence of Christ.

This sounds too good to be true. Difficult, of course, but still true. Psychologists call this kind of relationship “triangling.” Triangles are made up of a weaker person, a stronger person, and one who tries to resolve conflict between them. This can be helpful in human community, but in spiritual community Bonhoeffer says we don’t have the confusion of a human mediator playing God. God does the work himself.

“Life together” seeks to discover ways of uncovering this freedom in Christ. Then our relationships and communities are no longer pious or emotional safe-houses, but they become gifts of a good God to his children, his love for us always right smack in the middle of all we do together: our worship, our solitude, our ministry and confession to one another, and our healing.

We are put together with our parents, Lord, and then with our friends, and most of all, first of all, with you. Jesus, you bring us TOGETHER at your table. No wonder we call it the Lord’s Supper. You are there, and you provide for us all that we need, and we are so grateful. Teach us again, every day, Lord, to pray.

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Mar 3 18

Create in me a clean heart

by davesandel

Create in me a clean heart

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Who is there like you, the God who removes guilt and pardons sin, treading underfoot our guilt? You will cast into the depth of the sea all our sins.

– From Micah 7

My friend was afraid and left home in the middle of a winter afternoon with little money and no hope. She was reported missing, and police found her at a bus station 90 miles from home with a bus ticket to go another 90 miles away from home.

Because she seemed uncertain and unreasonable, they took her to the hospital for evaluation. As far as I know, she’s still there. She is holding some secrets close to her heart. She won’t tell anyone. Her secrets are tearing her apart.

What is it that makes us shut ourselves in like that? Confession is so easy once I start, and so impossible until I start. God’s love is just an idea until I show my dark side, until I “confess the guilt of my sin.”

How far is it from the east to the west? An infinite distance? “So far has he put our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103). Queen Elizabeth II was crowned at an early age with many jewels, “he crowns you with you kindness and compassion” (Psalm 103 again!) Even with a bathysphere able to explore the Mariana Trench, I will find no trace of my sin. Cast into the depth of the sea.

But in between the evening and the morning comes confession. One late night many years ago at Lincoln Christian College I shared a few minutes with the young guys at Titus Hall. We talked about how to live before “the day when God shall judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus” (Romans 2:16). Not long after that I shared my most closely kept secret sin, first with a friend, then with my sons.

Perhaps I remember that time because this kind of nakedness in spite of shame is so rare outside of Eden. But without it I pretend, become defensive, and wither inside. I feel more and more alone. And it’s not the same to talk only to God. In Life Together Dietrich Bonhoeffer asks, “Have we rather been confessing our sins to ourselves and also granting ourselves absolution?”

We can refuse to bear the cross of our sin and “shrink from this public death.” But when finally I open my mouth and speak, Bonhoeffer assures us, “you will never be alone again, anywhere.” My helpless cycles of self-indulgence and self-loathing are replaced by divine firmness and divine love, as God and my friend pray for me.

Therefore the joy that comes in the morning. How free can I be in the wake of this forgiveness? My feelings may follow slowly after, like a little boy trailing after his father in the woods, but oh, yes, I am free indeed.

Oh, Lord, don’t let the rain come down. My roof’s got a hole in it and I might drown. But the sun is shining now, Lord, and it’s time to get up there with you and find the hole and fix it. You are right here while I decide about that, Jesus. Waiting for me to say the word. It is so good to dwell together in unity.

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Mar 2 18

Trampling the grapes of wrath

by davesandel

Trampling the grapes of wrath

Friday, March 2, 2018

Joseph’s brothers said, “Here comes that master dreamer! Come on, let us kill him, and we could say a wild beast devoured him.” But Reuben tried to save him from their hands, saying “We must not take his life.”

– From Genesis 37

I want an older brother like that! And I do NOT want a family like Jacob’s where brothers and sisters are in such conflict they want to kill. Although I guess the family of humankind qualifies as one of those. And I am a member of that family after all.

In Jesus’s story of the vineyard (Matthew 21), a stark division between servants and tenants does result in death. There is no Reuben here, no mediator. After an initial rebuff the vineyard owner sends a bigger army to collect his rents, but the tenants arm themselves too. And there is war on earth. The servants and son are killed, and soon the tenants will be killed as well.

God lets us choose that path of selfishness, division and death. After the killing the landowner finds other tenants and offers them the same deal. He hopes they will choose another way. In the Joseph story, he is rescued from his near-death experience, makes himself at home in Egypt, and eventually provides another way for Jacob’s family.

God in heaven and Joseph on earth waste little energy on judgment and condemnation. Instead they spend their time looking for the next good thing. Theirs is not a history of grudges, revenge, bitterness and war but of perseverance, personal responsibility and hope. I think of Thomas Edison’s laboratory, where countless experiments failed before one succeeded. I think of Winston Churchill’s cry to his people, “Never give up!”

Richard Rohr asks, “What if God creates things that continue to create themselves? God turns everything to good by working together with all things” (Romans 8:28). I want to continue to create myself tomorrow morning, and watch everyone else do that too. New life abounds, new beginnings sprout up everywhere.

Looking at life this way keeps me more free from road rage, just as it keeps countries out of war. It keeps my skin in the game, even as it frees me from fear of failure. I can trust God’s eternal plan and not worry so much about my own.

If I am made to be shaped by you every day, Lord, then soften me and make me supple in your hands. There are so many of us in the world, and you are shaping us all. Keep me remembering that we are all in your hands, not just me and the folks like me. Every one of us gets to explore the lines in your palm, and notice how warm your fingers are.

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Mar 1 18

Perfect in infirmity

by davesandel

Perfect in infirmity

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord. He is like a tree planted beside the waters that stretches out its roots to the stream: it fears not the heat when it comes.

– From Jeremiah 17 (and Psalm 1)

My nurse friend says her kids get disgusted at the dinner table when she talks too clearly about things bloody and bruised. I don’t much like it when medical abbreviations take up too much of the conversation. But I’m getting older! What am I to do? My body is wearing out. There are things to talk about, right?

My legs love to be stretched, and my arms, and my back, my muscles pulled tight just enough so they feel loved. They sigh, they moan, they stretch out toward the stream. And my mind, can I stretch it too? How do I learn to think and speak of the gift of diminishment?

James Martin, serious Jesuit priest, former editor of America magazine, wrote a book about laughter: Between Heaven and Mirth. I’m more of a wry-smile guy, but James is a laugh-out-loud guy. In his book he tells lots of jokes on his church and on himself. What I’m discovering is that as I get older, I had better get better at laughing out loud, at myself at least.

In a more serious moment Martin shared part of Cardinal Avery Dulles’ last speech, read by a friend because Avery’s body had grown so weak he couldn’t talk. I thought of Urbana native Roger Ebert in the years before his death, face disfigured by surgery and vocal cords severed, using a clever talking machine during his Overlooked Film Festival. Famous directors and actors still flew across the world to Champaign just to talk with him on stage. His words were wiser than ever. You couldn’t see his smile, but you could feel it.

Father Dulles wrote, “Suffering and diminishment are not the greatest of evils, but are normal ingredients in life, especially in old age. They are to be expected as elements of a full human existence.”

I am surprised and excited by the words he chooses. Normal … Expected … Full! These are sweet sounds, honey in the honeycomb. And this way of seeing things lines up with what Reinhold Neibuhr reminds us in his Serenity Prayer, that we can strive to be “reasonably happy in this life.” We must wait to be “supremely happy in the next.”

I’ve had some good doctors. One of my favorites is from Vietnam. We shared our spirituality, and he shared his secrets, sometimes showing what others might call weakness. For example, he wanted to keep eating salt, so he took blood pressure medicine.

My doctor laughed with me. But he was serious when he said he was treating me now for how I would live in the future. Twenty-five years later, I am so grateful for that.

When my friends in Florida have dinner together and talk too long about their ailments, they get up and walk the dog. Sometimes Margaret and I look each other in the eyes and laugh. There is nothing funnier than getting too serious about the wrong thing.

Because as Father Dulles continued, “I know well that his power can be made perfect in infirmity. ‘Blessed be the name of the Lord.’” It will never get any better than that.

If your eyes crinkle at the edges when I look forlorn, Lord, don’t forget to teach ME the art of laughter, too. I am as good as anyone at feeling sorry for myself. Thank you for the cool cloth and the warm hand, thank you for the comforting word, and thank you for reminding me of joy. O how I love your smile.

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Feb 28 18

My mind rests

by davesandel

My mind rests

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Let us destroy him by his own tongue.

– From Jeremiah 18

And Jeremiah responds, “Must good be repaid with evil that they should dig a pit to take my life?” Hearing God since he was a child, Jeremiah has shouted out strong condemnations of religious leaders in Judah. He knows God loves the people he is yelling at. But their response is not repentance. The reject Jeremiah, throw him into deep wells or toss him on top of the garbage. They cover their ears and hold their noses.

Jeremiah is afraid, angry and resentful, and he is really frustrated with God. “You have seduced me, and I was seduced.”

I find myself rolling around the words I wrote yesterday about gun violence and morality, about my guilt and my anger, and above all, what I wrote about injury. Some are injured in their bodies and their families; others like me have less skin in the game. Can we all be in the same room and take turns sharing? Or will we destroy each other with our own tongues?

There are victims and there are villains. In my life those roles reverse often. I tread lightly these days in political discussions that so quickly turn opinionated. Threads of truth wind through all these points of view.

Questions have great value, but “answers” are usually tentative, often uninformed, and always multi-faceted. No much is simple. And once I settle on an answer, I stop asking questions. That might be a good thing when it comes to scheduling trips. But should answers remove us from the adventure of searching for the patterns of life, death and eternal life?

In Augustine’s Confessions he says, first of all, “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.” But then he arrests me with these words: “We are talking about God. What wonder is it that you do not understand? If you do understand, then it is not God that you understand.”

“My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord” (Isaiah 55).

Can I settle anywhere while seeking the threads of truth? Rainer Maria Rilke, German poet without peer, wrote to his friend one day, “Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything.”

Rilke seems to be holding out hope that there will be some things someday that I can somewhat understand. I do know that my questions have changed over the years. Most answers remain elusive, but I so enjoy the flitting possibilities, like butterflies, that raise my eyes toward heaven.

God, your goodness endures forever. In my life, loving me, you are as gentle as a yellow butterfly on the breeze and as solid as a boulder in the stream. Always I can rest in you, whether or not I understand anything beyond the truth of that deep breath I take as I know you’re here. Aaaahhh!

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Feb 27 18

Mea culpa

by davesandel

Mea culpa

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Make justice your aim: redress the wronged, hear the orphan’s plea, defend the widow. Come now, let us set things right, says the Lord.

– From Isaiah 1

There is blood on our hands. But though your sins be like scarlet, they can become as white as snow.

There is blood on our hands. Though they be crimson red, they will become white as wool.

I have sinned through my own fault, in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done, and in what I have failed to do.

Through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault. And we strike our breasts in the sign of repentance.

O Lord, make haste to help us.

In these days, in these awful days a lady in Scotland said last week on TV, “When I hear of a shooting in America, my first thought is, ‘Another one!’ And my second thought is, ‘How ridiculous.’ And I have no right to those thoughts, but only to compassion. There are more children, more men, more women, dead and left for dead, grieving on for the rest of their lives.”

She owns a tea shop in Dunblane, thirty minutes north of Glasgow. Her daughter, who works with her, was at school in 1996 when sixteen of her classmates were shot and killed. Since then there have been no school shootings in the UK. In Scotland, in 2017 two people were killed by gunfire.

There are political reasons for this, not moral ones. Those of us in the USA are no less “moral” than the Scottish. In Japan less than 10 people die by gunfire each year. We are no less moral than the Japanese. In the USA, in 2017, 15,500 people were killed by guns.

Are these misleading statistics? I don’t know. Isaiah might say, “Well, there are more orphans and widows than ever, so help them.” Always, after the Fact comes the Consequence. And regardless of the reasons for the Fact, there is plenty to do afterward. Hence the Red Cross and EMTs, hence FEMA, hence First Responders and medics and soup kitchens and church basements. Whatever has happened, we are ready to help you now.

During Lent there is an emphasis on alms-giving. On Ash Wednesday, Father Freddy Gomez talked about Mother Teresa’s visit to his seminary. When she was asked about giving, she pointed out that for giving to be charity, it should hurt. Whether I give my time, my money, or my skin, it should hurt. That kind of hurt is the good kind, and I am stronger afterward, more turned toward God.

When my hurt breaks to weakness, when it deprives and despoils and desolates me, when my soul divides and I am driven to despair, when I want to either fight and die or give up and die, then I know the hurt of widow and of orphan.

God protects us from this, until he doesn’t. But he never leaves and does not forsake, and he will make our scarlet white as snow.

I don’t know how to pray sometimes, when there is so much pain, when I’m afraid. But I also know you are so close then, and I think that when you give to me, it hurts you. You give to me from your deepest places, risking everything. Make haste, O Lord.

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