the in-between time

WE HAD A CONVERSATION at church last week, one I am quite certain was not unique to this little study group. It centered on the reason Good Friday is called Good Friday. We came to a conclusion that satisfied us as we sat together in the sanctuary of our Presbyterian Church. But as I awoke on this Holy Saturday morning, the day between Good Friday and Easter, the question arose again.

The world is shrouded, liturgically speaking, in an incomprehensible darkness. Still my heart rejoices as I awaken. Spring is bursting forth! I want to jump out of this bed and run into this gorgeous day!

I don’t know how to reconcile the two. It’s as if the weight of the crucifixion is so heavy, the darkness so deep, the best my heart could manage was to give it a brief nod and move on. To go there—to truly go all the way there to the horror of those final hours, the savagery and the lost hope and the brokenness of the world—is simply too difficult. Too terrifying.

To go there and linger?

And so we fast forward from crucifixion to Easter. And instead of darkness, God gives us the prettiest Saturday of the year, right in the in-between.


AND THEN GOD sent me this message by Winn Collier, pastor at All Souls in Charlottesville, a theologian and writer who so often puts right into perspective the very question with which I am wrestling. In Broken on Good Friday, Winn writes about the need in this world for people who are willing to go to the dark places:

If we are to walk backwards in our world and if we are to reckon with the true horrors, then we need broken music. We need brave people who are not afraid to linger in the falling-apart places. I do not mean folks who by their disposition only see the bleak, for bleak is thank goodness not at all the whole of it. I do not mean artists who use the grotesque as their shtick or politicians who use our fear of calamity to bolster their power. I mean people who know the Beauty of the world but who also know there is a wasteland in the human soul. People who know Love but who also, deep in their marrow, know how many of our nights and days are overwhelmed by sadness.

Perhaps my question: 
Why is it so easy to skip over the darkness of this day?
is not the right one.

Perhaps God’s more important question for us is:
Are you willing to go there, even when I do not thrust you into it? 
Do you have the faith I will bring you back?





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30 Days of Joy

Let’s kick it off again, shall we?

What better way to launch this Season of Happy than with one of my great joys: Winn Collier’s #adventpicaday. Last year we looked for the light, and this search brought unexpected grace to every corner of my life. This year’s theme is the search for hope. Details here. (Give yourself the gift of Winn Collier’s blog. Smart. Lovely. Rich, in a most beautiful way.)

Do join in, won’t you? Even if you haven’t tried your hand at the photo app Instragram yet, this is the perfect way to wade in. You are so gonna love.

Day I: #adventpicaday #hope

Day 1 #hope #adventpicaday

Grace and peace to you this season of Advent.


Friday Love 7.6.12

a little roundup of things that inspired me this week

1. She is Serene
Beautiful photograph and quiet little story about the passing of time, by my dear friend Julie Williams Dixon.

2. Blood Will Tell, a poem “that insisted on being written” by John Blase, of thebeautifuldue

3. Vocation and Healing, by Winn Collier
In answer to the question Why did you become a pastor? Winn wrote this, and it struck straight at my heart:

I had a desire I couldn’t shake accompanied by a fear I’d screw up and be a fool, two signals (especially when they arrive holding hands) that you’re on to something important. I took the step in front of me, and I kept stepping.

4. Yogurt Marinated Chicken with Watermelon Salad
This is one dinner I fixed that my 19-year-old daughter said: Yum. I’ll have the leftovers for lunch tomorrow. (I’m calling that a big win.) Love the easy recipe, and I love Sarah Carey, whose videos for Martha Stewart Everyday Food make me think: Even I could make that. Do sign up for the daily emails.

5. This instagram joy from my good friend, Vickie Carter Quigg. Click, and smile.

6. And finally, this little treat coming up tonight. (Hope my fun neighbors will be around.) Happy post-holiday weekend to you!

don't love fireworks, do love sparklers

Day 25: Looking for Light—The Photos of Advent

In late November, a random click on a passing tweet lead to an unfamiliar blog and a beautiful thought: What if I spent Advent quite literally looking for the light? Would my heart lean forward, as Winn Collier suggested?

It has been a remarkable journey filled with wonderful and unexpected joy. I share it with you now, on this last day of Advent, in hopes you, too, will experience the wonder of simply noticing as we move toward the promise, together.

It is almost here, hidden just under the horizon there. My heart can feel it.

30 Days of Joy