A couple of tra-la-la’s

I’ve been singing one of the songs from “The Wizard of Oz”.

Said song is sung at Emerald City when Dorothy and her bedraggled companions are buffed and shined and curled and stuffed up in order to meet the Wizard.

I am not meeting the Wizard this weekend.  Rather, I am participating in the preparations for one of our children’s weddings.

Cooper’s youngest daughter Julia is marrying a most lovely young man.  They are mature and excited and organized and after a year plus of planning, the big weekend commences on Thursday.

In one room on Saturday night will be parents and grands and children and aunts and uncles and friends who make life whole.

Cooper will be in a tux.  This is no small thing.

And the rest of us?  We have been scurrying here and there finding THE right clothes to wear. To go with THE right clothes the right doo-dads had to be found and hair cuts commenced and nails done and all those other things that go into making a person feel good.  All of these most serious pursuits have been shoe-horned into the living of these days.  

We are off tomorrow night to do this celebrating.

It has been gift, this preparing.  All along it has been fun to imagine the joy of the day and the fun of being kin and kindreds who have come together to bless Julia and Clint.

A new thing is beginning.  Julia and Clint’s coming together is built upon years of loving and praying and hoping and it is high holy courage act, the joining of hearts for life.

And by golly, those who are there to lend prayers and laughter will be buffed and stuffed and shining with love.




dismantling, please

I have the great gift to be in relationship with engaged and vital young adults.

Last night I was able to spend time with three daughters of ours.  Each has passion for the world and the bettering of same.

The topic of patriarchy came up.  The air shifted.  Energy zinged.  

There have been waves of feminism that have washed the soul of our culture.  I am not sure what wave we are currently experiencing, but the rolling of the sea that is sexism is far from still.

Each of the young women could name experiences they had encountered that shook them up.  Bright and talented and powerful, they had all encountered times when they have been shushed and silenced and shamed for being bright and talented and powerful.

They were angry and so frustrated.  Patriarchy, the assumption that being male is the norm that ought guide and rule, is a real binder of possibility and soul.  They are plenty tired of it.

In preparing to teach a class on poverty, the effects of this gender lopsidedness is so very clear.  Women yet make nearly a quarter less than men.  Women yet are assaulted and frightened in their homes and worlds.  Women yet are often left to tend children sans financial and emotional support.  Women yet are achingly vulnerable.

What does it mean to us as people of faith?  What does it mean that those who gestate and birth are maligned and silenced?  What does it mean to be a people of the incarnation when woman Word Made Flesh is clearly suspect, else our laws and culture would assure safety of body and being?

I’m saddened and oh yes, enraged that although this work has been going on for so long, the putrid elephant that is patriarchy lives seemingly unremarked and unchallenged smack dab in the midst of community.

And, I am moved and blessed to have sisters and brothers who pay attention, who allow the anger, who ask the questions and challenge the assumptions.

Hope and power.  Let it be.




At church we are seeking to mark rites of passage.

The notion has been put forward that churches began to lose their resonance and power in people’s lives when they stepped back from being the place where rites of passage are celebrated:  birth, death, marriages, coming to man or womanhood, leaving home, divorce, etc.  When rites of passage are celebrated in community, the richness of generational wisdom is joined with the power of the Holy and life is named as God adventure and gift.  When significant life passages are not named and held in church community, richness is leached.

So with that in mind, I share with you a rite of passage just shared with my son:  buying his first suit.

There have been purchases made in the past, but this time, it was for real.  We’re talking a real go-out-in-the-world suit.

My son arrived at my house shining with the results of riding his bike.  He flipped on a t-shirt to complement the when-have-they-last-seen-a-washing-machine-shorts and we were off.

Our goal was a suggested outlet that specializes in men’s suits.  We went in.  The nice man began his measuring and spieling and pulled out some options.

And then Jameson put on the suit coat.

Before my eyes, he was transformed into a svelte man.  

Holy holy holy.

The shy sort of greeting he gave his reflection in the mirror was powerful.  It was a sort of “I’ve known you were there and it’s fun to meet you fully” sense of leaning into the future.

And for his mother?  Besides being swept by the beauty of my son, the lump in my throat as I remembered past outfittings for Ninja Turtle garb and soccer threads was real.

As stewards of entrusted souls, we are witnesses of transformation.  We are handed body and soul people and from day one we are witnesses to the small and large power of possibility and growth.

Day by day, passage by passage, we are invited to wonder.

So it was for me yesterday.  

Wonder shared is a powerful good.  

Thanks for listening.