Thursday, April 9, 2020


I’m eating a lot of treats. Chocolates, jelly beans, assorted marshmallow fluffs. I know, big surprise, right? Welcome to Thursday. 

But I’m preparing spiritually for the WORLDWIDE FAST to kick Rona’s rump. #ronarumpkick #fullastfast #don’tfeedtheworld

I’ve been surprised and delighted to see so many people wanting to participate, especially when we often hear people declare that they abhor, or at the very least, dismiss, “organized” religion.

There are a lot of reasons given. “I feel closer to God in nature.” “I talk to Jesus all the time, I don’t need a building to do it in.” “My ‘church’ is holding my baby, swinging on my front porch.”

And I get it. All of these things are true. We can absolutely feel close to God in the midst of His creations. We can talk to Jesus any time we want, and there’s hardly anything more delightful than a beautiful evening spent at home sucking in the sweet smell of babies and cut grass. 

But to suggest that organizing something diminishes or corrupts, is not only disingenuous but intellectually lazy.

Take, for instance, education. Organized. From recognizing colors and shapes to scientific theories and algebra—organized. Line upon line and building upon facts, you learned and earned that degree that was organized according to your field of focus. 

Want me to perform your brain surgery? No? I guess I don’t blame you. My knowledge and skill set aren’t very organized. We assume and even base our life on the expectation that a neurosurgeon learns all that is required to remove a tumor based on organization. Someone had to figure out what the brain does, how it’s organized, and precisely how it can be effectively dissected to remedy the worst case scenarios.

The car you drive? Organized. Unless it’s a Pinto. The computer you’re reading this on? Organized. Circuits that all have a specific place to go and a precise way to get there to show us the very best cat videos the world has to offer.

Your career? Organized. Money and it’s value? Organized. Government? Organized (with a condescending smirk). Music? Casserole? The Avengers? Organized. My fridge and shoe collection and mind? Incredibly disorganized, but that’s not my point.

My point is this—although there is tremendous value in the individual and the lone, there is even more to be said for bringing together the many, the complimentary, the like minded and the diverse. To say that corruption only belongs to the organized is nonsense. Corruption happens on every level. Maybe even more so when we’re left to our own thoughts, choices and a bag of Doritos at 1:00 a.m. with nobody around to save us from ourselves.

It’s also important to recognize what happens when somebody or something refuses to organize. Take YOU for instance. You are one of the most perfectly organized events in the world. Your cells split and multiplied at just the right time and in just the right way to allow your heart to beat, your eyes to see, your brain to think and your bum to stink. What happens in the instance that our cells go rogue? All hell breaks loose, that’s what. And speaking of hell, if you don’t think they are organized, well, you are up in the night. With a bag of Doritos. About to regret every decision you’ve ever made. 

But maybe we’re using the wrong term here. Maybe it’s not so much about organization as it’s about unity. Unified cells. Unified people. Unified purpose. 

Anyone who knows God, knows His house is a house of order. And that doesn’t mean there are vacuum tracks in the carpet, although I am sure there are, along with pink roses and lilacs in crystal vases and robin’s egg blue walls and…but I digress. No, I think it means one heart, one might, one mind, one faith.

One God.



And that’s why we can expect a miracle as we gather in His name, fast for one purpose and lend all of our hearts to this cause.


Monday, April 6, 2020


Well, the Ronas came and they done got us, you guys. Ruined our weddings, senior years and the mental applause we were sure to receive in our Easter Sunday dresses. 

When Rona first declared she was in charge, we didn't even lift our heads from our virtual shopping. Hawaii and Women's Conference and Rod Stewart in concert? Add to cart. We rolled our eyes at the jock straps and bras that were tied to people's faces and questioned the sanity of the people wearing water coolers as head gear. "Bat shiz crazy" (I still stand by that assessment) we called them as, speaking of such, we walked past the toilet paper aisle and figured we could go another couple of days with what we had. 

But now, just look at us. We prematurely carry our grass filled baskets through the house, gnawing on hardened marshmallow peeps and Chicks and Rabbits, wondering why we didn't have the foresight to not sign up for that weight loss app that is now charging us for every single notification and prompt we ignore, because LISTEN, NOOM, WE ARE JUST TRYING TO SURVIVE, OKAY?  FIRST A PANDEMIC AND THEN AN EARTHQUAKE AND ISOLATION AND NOW YOU WANT US TO EAT AIR AND GO TO THE GYM? WELL WE CAN'T, OKAY NOOM? NOBODY CAN. WE WOULD IF WE COULD, ACTUALLY THAT'S A LIE BECAUSE WE DIDN'T WHEN WE COULD, BUT YOU CAN'T PROVE IT, SO JUST BACK OFF! 

Plus that cinnamon roll ain't gonna eat itself, am I right? 

Just chalk up my chins to a casualty. Unintended consequences. This Rona has been a ruinous thief in the night and as my daughter ran into my arms in the parking garage of the airport, I couldn't help but consider the collateral damage we're now experiencing. More has been stolen than just our simple joys and expected homecomings—also our sense of purpose and control.

Julia's 18 month mission was cut short by 14 months. She went from teaching people about Jesus Christ and writing us stories about the *misguided (see *meaner than hell) folk who threw coffee on her car every day, to a midnight phone call telling us she was coming home tomorrow. 

I hardly slept that night. 

I worried about everything from her sense of worth to my own part in this play. Although it was true that her asthma put her in a high risk category, it was also true that for months, she'd had the lazy trained out of her until productivity was her new normal.  

Now, overnight, she was told to stay in her apartment, do nothing, go nowhere and think of only herself and her companion while nobody accepted the invitation to be taught or contacted. Indefinitely. That's kind of like telling a nursing mother to stop producing milk and forget her baby for a few weeks or maybe months. Despair is sure to follow. 

"Don't lament the experience," they said. "Celebrate the homecoming and act like nothing was lost!" "Just focus on all of the good that's coming from this time in the world," they suggested. 

Wonderful advice. But really hard to follow when you hold the other end of the experience stick.  This side feels incomplete and disappointing and fills the palm with slivers as we pretend to only notice the smooth wood. 

The other night, Julia said through tears, "I know you're disappointed in me. Go ahead. You can tell me. You wanted me to stay on my mission and you're disappointed. So am I."

For a moment I considered the lie. But then I thought better and I told the truth. Yes, we are disappointed. But not in our daughter. Not. In. Our. Daughter. This was not all she was meant to have or experience and we are sad. Pretending it doesn't exist is like telling that nursing mother she has nothing more to offer her child when everything in her says otherwise. 

But grieving is not the same as wallowing. And sitting in the sadness for longer than is necessary negates all that is ahead. Julia is meant to have and experience more than she did, and that is what the rest of her days are for. The weeping ends and she'll rise again.

We're not the only ones looking at a weird, surreal wreck right now. And this isn't the hardest thing that has or will happen to any of us. We are all together in this misery, and it turns out the old cliche is true—Misery loves company. It also loves Cadburys and pandemic memes and Dr. Pepper and sweats. And it loves prayers, fasting, sunshine and hope. 

But mostly, misery loves Christ. Because if ever there was somebody who knows what it feels like to be isolated, disappointed and sad, it is Him. And yet, He didn't wallow for any longer than was necessary to redeem us from the weight of our burdens. 

He had the rest of His days to live, so He rose again. 

And we will, too.