wait: lent in pictures day 10

gate c10 at the detroit airport

wait

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 Morning in the airport terminal.

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This post is part of a Lent Photo-a-Day series, connected to Rethink Church. The rest are here.

place: lent in pictures day 9

slicing citrus

place

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I’ve been searching for an image that captures “place,” that sums up the ground I inhabit. But in the end, it’s just the ordinary moments that make up a place. There’s no single symbol that represents my home or my workspace. And today I happened to be making up a salad of pomelos and cara caras and almonds, so that was, for that moment, my place.

This pile of citrus rinds reminds me of something Michael Pollan said when we heard him speak in Kalamazoo: “When chopping onions, just chop onions.” It’s a reminder to us incorrigible multi-taskers to STOP. MULTI-TASKING. Just one thing! Don’t chop the onions while heating the oil while thawing the broth while washing last meal’s dishes. Just chop onions.

Be here. Do what you are doing. Yes, there are a thousand other tasks. But really, they can wait.

Chopping onions—and only chopping onions—means that those onions will be much better than they would be if only a sixth of your attention was given to them. Presence in a place, attention to a task, means richer results.

So just chop onions.

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This post is part of a Lent Photo-a-Day series, connected to Rethink Church. The rest are here. The salad was two pomelos and two cara cara oranges, peeled and sliced into segments, tossed with chopped and roasted almonds, and dressed with olive oil and Fustini’s raspberry balsamic vinegar.

remember: lent in pictures day 8

melting snow on the driveway

remember

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Remember when the driveway was covered in snow? Remember when it won’t be anymore?

Remember that light is stronger than darkness? And now I’m talking not sunshine and melting snow, though that will be a marvelous day, as our neighbor and I called to each other from across the street. Now I’m talking justice, I’m talking vocation, I’m talking life purpose and God’s kingdom.

I got to hear two great people speak tonight: Kara Powell and John Cotton Richmond. Kara Powell is shining the light into the lives of emerging adults, into churches who love the Lord and want young people to know him, too. John Cotton Richmond is shining the light into the lives of modern-day slaves, into businesses and courtrooms and living rooms, and freeing slaves from the bondage of sex and labor trafficking.

If anyone has reason to be discouraged, these two do. If anyone has reason to think the darkness is immeasurable and immutable, they do.

And yet they have so much hope. Because they know beyond a doubt that light is stronger than darkness.

Lord, keep up their spirits. Do not let them fall prey to discouragement. I pray for them what I pray for us and for so many in the world:

Although we are weeping, Lord, help us keep sowing
The seeds of Your Kingdom for the day You will reap them.
Your sheaves we will carry; Lord, please do not tarry!
All those who sow weeping will go out with songs of joy!

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This post is part of a Lent Photo-a-Day series, connected to Rethink Church. The rest are here. The song is the stunning arrangement of Psalm 126 on the Bifrost Arts album.

path: lent in pictures day 7

morning devotions

path

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Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

Oh, how I need that light right now. Guide my steps, Lord. I sit in the morning, my journal open before me, ready to trace the path for the day, the week, the next years. Later, in looking back, I will surely be able to do that tracing. Right now, I’m walking by faith.

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This post is part of a Lent Photo-a-Day series, connected to Rethink Church. The rest are here.

covenant: lent in pictures day 6

shadows on the snow

covenant

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Not a rainbow, certainly, but still a kind of promise: a promise that neither water nor snow will ever again overcome the earth. Yes, the piles will grow and grow and grow. Yes, the mercury will hover right at zero. The snow won’t even wait till you finish shoveling to fall again.

And yet—not forever. The clouds are sparse more often than not and the sun casts intricate shadows across the sparkling yard. The birds have begun to return, to chirp outside the window while I work. I think they are like that dove, an olive branch clamped in her beak, promising life.

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This post is part of a Lent Photo-a-Day series, connected to Rethink Church. The rest are here.

 

celebrate: lent in pictures day 5

birthday brownie

celebrate

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We celebrated, belatedly, my sister’s birthday, because these things can happen when your sister moves to town. We also made the most delicious brownies and ice cream and watched Boyhood, which made all of us a little sappy and nostalgic. Is it weird to feel nostalgia for the future?

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This post is part of a Lent Photo-a-Day series, connected to Rethink Church. The rest are here.

joy: lent in pictures day 4

IMG_4633

joy

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Watercolor afternoon with my sister

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This post is part of a Lent Photo-a-Day series, connected to Rethink Church. The rest are here.

alone: lent in pictures day 3

sunrise on 25th st.

alone

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I am too alone in the world, yet not alone enough to make every hour holy.

I am alone; loneliness plagues me. But not alone enough. Distractions—devices, e-mails, meals, notifications, episodes, crumbs, dust bunnies—abound. I crowd out holiness from my hours, my days. Too uncomfortable to be alone. What if I am really left alone, rather than alone with you?

So I wake into the quiet, blue hour. As my eyes edjust, it is only you. Still I am restless, but for now, we are alone. The streets are still for a while yet. The snow has stopped falling; it is silent and unmoving in the yard, heaped on branches. The sun appears, but only because I myself have turned, have willed to see it, who has been there all along while my back has been turned. The sight of it breathes fire and I am the hot air balloon, suspended and climbing with joy.

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This post is part of a Lent Photo-a-Day series, connected to Rethink Church. The rest are here.

look: lent in pictures day 2

spider plant in a jar

look

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How will I see you today? What will you look like? Look, the trees are turning their own bodies into pillars of light. And you too? Have you turned into a pillar of light, transfigured here before us? Is this what you do for us, dazzle us with flashes of the world to come, if only we will look? After this I looked and behold! there in heaven a door stood open. See! I am making all things new. See! I am coming soon! Dare I look? My eyes may be burned by the flame of fire that is your gaze.

On a day like this one, snow-swaddled and gauzy grey, that gaze is softened, muted, buffered by pillowing snow. Oh, you are merciful. Your gaze would ruin us with its power and glory. Winter is a mercy.

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This post is part of a Lent Photo-a-Day series, connected to Rethink Church. The rest are here.

announce: lent in pictures day 1

the shepherds look for a baby

announce

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Writing and photography: two things that make me pay attention. Attentive I have not been. Distracted and scattered, yes.

So during the season of Lent, I’m joining Rethink Church for their photo-a-day project. Each day of Lent invites a new image, a new attending to God’s world, a new reflection on Christ’s work. Today’s prompt: announce.

The photo is of a print of Rob Carey’s painting “The Shepherds Look for a Baby,” which was a gift from my parents for our ordination. Like the shepherds, we hear the good news and announce it!

 

 

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