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Today was my final Sunday as a Church of England Ministry Experience Schemes (CEMES) intern at my home church of St. Martha and St. Mary’s. The internship has included opportunities to preach, and I wanted to share my final sermon from today with you. I hope it resonates.

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When I was invited to preach, Jack suggested that I use any passage that expresses some lessons learned from my year as an intern at St. Martha and St. Mary’s. As I reflected back on an experience which has been formational on many levels, I chose to illustrate the year through the prayer that we just read, the song of Mary, the Magnificat.

I want to talk about this prayer, and about prayer itself, and about how my sense of prayer & place & voice has been cultivated as I have been among you in this internship.

Much can be said about this beloved prayer, the Magnificat. In structure, it reflects the composition of Jewish psalms. The first stanza displays a characteristic feature of Hebrew poetry—synonymous parallelism: “my soul” mirrors “my spirit”; “proclaiming the greatness” mirrors “finding gladness”; and “the Lord” mirrors “God my Savior.” The prayer is expressed with symmetry and grace.

The prayer also demonstrates contrasting parallelism: the proud are contrasted by those who fear God, the mighty by the humble, and the rich by the hungry.

There is scholarly debate regarding whether the historical Mary actually prayed this prayer, primarily because the words echo several ancient Jewish psalms, including the Song of Hannah, recorded in 1 Samuel 2:1–10. I find myself bristling at this debate, not because I cannot perceive how this prayer may be a simple reiteration of a more ancient Psalm. This is certainly plausible. I bristle because the Gospel writer portrays Mary as the author of this prayer and in so doing, makes her the theological interpreter of her contemporary events. The Mary who prays the Magnificat is the Mary who recognizes and occupies a place in redemption history. This Mary understands two things — place and voice — and these are the themes that have emerged from my year as an intern.

One element of this internship has been the structure of praying the Daily Office. For those of you who are unfamiliar, the Daily Office in the Anglican tradition consists of Morning and Evening Prayer and Compline before bedtime. The Magnificat is prayed every day during Evening Prayer. At the beginning of the internship, I had a dutiful approach to praying the office. I saw it as a sort of checklist item: “I prayed today.”

My checklist item, “I prayed today,” implies that prayer happened because I did it. As the year progressed, and I started to learn more from my experiences, from my supervisors, from my spiritual director, I began to see prayer as a process that was taking place with or without me. Prayer is constant: all of creation is crying out to God, all of the saints and angels are praying continually, the Holy Spirit is ceaselessly interceding for us. Eventually, I began to hear the hollowness of my checklist item — “I prayed today” — and my concept shifted to “Prayer is happening, and I took my place and I lent my voice.” Place and voice. The dual themes of my internship.

Mary speaks of place on the Magnificat when she says “He has looked with favour on his lowly servant… the Almighty has done great things for me.” During one of my first internship meetings with Jack, he made the observation that life has crushed me in various ways, and he said, “Now you’re in a place where that is no longer the case. This year may be about stepping out and moving forward from that past.” I stepped into my role as intern timidly. I wasn’t quite sure what was mine to do. It took me some month or two before I felt comfortable serving at the altar, before I introduced myself as an intern to guests or visitors. But Mary, whose life was rendered perplexing in unwelcome ways by her calling, immediately has the spiritual acumen to see that God has lifted up the lowly and has filled the hungry with good things. She understands that God is doing that: like prayer, which is happening, God is lifting up the lowly and filling the hungry, and she sees that she has been invited to take a place in that great work, to stand with the lowly and the hungry and the crushed and be part of the great things that God is doing. I learned from her prayer that taking my place, naming my vocation, is likewise a mature and gracious way to take part in what God is doing.

Mary speaks of voice when she says “my soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord.” Two particular opportunities were given to me as intern: 1) leading our home group and 2) participating in our prayer ministry. In homegroup this year, by increasing collaboration, we learned quite a bit about one another and how to build a trusting community. The crowning triumph of the year together was to take turns each week voicing our personal journeys of faith.

Similarly, this semester, Jane and I have offered prayer ministry after the Lord’s Supper for those who desired personal prayer. In this context, it was not unusual to hear someone say the words, “I have never said this to anyone before…”. In this year together, some of us have used our voices as never before, myself included.

The dual themes of place and voice culminated in our dynamic worship last week, in which I felt privileged to take my place, literally and metaphorically, near the cross and give voice to the stories of women who have been the victims of violence — to give voice to my own story of being silenced.

So on a final note, I want to offer sincere thanks to each of you for welcoming me to take the place of an intern here and to exercise my voice. In this community of warmth and welcome and kindness, I have been able to flourish. It has been a sincere honor to journey alongside you all at M&Ms. I ask you to continue to journey with me as I look forward to the year ahead: I will remain here at M&Ms. I have been encouraged to continue my discernment process, which may include some short visits to other parishes to round out my experience in the Church of England, and will also include some big interviews for which I will need time to prepare and for which I ask your support and your prayer.

Someone from the congregation approached me after dynamic worship last week to hand me a note which said, “Silent no more, never again.” And isn’t that what Mary says, when she declares that from this day all generations would call her blessed? She is saying that she has filled a place in redemption history and she can no longer be silenced. I can think of no better way to conclude this CEMES internship than by voicing Mary’s psalm once more. Will you pray with me?

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour;
he has looked with favour on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed;
the Almighty has done great things for me
and holy is his name.
He has mercy on those who fear him,
from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm
and has scattered the proud in their conceit,
Casting down the mighty from their thrones
and lifting up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things
and sent the rich away empty.
He has come to the aid of his servant Israel,
to remember his promise of mercy,
The promise made to our ancestors,
to Abraham and his children for ever. Amen.

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Lord of Eternity
Fernando Ortega

Blessed is the man
Who walks in Your favor
Who loves all Your words
And hides them like treasure
In the darkest place
Of his desperate heart,
They are a light
A strong, sure light.

Sometimes I call out Your name
But I cannot find You.
I look for Your face,
But You are not there.
By my sorrows, Lord,
Lift me to You,
Lift me to Your side.

Lord of Eternity,
Father of mercy,
Look on my fainting soul.
Keeper of all the stars,
Friend of the poorest heart
Touch me and make me whole.

If You are my defender,
Who is against me?
No one can trouble or harm me
If You are my strength .
All I ask, all I desire
Is to live in Your house all my days.

My Lenten bread practice culminated in a lovely basket of bread for our Anglican Easter luncheon. Sourdough loaves, sourdough rolls, sourdough naan… a basketful of abundance to share with the people who enrich my life week after week.

The practice interrupted my life considerably. It takes in excess of eight hours to bake a loaf of bread. A professional can see at a glance that my technique is lacking: it will take many loaves of practice before I produce the kind of bread you see in boulangerie windows. 

The first week of my lenten bread-making practice has ended. The first couple of days were spent gathering the necessary things: a large glass bowl, a kitchen scale, clean tea towels, a wooden spoon, flour and filtered water. Elemental as this exercise was, as I was going about gathering, it struck me that I have been given so much.

 As I snapped this picture, I realized that every item in the frame is a gift.

As I snapped this picture, I realized that every item in the frame is a gift.

Usually, I am struck by how much I have been given as I walk. As I walk through Leuven, I am awed by the privilege of living in a safe, beautiful, medieval Belgian city. On my way to classes, I think about how much others have given so that I can be a student. I roam through gardens and parks around town and consider how natural beauty abundantly fills the cracks and crevices of my inner landscape. In this abstract way, I experience what St. Ignatius taught, that all is gift.

During this lenten exercise, though, I have been struck by how many concrete things I have been given by others. The large glass bowl which now holds my wild yeast sourdough starter is a gift from the family that I babysit for. The kitchen scale is a Christmas gift from Ellie, the tea towels are from Faith and Linnea, the wooden spoon is from Carrie. The only items involved in this process which are not direct gifts from others are still concrete gifts: clean, filtered water and milled flour, available in abundance in this beautiful, prosperous country.

So I have two notable thoughts from this first week of Lent: generosity and gratitude. First, I am surrounded by the most generous of people. Generosity is a reflex to reach out and lift up. There is a sort of deep, unaffected generosity that I’ve observed in my community, in people who give because it is their reflex to give. Second, gratitude is simply overwhelming me in this lenten season. Meister Eckhart, the 13th-century German mystic, said, “If the only prayer you said was thank you, that would be enough.” I offer thanks for each of these generous people as I make my lenten bread, along with the many others who come to mind as I measure and stir, watch and wait. My dear spiritual director in Chicago taught me quite a bit about the way that gratitude transforms our outlook on life. Gratitude is a gateway to abundance, a path to contentment, a protest in a consumptive world.

These two qualities, generosity and gratitude, are not unrelated. One fuels and inspires the other. As St. Ignatius said, “All the things in this world are gifts of God, created for us, to be the means by which we can come to know him better, love him more surely, and serve him more faithfully.” As I enter week two with generosity and gratitude, may this bread-making practice help me to know Christ better.

This is a refreshed post from a former blogging project. I’m upcycling it.

Food Equals Love.” The quote on their wall arrested me. It has been a long time since I’ve loved food, or felt that food was loving. Eating, for the gutless, takes guts. It is an intentional choice to live, to survive. Eating post-colectomy is not romantic. It hurts. It burns. It shames.

But the quote brought me back to someplace that my soul once lived. In a previous life, I was an avid herb gardener. The words “Food Equals Love” took me to the tiny patch of roughed up earth that, long ago, unwillingly rooted my narrow selection of plants. The words wafted up into my nose the way the chives and basil once did. I remembered scrubbing my nail beds before snipping those fresh greens into a salad and giving thanks for the goodness. Food was love, and I loved it.

It hit her then that every strawberry she had ever eaten — every piece of fruit — had been picked by callused human hands. Every piece of toast with jelly represented someone’s knees, someone’s aching back and hips, someone with a bandanna on her wrist to wipe away the sweat. Why had no one told her about this before? All food is won by someone’s labor…

What We Came For by Alison Luterman

In those days I used to give much and reap much. Today I am recapturing that old understanding that sees eating as a byproduct of a certain kind of caring, serving, ethical life. My great error at present is fastening my attention only on the difficulties of digestion and forgetting the real matter at hand.

The real matter at hand is to see the miraculous in the rudimentary foods I have ceased to notice. Take an onion, Robert Farrar Capon directs most spiritually. Plan to spend an hour with it. “The first order of business is to address yourself to the onion… The two of you sit here in mutual confrontation.” This meeting becomes a session, enlightening my awareness of situatedness, creatureliness, and my need to notice.

 A beautiful Leuven farmers market haul. Yes, you can buy Belgian waffles by the kilo at the farmers market.

A beautiful Leuven farmers market haul. Yes, you can buy Belgian waffles by the kilo at the farmers market.

But I am irked with Capon’s transcendent experience. Grasp the onion, he quips the delightful Russian fable, and it will lift you to heaven. I’ve resented the onion from the first post-surgical moment I spent with it. I don’t believe that the place it took me to was heaven. I hope not.

Today I can’t look at a green leafy without suffering  what do they call it in polite company?  the trots. Before the colectomy I had been treated with dietary restrictions so diverse and difficult that I believed the post-surgical lifestyle would be comparatively palatable. I didn’t understand that the colectomy was a marital breakup. I didn’t know how loveless meals would become.

The experience of suffering seems to drive a wedge between me and the flourishing, nourishing, feral Bread Life. The meals I once blessed I curse. My hands have ceased to serve and prepare and touch the earth. They reach for the simplest, the easiest, the most bland. In so doing, I have ceased to reach for the sacramental. And so I sit with the onion, and I pray…

O Lord, refresh our sensibilities. Give us this day our daily taste. Restore to us soups that spoons will not sink in, and sauces which are never the same twice. Raise up among us stews with more gravy than we have bread to blot it with, and casseroles that put starch and substance in our limp modernity. Take away our fear of fat and make us glad of the oil which ran upon Aaron’s beard. Give us pasta with a hundred fillings, and rice in a thousand variations. Above all, give us grace to live as true men – to fast till we come to a refreshed sense of what we have and then to dine gratefully on all that comes to hand. Drive far from us, O Most Bountiful, all creatures of air and darkness; cast out the demons that possess us; deliver us from the fear of calories and the bondage of nutrition; and set us free once more in our own land, where we shall serve Thee as Thou hast blessed us – with the dew of heaven, the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine. Amen.

-Robert Farrar Capon

Capon, Robert Farrar. The Supper of the Lamb; a Culinary Reflection.Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1969. Print.

Dear Black Neighbor,

I have sinned against you—in thought, in word, in deed. I am truly sorry.

 #BlackLivesMatter—Brussels

#BlackLivesMatter—Brussels

I have sinned against you in thought. I have thought ill of you. I have consumed media that portrays people who look like you as villains, thugs, and criminals. I’m sorry for consuming that media and not critiquing it, for not asking tough questions about those tropes, and for choosing to believe that these caricatures represent you. I’m sorry for consuming that media and in so doing, consuming you.

I’m sorry for not seeing you.

I’m sorry for seeing “you”. For the times I’ve clutched my wallet, crossed the street, called a friend on my phone. Because you and I can’t possibly share the same space without one of us being afraid, and I chose fear. I’m sorry for choosing fear.

I have sinned against you in word. I have not used my privileged platform, I have not raised my voice. When Rachel was weeping for her children and could not be consoled but I didn’t cry, I just retweeted. I locked the door and locked my heart and hoped to God that you couldn’t break in to either. Because what if you did? What if you busted down the door and what if I had to face you and what if you demanded significance?

I’m sorry for listening to conversations when I should have intervened. I’m sorry for not objecting to all the words and all the lies that fly thick when you are discussed. Why are you a “topic”? I’m sorry for sitting by when you were reduced to a topic. I’m sorry for allowing you to be abstracted out of flesh and blood and made a political platform. Abstracted is a nice word. Dissected is more real. Dismembered.

I have sinned against you in deed. I have rebuked your anger because of my discomfort. I have been been startled by your rage—the rage of five generations and millions of perished souls. I have loved my comfort more than your indignation. I’m sorry for thinking that you owe me a sugar-coated version of your story. I’m sorry for thinking that you should welcome me into your story period. It’s a grace to hear your voice, and I am least deserving.

I’m sorry for demanding everything from you and expecting so little of myself.

I have sinned in what I have done. I’m sorry for thinking that your community needs fixing and that I know the fix and that I am the fixer. I’m sorry for strutting through your home, unwilling to listen, learn, or take orders. I’m sorry that I didn’t work under your direction, but was ever ready to direct. I thought you needed me—I never thought I needed you. I thought you would receive from me—I never thought you would give to me. There is a savior, and that savior isn’t me… but that savior will save you from me, and I pray that savior comes, quickly.

I have sinned in what I have left undone. I have watched you memorialize your slain. On TV. But I did not join you there, not at that miserable park with the nightly drive-bys. That wouldn’t be wise. I have watched you march your justice. On my newsfeed. But I did not want to march because those demonstrators, you know, they get arrested. I showed my solidarity by remaining solitary and keeping your pain at arms’ length because it really might swallow me. What if your pain swallowed me? I am sorry for making your pain about me. I’m sorry—not for leaving your side—but for never showing up in the first place.

 #BlackLivesMatter—Brussels

#BlackLivesMatter—Brussels

I apologize for denying you. Again. And again. And again.

I have not loved you with my whole heart. Or even part of my heart. I have not loved you, neighbor, as myself. I’m truly sorry, I do repent, and I won’t stop repenting.

Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy.

Today we woke up to pouring rain, per usual, but a surprise came mid-morning: large, fluffy white snowflakes drifted down on us for several hours.

This is the first time in many years that I felt that childish, bubbling joy upon seeing snow. Snow in Chicago meant horrible commutes, scraping the car, shoveling, and high heat bills. Today it meant hot cocoa. Like it did when I was seven.

Jacob and I attacked our projects with renewed vigor while the snowflakes settled on the skylights. I’ve been freelance editing like a madperson, trying to save a few bucks for a coveted juicer. Jacob was working against the clock to finish his final fall semester paper. By late afternoon the snow had ceased and we set out to drop Jacob’s completed paper off at the Philosophy Institute. I strapped on my camera. 

As we walked, I realized that I have never posted photos of the philosophy college of KU Leuven. Known in Flemish as Hoger Instituut voor Wijsbegeerte, or in English as the Philosophy Institute, this is where Jacob spends a great deal of his time. This is where he completed his first semester. Today. Bravo! 

The statue is of Cardinal Mercier, who founded the Institute. The faculty chair is dedicated to him with the tribute, “in which eminent personalities from the philosophical world, for the benefit of teachers and students of the Institute, will present the key results of their research.” You can read the history here.

We traipsed through the slush and celebrated Jacob’s accomplishments with a trip to the grocery store. Yes. It was anti-climactic. In our defense, we were abysmally low on food. Next week we will go out for a recently discovered €5 Vietnamese lunch at Loempia Land. It is a joy to eat cheap fried egg rolls in an establishment named something homonymous with “lumpy land”. It is the stuff of celebration.

 An abandoned umbrella. Must not have been a match for today's wet, heavy precipitation. It looked dejected and poetic.

An abandoned umbrella. Must not have been a match for today’s wet, heavy precipitation. It looked dejected and poetic.

Friday, January 15 was a beautiful day to live in Leuven. Is it a beautiful day where you are?

Last night, before the countdown to 2016, Jacob and I compiled a brief year-in-review. 2015 is a year for the history books, folks. 

Did you have a theme for 2015? Or a commitment, or a dream, or a resolution? How did it shape your year? How did it help you grow? My theme for the year was “flourishing”. It is hard to conceive of a year of greater flourishing than 2015. The theme—and the people who held me to it—encouraged me to take risks, some small, some large. Flourishing encouraged me to read again. To exercise my voice and sing, to exercise my body and strengthen, to explore spiritual practices and expand. To move out of my comfort zone. To try to do a few things greatly and stop trying to do everything shabbily. To enjoy. To be present.

Now, a theme for 2016… still working on it.

 

January

  • Jacob became an adjunct professor of philosophy at Moody and scrambled to finish PhD applications.
  • Trip to Milwaukee and the most epic surprise: a spy bar. Honey Pig. Sprechers. The Packers lost the playoffs and Milwaukee was plunged into mourning.
  • Jacob adopted a vegetarian diet.
  • Annie and Faith started a weekly workout commitment and it was epic.

February

  • First day: a wicked snow storm buried Chicago.
  • More snow.
  • Annie took up handlettering again, thanks to Rachelle.
  • More snow.
  • Visited Michigan and the Quicks.
  • More snow.

March

  • Jacob officiated his childhood best friend’s wedding.
  • Dallas and friends.
  • Museum of Modern Art, Chicago.
  • Annie launched work flow mapping initiative in IMC.
  • The Great Purge of 2015, inspired by The Japanese Art of Tidying, compelled the commune to shed three carloads full of crap.
  • Jake received an acceptance letter from KU Leuven. We all laughed. Belgium seemed impossible.

April

  • The commune hosted Easter: Josh, Faith, Nate, Carrie, Jacob, Annie, Meghan, Kate, Ana, Patti, John, Caleb.
  • Meghan’s photography class yielded some beautiful portraits and albums.
  • The kitties met The Furminator, and their lives were forever changed.

May

  • Annie and Katie attended the SLAM Gala.
  • Jacob earned his Master of Arts in Philosophy from Northern Illinois University.
  • NEW ORLEANS. Ten days in the Big Easy, compliments of John and Patti, celebrating the honeymoon we planned but never executed. Salvo’s crawfish, Hansen’s sno-bliz, swamp tour alligators, Café du Monde, Camellia Grill, Algiers, Garden District, Commander’s Palace $0.25 martinis, French Market, stogies and strolls.
  • Jake started working for Spiegelberg Landscape Design.

June

  • Meghan departed for her summer in Europe, studying abroad.
  • We thought that Europe sounded good and decided to move to Belgium.
  • Annie read The Cloister Walk. Decided to become a nun. Too late.
  • Annie began her copywriting career instead, thanks to the benevolence of her kindly editorial manager Kevin and the team at IMC.
  • Hunger Walk Chicago.

July

  • Jake’s relatives, the Masseys, visited and fell in love with Chicago. Everyone does.
  • Renegade Lightning Rebellion final concert.
  • Art Institute with Melissa. Sweet memories, sweet wine.
  • July 12 and Annie celebrated two years without hospitalization or surgery.
  • Annie and Faith are bonded for life: tattoos together.
  • The Knapps visited us in Michigan. We met Ellie and celebrated Matt’s birthday.
  • Meghan returned from Europe with a million memories to share.

August

  • Grand Rapids meet up with Krista.
  • One wild road trip to Virginia: Josh, Jake, Annie and Meghan rotating drivers throughout the night.
  • Tangier Island.
  • Outerbanks, NC
  • August 15: after nearly two and a half years, the commune dissolved… into tears. Twenty-four hours of laborious moving in adverse conditions against all odds, we beat our move-out deadline with one hour to spare. We said goodbye to the friends who became our family and shipped our kitties off to a foster family.
  • Nomadic living commenced for Jacob and Annie, with a grand total of six weeks of couch surfing for Annie and two weeks for Jake.
  • So many farewells.
  • August 30 Jake departed for Belgium.

September

  • Jake settled into Leuven life, registered for classes, bought some plates and set up home on J. P. Minckelersstraat. He battled bureaucracy and won.
  • Annie couch surfed. And couch surfed. And couch surfed. Who knew that there were so many hospitable people willing to share their couches?

October

  • Annie took a quick trip Virginia.
  • Annie took a quick trip to Wisconsin. The Covenant Women’s Retreat provided the perfect bookend to three years of blessing at Covenant Presbyterian Church of Chicago.
  • Annie took a quick trip to Michigan. Farewell to the Quicks. Lots of last minute packing.
  • Annie took a quick trip to New York. Farewell to the Bolgers.
  • Annie took a quick trip to Iceland. Just kidding—it was a layover.
  • October 11 and finally, Jacob and Annie reunited in Belgium.
  • Jake and Annie took a quick trip to Brussels.

November

  • Jake landed a copy editing job.
  • Annie landed a child care job.
  • Jake and Annie discovered that they are ambiverts. Thanks for the self-discovery helps, Faith.
  • Thanksgiving abroad sucked. We didn’t like it and we were lonely.

December

  • Wintertijd brought light, life, clarity and calling.
  • Dear friends welcomed babies and others delivered good tidings of expectation.
  • Leuven and the old convent by candlelight.
  • Parables and Pilgrimage at St Martha and Mary.
  • Christmas in Germany with Martha and Tyler.

In our secret yearning
we wait for your coming,
and in our grinding despair
we doubt that you will.

I am celebrating Advent in Leuven. Four thousand miles from the city I call home and the people I call family. The bare walls of our little abode remind me that we have not put roots down here. We are pilgrims passing through, and we cannot afford to collect many material things. 

For all the lack of decorations within our flat, there is an abundance of festivity without. Just beyond my door, the streets of the city are filled with lights and trees and bells. The Diestsestraat remains a pedestrian way in order to accommodate the shoppers. The sandwich shop on the corner is employed making waffles day in and day out, sustaining their world-weary, package-laden customers.

And in this privileged place
we are surrounded by witnesses who yearn more than do we
and by those who despair more deeply than do we.

Last Sunday night we gathered at St. Martha and Mary’s for an ecumenical carol service. The theme: parables and pilgrimage. An art project which has been underway for several months in the parish was unveiled. The installation is a collection of portraits, created out of the photographs of the M & M’s parishioners, layered and collaborated together to form the “image(s) of God”. Set ablaze in gold leaf, I discerned the faces of friends as icons. 

Parables, authored by the parishioners, were printed alongside the images. Parables of mercy, sacrifice, wisdom, and pain. In this way, we recounted to one another the edges of our pilgrimage ways. 

Give us the grace and the impatience
to wait for your coming to the bottom of our toes, 
to the edges of our fingertips.

We were reminded by Father Bieringer that Christ’s Advent is celebrated through the senses. The incarnation is as much an affirmation of our senses as it is an engagement of our senses. The sight of iconographic faces lining the walls of the chapel, the sound of mighty voices singing, the touch of so many hands passing so much peace.

It is this time of year, when the walls of my life are feeling particularly barren, that Advent emerges on the edges. The exteriority of this holy season draws me up and out of myself, into a journey of expectation, into a parable of mystery, into the kingdom of heaven.

Come in your power
and come in your weakness
in any case
and make all things new.

Excerpted prayer by Walter Brueggemann, Awed to Heaven, Rooted to Earth

 After a failed attempt at watercolor, hand lettering. 

After a failed attempt at watercolor, hand lettering. 

 

Yes—I, God, chose Zion,
    the place I wanted for my shrine;
This will always be my home;
    this is what I want, and I’m here for good.
I’ll shower blessings on the pilgrims who come here,
    and give supper to those who arrive hungry;
I’ll dress my priests in salvation clothes;
    the holy people will sing their hearts out!

Psalm 132:13-16