I See you, Burundi
We landed after thirty-plus hours in transit. Jostling carry-on bags and excitement, we made it to the bottom of the stairs, stepping foot into the tarmac in the pitch dark. No lights anywhere. The terminal ahead stood black against the night sky. I scurried across the tarmac, herding my children like chicks, until we reached the threshold and the arms of my awaiting husband. Airport workers and travelers alike were armed with cell phones, not flash lights. To the glow…
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Love Liberates
Men trapped under cruel taskmasters in the brickyards of Egypt and women losing still-swaddled sons to the watery grave of the Great River. Land, livestock and freedom taken from these families long ago, the Hebrews teetered on the edge of utter hopelessness. Anguish too deep for words—almost. They cried out. A primal scream directed at no one in particular cut through the mire of enslavement. Maybe the recurring nightmare, the nocturnal remembering of round-bellied cows and children prodding them with…
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Leaning Into Lent
Before too long we will wake to Ash Wednesday, bowing our heads and remembering that from dust we came, and to dust we shall return. We will begin a season of reflection and sacrifice. We might fast. We will contemplate again Holy Week, giving ear to Friday and Saturday before we celebrate Sunday. Here are resources I recommend for the Lenten Season. [one_third][/one_third][two_third_last]The Last Week: What the Gospels Really Teach About Jesus's Final Days in Jerusalem by Borg and Crossan…
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Black History Month Reading
A friend posted this on social media: "White privilege is your history being part of the core curriculum and mine being taught as an elective." I keep thinking about this and know it is true. As a white woman, I need to work harder to listen to the black communal wisdom. I need to seek out testimonies of their history, too often sequestered to elective classes, small publishing houses and neighborhoods unknown to me. February is Black History Month. I…
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A Little Liberation
So it has occurred to me recently as I reviewed my own personal library that I might be a liberation theologian. Dozens of titles in my collection are written by people who identify as such or contribute to liberation conversations. Many of these books have been among my most influential reads within the last several years. I share them here in case you, too, might lean toward liberation. [one_third][/one_third][two_third_last]Theology of Liberation by Gustavo Gutierrez Gustavo Gutierrez wrote the seminal work…
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Wake Up! to Jubilee
This week my friends at Red Letter Christians invited me to offer their Wake Up! morning devotions. These are designed to be quick reflections to start your day thinking and practicing the words of Scripture. I decided to share all five reflections on the theme of Jubilee, an economic principle threaded through the Hebrew Bible and into the life and times of Jesus. Jubilee has infused our development efforts in Burundi for years and this is just the taste, just…
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Why Are You Talking of Having No Bread?
Jesus had just multiplied a few loaves of bread into enough to satiate the hunger of thousands of men, women and children. Baskets of leftovers sat on the shore, presumably forgotten as the disciples hurried into the boat to cross back to the other side. So they bobbed on the boat with Jesus, hungry themselves. Someone must have been kicking himself for forgetting the bread … “Why are you talking of having no bread?” Jesus interrupts. Clearly Jesus saw something…
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A Blessing for What Is
Fear Not, says every angel and many a prophet. Into our terrain of terror, general or specific, the salvation oracle begins with this imperative. Love, you command. Love your self, your neighbor even your enemy. You leave no escape from the demand, no way out from the risk love requires. And so it is that we live between Fear Not and Enemy Love. It’s a precarious place. The landscape is dark and the enemies real. Principalities and powers don’t easily…
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Twelve Candles
My son stands on the threshold of twelve. And I shudder. I should beam with maternal pride at the young man he is growing into with each hard conversation, each fought for grade, each wave of hot emotion he overcomes with self-control, each chore completed and lesson learned. I should savor each day of his radiant smile, silly high-pitched laughter, his natural skill on the soccer field or basketball court, his practiced penmanship and comical clumsiness when it comes to…
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A Widening Light…
A Widening Light: Poems of the Incarnation, edited by Luci Shaw,  is one of my favorite collections of poetry, and the one I hold close during Advent. This is my favorite poem of the collection, penned by Madeleine L'Engle:   After annunciation This is the irrational season When love blooms bright and wild. Had Mary been filled with reason There'd have been no room for the child.   I loved these words from the first reading, when I was young…
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