Friday, April 30, 2010

Hospital Time


Well, on Saturday, one of my sons was in a motorcycle accident in CT (he was passing through), and now I'm with him in the hospital in Stamford. He broke and arm and a leg, with skin damage, and severed the radial nerve in his arm. Has had two surgeries, and there are metal plates and screws where the breaks are. Statistically, it is likely that he will recover some function of his hand in about a year's time, with further surgery possible to create compensation from the tendon. In the meantime, I'll be taking him back to Cambridge in order to pack and move to DC where he has a summer job--he's in a wheelchair, and we'll see how it goes--I'll stay with him as long as I'm needed--a month or two? We don't know.

Things for which I am thankful:
--The incredible love and prayer support of my friends/loved ones
--When he hit the guard rail, he was not thrown onto the road where cars could run over him.
--The couple who immediately stopped to help him were both doctors.
--It was his non-dominant hand and arm that were affected.
--He does have sensation in his hand, and can squeeze with it, though there are other things he can't do (lifting of hand and fingers and wrist).

Things I've learned:
--A nerve grows about a millimeter a day.
--The Tappan Zee Bridge needs repaving.
--Connecticut is gorgeous.
--The population/building density situation is really different here--so much so that Target is on two floors, and has a parking garage. Imagine, paying to park at Target!

I am thankful that God is keeping us throughout all of this. Hospital Time has been weird--alternately suspended and episodic. I'll blog again when I can--not sure when.

Christ is risen!


Friday, April 23, 2010

"Have you united yourself to Christ?"

Occasionally when you look at a familiar image, you realize that for some time you've been experiencing some aspect of it in a way that is suddenly (and to your surprise!) making itself known at the level of your conscious awareness.

Yesterday, I noticed that when I see this icon, I've been assuming for months that under Christ's hand, there is an identical nail hole in Adam's hand.

Maybe this is because of this phrase that we pray in church: "Nail our flesh to the fear of Thee, wound our souls with Thy love..."

The only thing I wonder re. the baptismal question in the title of this blog entry is this: it surely doesn't seem as though Adam himself is performing the uniting with Christ, but that he's just waiting in Hades, and then Christ comes along and yanks him up.



Thursday, April 22, 2010

No Surprises Here!


The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, "I am the bread which came down from heaven." They said, "Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, 'I have come down from heaven'?" Jesus answered them, "Do not murmur among yourselves. No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day."

How can that which we already know (or imagine we know) satisfy the hunger that consumes us?

Doesn't this hunger require something new, exotic, unfamiliar, something or someone from far away?

How can Jesus be our Bread? We've already heard all about Him. The stories about Him are too near, familiar and worn, ordinary as gravel stones strewn on the path before us. He's too available, too much a part of our routine. There's Christian "stuff" everywhere. Churches everywhere. Turn on the radio and there it all is again, blah, blah, blah.

And our souls--aren't those interior landscapes/hungerscapes exhaustingly familiar as well? If we'd received Him as our Bread, wouldn't everything inside us have changed all at once? Why enter into our hearts when we've already been there and found nothing particularly of interest?

And the Church--those people we've known since childhood, perhaps--no surprises here! How can we be bread for each other?

Why shouldn't we murmur amongst ourselves?--we're hungry, starving, and there's nothing here but what we already know!

Jesus said..., "Have I been with you so long, and yet you do not know Me...?"


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Michael Jackson's "Thriller" performed by Lego people



All-Embracing Systems


"I agree with Isaiah Berlin when he says in an interview, 'I do not find all-embracing systems congenial.' I have a horror of minds who see all events as instances of universal rules and principles. I believe in the deep-set messiness of everything. I associate tidiness with dictatorship."

Charles Simic


Monday, April 19, 2010



Wednesday, April 14, 2010


"My Lord and my God" (St. John 20:28).

When the Apostle Thomas felt the wounds of the Lord Jesus, he cried out: "My Lord and my God!"

When Mary Magdalene heard the voice of the resurrected One in her soul, she cried out: "My Lord and my God!"

When Saul saw the light and heard the words of the resurrected One, he acknowledged: " My Lord and my God!"

When the pagans, in amazement, observed how the countless numbers of martyrs joyfully undergo pains and asked them: "Who is this Christ?" All of them replied: "My Lord and my God!"

When the scoffers ridiculed the army of ascetics and asked them: "Who is He, for Whom they took upon themselves the awesome burden of mortification? They all had one answer: "My Lord and my God!"

When the scorners derided the virgins who vowed their virginity and asked them: "Who is He for Whom they renounced marriage?" They all had one answer: "My Lord and my God!"

When the avaricious in astonishment asked the very wealthy: "Who is He for Whom they distribute their wealth and become beggarly?" All of them replied, one and the same: "My Lord and my God!"

Some have seen Him and have said: "My Lord and my God!" Some have only heard Him and said: "My Lord and my God!" Some have only felt Him and said: "My Lord and my God!" Some have only observed Him in the fabric of events and in the destinies of peoples and said: "My Lord and my God!" Some have felt His presence in their lives and cried out: "My Lord and my God!" Some have recognized Him by some sign, on themselves or on others, and cried out: "My Lord and my God!" Still some have only heard about Him from others and believed and cried out: "My Lord and my God!" Truly, these last ones are the most blessed!

Let us also exclaim, with all our hearts, regardless of how we have come to recognize Him or how we have come to learn about Him: "My Lord and my God!"

--The Prologue from Ohrid


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Binding of Isaac

I have always been horrified by the story of the binding of Isaac. Who wouldn't be? How could God demand such a thing? Doesn't this prove that the Judeo-Christian tradition is not only violent and abusive but creepy-to-the-max as well?

The link to the sacrifice of Christ did not help to square it with me, since Christ was a willing adult, not a child. Undoubtedly, I have more to learn about this Isaac-Christ connection.

But this morning it occurred to me that we are all sacrificial beings--ontologically, in some sense, created for our particular priesthoods ("Let us commend ourselves and each other and all our lives to Christ our God"). We are always enacting some sacrifice or another, visibly or invisibly (in the secret altars of our hearts). If it's not to Christ, then it's to some other god.

I think that I have been sacrificing my (adult) children on the interior altar of my own guilt and regret over everything I did not do right as a mother.

Time to abandon that old altar, and move to the only altar from which the sacrifice can walk away whole!



Monday, April 5, 2010

Not like Jonah and other swallowed sojourners


"For Christ came not forth again by the mouth of death, but having burst asunder and ripped up in the very midst, the belly of the dragon, thus from his secret chambers right gloriously he issued forth and flung abroad his beams not to this heaven alone, but to the very throne most high."

St. John Chrysostom