Tag Archives: thanksgiving

A friend prays

Apparently I am not the only one who writes while traveling. On her way home from Ecumenical Advocacy Days, my friend Joann Lee wrote a powerful prayer that addresses her personal situation and expresses universal realities at the same time. Here are some excerpts:

Dear God,
There are so many moments when I am grateful that I am not pregnant and without children:

  • Every time I gorge myself on sushi and beer or enjoy a glass of scotch in the evening, I give you thanks;

But God, despite all these blessings, I still really, really want to be pregnant, have a baby, and raise children.

Sometimes, I feel like those formerly barren matriarchs of the Bible:

  • like Hannah who prayed fervently in the temple, asking, as if drunk, for a child, seeking refuge in her faith and bargaining her child’s future profession in exchange for answered prayers – like Hannah, I say, “Me, too, God. I’ll force my child into ministry, too, if that’s what it takes!” [note: Joann is an ordained teaching elder in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)]

Because I just want so much to…

  • to see two lines on that plastic pregnancy test, and since we’ve already experienced that, to then also hear a heartbeat on the ultrasound and witness a healthy baby being born;

I want all these things, God. But in the mean time, I’ll continue to eat sushi, drink scotch, travel, and be grateful. Because this, too, is a blessing.


Check out Joann’s whole prayer.

I stand in awe of her grace and courage, faith and hope. I hold her and Mike in my prayers in this season of waiting. I pray for all who yearn for a child. I pray that all children experience love. May it be so.

See you along the Trail.

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Until next year

Despite my best intentions (or at least pretty good intentions), I did not take part in the Salisbury Presbyterian Church 5k Turkey Waddle that raised funds for the Central Virginia Food Bank. Many possible reasons exist for this decision. Bottom line – I need to take better care of my self.

Check out the pictures I took of those who ran, jogged, walked, and waddled.

So much for this year. But next year. Next year. I have already started getting ready. And this time . . . this time.

See you along the Trail.

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A Thanksgiving tradition

Thanksgivings in Virginia involve
assembling and decorating the Christmas tree
for  Tricia’s parents.
This year proved no exception.
Sean, Tricia, and I put up the tree.
Eric and Tricia added the decorations.
Most of the ornaments are tin;
many are painted, some are not.
Trips to New Mexico regularly include a quest
for new ornaments.

See you along the Trail.

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A prayer for Thanksgiving

Hearts broken,
hearts betrayed,
hearts wounded,
hearts abused,
hearts violated,
hearts shattered,
hearts rejected,
hearts despised,
on this day
and everyday,
may each heart,
may every heart,
find some place,
find some people,
to call home.

23 November 2011
Amtrak 91


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Incredible plans

Incredible as it sounds, I plan to take part in a 5k on Thanksgiving Day. Sister-in-law Jane suggested it.

They bill the event as a “Waddle.” I can do that.

Jane and Sean will run or jog. Eric may do the same. Tricia will walk. Other family members may run, walk, or jog as well.

Me, I plan to creep, with occasional bursts of waddling.

Now that I have provided the best laugh you will have all day, you might consider making a gift to the Central Virginia Food Bank – the cause supported by the event.

See you along the Trail.

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Saints of the Public Life

During today’s workshop on living our faith in the public life, participants were invited to name the saints who have gone before us – those who have witnessed in public life in a variety of names. After we had the page filled with names, facilitator Ryan reminded us that behind all those we named were many people whose lives they had touched – people who had also faithfully witnessed in the public life.

In the conversation that followed, Sam and Claire observed that the people we named were well known. They also observed that there are  many, many, many other Saints of the Public Life: people who each day work in the public life for peace and justice faithfully, carefully, passionately, and constantly. They do so known only to a few – those who work with them, those who love them.

Tonight, I was reminded of one such saint – I remember and give thanks for Steve Brown.

We knew it was coming.
We had been warned – a number of times.
Yet still, the news, the final news, coming tonight, carried surprising force.
We met over thirty years ago.
Tricia, Sue, and I were students.
Steve a trailing spouse.
We played tennis. We laughed.
Steve was a patient, gentle, creative man.
He also had a deep commitment to peace and justice, a commitment he lived in many, many ways on issues ranging from nuclear disarmament to ending war to just immigration to access to health care – on the list could go. .
Steve, and Sue, put themselves into the struggle for full inclusion of GLBTQ people in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

For a number of years, Steve has faced illness.
Sometimes he seemed to gain – there were periods of remission.
But the struggle continued.
From time to time, the reports came – the illness was getting worse.
When his presbytery voted on the most recent initiative to include our GLBTQ sisters and brothers fully in the church, Steve made the effort to be there – his commitment to justice transcending his illness.
He voted, again, for inclusion. His presbytery did the same.

Tricia and I leave for Colorado tomorrow.
Our plans included a visit to see Steve and Sue.
A few days ago, we heard that the end was drawing near. We began to reconsider those plans – to perhaps go to Greeley sooner than we had intended.
Late last night (OK – early this morning – I don’t sleep much) – we heard more news: the end might come before our arrival.
We called Sue a couple hours ago – so we would know how to finalize our plans – and we heard the news – Steve died this morning.
I give thanks for Steve’s life and witness; I give thanks that his pain has ended; but the world seems a little bit less bright and my heart aches for Sue – we will figure out how to see her as she walks this shadowed valley.

See you along the Trail.

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