Category Archives: Reflections

The Loneliness of Dying

loneliness of dying

While sheltering in place I’ve read a variety of articles about the Coronavirus. Some of these are news, some are statistical, and some describe the loneliness that those who are dying will experience. I’ve seen articles about the process of dying that have been written by people in the medical community. These are often an appeal to honor the shelter in place policies. Although I don’t personally know anyone who’s dying from the Coronavirus, these descriptions shake me to my core. The reality that some people are slowly suffocating without family nearby is tragic.

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The Rich and the Poor

rich and poor

Jesus delivers “blessings and woes” to the rich and the poor in Luke 6:20-26. The woes are for the rich. Jesus didn’t give a nod to the rich people who were merely hard workers or well-meaning. He didn’t take the time to differentiate between those who were abusing their privileges or not.

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I Will Make You… Fishers of Men?

fishers of men

I’ve heard the story in Luke 5:1-11 most of my life, as far back as pre-K, in Sunday School. This is where Jesus tells Peter to put his nets back in the water after a night of unsuccessful fishing. Peter then gets the biggest catch he’s ever pulled in. At the end of this interaction, Jesus says, from now on you will be catching people. This story is a children’s Sunday School favorite. It’s easy to turn into pictures. Someone even turned it into a catchy children’s song, “I will make you fishers of men, fishers of men, fishers of men…if you follow meeeeee.” Jesus makes a side comment to one guy and it got turned into bad theology, that we peddle to toddlers.

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Will You Be There When I’m in Pain?

comfort

How are you doing? Fine?

Of course the answer is “fine.” When people ask us how we’re doing, the automatic response is fine. Sometimes when discussing this sociological phenomena, people say they actually want the honest answer. I never know if I should believe them. In the past I’ve given a more honest answer and found myself in a really awkward moment realizing that I’ve just overshared. I’ve also had very real, impromptu conversations about real pain that left me feeling more connected to my friends. Continue reading

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#notallpharisees

Standing with the oppressed

Do you ever wonder if there were scribes and Pharisees hanging around at the fringes who weren’t abusing their power? I wonder how they felt when Jesus said things like,

“The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat; therefore, do whatever they teach you and follow it; but do not do as they do, for they do not practice what they teach. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on the shoulders of others; but they themselves are unwilling to lift a finger to move them.” (Matthew 23:2-4)

Why is Jesus speaking so categorically? Why is he lumping in the hard-working, caring-for-people Pharisees with those that are abusive and out of control? Continue reading

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Weep With Those Who Weep

grief

Why is it easier to weep along with a television show than it is to weep with a friend? Is it just me? Maybe it’s because show writers know how to draw out our emotions unexpectedly. Do we listen better when we’re watching a show than when a friend is grieving? Maybe we would listen better if everyone knew how to put their grief into poignant soliloquies. Continue reading

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