Guest Post Over At Reflections: The Messy Love of Easter

The Messy Love of Easter

My good friend Gloria gave me the privilege of writing for her blog Reflections this Easter, so I’d like to share the post with you all; and while you’re over there take a few minutes to explore more of her lovely blog!

 

Horrifying. Scandalous. These aren’t the words we usually associate with Easter.

Our normal thoughts fall more along the lines of pastel flowers, cute chicks and bunnies, and Precious Moments kids kneeling gently beneath a brown ceramic cross.

And those are sweet. Those are cute. Those are clean. But they’re wrong.

Because Easter, the whole of this great story, isn’t cute. It isn’t clean. There are no pastels; no, it’s stained in vivid hues of crimson and black and wretchedness and anger and violent love. Because Easter is nothing without the cross.

But so often we’re tempted to check out. We know the story, or at least, we’ve heard it many times. But we forget. We forget how shocking it is. How dreadful. Our sin is a horrifying, messy thing, and to think that the answer to it would be cute and clean and easy — It couldn’t be. We violently removed ourselves and were swept away from God and life and light; and only a violent love, willing to do and endure all for us, could win us back.

So lay aside your prior knowledge, your prior suppositions for a moment. Read back through all the accounts (Mat. 26-28, Mark 14-16, Luke 22-24, John 18-21); it’ll probably take about half an hour. Blow away the dust of familiarity, and read this as a story. (The Greatest One which ever was.)

As you read, can’t you feel the tension, the dread, the rising anger at this injustice?

Read the rest here on Gloria’s blog.

Mirrors and Photographs; Present and Past

Mirrors and Photographs

I looked in the mirror this morning.

Which isn’t unusual, because it’s situated in the walkway of my room, and I glance at it fairly often when I’m preparing for my day, because I work with children all week and want to give them the idea that modest and fashionable can be synonymous (but also because, if we’re being completely honest, I can be rather vain at times.)

And I’m grinning sheepishly at the view, of a bleary-eyed young woman, with her glasses bent slightly askew from adjusting them so much, her comfy, giant college-that-I’m-not-actually-going-to-they-just-gave-me-it-for-free-and-it’s-comfortable-shirt enveloping me, and my bare feet giving the impression of the princess from Tangled, which is a apt description of both my hair’s length and state.

And so I laugh gently at myself, pull my hair out of my face, and get started with my day.

But on my wall there are some pictures. (Actually, no, that isn’t true, they’re sitting on my dresser because in the busyness of life hanging-pictures-on-wall is so far down on the list that I still haven’t gotten around to it.)

And those pictures show a little girl, smiling and laughing, poised and pert, always ready with a retort or reply.

But you know what? I like the woman in the mirror better than that girl. Continue reading

Clean Hands in a Muddy World

cleanhandsinamuddyworld

I should not have been working to dig holes in the mud this weekend.

Why? Let me explain.

Reason Number One: It was Sunday, my only day off after a very long week of child-wrangling, dumpling-folding, pan-scrubbing, house-decluttering, food-prepping, and word-working. As a family we had decided to do nothing all day besides church, with no other work going on.

Reason Number Dos: We had no plans for working outside in the yard. At all. All the fence-posts have been in for ages, nothing needs to be planted in the front yard, no one mows this time of year, there are no mesquite trees to evict, and it’s not even time for me to clear out my garden for next year! (Well, technically it probably is, but I’m going to pretend it’s not) Nothing involving shovels, gloves, or holes should have been going on.

And finally, Reason Number III, (which is truly and honestly the only real, actual reason on this list that isn’t just me being dramatic for the sake of story-telling): There shouldn’t have been any mud.

Literally, there should be no mud in our yard. Continue reading

Loving Mondays: Reclaiming (Garden) Ruins

Left to itself, a garden becomes a disaster.

Plants start sprawling out of their cages. Bugs infest, leaving only holes and webs of leaves behind. Fruit sits forgotten, slowly rotting until it falls to the ground. All available (and unavailable) space is crowded up with weeds. And not nice weeds, mind you. Big, towering, ugly weeds, with roots going a mile deep and thorns an inch long. Basically, a giant mess, not even worthy of the name garden, except for the fact that there are a few persistent tomatoes hanging on to life in this dystopian world of plants.

Until a gardener comes in.

Continue reading

Faithfulness Fridays: Facades and Forgiveness

facadesandforgiveness

My life is a lie.

At least, it can be. We live in a modern age, where our lives are constantly seen and judged by our ‘friends’. But with the age of technology comes the ability to be more fake. We’ve always been able to fool others to some extent, but think of the new abilities photo-shop and the edit button have now given us. Do you know how hard I can work to make others think I am smart, I’m funny, I’m lovely, I’m deep? I have literally spent a day planning a “spontaneous” funny post.

Because like everyone else, I want to put my best self forward.

Even if that self isn’t me.

Because what you never see in Instagram photos is me losing my temper. What you never see on YouTube is me snapping at my siblings. What you never read on Facebook is me turning to my idols of relationships, security, and comfort for my needs. You don’t see the sinfulness — the sinful mess — that is me.

Continue reading