The Loveliest Night

Two nights ago, we celebrated Christmas Eve.  I think this may be the loveliest night of the year.  The lovely carols, the lovely poinsettias, the lovely candlelight. When the church lights are slowly dimmed and the flame passes from person to person, we see both the beauty of the light and the beauty of the faces it illuminates.  And all is calm, all is bright.

Faces glowing on Christmas Eve.  Faces of the very young, faces of the elders.  Faces of those we love, faces of strangers.  Faces in whose gaze the light of Christ shines.  The mystery of grace come to earth, shining in all those faces.  The candles light our faces and our hearts and our very lives and hope is born once more.  Lovely light, lovely night.

Our world is in such great need of healing.  In such great need of light and hope.  Our Christmas comes in spite of sadness, in spite of war, in spite of terror and darkness and fear.  This lovely night we breathe in peace and breathe out love.  We bring ourselves and those around us into the light and stand there together, just standing in the light.  May this loveliness bring wholeness and light in the days to come and forever, in our world and in our hearts and souls

O come let us adore Him.


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Waiting for Peace

This year I had the opportunity to travel to the Holy Land with my family and friends from our church.  I knew I would enjoy the trip.  I had no idea how much my spirit would be touched.  I am still pondering our experiences over and over.  This day, Christmas Eve, I cannot stop thinking about Bethlehem.  About the silver star on the floor in the deep cellar of the Church of the Nativity, of kneeling down to reach out to touch the star that marks the spot believed to have been the birth site of Jesus.  About the wall which belies all our wishes to believe in peace in this land that is home for us all.  About singing Christmas carols in the church near the shepherd’s field.  About community, about justice, about love.

I wrote this to share with my church for its Advent devotional booklet…it is the writing chosen for this day, December 24:

Waiting For Peace


These final days, the light begins to return.

It seems the whole world is waiting for peace.

We give thanks for darkness beginning to wane, even a tiny bit.


As the year draws to a close, we wait for Christ to arrive,

To come, as each year, in our hearts and in our world.

We wait again for the peace of Jesus.


Christmas almost here, and hearts still break.

We wander deep and dreamless streets.

Waiting for peace is hard work, we try to be patient.


This world, still waiting, as hope moves closer.

This tender love inside our hearts, broken, bruised, healing.

How much longer to wait?


We will know the glory of our desire.

We will dance in the midst of mystery

We are waiting for Jesus, waiting for peace.


Say yes, beloved, only say yes.

Our peace and our Jesus are on the way

And will arrive with our next trusting breath.


Amen. May it be so.

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Sometime one thing becomes another thing and yet stays the same,

Like lovers who marry yet name themselves whole.

The waters can lift us over and over,

As a mother lifts her tired child again and again.

A camera stops time and gives us back to ourselves,

Like a kiss from a lover we know only in dreams.

Our lives are made simply of earth, water, fire, and air,

And yes oh yes of Spirit that brings us life itself.

All these things change and remain and always return

As we walk home again alone with the moon.


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What I want to say to the world is this.

For God’s sake, look for the light.

Ancient light that travels years to find us.

For heaven’s sake, pray for peace.

A mind so quiet that peace seems possible.

May what is broken be made whole.

May what is woven together grow strong.

I could go on my knees to say thank you forever.

There was a time when I had time.

This Advent, no prayer but this…amen.



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Porch Swing

Most Holy One,

You are always inviting

always welcoming

always calling.

Like the creaking wooden swing on my grandmother’s screened porch

always waiting

always moving in space.

Filling my imagination with boxes of old books and magazines written before I was born.

Satisfying my longing for quiet, silence, solitude.

Beckoning me to become a maker of words

and a lover of You.

May I never forget the movement of that swing, rocking like a cradle.

May I always remember to listen for Your invitation.

May I be brave and trusting enough to answer the Yes that leaps into Your arms.





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The Holy

The holy

Invites you to laughter so secret even the angels may not get the joke

Sleeps beside you at three a.m.

Stands next to you in the shower

Smiles back at you from the dressing room mirror.


The holy

Crowns you with fire so she can find you

Tells you stories of desire

Sings to you when tears fall unbidden

Swims in the creek under the bridge you cross.


The holy

Makes mystery with morning coffee

Delivers the mail and all other messages

Creates with abandon

Promises only union.


The holy

Sees the scars of every fear lying folded in our skin

Touches the memory of pain dimpled in our bellies

Smooths the asters burned on the surface of our hearts

Lifts every moment all the way to the sun.


Knowing what you know can save your life.


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Images on Retreat

Golden autumn...

photo 2



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In the Midst of a Miracle

In the midst of a miracle
I never know where to turn
I never know where to look
The soft clear colors as light streams through stained glass
The strong lines of glory rays as the sun pours through clouds
The sparkling points of brightness on the water as waves flow

The stained glass light whispers “be still”
The glory rays whisper “this is the way”
The dancing waters whisper “come and play”

In the midst of a miracle
All I really know
Is that light is always present
Around me
Within me
And most certainly
Beyond me

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The hard choice can be
Allowing the darkest night
Trusting light will come

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The Beginning (remembering Mary Travers)

On my way home tonight
Stuck in traffic
I saw the Arena Theatre
Where twenty years ago
My husband and I saw Peter, Paul, and Mary.

I remember what I wore
A black long-sleeved T-shirt
And a skirt made of fabric from South America.
The night was breezy and we held hands
Like the newly-weds we were.

A happy audience
Bathing in memories of summer camp
And singing around the fire.
You could feel the peace
As we sang along.

This music rang through much of my life.
I miss knowing Mary is with us,
But give thanks for the gift of her life and her joy.
For songs that passed from my parents to me to my child,
Songs that all my friends know by heart.

So tonight’s traffic jam
Even in exhaustion
Offered the surprise of happiness
Seeing the Arena Theatre
Remembering Peter, Paul, and Mary.

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