A Story of Thirst

The story below is a portion of a paper I wrote a few years ago for my Christian Scriptures course at the School of Theology and Ministry at Seattle University. The paper was an exegetical exploration of the Gospel text from John 4:1-42 (Jesus and the woman of Samaria). I won’t reproduce my theologizing, rather here is a creative piece that tells a story of a homeless woman–a real woman I met while working at a shelter in Delaware. I’ve shortened the original text to a more manageable blog size.  Infused with elements of stories from others, her voice speaks for many who have no voice in this society…

The scene: a Woman sits, with her head bowed, tears running down her cheeks

I love my children very much; they mean the world to me. It was because of them that I left him. Some have asked why I didn’t stay, why I didn’t just “work things out.” They say I should have stuck with it. Well, he is an alcoholic and an abuser, you see. There was a point that I just couldn’t take it anymore—the yelling, the drinking and the constant fighting. One day, I thought he was at work, but when he came home sick, I found out he had spent the whole day getting drunk at a bar. He pretended to go to work and had the nerve to come home “sick”!

He hit me, and I tried to take it; I had to be strong for my three children. There were some good times, too. Maybe that’s why I stayed so long. I thought if I could only make things right, keep everything together, he’d change. But like I said, there was a point when I just couldn’t take it anymore and pretend everything was fine. It was like waking up from a nightmare, but the nightmare was reality. That was when I said enough, and I walked out the door—out of my life, away from my job, away from my friends, and all things comforting. I walked out and I stepped into a hostile world, drowning in an angry sea of pain and confusion. Continue reading “A Story of Thirst”

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It’s Epiphany: arise, shine…

awaken

Isaiah 60:1-6

60:1 Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you.

60:2 For darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the LORD will arise upon you, and his glory will appear over you.

60:3 Nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.

60:4 Lift up your eyes and look around; they all gather together, they come to you; your sons shall come from far away, and your daughters shall be carried on their nurses’ arms.

60:5 Then you shall see and be radiant; your heart shall thrill and rejoice, because the abundance of the sea shall be brought to you, the wealth of the nations shall come to you.

60:6 A multitude of camels shall cover you, the young camels of Midian and Ephah; all those from Sheba shall come. They shall bring gold and frankincense, and shall proclaim the praise of the LORD.

Praying a Psalm for Justice

This Psalm came in my inbox this morning, as part of a subscription for a daily Bible reading through the ELCA.  I pray this Psalm today,  as my heart and mind are praying for the people of Burma (Days of non-violent protest in the streets, led by Buddhist monks were met with violence by the ruling military…it’s not over yet).   To pray this is a challenge, as I find it difficult to praise God today, when I look around and see such horrible things.   Kyrie Eleison!

 Psalm 146

Justice to the oppressed

Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord, O my soul!
I will praise the Lord as long as I live;
I will sing praises to my God all my life long.
Do not put your trust in princes,
in mortals, in whom there is no help.
When their breath departs, they return to the earth;
on that very day their plans perish.
Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the Lord their God,
who made heaven and earth,
the sea, and all that is in them;
who keeps faith forever;
who executes justice for the oppressed;
who gives food to the hungry.
The Lord sets the prisoners free;
the Lord opens the eyes of the blind.
The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;
the Lord loves the righteous.
The Lord watches over the strangers;
he upholds the orphan and the widow,
but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.

The Lord will reign forever,
your God, O Zion, for all generations.
Praise the Lord!