March 22, 2012

When the One You Love Is Gone

My mother died the day before yesterday. It still seems such an odd thing to say--so final, matter of fact, and ordinary. But my mother was never ordinary. That was her gift and her burden. As a pastor's spouse, I have been with many grieving people. And although I experienced the death of my dad a few years ago, I guess we never get used to it.

I've never been one for ritual. Even in church, I tend to think of ritual as an excuse not to truly engage and do something more meaningful. But I have to say that for me, going through the rituals associated with loss of a loved one have been helpful.

The rituals of people bringing food, offering condolences, sending cards and flowers. But also the rituals associated with visitation and the funeral service. All these have been comforting and needed. And I appreciate them in a new way.

I also have an increased gratitude for life itself and the gift of Christian community. While I walk in grief it helps to know that there is a well-traveled path toward healing.

Grace, Kathy

March 7, 2012

They Will Know We Are Christians by Our Love?

I admit it, I like watching the Comedy channel. On a recent show, a girl(about 16) was asked if she was a Christian. "No," she said "They don't accept everybody." "Don't they love other people?" The interviewer said. "No, they don't accept gays, so I worship Satan."

Admittedly her logic was a bit flawed, but my heart broke. That small exchange speaks to so many issues in the Church today. Are there limits and should there be limits as to how Christians reach out in love? What does it mean to accept another person? How do we live by a code of Cristian ethics in a world that often doesn't seem to any ethic at all? What does the world see when Christians disagree among themselves, because not all Christians believe homosexuality is wrong. Why would a young person prefer Satan to Jesus? Do Christians need better PR? What will it take to bring the world to the saving love of God through Jesus?

When I heard that girl speak, I couldn't help think about what her parents must think. Maybe that is part of the problem. But we have a problem too, no matter what her background is. Too many people believe Christianity is not accepting, kind, or loving. What are we going to do about it?


TSA Humilates Mother

Friends, I thought long and hard about posting this, because it's a little outside the usual fare. But it just seemed too important to let slide.

A number of years ago, I traveled to the Holy Land and saw how countries in the Middle East treat their citizens. In Jordan airport, in particular, local people were herded like sheep and treated like dirt. I thought to myself, "Thank goodness I live in a place where that can't happen." Seems I was wrong.

A young mother was traveling through airport security...and the story goes downhill from there. The story is disturbing and shows extreme ignorance about security in general, and about what is takes to pump milk specifically. To shame a woman--a mother--in this way is worse than anything that Rush Limbaugh said or has ever said. Pumping milk, if you've done it, is difficult under most circumstances. A woman is not a cow. She cannot simply pump on demand, at least I never could, especially in a stressful situation, like this one surely was.

One thing I still don't understand is that TSA won't let a person take more that 3 oz. of liquid on a plane. You would think that empty bottles would have been better than full ones.

Read it for yourself. Here the story link from the CNN website: 'I wanted to cry': TSA makes mom pump milk.

I even sent a letter of complaint to the TSA. You can too. Here's the address: and I got a response.

As Christians we are called to transform the world. This is another reminder of how far we have to go.

Clarksville, TN