Tag Archives: resurrection

The Pregnant Pause

It was our early marriage season “B.C” (before children) and we were young, wild and more or less “free”. Thanks to the USAF, we were enjoying a period of relative stability. For the first time in our recent history the pay was steady,  we had a solid place to live and felt the freedom to enjoy and explore our surroundings.   Life was good.

We lived in a small Illinois suburb just outside of St. Louis, no more than 40-minutes from a great zoo, a public museum, and a large city park with miles of trails for biking. Escaping as often as we could, time was spent taking in all the city had to offer.

This also included public performances from the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. One of the lesser-known secrets of my soul is the love of good, classical music— Mozart in particular— and up until then, I had never seen a live orchestral performance. Having this kind of access was a treat for my senses and beauty-hungry soul.

To watch so many highly-skilled individual artists come together as a whole and fill a room with centuries-old music was a feast.  More modern pieces were presented as well and it was the first-time experience of one in particular that I’ll never forget: Samuel Barber’s “Adagio for Strings”.

The Pregnant Pause

To write this moment requires a loosening of my vocabulary— there’s simply no other fitting approach. Imagine: the sensation of being surrounded— nearly drowning in the sound of stringed instruments, spinning out and unraveling in an almost unbroken flow of sound. Swaying and swirling, ribbons of music unfurl, build and fill up every bit of available space within the possible range of hearing and come in so steady, without hastening or quickening the pace. You know you’re being taken someplace but you’re not quite sure where.

Note upon note is drawn between bow and string, as a pool of instruments measures out and pours upon the audience in a slow, steady stream…the sound now drawing us upward, drawing our ear and eye-gaze higher and higher still— narrowing, focusing….suspending over us as far to the peak of purity as it can go until you know— there’s nowhere left to go…       not one.   step.   more.

Then silence.
Absolute          silence.

As full as it had been only moments before, the room now echoes with spacious silence as the last few vaporous notes trail away and become memory.

And it lasts for quite a long time. The silence.  Almost to the point you may wonder if the piece is over and yet the Conductor doesn’t move— his hands are still in the air. The instrumentalists remain stock still with bows suspended against their strings, frozen in that silence.           Waiting.

It’s nerve-wracking, the ominous wait, the absence of sound and the fantastical fullness of the silence. The contrast is mesmerizing. Then…right about the time you’re certain you can take it no more— surely something must be wrong, the Conductor moves ever so slightly and the notes ease back into place falling in a much quieter decrescendo, working their way towards the finish line, backing away from the silence that was wholly necessary to the piece.

The silence that was planned all along. The silence that makes the sound more beautiful.


This is my soul on this and most every Good Friday.

As the events of Holy week have once again unfolded before me, I’ve done my best to walk as a Pilgrim with others alongside our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ all the way to the cross.      All the way to today.

All the way from the clash with the religious leaders in the temple, to Mary’s alabaster offering and on through the cacophonous cries of Hosanna! lining the Jerusalem roadside.

I stood outside the door of the Upper Room and saw the kneeling and the washing, the bread and cup lifted up, and the hand against His on the table. I heard Him sing a song.  I stumbled along to Gethsemane and tried to keep my soul keen and awake for this one hour as the tension built and the blood-sweat trailed down his cheeks, soon to be kissed and called, “Rabbi”.

I stood in the shadows with Peter, saw the spitting mockery, the lashes and then heard the rooster crow in the distance and those same Hosanna voices turning inward on themselves, dipping into their own souls… my soul… and twisting back out into an ugly…CRUCIFY! 

The crown, the cross, the crowd.
The forgiveness, the forsaking, the cry… it is finished!

Then silence.

Sundown, the tomb and nightfall leading into the long    silence     of Saturday.

These are the moments that get me the most. As I try to imagine the grief of Peter and the dazed fear and disappointment of the disciples—maybe mixed with disgust— who had to be reliving every one of these moments over and over in their minds. Remembering just a week ago and now THIS? Wondering, “How did we get here?   Now what”?

That soul-stifling silence that you never expect to end. Death and the grave. Shattered dreams and expectations lay crushed beneath the weight of the enormous silence of Saturday.

Yes…Sunday is coming but Saturday doesn’t know it… yet.

Somewhere in the early morning hours on that 3rd day, God moved ever so slightly and the song continued. The stone was rolled away and the body wasn’t there. Because He lives!

Here we are:  with the possibility of being the people of Sunday and the risen Savior who can find measured joy in this Holy week, remembering our forgiveness purchased in these unfolding events and all the prophesy foretold of them since the Dawn of Time— we can anchor ourselves in these moments because–HALLELUJAH!– the story…the song— didn’t end in the silence of Saturday.   Not at all. 

The Witness

It’s something we must remember. It’s stated in one of the earliest creeds we know today how He suffered, he died and was buried. On the 3rd day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures. He is seated at the right hand of the Father and….. He will come again to judge the living and the dead and His kingdom will have no end. 

He’s coming back.

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were you there?

Flame of God 2

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction,
so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction,
with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings,
so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.”
2Corinthians 1:3-5


God could have chosen to restore us to Himself in any way He wanted.
He could have chosen not to.
But He did.

Yesterday marks the day It was “FINISHED.” So why today? Why do we have this whole dark and lonely day of waiting before we get tomorrow?

I believe it’s because we need the time to grieve, reflect, mourn and then greatly desire, understand and appreciate the beauty and gift of tomorrow.

I often think of the disciples..all of Jerusalem who woke to the darkness of today feeling no hope. They’d heard it was finished but they believed it was over.

Their grief was deep and real…..God allowed this full day between yesterday and tomorrow  so they…so we…. could remember and feel the pain, shame, regret… EVERYTHING.

“Sometimes it causes me to tremble…..tremble…tremble.”


Today’s darkness was necessary so they could experience the deep joy of realized hope purchased for us at that cross and in the resurrection.

That joy was so real that it’s changed the course of history for all time–we can be assured of this because here we are, 2000+ years later and the truth goes on. Lives were changed in the midst of today’s darkness so that when the reality of tomorrow rose with the dawn ...no one could ever be the same again.

Knowing this, how can any of us ever be the same again?

God’s invitation is that we don’t rush past today simply to get to tomorrow. To think about what this day means and hold the truth of it all…feel the weight of the dark sorrow and bright hope mixed together.

This is THE story.
Is it your story?

Praise God, it’s mine:

I was lost. I was STUCK in the darkness without hope. Overwhelmed by my sin and separated from God. At the cross,  Jesus purchased my pardon from God’s wrath and hell and my life is risen with His at the resurrection we can celebrate tomorrow.

I am saved…I am ransomed, I am free! My life is truly and forever changed….and changing more day by day.

 Just as the grieving disciples, stuck for a moment in the darkness of Saturday long ago  would soon discover,  I live from the brilliant joy and truth of tomorrow:

 The Lord is risen, Hallelujah!
THIS is good news!

Happy Resurrection weekend!

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Linking with Sandy and Diedra

the view from my broken marriage

It’s Holy Week.

A week of remembering the moments surrounding the single-most important person and event in all of human history:   Jesus.  

Life. Death. Burial. Resurrection.

A week to remember the everything before and after and to rejoice that we can now live from the center of  “It is finished!”

the view from my broken marriage

Yesterday, my youngest and I occupied a pew in the little Episcopal church here in town for the first of five services our community will host this week. Today we’ll be at the Methodist church. It’s one of the many things I’ve come to love about this small country town. One week out of the year we gather in one another’s churches before God, united in the Spirit to worship our Lord and Savior; Jesus. How beautiful is the body of Christ.

 In the brief moments before the service began, I recalled this time from years before and was filled with so much peace and joy for the life in Christ I have today. Because I was remembering how just a few short years ago, I sat in a pew alone, sin sick and heart damaged by so much pain and confusion.

 Everything I thought I knew about all I thought I could depend on was falling apart and crumbling beneath my feet. I was lost amidst my own shattered illusions of what it means to be a minister of the Gospel, a woman, a wife, mother, sister and friend.

I’d come face to face with my own empty definitions, which somehow had become detached or maybe had never been truly attached to their meaning in Christ. I was a lost sheep in crisis and didn’t know if I’d ever find my way back home.

I didn’t know where home could be found and mine……… was falling apart.
Two decades of denial had taken their toll and I could no longer hold back my overwhelming dissatisfaction with the temple prostitute I had become. Angry. Fearful. Frustrated. People pleaser. Need meeter.

 Years of inattention to details, false starts and unkept promises on both sides of my marriage added more and more kindling to the pile of dead wood smoldering  inside of me and before I knew it,

this girl was about to self-combust and burn herself to the ground.

 Of course, the enemy wasted no time… slipping in the well-placed attentions of others under the guise of tending to my neglected intellectual, emotional and spiritual needs. Needs I’d forgotten I had; deeper places and pieces of me I’d set aside early in my marriage thinking I’d get to them later…things all too soon forgotten until I couldn’t forget any more. The 2 Timothy “weak-willed woman”?      That was me.

I was ripe for the picking and I had no clue.

My marriage was in shambles.

Can I just say that? Yes we are both sold out followers of Christ and yes, our marriage was in trouble.

 Honestly, we were both doing the best we could with what little we understood all those years . We’d both come from homes decimated by sin and divorce. Simply staying together would have been enough to do it better than our parents had before. But that wasn’t enough and we knew it. We loved each other and we needed help. But how?

 You know I’ve written an awful lot about mentoring and accountability. It’s because God has used these relationships to change my life and marriage.

God has used other men to minister to my husband helping him to stand firm and walk the walk and other women have counseled me and loved me back from the brink of disaster. It’s scriptural (see James 5:13-20) and it’s necessary.        Do it. 

God's real help******************************

Divorce was not an option but marriage the way we’d been doing it for 20 years wasn’t either. 

We loved God. We loved each other.

However, my husband didn’t know how or where to lead,  I didn’t know who or how to follow and after 20 years, we were getting nowhere fast. The fight was on. We fought like we’d never fought before.  Something had to change; through the prayers of others and constant humbling,  something did:

We got broken.
More broken than our marriage.

Somewhere in the middle of all the battles we stopped fighting…. each other and started to realize we were actually fighting for something far greater, and it was really worth the fight. We also realized we weren’t fighting alone. So we kept fighting for it and kept talking and listening even when it hurt.

I had to find the courage introduce my husband to the woman he actually married (once I found her again myself)  and he had to find the courage to accept and encourage me here.

I had to learn how to communicate my needs respectfully and to encourage and spur him on to greatness in Christ –trusting God to do the work in His life, and he had to learn how to listen CARE-FULLY and not finish my sentences. Ha!

He’s learning how to lead…and where; through and to Christ.
I’m learning how to follow in all the same ways.
We’re both learning to trust and share the load of leading and following under God’s direction.

We hope we get to grow old together with the emphasis on the GROW in the midst of the old.

We are partners.
We are friends.
We are warriors.

Marriage as Co-creation************************** 

It’s Holy week; the time when we remember the life, death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ who is so very real, active and alive in the world today;

I know.

 Because this is the very real life, death and resurrection story He’s made of my broken marriage.  It’s still broken but we’ve decided to keep it that way.

 Because God is teaching us both to do whatever it takes to stay broken ourselves before the Lord and this marriage…this broken marriage… is our testimony and offering to Him; broken and made whole again by God


Dear reader,  I don’t know where you are today but if you are anywhere near where I once was, I want to offer you this testimony of hope; healing IS possible.

Maybe you or someone you know is struggling in this place today or from where you stand, disaster is on the horizon.


Remember! It is FINISHED! Jesus is risen for you and for your marriage today.

And know this: you do not fight alone. I’d love to pray for you and hear your heart.

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