Apr 23 2010

Leafy Praise

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“A few minutes ago every tree was excited, bowing to the roaring storm, waving, swirling, tossing their branches in glorious enthusiasm like worship. But though to the outer ear these trees are now silent, their songs never cease. Every hidden cell is throbbing with music and life, every fiber thrilling like harp strings, while incense is ever flowing from the balsam bells and leaves. No wonder the hills and groves were God’s first temples, and the more they are cut down and hewn into cathedrals and churches, the farther off and dimmer seems the Lord himself.”

John Muir, naturalist, explorer, and writer (1838-1914)


Apr 5 2010

Cup Overflowing

Mondays are for gratitude…counting to 1000 and beyond…

154. My dissertation proposal, The Role of Prayer in Academic Theological Education, was approved.  After 5 years, I am finally at the stage where I’m free to go anywhere (almost) and write.  Hopefully, I will graduate next May.

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155. And the decision is…Seattle.  After months of wrestling and taking steps forward to move to Texas (where my parents live), I decided that the place for intensive writing is with my church and community of 17 years, where I will have more freedom to get around, be near close friends who will pull me out of my writing cave, and where I will not melt in desert heat.  It was a very hard decision, one I am thankful to have finally made.

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156.  A lovely day in Salem with friends.

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157.  A new tree for my collection.

158. A delicious Easter brunch with friends.

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159.  Spring has come to Boston.

160. Continued gratitude for healing of migraines, insomnia, and a majority of my anxiety.  Who would have thought they were all connected.  It feels like a new life.

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161. Mary Magdalene, the first person who brought news of Christ’s resurrection.

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162. Resurrection before my eyes.  I came home and found my tulips drooping over their vase and gave them water.  Within an hour, they perked up again.  Grateful for living water when I am like a thirsty plant.

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162. A quiet morning, listening to the birds greet Easter Monday.

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Apr 4 2010

Mary Magdalene, Apostle to the Apostles

Mary Magdalene in the Garden

Mary Magdalene in the Garden by Sieger Koder

The women stayed at the cross.

They were the first at the tomb.

They were the first to see the Risen Christ,

the first to tell of resurrection,

apostle to the apostles:

“Go tell the disciples and Peter…”

A woman’s voice first proclaimed the amazing, wondrous good news:

He is risen!

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Mary Magdalene, Apostle to the Apostles


Apr 2 2010

Holy Saturday

Tomb by Sieger Köder

Tomb by Sieger Köder


Apr 2 2010

Art for Good Friday

As I contemplated what to post for such a day as this,  I decided that art for personal meditation might be best.  Below are some of my own drawings and those of one of my favorite artists, Sieger Köder.

Double Annunciation by Susan Forshey, charcoal (detail of Mary)
Double Annunciation by Susan Forshey, 2001 (detail)

I often read the biblical stories as time-bending narratives.  “Double Annunciation” connects the annunciation of Jesus’ birth with Jesus giving John to Mary as her son at the foot of the cross.  Young Mary gives the lily, a frequent symbol of the angelic greeting, to Older Mary, who receives it while in John’s arms.   The foreground drawing itself is a magnification of the distant crosses on the hill–distant to us in time, but not in heart.

Double Annunciation by Susan Forshey, charcoal, 2001.
Double Annunciation by Susan Forshey, 2001.

Good Friday is not simply about the crucifixion but also the healing that somehow, mysteriously, comes through the life-death-resurrection of Jesus to each of us.  Below is another time-and-distance-bending drawing depicting a woman in the modern world gazing out of her hospital window at Jesus healing the woman with the issue of blood, and receiving healing herself.  The hill of crosses stands in the distance.

Hope
Hope by Susan Forshey, 2003.

Finally, four paintings by one of my favorite artists, Sieger Köder, a Catholic priest, known as a “preacher with pictures”.  In many of Köder’s paintings, Jesus’ face is shown only in reflection on wine or water.

Last Supper by Sieger Koder
Last Supper by Sieger Köder
Washing of Feet by Sieger Köder
Washing of Feet by Sieger Köder
Jesus and Simon the Cyrene by Sieger Köder
Jesus and Simon the Cyrene by Sieger Köder
Crucifixion by Sieger Köder
Crucifixion by Sieger Köder

With you at the foot of the cross,

Susan


Apr 1 2010

Maundy Thursday

Last Supper by Sieger Köder

Last Supper by Sieger Köder

“May we know Your presence in the sharing of this bread, so that we may know Your touch in all bread, all matter.” –Iona Abbey


The Washing of Feet by Sieger Köder

The Washing of Feet by Sieger Köder

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