Wednesday, May 27


"Take no heavier lift of your children, than your Lord alloweth; give them room beside your heart, but not in the yolk of your heart, where Christ should be; for then they are your idols, not your bairns. If your Lord take any of them home to his house before the storm come on, take it well, the owner of the orchard may take down two or three apples off his own trees, before the midsummer, and ere they get the harvest sun; and it would not be seemly that his servant, the gardener, should chide him for it. Let our Lord pluck his own fruit at any season he pleaseth; they are not lost to you, they are laid up so well, as that they are coffered in Heaven, where our Lord's best jewels lie." ~Samuel Rutherford

Tuesday, May 26

A Quotidian Saturday

Saturday Mornings for the Boards gang usually find us heading out to the Farmer's Market downtown to do our weekly shopping. Due to various schedule issues I had not had the opportunity to go yet this year, and this past Saturday was my first for the growing season.

Our Farmer's Market is a small, but busy affair and it was exciting to see all of the same faces I saw last season, albeit a season older. It was also the first Saturday for a couple that we have gotten to know who are taking a stab at organic farming. The last time we had seen them Kelly was about to pop with a baby. So naturally, their first question was "How is the baby?" So we filled them in on what had transpired over the past few months that we had not seen them. They were sympathetic and sorry for what we had lost, and so the went the conversation. And on the conversation continued, turning next to how the season was starting for them, the frustrations of too much rain too soon, the question of whether to start raising livestock, etc.

What occurred to me during our conversation and during the rest of the time at the market was how much I enjoyed shopping here. And it occurred to me that my enjoyment came from much more than the fresh food, my enjoyment was coming from the relationships I was developing with the farmers who grow my food. It was the human connection that I was craving. We tend to live in a very detached culture that feels it is largely independent of the need for relationships to get by. And so, I was reminded from this very mundane, normal Saturday morning that people indeed matter and that we are created with the need to know and be known. It is a joy to share your trials and tribulations with another human, even when you are shopping!

Tuesday, May 19

The Longest Saturday

The Greeks have a wonderful little adjective, kairos, which describes time in a qualitative sense. Not the kind of time that your watch measures, but the kind of time that is characterized by a feeling such as "this is a good time", it is time for a beer, or, as the ancient poet remarked: there is a time to weep and a time to laugh. Have you ever thought about how absurd it is for us to attempt to describe God, who is outside of time, with language that exists only within time?

Consider this: in between the days of Christ's death and his resurrection there was Saturday, the day when nothing happened at all. Christ was dead, and that was that. The Gospels have little to say about it, the Disciples themselves simply rested as they were commanded. But imagine such rest, they were most likely scared out of their skins and doing more of cowering in the dark corner of their flat than resting with a good drink and a pleasant book. And waiting, for what they were not even sure.

So too for us, Saturday is the day that we know best. We too are waiting, waiting for God knows what. Maybe we are waiting as a pessimist for the government to finally fail, maybe we are waiting as the typical American Evangelical for that supposed thousand years of peace, or maybe we wait as the good humanist for human kind to finally reach a perfected state of being. This is certainly one way to wait. It makes us feel brave as we laugh in the face of the dark night; it also tempting because as Buechner says; "despair is often easier than faith."

The other way however, is to say "to hell with the dark." The other way is to say "thanks be to God" because the darkness is not the end. Sunday morning came, and with it life. Life everlasting. As sure as the light has already broken into the darkness and will break through again, so will our Sunday morning come and put an end to our Saturday.

Saturday, May 9

my little beach buddy

Mac kept us busy, running from camp down to the water, and finally lay right down beside me; we listened to the music from tiny speakers by that bag in front of us, appropriately playing the country song "Blow Wind, Blow."

We girls had a great time at the beach yesterday while our guys were hard at work, flying somewhere around the same coastline. Since the water is still chilly, we did no more than wade in the waves, choosing instead to burn ourselves up on the beach. You know you've gotten an overdose of sun when you get home groggy from doing nothing more than lying on a beach towel.

Friday, May 8

Siesta in Tuscon

As one of my friends puts it, being professionally unemployed frees me to "live the life" and traveling with Boards on business trips is one of those rare pleasures. While the husband was enduring lectures on the hidden art of bomb building, I spent each morning writing for hours in the outdoor nook of an Italian style cafe the first morning and a more business like Panera style cafe the next two mornings. Sipping coveted lattes followed by rich, in house-baked chocolate chip cookies was an indulgence I allowed, with the hour invested in the hotel gym later that afternoon. We ate dinner at a friendly little Guatemalan restaurant, where the chile rellenos are excellent, stuffed with spinach and walnuts--not the standard gooey cheese. The impression of the desert cities to me is always one of brown rubble, coming from the overpowering green of the east. And always after only a day or two, one begins to enjoy the ever sunny blue skies, and every piece of green cactus, each bright cluster of flowers catches the eye like no one tree will ever do in North Carolina.