Archive for April, 2010

Monsters in the closet

April 12, 2010

I guess it is not too uncommon for a little kid to think that a monster might live in their closet. I was no exception.

How do kids get this idea? My only recollection as to how I might have gotten the idea that a monster lived in my closet was after I was read the book, ‘There’s A Monster in My Closet’ by Mercer Mayer. Funny how a book that was probably intended to help kids deal with their fears, initiated the idea that a monster might be living in my closet.

It was from this point that I began to sleep with my closet door shut.

As I grew older the idea of a monster in the closet matured into the idea that some sort of psycho killer was hiding in my closet… or under the bed… or maybe in the shower.

I recall coming home to an empty house and having to check under all of the beds, closets and the shower to make sure that no one was hiding… waiting for the appropriate moment to come out and kill me.

I lived with this fear for a time.

I still remember the moment that I came to terms with the “hiding psycho killer” fear.

One day I came home. No one was home. As I started to initiate my usual routine of checking the assorted nooks and crannies for the hidden homicidal maniac a thought came to me… “If someone is in the closet, they are going to be in there whether I check for them or not.” And so I didn’t check for knife welding killers from that point on.

And I went on with my life.

Epilogue: It has been many many years since I have checked under the beds… in our showers… or in closets for homicidal knife welding maniac killers–And I am still alive.

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Doubting Thomas

April 11, 2010

Today, this first Sunday after Pascha/Easter is St Thomas Sunday. The Gospel reading is John 20:19-31, the “Doubting Thomas” story.

One things that our Priest, Fr. Daniel, shared today about this story was the fact that Thomas “articulated his doubt.” He shared it in front of the 10 other Disciples/Apostles.

What a powerful, ballsy, thing for Thomas to do… to verbalize his doubt in front of the others.
Unlike Thomas… How often do I keep my own questions, struggles, etc to myself?


25The other disciples therefore said to him, “We have seen the Lord.” So he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.”

26And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace to you!”

27Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.”
28And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!”
29Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

I tell myself that I do not want to cause others to stumble… so I keep my questions and struggles to myself.
Yet at the same time I acknowledge that I find an encouraging comfort (for lack of a better way to express it) when others are open about their own struggles. –At what point does being open about your own struggles and questions move from an honest sharing to something that causes another to stumble and question?

I find it interesting that the Gospel account does not record the Apostles arguing with Thomas when he expresses his doubt….

This morning in Service as I thought about the Apostle Thomas I thought about Rev Nadia Bolz-Weber and her tattoos. I thought to myself that perhaps a tattoo of the Apostle Thomas would be appropriate for me; in a relating and encouraging to me sort of way.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer: February 4, 1906 – April 9, 1945

April 9, 2010

Today is the 65th Anniversary of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s death. Bonhoeffer, a German Lutheran Pastor, was killed at the Nazi Concentration Camp in Flossenburg, Germany.

He is commemorated as a Martyr by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Church of England and the Church in Wales.

“The camp doctor who witnessed the execution wrote: ‘I saw Pastor Bonhoeffer kneeling on the floor praying fervently to God. I was most deeply moved by the way this lovable man prayed, so devout and so certain that God heard his prayer. At the place of execution, he again said a short prayer and then climbed the few steps to the gallows, brave and composed. His death ensued after a few seconds. In the almost fifty years that I worked as a doctor, I have hardly ever seen a man die so entirely submissive to the will of God.'”

Farming As A Spiritual Discipline

April 8, 2010


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