mono y mono


my Spanish is more like Spanglish
so for you bilingual folks, let me extend my apologies.

I am going for a play on words here (is that proper Spanglish etiquette?)
and no…I don’t literally mean “ape and ape”…although, this picture is kind of cute

but I am going for the actual word “mono”
yes, meaning mononucleosis
and yes…I do know that the Spanish to which I am referring is
mano a mano

—– with all of that out-of-the-way, let me begin —-

a dreaded
kind of virus

y mono…
do nothing
rest only
where are the meds
kind of virus

mono y mono.
no, I have never had it
no, I really never want to experience this
but my dearest friend –
wife, mother of two absolutely adorable toddlers –
is in the throes of
this seemingly never-ending ordeal.

as I have witnessed the misery
the inability to adequately care for her family
because there is to do so
I have learned a couple of things….

first of all, friendship is a very powerful thing
true, authentic, genuine
it truly is part of the glue that holds me together.
but, it works both ways…
for her to be absolutely vulnerable to allow
someone else to tend to her children
and to take care of her husband and her house
to do laundry
to cook meals
to do dishes
…and know that your friend (me) is not
trying to strip you of your identity
and your “job”
is fiercely powerful…and profound.
that she feels safe with me
that she trusts me
to sort of step in…
man…that is kind of overwhelmingly beautiful!

another thing that I have learned is that
our bodies speak to us…but we don’t always listen.

“When an illness knocks you on your ass, you should stay down and relax for a while before trying to get back up”. – Candea Core-Starke

I’m not saying that this is what happened to my friend, but
I do think that by being run over by that proverbial truck,
puts things in different perspective

makes sense, right?
going from vertical
being able to walk, and control where you are headed
to being flat on your back
with a limited perspective and no energy to get on your feet

what else have I learned?
I don’t like mono.
I adore my friends’ children.
Taking care of toddlers is exhausting.

back to the Spanglish portion of this entry…
mano a mano — hand in hand
isn’t that what this is all about?
walking through life
with those that we love and care about
not only loving
but being love?

(and using lots of hand sanitizer when your friend has the mono)

cue a section on Christmas…
I am going to interject some thoughts about Christmas and Santa and elves and what-not here…
this season, especially, I have seen the overt (at least to me) comparison
between Santa and Jesus…
stick with me here.
Santa – sees you when you’re sleeping, know when you’re awake, knows if you’ve been bad or good…???
have you ever seen this jolly old elf?
have you heard him speak to you?
and yet, most of us believe in the “magic of Christmas”
we expect to see it in the eyes of children on Christmas morning
we have faith in this unseen entity that can somehow foster joy and merriment.

Jesus – sees us all of the time – sleeping, awake, at home, at work, behind closed doors, in conversations, how we use our time, what we do when we think no one else is looking…
and yet, we (even Christians) have difficulty believing in the “magic of Jesus”
we don’t live like we have been freed
we don’t converse like we have a different kind of life-blood flowing through our veins
we don’t simply take care of each other and
embrace hope

why is it so easy to believe in the man in the red suit
and pretend that we are Santa’s elves
(kind of being the hands and feet of Santa, right?)
and yet…
we have this distorted concept of Jesus, his life, our lives because of Him
and what it truly looks life to be His hands and feet….

still with me?

walking hand-in-hand
with each other takes on different meanings
depending on our perspectives, right?

I have a different perspective of walking hand-in-hand with my friend
than her family does – her husband, her kids, her parents, her siblings, her friends
and I think that that is totally OK.
maybe that is why we are surrounded by so many different people
with different perspectives and points of view?
maybe, together, we have a clearer and sharper picture — just a thought

aren’t you glad that God’s perspective doesn’t change?
that He always has a super clear, super focused view of our lives?
that He doesn’t change depending on the outcome of an election
or who wins the game or gets recognized?

that when we don’t know how we can ever get back up
or make a difference
or simply take a step…
we are
mano a mano
with the Creator of the universe?

After all, it is I, the Eternal One your God, who has hold of your right hand, Who whispers in your ear, ‘Don’t be afraid.  I will help you.’ – Isaiah 41:13 (the Voice)

and maybe…

just maybe…He uses our hands.

mano a mano con gracia


a thrill of hope


the thrill of hope…???

hope – the expectation of something we desire

thrill – a sudden feeling of excitement and pleasure

could it be
that the thrill of hope
is a sudden feeling of perhaps overwhelming warmth and peace and comfort for Someone that we need and is missing in our lives
but that we don’t even know that we need Him?

could it be
that when the weary world rejoices
it is because we know that the thing for which we have been
searching and seeking and yearning
has finally arrived?

I don’t know about you
but I am part of the weary world…

am I rejoicing today?
have I been waiting in expectation?
have I been still and calm enough
to make room?
to make space for the arrival,
for that which my soul has been craving?

in my waiting, have I made room?

Expecting Me?
Can you make room?
Like Mary, open your womb; give me refuge, make living space within.

…willing souls make a difference
People courageous enough to resist death-dealing,
to starve the fear,
and consecrate space for holiness

Life begetting life
New breath
Fresh eyes

…I am expecting you
Make room beloved, there is more than enough – Kari Ann Hall

have I made room this Christmas
for Christ to live in my space – whatever that may look like
(and honestly, my friends, my space isn’t decorated to the hilt, nor is it clutter-free, and it isn’t always welcoming)

my space has stuff –
disappointment, sadness, uncertainty, saltiness
mixed with
contentment, excitement, thankfulness, and a sprinkle of grace

does Jesus have room?
am I embracing the thrill of hope?

Jesus is expecting us…





earlier bits

December 2016
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