Lent Word #4: Reward


As if I did something
To earn this
Whatever is being given to me

As if you did something
To deserve what you are receiving
Payback for whatever came before

As if
We cannot give it away
Soon enough
This consequence
This result
This outcome
This punishment
This grace
This reward

In the time it’s mine
I cannot ignore the weight
How this burden takes both hands to hold
How the heart cannot bear it up
Except with clenched teeth and tightened jaw
And a conscious lifting of shoulders
Shrugging upward with the whole self
Hefting it away from the ground
Before I pass it along again

Though I wish I could just drop it
Rather than putting it into someone else’s keeping
But maybe to put it down
Would create more wear and tear
Than continuing to carry it
And sharing it hand to hand

Lent Word #3: Transgression


  • Video ‘Teaching to Transgress’ with Bell Hooks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQUuHFKP-9s&list=PL2B275096C8DDFF3B
  • Reflection in poetry on Lenten Word Transgressions:Transgressions by Gail Doktor (c) 2/17
    On the way
    Why shouldn’t the first word
    Be the one that means to travel
    To cross overBoundaries

    I stop at trans-
    Trans   port
    Trans   late
    Trans   scend

    And as for –gressions
    Re   gressions
    Ag   gressions

    I want to subtract and change
    The syllables to something else
    More beautiful than itself
    And yet itself
    In part and whole
    Makes it
    What it is
    Whatever that may be

    And even in this
    Crossing over becomes
    Different for me
    Than for you
    Or for us

    Becomes other
    Becomes else
    Beyond the original
    After all

    On the way from
    En route to
    Crossing through
    Trans-  and  -gression

    © Gail Doktor 2/17


Journeyz: Reflections on Body, Mind & Spirit

Hey all, I’m starting 365 days of reflections on our human pilgrimage through life. Meditating on encounters from daily walks through home and work and points between, I’m musing about bodily, emotional, spiritual, and intellectual journeys in this world.

#journeyz #spiritualwalk #pilgrimage #bodymindspirit

Lent Day 19: COME

feb28_comeThe word that surfaced in several passages today is COME.

We can hear this as an invitation, as it is used in the Psalms. Its sounds like a welcome, a beckoning, a chance to draw closer to God and benefit from the bounty of God’s goodness.

Such an invitation suggests that we are returning. It implies that we have traveled elsewhere, and we are invited to a homecoming. Whether metaphorical or literal, the idea of being parted from a beloved one, and invited to COME back, speaks to most of us. We are all moving to or away from something in our lives. We have probably all been lost or wandered, parted from the integrity of our best selves, from healthy connections to others, from the wellbeing of the world, or from meaningful bonds to Godself.

The theme of Biblical stories encompasses the journeys of God’s people. God’s love is a movement of creating us, making a home for us, letting us go out into the world, encountering us repeatedly along the way, and welcoming us back again and again into deeper relationship in spite of ourselves (ie, homecoming). We may enjoy a respite in a place of sanctuary, such as a garden or a promised land, only to go out into the wider world again, and then have adventures and misadventures, and struggle back toward that place of peace, healing and mercy.

On the other hand, if what COMES is something that happens to us, instead of due to our choice, it can be threatening and risky, or it might be exhilarating. Such is the usage of COME in the letter from Paul to Corinth … as he talked about the arrival of the end of the age, whether people are ready or not. In this case, things come toward us or come at us, and we are cautioned to be vigilant and ready to handle them. If we don’t have the opportunity to prepare, which happens to many of us, then perhaps we turn to God to find ways to respond to the events or circumstances that have come upon us.

Finally, we have the complaint of a fruit tree’s owner, who returns again and again, COMING by to get what he expects from his non-producing tree, then threatening to cut it down. The gardener pleads for redemption, and a chance to spend more time, at least another season, to nurture the tree and coax it to bear fruit. In my reading, we are the trees in need of patience and compassionate care, and the gardener is Christ, tending us with God’s redemptive love.

COME toward the love of the gardener in the garden. The choice to return is always ours to make, but the invitation from God is offered again and again.

Excerpts from today’s lectionary readings:

  • Psalm 55: 1 –Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters.
  • Psalm 55: 3 — Incline your ear, and come to me; listen, so that you may live.
  • 1 Corinthians 10: 11b — And they were written down to instruct us, on whom the ends of the ages have come.
  • Luke 13:7 –So he said to the gardener, ‘See here! For three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree.”

Day 12 of Lent: WAY

from: fabforgottennobility.tumblr.com

Lent is a time of spiritual journey and pilgrimage. We turn inward to learn more about ourselves, and we also look outward at our connection to the world. We practice following Jesus. We walk in his Way, with the help of the Spirit.

The Way implies movement. We are beings who move and grow: bodily, emotionally,  psychologically, and spiritually.

Humans are creatures of motion, traveling through time across varied geographies and landscapes. Our sacred stories are filled with motion. We depart, we journey from point A to point B, we get lost, we wander, and we arrive. We cross borders, bridges, and boundaries. We go through rivers and deserts, lakes and mountains, wilderness and cities. We pause at crossroads. We pass through doors and portals. We detour for walls and barriers. We turn back. We keep going. We ascend and descend. We swim, walk, run, ride,  or fly. We stop at places of safety: wells, oasis, gardens, temples, tents, and other places of refuge. We leave and go into exile. We return home.

We also stretch and expand with our minds, our emotions, and our spirits. So what does it mean to walk or stand firm in Christ’s Way? Consider the Gospel’s most basic and ethical commands: love God, and love your neighbor as yourself. Within that statement are the anchors of a covenant: God, self, and others (including creation). These are Jesus commandment, in their primal form, for living ethically.

During this season, you’re invited to ask yourself, what parts of walking in the Way come easily to you? And what parts need more attention?

Following the Way combines what we learn from scripture and tradition, and what we learn from intuition, intellect and experience. In today’s scripture, we hear that God’s word (the Bible) is one guide for the Way. Christ’s life of ministry serves as a template. Plus our church says that God is still speaking in the world today, through the people we meet and the insights we gain. Prayer serves as a chance for redirecting ourselves, as we respond to current events. Our community can be a resource as we study and follow the Way of Christ.

Sometimes the Way is more than a metaphor, it is also a physical pilgrimage. People travel certain roads, and visit specific sacred stations or sites, as a bodily journey through the landscape, toward a specific destination. The Way is embodied by a route that you navigate using maps and GPS. Examples of pilgrimage include walking along the Camino de Santiago between France and Spain for Christians or the Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca) for Muslims. Pilgrimage is a universal experience that can also be found in other faith traditions around the world.

  • Genesis 15: 4a — But the word of the Lord came to him.
  • Psalm 27: 11 — Teach me your way, O Lord,and lead me on a level path.
  • Philippians 4: 1 — Therefore, my brothers and sisters, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, my beloved.
  • Luke 13: 32b-33 — ‘Listen, I am casting out demons and performing cures today and tomorrow, and on the third day I finish my work. Yet today, tomorrow, and the next day I must be on my way.