Sunday, March 27, 2011

Third Sunday in Lent

That's Wyatt's model airplane up there. He came to spend the night on Friday and R and I took him to the park yesterday morning with one of those cardboard and plastic model airplanes that runs on a unraveling, wound up rubber band and a propeller with a high toss into the wind. We were over there for an hour together having a good, sweet time. It's nice to know that such simple ingredients are still more enticing than the DS or the toy story video.

Got a message from one of my former Academy covenant group members alerting the rest of us that Bob, the only man in our group - poor guy, had been unexpectedly transferred to Hospice yesterday after a tumor discovery last week.

I've been working on my personal narrative for graduate school and the Academy and Mercy Center figures largely in my growth and development story, not to mention my readiness and hunger for seminary. The Academy also came up in my leadership history presentation last week for my MIT class and now that I think about it, I found a picture of my covenant group last week and I had been thinking about how blessed I was to be in the company of my elders. People who were at 20 years ahead of me, if not 40 or more years ahead of me in this life.

Bob is a funny guy. I remember him telling jokes and laughing a lot. He is a retired second-career pastor and completely in love with his wife Mary who we heard a lot over those two years. We sat in a room together every night. The 8 of us would gather at the appointed time for 40 nights, sit in a circle, light a candle, and listen to one another or perform skits at the unstable at the end of the week. One memorable time we dressed up in trash bags as nuns and did a silent version of the hallelujah chorus with flash cards. Bob was Sister Mary Juana I think.

Thinking of you, Bob. And you too, Mary. His wife, Mary, came to our group for a little bit the last night and helped us make beaded bracelets. We each brought 8 of one kind of bead and passed them out to each other so we each have a matching bracelet made up of pieces of each of us. One of my favorite totems and sometimes I wear it when I'm preaching or leading a retreat.

Spirit of Comfort come quickly. My love goes to that bedside in Arizona. Thanks for keeping us informed Judy.

40 days and nights. Such a powerful number in our tradition.

So here we are the Third Sunday in Lent. So many people on my prayer card for sickness and vigil. Three friends have lost a parent already this year and another friend is keeping vigil. Several folks.

May there be peace and unexpected strength and surrounding in these desert times.

God of the journey,
who calls us to travel with faith,
who reminds us we are dust
yet breathes into us the breath of life,
hear my prayer:

Bearer of the Sun,
draw us into your heart of fire,
that we may have light to uncover
the unremembered stories
and strength to endure their telling.

Creator of the world,
awaken us to the blessedness of earth,
that I may honor these who once dwelled
along these paths that I now travel.

Spirit who hovered
over the face of the deep,
lead us to your life-giving waters,
that we may give our tears to the depths
and find refreshment and delight.

Helper who breathes life
into each new generation,
surround us, surround Bob and Mary, with the winds of your spirit,
and may we hear with tenderness
the stories that they bear.

-Jan L. Richardson

[pronouns modified]


  1. Love this picture...

    a moment in time...with sweet Wyatt and R...


  2. God of the journey...
    in our going out,
    in our coming in,
    in our becoming

    Lighting a candle for Bob and Mary