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Showing posts from November, 2017

complicated.

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He was the first person who told me I'd become a pastor someday.

I was 12 and it came across as a cheap insult. I hated him for it because I'd never seen or heard a female pastor and thought that meant I would have to imitate men instead of being myself.  But I also loved him for it because I knew he meant to get me dreaming big about my faith and vocation. He was a great pastor and mentor. I can still remember him standing on the stretch of sidewalk between the race track and the sanctuary, his alb blowing in the ocean breeze. He greeted everyone by name and handshake, personable and intensely funny.

He stayed in good touch with our family after we moved back to Minnesota and would visit from time to time. He corresponded with me and my brothers through snail mail, cheering us on while we grew up.

But in college I got a strange farewell email and then news that there was a warrant out for his arrest. For more than a dozen years he'd been manipulating family systems and se…

Naaman.

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Cain.

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Now when Adam and Eve knew each other, she conceived and bore a son they named Cain, which means the sum of what they made and had (to produce). Cain was a farmer who cared for the land and his brother Abel watched over the flocks of animals. When the young men made sacrifices to God, Abel's was regarded but Cain's was not received with the same appreciation. 

When you are named for what you produce, your output can become confused with your identity. God's silence was deafening and unbearable for Cain. The scriptures say his countenance fell. Composure and mental stability were lost without praise for his harvest.

It was enough to unravel his sense of self, his loyalty to kin, his faith in God, and his stewardship of creation. While Cain knew how to produce and strive, he did not know how to feel or fail. And so, he began to live and act out of his mind. He lured his brother to the fields and murdered him in a jealous rage. As Abel's blood soaked into the earth, Cain li…