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Friday, July 25, 2008

Family Lectionary

I have always loved the lectionary because it helps me discover a deeper me. It seems that when I submit myself to the discipline of the texts and days, there is a deeper underlying rhythm that brings order and sense to my life and the life of the church. We flow in currents that are often too deep to discern at the moment, currents about arrivals and passings, beginnings and endings, joys and sorrows.
When asked about this summer in France and how it was, I have to say it was good, but different. Our host family was experiencing deep family wounds as they were moving to health. The church in California suffered a tragic loss of a young life and I could not get back for the funeral. Age is taking its toll on my father and mother in Minnesota and now increasingly on Martha's mother valiantly battling all sorts of cancers over the years. We see these warriors, seemingly invincible, bending.
And then Liz and her boyfriend Jeff arrive full of dance and life and dreams and butterfly-like energy. Their's is a world of beginnings and plannings. Isaac and Luke are discerning strategic steps in school and careers, and we celebrate those.
This afternoon Liz and I took a break and went to the beach to swim and sun. As I was floating in the swells with her, it was pure father's joy.
These are middle-times for us. And the middle is a great place of observing, shaping, listening, leading by example. It's not the time for advice-giving any more or approval. In fact, the parental role shifts upward as we give direction to our parents who wrestle with the complexities of aging.

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