Sunday’s Here!

My loves spending the morning at the beach after Sunrise Mass.

 

 

     On Good Friday, I’m always reminded of S. M. Lockridge’s famous sermon, “It’s Friday … but Sunday’s comin’.”  It plays on Christian radio and is all over YouTube dubbed over scenes from The Passion of the Christ. There are even evangelists who’ve become well known for preaching it year to year in pulpit after pulpit.  

It’s Friday. Jesus is praying. Peter’s a sleeping. Judas is betraying. But Sunday’s comin’. 

It’s Friday.  Pilate’s struggling.  The council is conspiring. The crowd is vilifying. They don’t even know that Sunday’s comin’.

It’s Friday. The disciples are running like sheep without a shepherd. Mary’s crying. Peter is denying. But they don’t know that Sunday’s a comin’.

It’s Friday.  The Romans beat my Jesus.  They robe him in scarlet.  They crown him with thorns.  But they don’t know that Sunday’s comin’.

It’s Friday. See Jesus walking to Calvary.  His blood dripping.  His body stumbling.  And his spirit’s burdened.  But you see, it’s only Friday. Sunday’s comin’.

It’s Friday. The world’s winning. People are sinning. And evil’s grinning.  But Sunday’s comin’.

It’s Friday. The soldiers nail my Savior’s hands to the cross. They nail my Savior’s feet to the cross.  And then they raise him up next to criminals.  It’s Friday.  But let me tell you something. Sunday’s comin’.

It’s Friday.  The disciples are questioning.  What has happened to their King.  And the Pharisees are celebrating that their scheming has been achieved. But they don’t know it’s only Friday.  Sunday’s comin’.

It’s Friday.  He’s hanging on the cross.  Feeling forsaken by his Father.  Left alone and dying.
Can’t nobody save him?  Ooooh It’s Friday.  But Sunday’s comin’.

It’s Friday. The earth trembles.  The sky grows dark.  My King yields his spirit.  It’s Friday.
Hope is lost.  Death has won. Sin has conquered.  And Satan’s just a laughin’.

It’s Friday. Jesus is buried. A soldier stands guard. And a rock is rolled into place.  But it’s Friday. It is only Friday.  And Sunday is a comin’!

     I love that sermon. I listen to it every Good Friday. Every sleepless night of worry and dread is Jesus in the Garden. In fact, every moment of pain, suffering, chaos and loss ever experienced by any of us is embodied in Good Friday. But Sunday’s coming. 


     Then comes Holy Saturday. It is finished. For me, Holy Saturday is a mixture of exhaustion and relief. He’s overcoming, but he’s not yet overcome. Still, Sunday’s coming. 

     Then, finally, Sunday’s here.  We sing Alleluia for the first time in over 40 days and we celebrate that we’ve had nothing but Sundays for nearly 2000 years!  Sunday is every day of our lives! Sunday after Sunday after Sunday. 

     As far as the calendar goes, today is actually Monday. We have sugar hangovers and the eggs have all been found. Before you know it, we Catholics will be back to Ordinary Time (a term which I found hilarious as a convert, by the way.). There are going to be days ahead when it feels like Friday again.  My prayer, on this Monday, is that on those nights we spend in the Garden and the days we spend in agony, we can remember that we are not forsaken. We are redeemed. It may feel like Friday, but Sunday’s not just coming. Sunday’s here. 

     God Bless. 

 
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A Manager’s Prayer for Her Boxer

 

 

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“She gets up while it is still night”

Much has been written about whether or not women can really have it all — a career, a family, a happy marriage, a great home. And over the years, the standards by which she’s supposed to accomplish these things keep rising. Women of my mother’s generation entered the work place. They started with jobs and those blossomed into careers. The women of my generation have upped the ante. We want to reclaim our 6 pack abs before we return from maternity leave.

Really, though, these expectations aren’t that new. Any woman who grew up well versed in the old testament can tell you about the most dreaded standard setter of all times: The Proverbs 31 Woman. Take a look at just a part of what “the virtuous woman” in the Proverb accomplishes:

She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like a merchant ship, bringing her food from afar. She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family . . . She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for the task . . . her lamp does not go out at night . . . She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple . . . She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue . . . Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her . . .

So yeah, the woman earns a good income, is a great parent, dresses well, and her house looks like my Pinterest board. How does she do this? A careful reader will notice that the writer mentions twice that she doesn’t sleep. And that is probably the most important difference between myself and the Proverbs 31 Woman. I need my sleep. A lot.

Unfortunately for me, my husband’s beloved bull terrier cannot hold his bladder through the night. (Of course, if not for this, his smelliness, and his penchant for eating fine leather goods, he’d be the perfect dog.) When he whines to go out, I try to hop out of bed as quickly as possible to let him out so he doesn’t wake the entire household.

Last night I was having a particularly bad night’s sleep. I kept waking up to add reminders on my calendar, so when TCat started his whining at 3:23 this morning, I was not happy. However, I thought, “The Proverbs 31 Woman doesn’t procrastinate. She lets the dog out before the second whine.” Then I thought, “No, the Proverbs 31 Woman wouldn’t have a whiney dog. Her dog would be well behaved and probably only make noise to let people know how blessed she is.”

But this morning in the shower I had a moment of clarity. King Solomon was likely the author of the 31st Proverb. He was a man. And more importantly, he had hundreds of wives. Maybe he wasn’t the most realistic person to write about what one woman can accomplish in a day.
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Cojones

There’s a moment before the walk to the ring, there’s a moment when a boxer pauses. He stands in a dark passageway and waits to hear those first few notes of of his ring music. Ahead lays the ring and thousands of spectators eager to see him in action. Behind is the dressing room and thousands of hours of preparation that have brought him to this moment. The mood is different with every boxer. Some of stare straight ahead at some invisible spot; their glazed over with what Mike Tyson called “bad intensions.” Some have rituals, whether they include prayers, breaking down the glove leather or chanting the same motivational phrase over and over.

My favorite ritual is the one between one of my boxers and his trainer, who’s been with him for 20 years. The boxer always sways back and forth, rolling his shoulders and trying to stay loose.

“Hey Pancho,” the trainer says in his Puerto Rican accent. He calls the boxer this always and only on fight day.

“Si,” the boxer always answers in Spanish.

“You got your mouth piece?”

“Si.”

“You got your cup?”

“Si.”

Then the boxers is still for a second. He looks at the trainer and starts to smile.

The trainer’s eyes light up as he asks, “You got your cojones.”

Somehow, there’s nothing vulgar about the way the boxer grabs himself with his gloved hand and answers, “Si.”

I’m reminded of this because boxing lost a legend today when Hector Camacho was removed from life support. Many boxers pad their record with such inferior opponents that it’s not uncommon for a contender to be 15-0 before they face someone with a winning record. “Macho” Camacho was not that kind of man. He started his career with opponents who records of 16-1, 19-10, 15-0, 18-7, 16-0 and 32-0. Whether he entered the ring dressed as a a gladiator, an Indian chief or wearing a skirt, he always had his cojones.

Rest in peace, Hector Camacho. We’re going to miss your Macho Time.

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Soundtrack

I’m eight years old and sitting in a tiny church at the top of a mountain in West Virginia. My grandfather has just finished his sermon, and we begin the invitation hymn. No piano accompaniment. Just the shaky voices of the elderly women who make up the congregation and my grandfather’s warm baritone.

It is well, it is well with my soul.

It Is Well

I’m 21 years old and crowded against the stage at Exit/In in Nashville. In one hand I have one of the first beers I’ve ever (legally) bought, and my other hand waves in the air. The band is just a college cover band, but that means we know the musicians and all the lyrics. We can’t imagine that life can ever get better than it is in this moment, as we sing along.

If you want to call me baby, just go ahead now.

Two Princes

I’m 39 years old and sitting beside The Man in our sunroom where the stereo fills an entire wall. The Girl is on the floor, flipping through the binders of CD’s because she gets the next pick. The Boy paces the hallway — his pick, three songs ago, has sent him into a stemming ecstasy. The lights are low and The Man and I are so blissfully content.

In holy rattlesnakes that fell all around your feet.

King of Carrot Flowers

I’m thankful for music.

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An Autistic Fairy Tale

Once upon a time, there was a Boy who was on the Spectrum. The Boy’s parents really wanted him to have a Catholic education, so they went to their priest. They said they believed that The Boy could get along in the parish school, but they also knew it was going to take a lot of work from everyone involved. The kindly Irish priest, with a twinkle in his eye, said “You do your part, we’ll do ours, and God will take care of the rest.”

And so the journey began.

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At first, The Boy didn’t really fit in.

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And there were certainly parts about a strict Catholic school that The Boy did not love.

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But eventually, The Boy started making friends.

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To his classmates, he became just one of the gang.

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The Boy’s teachers taught him that as long as you have the right book, reading can be as good as math. (And sometimes as good as a party.)

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They made room for his “walking” in the back of the classroom, and even learned the difference between when he needed to walk and when he was just goofing off.

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The Boy loved his school.

And The Boy’s parents were ever so grateful for everyone who’s helped The Boy along the way.

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The End.

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Obama vs. Romney

I have this friend. We do all the “school-mom stuff” together. She cracks me up when we’re stuck in carline or a boring PTO meeting. We both like art (though she’s an actual artist), and we both love to read. She talks me back from the edge when I’m having a bad day with my kids or my husband, and if I ask her to pray about something, I know she’ll get down on her knees and do it. I suppose lots of people have a friend like that, or at least I hope they do.

My friend called me today and said, “So who would win in a boxing match? Obama or Romney? Romney probably packs more of a punch, but Obama has the reach advantage.”

The thing is, my friend isn’t a boxing fan. She finds it cringe-worthy. But she’s completely non-judgmental about the fact that I love it. When my boxers fight on TV and I’m sitting ringside, I know she’s watching from home and cheering her heart out. She knows my title contenders and even my young upstarts. I know she’ll never love boxing, but she loves me. And I love her.

Today I’m thankful for my friend.

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