Tag Archives: healing

Losing it in the Lyft…


He was a good friend. He was my pastor. He was my father’s best friend. He was my best friend’s father. All week long I’ve been trying to come up with connections that might justify my grief.

He died last Friday, the day of that last post, the one where I wonder how long it would be.

We went over on Saturday morning. I was expecting to lose it, to fall apart the moment I saw their faces, the “survived by”. But my emotions shunted to my core. I remembered much, was remembering much, but could feel nothing.

And there were kids and there was work and there were meals and there was school. By Wednesday morning the feelings began creeping back into my gut. I cracked at Mom’s group for a moment, but there was a bus ride and a school pickup and homework. And then I had to leave for a team building event.

I left the babies and the husband in the middle of dinner and began to walk. I was going to meet a new coworker to share a lyft to our event. The weather was the foggy drizzle in which San Francisco specializes. It was an empathetic touch I appreciated of my city. The sidewalk and I understood each other for every step of the six blocks.

I reached the house and rang the bell on the address. The gate buzzed and I pushed through, but I failed to catch the door before the buzzer stopped. I tried it and realized that I was trapped between the gate and the door. I took out my phone only to learn that I don’t have my new coworker’s phone number. And just like that I was forced to be still.

I waited for someone to come looking for me and then I began texting other coworkers trying to find the phone number. But I was trapped in that four square feet too long. I broke.

Yes, friends, this is when I broke.

So, now, I’m sobbing in my new coworker’s entryway, trying to contain myself, and climbing into a lyft, my first lyft, my very first lyft ride ever.

“Oh, you’re sniffling,” the lyft driver says, “I hope you are not getting a cold.”

“No,” I say, “I’m just sad.”

At which point I break down sob-heaving against the window pane.

But then it gets worse because, yes, it turns out my new coworker requested a lyft line, which is like a carpool. And to my quivering horror we stop and pick up someone else, this adorable young Asian girl who has no idea into what she is stepping.

So, now there are three people in the lyft respectfully gazing out their windows and I am in the back sobbing quietly into the glass.

Because I stood still. And it caught up to me. And I’m so very very sorry.

Jonah Moment…


I nearly tripped over a homeless man today on my way to the bust stop from work. He was tucked up on one elbow, reading a book, and precariously wedged into the very small space available between sidewalk and parking garage exit. As I stepped broad to miss him our eyes met and he scowled at me. In my imbalance I had fumbled the unspoken cultural politeness of ignoring him in his living space.

I checked in with God if he had a message for this man who flipped his page angrily at me in rebuttal. I mentally sorted through the contents of my bag, if there was food or anything for him. There was half a chocolate bar, but that was for me for later, my chocolate bar. God knew his name, hadn’t forgotten him, blah blah blah. But I didn’t stop. I didn’t speak. I didn’t go back. And who would blame me, I thought. No one would blame me.

For one, it’s after work and I’m on my way to catch a bus. But two, I’m a woman and, you know, I don’t want to be unsafe, as if God has called me to safety. And three, well, I have plans for that chocolate bar.

I read the gospels over Lent which particular activity always leads to an uncomfortable stirring sensation within my too-viscous soul. And something that jumped out at me, tweaked my nostrils, and slapped me upside the head in a very three-stooges fashion was how frequently it talks about Jesus healing in response to being moved.

It’s so comfortable for me to think of Jesus as already knowing everything, no surprises, “I’m gonna heal a lame man today and I’m gonna do it like this”. It’s decidedly uncomfortable to wonder if he didn’t. Maybe he went out to preach and just happened to come across these holy prompts in their broken physical forms and healed them urged solely by a movement in his heart. How undefinable and unpredictable! No one would have blamed him if he had kept walking, would they have? No one would have blamed him. And it wasn’t like he avoided it, he went to the cities, he walked along the ways where the broken people waited, and he listened for them.

I have had Jesus in my heart for a very long time. I am becoming more like Jesus every day. I have covered the very longest of distances to get to the point where my compassion can move me to think a silent prayer on the bus.

And as I traveled home on the one-bus waiting for the massive breakdown in which I would have to yell over the screaming, “It’s me! I ignored God’s message! Kick me off the bus and save yourselves!” and return to the angry reading man and give him half of a chocolate bar, I thought, thank goodness Jesus is Jesus and not Barbara. Thank goodness Jesus is moved to do more than pray. Thank goodness he is moved to touch us, heal us, and weep with us.

This is my God. He works in me every day so that, hopefully, in another thirty years I can give away my chocolate bar.

Lent Week 5: The Ministry…


Happy and Holy Lent to you.  It’s been a bit of a crazy morning.  My daughter already got a time out for shoving her way into the bathroom when she was asked to wait.  The baby got a hold of Dad’s glasses, which he left by his bed, and mangled them thoroughly.  And the kids, tired of waiting for me to get breakfast, prepared their rye toast and raisin bran by themselves.

But Jesus is God of this morning.  And as many different ways and times that he healed people he will heal us today.

So we’ll go to church with the masses to worship our Lord and for a chance to touch the hem of his garment.

You can find the previous Lent activities here:

Ash Wednesday

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

And here is this week’s family Lent activity:

3/22 Lent Week 5: Jesus’ Ministry

Where to find it:
A Child’s First Bible: p.182, p.188, p.190
Jesus Storybook Bible: p.214 “A little girl and a poor frail lady”
Bible: Matthew 15:29-31, Mark 10:46-52

Today is the fifth Sunday of Lent. Today we read about some of the good work Jesus did while he was alive on Earth. There are many stories of Jesus feeding hungry people, making blind men see, and lame men walk. Jesus healed many different people in many different ways. And he didn’t just fix their bodies, he fixed their hearts, too. Did you know that Jesus told his friends the apostles that they would do even greater things than these? John 14:12 says, “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.”

Lent box activity:
Have a family member place the token for week 5 in the sand. It can be a bandaid or a small square cut out of a gauze bandage, something to represent Jesus’ healing.

Beginning questions:
If Jesus were to heal you of one thing what would you like it to be?
If Jesus were to heal our whole family of one thing, what would it be?

More questions:
What are some examples of people now who heal others, feed others, and preach to others just like Jesus did?
In what ways can we do the same works of Jesus?

Family Question:
How do we as a family help to feed the hungry, heal the sick, and preach the good news of Jesus?

Family Activity:
This week pick a service project for your family to participate in. It can be this week or a month for now. It can be a new project or one you’ve done before. Decide as a family and commit to it.

Family Prayer:
“Healing Jesus, we thank you for not leaving us in our sickness. We thank you for how you have healed us and for healing us every day of our bad habits, bad thoughts, and all our sins. Thank you for using us to help people just like you did. Help us to know how to help others that are hungry, hurting, sick, and dying. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”



My dear friend Rachel Wagner’s kickstarter campaign has funded! Woohoo!

It’s not too late to be a funder, though. Follow the link and jump on the bandwagon. You’ll find a lot of happy beautiful people on there. Wink wink. Maybe if we get enough money we can actually buy a literal band-wagon. Dream big, people!

Rachel’s kickstarter page!

So, today I’m going to introduce you to a song from her last album. The song is the title song of the album called “Untold”.

The lyrics of “Untold” talk about fear and trust. Rachel and I have talked a lot about how much comes down to fear. Bringing out the wounds and confronting their ragged edges is scary. We fear rejection from others. We fear rejection from God. We fear because death is painful and death has to be the first step to resurrection. We fear that our dead places are beyond hope. And all of these come down to one insidious fear that God is not who he says he is.


“Fold it up, fold it in, tuck it away and then
No one will ever know
And the truth is alone, in your pocket of stone
And your hands are so cold

But who can you trust?
These words, are they enough?
Afraid you will say too much
So you stay untold

Looking out, looking in, looking away again
You don’t look him in the eyes
Staring down at the street, you trip over your feet
He catches you by surprise

But who can you trust?
These hands, are they enough?
Afraid you will lose too much
Will you stay untold?”


How many of our stories of healing and redemption lay untold because we let fear keep us from that first step?

I like to think back to all the times I have taken the crumpled packet out of my pocket that felt so heavy, and unfolding it slowly, letting the contents show to a compassionate God, to compassionate friends, letting the air and the light begin to heal it almost immediately. It’s something you have to prove. It’s something that you have to practice. It’s scary to unfold. And yet, how joyous to begin to be told.