Friday, January 1, 2010


I initially began writing a blog two and a half years ago as a spiritual discipline. It had come to my attention that, in my often self-absorbed obstinacy, I was not good at listening. I decided (a bit ironically, I knew) to start a blog to keep me in the posture of listening. Unlike in my volumes of journals from which I took a one-year sabbatical, ranting and soap boxes and pontifications would be banned in these writings; this blog would be a place to listen.

This Christmas as my family navigates a sticky situation with my nearly-blind 87-year-old grandmother, I realize a value in keeping records of what one hears. I wrote about Gramma around this time last year after a strange wisp of redemption gave me a surprising glimmer of hope. I had realized that my somewhat melodramatic grandmother, who never admits to being wrong but rather occasionally re-writes history, had begun to flavor her tales more sweetly, and for a strange moment I thought I smelled something akin to healing.

A year later as my parents prepare to take her in for a few days to give my aunt’s family a breather in days when Gramma attacks those whom she needs and manipulates those who love her, I need to remember what I had heard. In a strange way then, this blog has become a monument.

The Jews celebrate Passover to remind them of a God who delivers them from bondage. The Christians celebrate Christmas to remind them of the Messiah who enters our brokenness. The Church celebrates seasons of the year to take our part in the epic story of God’s dealings with humanity into which we have come somewhere in the middle. Our liturgies center around sacraments in which we encounter Grace anew. In all these ways, we remember that the story is bigger than the isolated place where we are today, that my grandmother’s life has a redemption that has begun before and will be completed later, that God still touches our broken places.

May we never forget.

I just linked the post about my grandmother on Elizabeth Esther’s Saturday Evening Blog Post, where she is inviting bloggers to post their best post of 2009. Hop over to her site if you’d enjoy reading other favorite posts of the year we have just completed, and blessings on your new year!

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