Friday, November 30, 2018


When the answer has been "No" for longer than you can remember, you forget that there is such a thing as "Yes"...and then you stop asking, stop trying, stop wondering things like "What if...? and "Could I maybe...?"

I was challenged by a friend several weeks ago to imagine possibilities, rather than to think reflexively in terms of impossibilities. Thank you, Beth. I HAVE imagined possibilities. And, I am beginning to dare to believe that there is such a thing as "Yes."

Before, when I lived in the Land of No, obstacles looked like impregnable walls. They kept me inside a box of defeat and passivity. I knew I couldn't get over the wall, so why even try?

That way of thinking has been difficult to un-learn.

Since Beth challenged me to "imagine possibilities," I have encountered obstacles - walls - and those obstacles almost shut me down.


But every single time that I was tempted to give up and succumb to my old attitude of "What's the point in even trying?," God sent someone to give me a boost, someone to help me over the wall. (God is so good!)

And I have discovered: my "wall climbing" muscles are getting stronger. Obstacles don't shut me down like they used to.

Can I do this?

Why, YES, I think that maybe, just maybe, I can!

Sunday, November 25, 2018

NEED HELP? (Hint: The answer is YES.)

One reason I love my job:

People I meet in the Emergency Department and people who have been admitted to the hospital do not pretend that they are perfectly fine and don't need any help. On the contrary, they come to the hospital precisely because they know they are NOT fine and they DO need help. And, as a rule, they are truly grateful for the help hospital staff provide.

People outside of the hospital? That's another story.

Here's the irony. We are ALL broken, wounded, diseased, scarred, bleeding out our ears, desperately in need of help. ALL of us. And yet, so many people deny they have any problem at all.

Like the chronically drunk uncle who replies, when confronted by family about his excessive drinking: "I don't have an alcohol problem. You are the ones with a problem. You are the ones who need help."

Or the abusive husband: "I don't have a problem. She's the problem. She's the one who needs counseling."

Or the angry teenager: "I don't have an anger problem. It's everyone else - they're the ones with the problem. If they understood me better, they wouldn't make me so angry!"

Here's another irony: people who know they are broken, who know they need help - like the people I meet every day at work - they gratefully receive help, and very often, they get better. They heal; they get stronger; they experience renewed health and vigor.

But those who deny that they need help - like so many of the I-don't-have-a-problem, I'm-fine people I encounter outside the hospital - they refuse help, and they get sicker, weaker, more broken. Often, sadly, they spread brokenness and disease to the people closest to them.

What about you? Are you broken, sick, scarred, bleeding?

If your answer is - "I'm fine. Really. But now, so-and-so, SHE has a problem..." - well, maybe you should get a second opinion. I think maybe you haven't accurately diagnosed your symptoms.

And if your answer is - "Yes. Yes, I am broken. I need help..." - well, I know a really Great Physician.

I see Him at work, every day.

Thursday, November 15, 2018


So much white. So much softness. So much loveliness.

Eyes open wider.

Ears listen brighter.

Lungs inhale deeper.

Cheeks glow redder.

Laughter freer.

Steps...slower. I want to savor this.

Sunday, November 11, 2018


On the drive to church this morning, I was praying for my children and for the children of several friends of mine. My greatest desire for these young people is for God to capture their hearts.

For my children to be made spiritually alive...only God can do that. My children can't do that for themselves. I can't do it for them. God, only God, gives life. And so I pray to God, day after day, week after week, pleading with him to do just that.

But sometimes, I grow discouraged. Like the weary prophet, I find myself praying, "Oh, Lord, how long?!" This morning, my heart felt so heavy.

* * *
Sunday school this morning, our lesson topic: GRACE. Salvation is a gift from God. He plans, purposes, initiates, and accomplishes my salvation. It is God's work, from beginning to end, and not my own (nor my kids').

And then worship...

Our Call to Worship this Sunday morning: "For I will pour out water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour my Spirit on your offspring; and my blessing on your descendants." - Isaiah 44:3

And then our Responsive Reading, which included this passage: "And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit..." - from the prophet Joel

* * *
It's like God knows the cares of my heart, and He speaks directly to them. Oh, how tender and compassionate God's love toward this frail woman!

God is faithful, and He is so very good.

In the face of this kind of love, I am undone. Care gives way to worship and praise.

Saturday, November 10, 2018


According to my email junk box, the most pressing concerns occupying the thoughts of internet users today are:

  • erectile dysfunction
  • hair loss
  • how to hook up with hot, easy women
  • toenail fungus
  • how to win the next mega lottery (so I can pay to get my 20-something body, libido and stamina back and then set up a meeting with an international date at some exotic location)
In fact, these are such BIG concerns that I receive several messages EVERY SINGLE DAY in my email junk box.

(URGENT! Toe Nail Fungus Cure Discovered! Seriously, people? Toe nail fungus...urgent?! A ruptured artery, now THAT'S urgent. Toe nail fungus, I don't think so.)

My email junk box is a sad commentary on the state of the American male psyche. And I write "male psyche" because these emails are clearly targeted at men.

But that's not my point.

My point is: how does this junk mail get targeted to MY email account? And WHY?

I am female, and lack the necessary hardware to suffer from ED. I have a thick head of hair. Objectification of women makes me want to puke. My toenails are healthy. I don't play the lottery.

I have never, ever, ever done any kind of internet search on any of these topics. I have never even opened one of said emails, although I'd sure love to send a reply that blew up the original sender's mainframe.

We live in weird times, people. Weird times.

* * *
Now that I'm thinking about it, you guys out there, are your email junk boxes inundated with URGENT! messages about pressing concerns like how to get your children to put their dirty clothes in the laundry basket instead of on the floor, how to help the guys in your family actually hit the toilet when they pee (or clean up after themselves when they don't), and home remedies for hot flashes and memory loss? Just curious. It occurred to me: maybe I'm on the wrong mailing lists.

Friday, November 2, 2018


Something I have learned in my brief time at the lab: our blood is an inescapable, irrefutable, living testimony to our brokenness.

We are all sinners living in a sinful world. Anyone who would assert otherwise has not worked with blood or is terribly self-deceived.

Partied too hard last weekend? It's in the blood.
Been sleeping around? It's in the blood.
Overindulging in food? It's in the blood.
Not eating enough? It's in the blood.
Harboring bitterness? It's in the blood.
Chronically fearful and anxious? It's in the blood.

Sometimes, the brokenness of our parents and grandparents even shows up in our blood, passed down like a family heirloom. How it grieves me to realize that my own brokenness has most likely been passed on to the people I love most!

Our blood is with us our whole lives -from before we are born until we die - testifying against us, even as it sustains life. Even if our lives look pretty and like we have everything together, even if we look morally and socially competent, even if we truly believe we are "enough" - our blood screams that we are fallen, guilty, broken, lacking.

Our blood, so essential and so dear to us, testifies against us. Like Lady Macbeth, wringing our hands, we cry: "Out, damn'd spot!" But to no avail.

* * *

All those bloody passages in the Old Testament...the human carnage, the animal sacrifices, the sprinkling and pouring of blood ALL OVER EVERYTHING...these passages have long been difficult for me.

And the cross...SO MUCH BLOOD.

Grieved by the bloodshed, I have wondered, "Why, God? Why so much blood?! Couldn't there have been a less traumatic way to save your people?"

But since I began working in the lab, I see blood - and all the bloody Scripture - in a completely different light.

Since the Fall, the blood of every single person has testified: Guilty!

Every single person but one.

One man lived and walked on this earth with perfectly clean, healthy, righteous, holy blood. ONE man.

That one man, knowing that one day I would stand before a holy, righteous, perfect God, to whom I must give an account...that one man understood that no matter how good I looked on the outside, no matter how good I talked game, no matter what glowing testimony others gave in my defense, my blood would give irrefutable evidence of my unholiness, and I would be condemned.

That one man poured out his perfect blood, opened his veins and said to me, "I will take your blood. Here, you take mine."

And that blood - his blood - testifies on my behalf, now and forever:

Redeemed. Righteous. Beloved.

Why so much blood? Because sin is in our blood, and only sinless blood can save us.

I get that now, with every needle stick and every tube I draw. I get that now in a way I never did before.

* * *

" were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ..." 1 Peter 1:18-19