Spill On Aisle Nine










I hate spilling things. 

Milk from a leftover cereal bowl. Coffee from a knocked over cup.

I feel stupid when I spill something, like I don’t have my act together.

Embarrassed. Clumsy. Space Cadet.

Heaven forbid if a child spills.

On a just washed floor. On a brand-new dress.

Jesus tells me that I am a pharisee, but He’s not mean about it.  He gently shows me when I’ve been holding a standard for others  that I can’t keep myself.  He shows me it’s okay to be in the middle of a holy mess.

When God pours into the human heart, He doesn’t stop pouring when it’s full. He keeps pouring because He is into the spilling. He likes watching His blessings flow over the top, running into things, dripping off the counter and onto the floor.

When He sent a prophet or a priest to anoint a man the instructions were clear: Pour oil over the man’s head until it’s running through and off his beard, getting into his eyes and ears, forging rivulets down the back of his neck.

When a woman comes to anoint Jesus, she pours nard, thick and gooey and pungent, over the top of His head. 

Jesus must have smelled amazing for days. 

It was a saturation anointing and Jesus loved it.  Everybody else hated it.

Heaven forbid if somebody wastes something on Jesus.

Jesus is a filler and a spiller.

Wine that was once water spills from a vat’s brim at a wedding.

Bread and fish spill out of baskets after thousands eat their fill.

Breaking fishing nets spill their catch into the boat of a repentant fisherman.

Blood spills.


First in a garden, reminding us where it all began. Then, on a hill, the skull place, declaring where it all finishes.

God is into the spilling of things because it thrills Him to see the running of it, the movement of His glory and mercy and joy and grace and all things holy, running and spreading over everything.

I am learning not to run and clean it up. I am learning, like the fisherman in the boat, to kneel in the middle of the spill.


Waiting My Turn


Heraldry in yellow.  Spring’s Forerunner. Bent over in Wild Announcement.

My forsythia is splashing it’s glory all over the front stoop while the rest of my garden waits.

I hate waiting when it’s not my timetable.

I’m okay if I’ve set the agenda, but when I must yield to inconvenience, or the waiting lasts to what amounts a lifetime, then, those things I thought were dead, or at least dormant, show themselves. 

 I am Unkind. Impatient. Ungrateful. Where is my weed killer?

I learn lessons in the garden.

The lilac waits to bloom in the shadow of the forsythia bush and it does not lament because it knows it will have it’s own day of beauty  soon enough. It knows its splendor comes with a fragrance the forsythia knows nothing about.   








I am learning to wait. I am learning to rest in a greater glory.

One day a man came to Jesus. A pleading man. A man facing a father’s worst nightmare. Death was coming to his daughter.

Hurry, Jesus. Come. Right. Now.

Of course Jesus comes. He always comes.


Sometimes He turns around. Sometimes He has to let something else bloom first.

A hemorrahaging woman touches Him and instead of hurrying to the pleading man’s house because time is running out, Jesus turns and gives her the pleading man’s time instead.  He heals an old woman while a little girl dies.

Not fair.

The pleading man asked first.  

Jesus, why did you have to turn around?

 You could have just let the power go through You into that woman and been on Your way. 

The pleading man couldn’t have known in those agonizing moments when his friends said, “Your daughter has died; do not trouble the Teacher anymore”, that Jesus was timing everything perfectly.

First, He heals.

Then, He raises from the dead.

I am the pleading man….needing to have a power encounter with the One who answers my cry for healing by teaching me to wait because He knows He is about to do a greater thing.  A fragrant thing.







I am learning to wait my turn.

What are you waiting for? Do you know that waiting in God is a gift?  He will do all things well in your life in His perfect timing.

They that wait upon the Lord, will renew their strength….psalm 40:31

Be and Do

I am a writer. It is not my profession. I do not make money doing it.

When I meet someone new and they ask what it is that I do, I have never said, ” I write”.

I know what they mean. They want to know what my title is, my career choice, what I am doing in the marketplace.

Am I a productive American?

For many of us what we do isn’t necessarily who we are, who we were meant to be.

But sometimes, it turns out, it is.

It has taken me a long time to understand.

Writing has been hard-wired into my life. I cannot not do it.

It began with a blue and white square book with a wide clasp and a lock. There was a painting of wildflowers on the front. A nine year old began to tell her story. 

One day there was running down a tar-scarred road to Howard’s farm. Cows needed getting in.  

One day there was no running,  only very slow walking, past Swenson’s Slaughterhouse, eyes locked with a German Shepherd.

A tongue hanging out shepherd, lying next to a blood-stained drainage trough….muscles twitching….waiting for an opportune time when the child’s back was turned.

One day there was an invitation.  A first birthday party.  The boy who lived at the post office said yes to the writing girl turning ten.



Pressed on paper with an ink tool. It is who I am and what I do.

God, the I AM, the Great Do-er of All Things Good, Is what He Does.

He performs acts of love because He is Love.

He demonstrates mercy because He is Mercy.

Everything God does transcends from Who He Is.

When He plunged His hands into the creation dirt and formed a man and placed him in a garden and said “Take care of it”, He breathed into that man to Be and Do  what he was destined for:

A Cultivator of Soils, a Namer of Animals,  a Multiplier of the Very Good.

A Companion to the Almighty.

To be and do.  It is the original human condition.

Painters paint. Builders Build. Writers write.

What is it that you are compelled to do?

What has been hard-wired into your life by a loving, merciful God that you are just now realizing is okay to say out loud?  

Do it.  It’s the only way to be who you were truly created to be.

Today is the debut of my blog.  It is the culmination of a long journey, 

one filled with celebrations and laments and questions and longings,

scribbled in notebooks over the course of  a lifetime. 

It is in fear and trembling that I begin writing  in this public space.

Yet, I am learning when God’s still, small voice speaks this word to me: “Write” 

He is not asking for confidence.

He is asking for a Yes.  

Somewhere in the middle.  An ordinary and unassuming place where an ordinary and unassuming girl finds God. 

I am in good company.

Somewhere in the middle of a crowd a woman, bent, bleeding dares to touch a King.  

A thief on a cross looks over at the Man in the middle  bleeding out on His own cross and he dares to say.. “remember me.”

It is Saturday, the day between the Friday we call Good and Resurrection Sunday.   The middle day.

“…for just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the whale, so shall the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” (Matthew 12:40)

Jesus is always in the middle of things. He is always at the heart of the matter. 

So we can reach out and touch Him. So we can say, “Remember me, Jesus.”

It is why we celebrate.