hopeful in the dark – held


The good news is that my mom is responding really well to some medicine for her memory.  At the same time, I am in the dark as to a lot of the hows and next steps.  As always, though, what’s right in front of me, with much relief and thanksgiving, I can do.

There is always a tension on what to let go of and what to hold on to.  Most of the time, I can just be held these days. I know that where I am is not forever, and yet –  just as I can’t abandon this vision the Lord has given me for the house, I am at a loss how it can all work out with this new challenge.  I trust him as I’m blindly moving forward and He’s providing continually, with so many friends that seem to know about things regarding how to deal with this next chapter, answering questions before I can even ask in a few cases.

Been foraging the neighborhood to keep the woodstove going and bring down my DTE bill, and recently a friend has offered me wood to get me through the rest of the winter.

Recently a friend of mine at a “Hazikkaron” or communion service asked a thought provoking question about evil in the world, as we discussed the gospel of John.  Later that week, I heard this for the first time on the radio, and  – given all the questions and His stubborn hold on me, I wanted to post it here.

Father, thank you for holding on no matter what –  increasing my trust You and keep at me – always.  Thank You that my mom sees this disease as an opportunity to be more dependent on You, seeking the gift in it.   Make ways for me to be a continual gift to her in that.  Build up Your kingdom here in my house here and hers there, this and her neighborhood, our world.   Grant all of our hearts receive Your ever strengthening hold.  If only my heart could hug You back.  Come soon.


His name is John



Today, listening and reading through the story of when Zechariah doubted John the Baptist’s arrival, and then the loosing of his tongue when he agreed with the Lord’s will, I was both challenged and hopeful.

Yesterday my mom told me she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.  I’m an only child and she hates the Midwest, so it seems that this house is put on another indefinite hold.

Intellectually I believe we are blessed with trials and He never leaves us in the ashes, and He always finishes what He starts.  Yet, like Zechariah, my emotions  – my heart – say “impossible”.

This is not a case of feelings to dismiss, this is a lack of faith.

This week I also came across this quote from Hannah Arendt.

“Looking back at craving from this Creator – creator context, it will be seen why the self-denial arising from it would be called pseudo-Christian… because the original assumption of this “referring back” … already harbors an intention to comprehend man as “createdness of Gd” (a Deo creatum esse)… Whatever the created is it had first to become.  The structure of its being is genesis and change (fieri and mutari).  The Creator is Being as such.”

This speaks to me of the truth of what is in our hearts, what Gds best is, what He planted.  I’ve heard a lot of preaching and read a lot of what I consider garbage about dismissing them, not allowing them to rule, overriding them with the mind of Christ.

Although I am sure this applies to discipline and self control, I believe that emotion and thoughts are unwise to untie, and that our feelings tell us where we are truly at.  It is harder to accept this for me, because I have to accept that if I believed in the goodness of Gd like I want to be seen to believe, my feelings would spring from that.

It’s easier to say, these are just feelings, I am tempted, and do all this flesh control of it, instead of looking at it, accepting it, and saying to the Lord, wow.  I don’t really believe what I profess.

What is beautiful to me about Arendts quote is that we are created in His image with the potential, because of Christ, to be who He intended with the relationship He longs to have with us.  I can spout that I am blessed with these trials and I trust the Lord with my mom, but can I truly rest in that assurance?

As Armenian as it sounds, I am just going to, as I always do when I find myself lacking faith, act like I do and pray He gets me there.  And as a close (rabbi) friend of mine, even the acknowledgement of the need for growth indicates His grace.

So this blog is entering chapter two, Who’s there.  (He is.  Who is He?  Good, Father of all lights, Prince of Peace, Redeemer, Friend, Shepherd, Rock, Fortress.)