Spirituality

Mercedes: When the person praying looks scary

(Photo of All Hallows Roman Catholic Church, my childhood parish. From San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library. http://www.sfpl.org/sfphotos When all the shouting’s done, humble goodness shines forever.  Temporary power and posturing are empty calories that disappear. But quiet strength continues to nourish decades later.  I remember Mercedes, an old woman whose last name I […]

My burden is light: when realization is a heavy load

Christianity gets bad PR from our so-called “very own.” The label “Christian” doesn’t automatically make one Christ-like. You’re not a financial expert just because you play Sudoku numbers.   Many outsiders stereotype Christianity as inflexible, judgmental, harsh, exclusive, and self-righteous. In one sense, they are right. Christianity has been hijacked to a public and perverse […]

Turning 65: A senior with benefits

(Photo: Suzette Standring with granddaughter Lulu at The Cahoon Museum of Art in Cotuit, Cape Cod, MA) I’m a senior with benefits, very different from “friends with benefits.” Turning 65 is a loaded baked potato: retirement, social security, Medicare, all slathered in anti-aging creams, and sprinkled with AAA senior discounts. What just happened?  One minute […]

Patience: Friends enhance the waiting time

(Photo: Vivian aka “Muggins,” Suzette,  Alice and Elvira aka “Curly” – friends since 1960) Patience is hard, especially when a problem rents headspace 24/7.  Others may talk about kids or personal passions, but no, somehow I want to insert my issue into every conversation.  I had to choke-chain myself when childhood friends came calling.  Could […]

Weeds, like difficult people, serve a purpose

Weeds, labor-generating and vexing as they are, serve a purpose. Eventually, they break up unworkable soil. Then they are removed or replaced, just like troublesome folks in our lives. Yet we grow from conflict. Twenty years ago, there was a garden patch of dry, clay-like soil when we bought our home.  Only weeds sprouted there, […]