Monday, April 12, 2010

sermonating and the sea

Apologies for not blogging lately! I have lots to share, though. Last week, I went away for a couple of days to Articlave, near Castlerock where I was before, with my friend Ri to stay in her friend's holiday home. It was just a time to read, cook and go to the beach and as things are really quiet here over Easter, I enjoyed being able to get away. There are lots of pictures of grace found there below.

Also, I preached this past Sunday and decided to wear my clerical collar. My text was Jairus' daughter and the hemorrhaging woman. It was fascinating to discover some of the Greek text and how shocking it really is and try to strip away some of the sanitized way we read familiar texts. We talked about this concept in the text of being made well, and I began by sharing a story of my time as a chaplain at Grady Hospital in Atlanta where a family were praying for the healing of their son at the same moment I had to tell them he didn't survive. Then, I told the congregation that in the reading of our text, we weren't going to glean any easy answers out of it that we wouldn't tell that family in the midst of their grief. So we entered into the text again, and ended with questions, not answers, but I think discovered something about the profound presence of God in suffering. It was a great Sunday.

-This is the fairy tree in the back garden of the house we stayed in. It's called a fairy tree because it would've been the tree in the middle of the field before it was developed, and it's considered bad superstition to cut it down (don't want to bring the wrath of fairies on you!) and that's why with fencing all around it, the tree's still standing. So interesting!

-I love the rolling grass on Irish hills that makes it look like a big, furry, sleeping animal.

-Seeing a familiar sign at a house for sale a couple of doors down from the house we stayed in.

-If the tree in the back garden is a fairy tree, I think this must be a gnome or troll tree with all its green lichen and knobbly arms.

-I love seeing ruins, it reminds me of the history in this place and also off when my family came to visit when I was here before and we drove through the hills yelling "RUUIIINNNSS!" whenever someone spotted some.

-The beautiful sight of angled cliffs and the silvery sea behind.

-Ri and I discovered a cave below a cliff face and I felt like a kid exploring a foreign world of cold rock and water dripping with plinks and plunks.

-Watching the waves roll and tumble into the shore with the sun on my face. I love Mussendun Temple in the background on the cliff (and you can see it closer in the next pictures).

And now, the sun is shining and it seems that spring might have finally come to Belfast. It's wonderful!

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