Thanksgiving for the Broken-hearted

Robynn and I were recently texting about Thanksgiving. This year both of us will fill our houses and hearts with people who are hurting. These will be the tables of the broken-hearted, chairs of the grieving, glasses of the bewildered, and dessert plates of the deserted. What do we do when our tables are filled … Continue reading Thanksgiving for the Broken-hearted

In Memory:Ralph Edward Brown, June 7,1926 – October 24,2017

On June 7th, in 1926, a baby boy was born to a family in the city of Pittsfield, Massachusetts. He was fourth in the family, joining three sisters, a mom and a dad. Two years later his youngest sister was born and the family was complete. He was named Ralph Edward Brown and he is … Continue reading In Memory:Ralph Edward Brown, June 7,1926 – October 24,2017

But Still – It Hurts

Dear Dad, I'm up early and all is dark outside. They say it is going to rain and even now I hear the drops splatter on the pavement outside. I woke up thinking of you - your life as it was before the last six months, your life as it was the last six months, … Continue reading But Still – It Hurts

Soul Care and the Reconstruction Process

When you live in a city you cannot avoid the ever-present construction/reconstruction process. Cranes, detours, iconic orange cones, and construction workers with yellow hard hats and vests are a part of the city landscape. Healthy cities know that to continue to serve both residents and visitors, they need to repair, construct, and reconstruct. City planning … Continue reading Soul Care and the Reconstruction Process

A Fight to Live

On Sunday afternoons we observe post liturgical nap time. It is a sacred time where the apartment is absolutely still as we go to our respective spots and either nap, read, or rest in general. We have done this as long as we have been married and I don't believe it will ever change. This … Continue reading A Fight to Live

“This is My Fate” – A Lesson in Cultural Humility

As soon as the angry words came out of my mouth, I regretted them. I was speaking to Rehmet, the woman who helped me care for my kids and my home. She was a Punjabi woman, uneducated, illiterate, with a smile that stretched across a beautiful, weathered face and a personality as big as her … Continue reading “This is My Fate” – A Lesson in Cultural Humility

Lenten Journey: A Lenten Vent

Over my personal church history, I wasn’t really exposed to Lent as a practice. As a young girl we attended a Baptist church, and later I went to an interdenominational boarding school and a Bible college of the same variety. There was a brief season at St John’s Shaughnessy, an Anglican church in Vancouver, before … Continue reading Lenten Journey: A Lenten Vent

“Pardon Our Dust”

We invite you to follow along with Marilyn and Robynn, both grace-desperate Christ followers-- one a newly welcomed Orthodox the other a patchwork Protestant-- on their Lenten journey. This is the first in this honestly human series.   Lowell and I, together with some friends, attended the evening Lenten Service at St Paul’s Episcopal church … Continue reading “Pardon Our Dust”

When Your Fear Goes Through the Roof–A Repost

I've worked for hours on a piece that isn't ready yet.... I'm trying to wrangle some of my heart's response to the past couple of weeks into words. It hasn't gone smoothly. So until I get it done I give you this piece I wrote in November 2015. The situations have changed. Perhaps the fear … Continue reading When Your Fear Goes Through the Roof–A Repost

Traveling Mercies

When I was a kid there was a prayer we prayed every time we set out on a trip, which was often. My childhood was marked by travel and transition so you can know that we prayed this prayer frequently. Every trip was prefaced with a prayer that included a little request for “traveling mercies”. … Continue reading Traveling Mercies

The Holy Experience of Watching Les Miserables

Last week we watched the Tom Hooper production of Les Misérables. We have all seen it live (in London, no less!) but I believe that the next best thing to a live performance is this movie. I cannot see Les Misérables without crying. The story,full of redemption and grace, is timeless. For those who don’t know the story, … Continue reading The Holy Experience of Watching Les Miserables

A Psalm for 2016

A Psalm for 2016 by Robynn (Based on Psalm 136 and written at Sister Irene Nowell’s suggestion)  2016 has been a difficult year. The entire globe can testify to this. War, terrorist attacks, the zika virus, political chaos, hacking and doping. Social contracts, that we’ve assumed to be universal, have been shredded. Nothing feels safe or … Continue reading A Psalm for 2016

Foundations & Generations 

We traveled to Los Angeles this weekend for an early Christmas with our son and daughter in law. It was a beautiful weekend with sun and palm trees, the warmer temperatures a welcome change from an arctic freeze. Our East coast cold can chill the bones and the soul.  From eating our fill of great … Continue reading Foundations & Generations 

The Simple Pin

Since November 8th, the day that shall live on in infamy, people have started wearing little safety pins. I was unaware of this until my friend Jill explained their significance and gave me one to wear. To wear a safety pin is to make a statement. Where this began is a little uncertain. There are … Continue reading The Simple Pin

The (Political) Work of Forgiveness

Here at Communicating Across Boundaries we’ve done a pretty good job of avoiding the massive elephant (and the donkey) in the room. Both Marilyn and I, although this was not planned or discussed, have largely avoided politics in our writing this election season. I’m not sure what Marilyn’s reasons are but mine have been deep … Continue reading The (Political) Work of Forgiveness

The Welcome Prayer

I have to admit I’m really struggling this week. I’m angry at some recent news from an organization close to my heart. I’m disgusted by the political situation in the country where I live. I’m horrified by the people that excuse sexual indecency and the language of predatory sexual assault. I’m embarrassed by those Christians … Continue reading The Welcome Prayer

Widening Our Embrace

Ronald Rohlheiser, in his book, Sacred Fire, addressed especially to older pursuers of the faith has a short section entitled, “Be Wide in Your Embrace.” We are constantly being overwhelmed by otherness. Nothing is safe for long. More than any previous generation, we are being stretched beyond what is familiar. Often that is painful and … Continue reading Widening Our Embrace

A Short Correspondence on the Issue of Feeling Trapped

Dear Robynn, I enjoyed your "Friday's with Robynn" post (A Hidden Pearl. January 29,2016). It really resonated with me, so thank you for posting it. It was very thought provoking for me. Earlier this year I experienced a very similar feeling to the one you had having returned from Thailand. My friends and I arrived … Continue reading A Short Correspondence on the Issue of Feeling Trapped