Grief for the Villians

A guest post: by Rev. Elizabeth GrashamMy ex-husband calls my cellphone once a week to talk to our son.  In and of itself, that would probably sound normal to any person who lives with a custody agreement, post-divorce.  Except the first person my son hears when he answers the phone is not his dad; it’s a voice recording.“You are about to receive a prepaid phone call from [XXXX], an inmate housed at the [XXXX] Unit. If you still want to accept this prepaid phone call, please touch ‘1’.” … [Read more...]

Six People You Need to Forgive

Ah, the reject pile... No, not photos of people who got kicked out of new member class (KIDDING people, kidding. All means all). I’m talking about scraps of paper, stacks of notecards, and maybe complete folders: containing the anecdote or bit of commentary that didn’t make it into the sermon; the sermon that got started and never took off; Or the series idea that didn’t develop as fully as the OTHER series idea. But there it sits, all the same. Every preacher has this pile. Promise.Other peo … [Read more...]

The Mercy Instinct

As a pastor, I see it time and time and time again: a person has been deeply wounded by a loved-one. They struggle to process the world through this new lens of heartbreak. It doesn't matter if it is a sibling, a spouse, a friend, or a parent/child relationship --we are hurt most profoundly by those we love. It is, in fact, the cost of loving, and perhaps the most painful cost of being a person.What I notice, time (and time) again, is the impulse of grace that comes into most relationships at … [Read more...]

written in the sand

I'm still on grace today. When Jesus intervened and prevented the angry mob from stoning the adulterous mary m, something in the universe shifted. Fear and judgement no longer won by default. Another voice hung in the air that day. We don't know what it said, but we know it as a voice of mercy that meant to change us forever.What did Jesus write in the sand? As the temple officials accused him of not knowing the law, he knelt down and calmly traced some words in the earth.  They kept hammering … [Read more...]