A Picture of Civic Beauty: Be Kind to One Another

by Wendy MurrayA man keeled over and hit the floor hard one morning when I sat in my town’s public library. I wear earplugs when I work there, but even with those, the muffled THUD that I heard somewhere about me caused me to lift my head. There he was, lying in a heap on the floor under the desk at the computer station, his gray hair falling wildly about him.Those of us who saw this from afar turned our heads or took steps in that direction, while those in proximity to him, who also … [Read more...]

Reflection: Jesus Would Not Trust Them

By Wendy MurrayIn church the other day, as the pastor gave his sermon, a phrase jumped out about Jesus that turned my head. I say I  "turned my head" because, having been married to and divorced from a pastor whose sermons did not help as our marriage was disintegrating, I tend to diminish the place of the sermon in my overall worship experience. Sometimes it is hard to listen. Often it is difficult for me to be moved. I have been jaded and have felt on the outside of that part of … [Read more...]

Reflections of An Aging Mother

Many faded photos of women in horn-rimmed glasses and puffy hair are popping up on social networking sites: "My precious mother" or "My gone-but-not-forgotten dear mother." As I have aged I continue to see that the connection to one's mother is the singular most defining relationship that shapes another human's life, for better or worse. My heart goes out to those women whose hearts will ache this Sunday when mothers are hailed, doted upon, and held up as saviors and saints. I'm sorry for the … [Read more...]

Mary Rejoicing, Rachel Weeping

by Wendy MurrayA disastrous event that took place in Bethlehem related to Jesus’ birth that is also part of the picture of Christmas. Herod ordered the slaughter of all the boys two years old and under. Yet we tend to allow sleigh bells, evergreens, and shopping trips to push it out of view. It is nevertheless, in all its brutality, what Christmas is about: a Savior's "invasion" (to borrow from C. S. Lewis) and confrontation with the forces of evil.Matthew's narrative of Christ's b … [Read more...]