On Hanging Clothes in the Sunshine

The sun is finally shining.  Our winter here in the North has been dreary.  More gray days than normal and almost no snow to reflect what rays we were blessed with.  Yet, today the sky is bright and I hope to spend some time in sight of a lake to celebrate the glorious reflection.

To revel in this annual turn in life, I dare say a rebirth of the spirit, I hung clothes out on our deck to dry.  The task saves a bit of money, but more so it is somehow an act of freedom.  An act of luxury of time and instilling the sun and wind into our very daily lives.Light in the Trees

Our preschool aged daughter assisted, telling me that I couldn’t get the clothes pins, but instead she would give them to me.  I would ask for the amount needed, and she would dance over and hold them out.  She loves to help, if only in her own way.

I hung up some of my shirts and panties, and of course she noticed a lacy pink pair.  “When you die, I can have these.”

“I hope not to die soon.”

“Mommy, we all have to die someday.”


Even in the sunshine, death is not far away.  It is a thought, a reality, and yet we push it off to someday.

Today, another mother is spending the last days or hours of her life surrounded by those who love her.  Her someday is coming way too soon, before her daughters are grown and her husband’s dreams of their marriage have all come true.  I pray for them, and thank God for the bright sun that may warm their last moments holding each other.

But it is because of two early somedays that I am here, today.  Because of two mothers who departed before their time, that my life looks the way it does, and yesterday I could hang up clothes to dry as our daughter danced in the sun.

In the last days of 1901 my Great-Grandfather’s wife hung herself in their attic.  Leaving a young 10 year-old son behind, the first page of the Ludington Daily News reports that the “woman’s strange act” was caused by “temporary insanity.”  The family stories only speculate the cause was the death of a daughter, a daughter I have so far found no official record of, except an unmarked grave.

Niels Hansen went onto marry again, and had more children.  One of those children was my Grandfather.

Years later that Grandfather married and had two sons.  When the youngest, my Dad, was a bit older than our daughter is now, my Grandmother’s someday came too soon.  The early end of her life rippled throughout the family, changing its course in numerous ways.  Perhaps my father’s life would have been much the same, but likely it would have been different.  And in turn, my life…if I had been born into this flesh at all…would have been exceedingly different.

So here I am, healthy and breathing, praying my someday is still far off.  And here I am honoring those whose somedays came to soon, so I can hang clothes in the sunshine.

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For Those Who Have Been Turned Away….

Mary      John 20:29It’s Holy Week, with Easter quickly approaching.  Churches everywhere are advertising in newspapers about their worship times, others are hosting Easter egg hunts for the wider community, and church money counters are holding their breath counting on a sudden influx of cash.

Pastors and preparing their sermons, imagining an audience of long-time members and those they have never met.  Easter Lilies are awaiting delivery and choirs are practicing one more time.

Yet, there are people who will stay home on Easter Morning.

They will stay home because they have never been in a church, and can’t imagine ever going.

They will stay home because they don’t have anyone to go with.

They will stay home because they expect to be rejected – for their past, for how they look, for what they do, for who they love, for what they believe.

They will stay home because they have been rejected by a church – for their past, for how they look, for what they do, for who they love, for what they believe.

There are people who will stay home on Easter Morning, not realizing that the Word that will be spoken, the Prayers that will be prayed, and the Songs that will be sung are all for them.  They will not feel God’s Love in the midst of a community, because that community does not – or is perceived to not – love them.

Christ lived and died for us all, in the midst of our unique, and real, and complicated lives.

If you have been turned away, know that there are churches who will welcome you.  They will notice you for who you are.  They will remember your name.  They will welcome you fully as an equal on this journey together.

Please take the time to find a place you feel comfortable, and if you need, sit near the back for a quick exit.

If you are in the Twin Cities, check out Grace-Trinity, we worship at 10am.  But there are many other equally awesome options – somewhere there is the perfect place for you, you just may need to look around a bit.

Prayers for your journey.



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