Can I Prove God Exists? Yes I Can.

I am starting to write for Provoketive, an online magazine, and this article will be published there tomorrow.  I’m really not supposed to post the same thing here therefore, I’ll leave an excerpt but direct you there…for your commenting pleasure. I’ve never really felt a need to prove that God exists.  Before today that is, when my tawny-headed, freckle-faced son looked up at me with his enormous blue eyes and cried If God is real, Mom, why doesn’t he stop all the bad stuff?  Why Mom, why?

Feeling like I’d been slapped hard across my face by the earnestness and veracity of his question, I realized I don’t want to even touch that question.

Honestly I try not to dwell on that now as I sit here with all my advantages – I enjoy my life, drinking my expensive coffee, in my warm house, sitting in my comfortable chair, at my computer that is connected 24/7 to the world.   I try not to think about my fortunate life or those that have so much less.

No I don’t want to touch those questions.  But sometimes that awareness aches inside me and makes my comfortable life not — so – comfortable.  I cannot escape the world when I turn on the radio or television or get online.  It is there that I find out about people being beheaded.  Women who had acid poured on their face.  That going for firewood in some places in the world will get you raped or assaulted.  Or that being born a girl is still something unwanted in many places in the world.   much less and more importantly why God put me here.  Why I am so seemingly blessed?  And others appear less so?

To read the entire post, …


Though I haven’t read her book One Thousand Gifts, I do read Ann Voskamp’s blog.   She so poignantly questions our incapacity to be amazed and grateful.

“Why do I spend so much time struggling to see it?  Do I need to see the world, visit the exquisite, before I face eternity? Or isn’t it here? Can’t I find it here? Isn’t it here? The wonder? Why do I spend so much of my living hours struggling to see it?”

I so relate to that sentiment.  For me it is a struggle to be positive and grateful; to see the wonder in my life here and now.  And so much that I have is wondrous!

Last week in a group we attend we were asked to express some things that we are grateful for and I was absolutely mute.

I felt so ashamed of myself, but I just couldn’t come up with anything.  I was stuck in a limbo.   I have many blessings and things to feel thankful for but

sat there.

I was

unable (or unwilling) to express them.  Unwilling to open my mouth.  It all seemed too risky somehow.

I felt a fragile sense that if I opened up my mouth I have no idea what might happen.  What if it wasn’t words of gratitude that came out?

I don’t know about you but sometimes I am just stuck in my head — too heart and head heavy
to let go and allow myself the space —

to b r e a t h e.  Deeply.  (Do it right now.  In and out.  It feels incredible.)

Why is it so difficult to allow my pulse to slow down and feel

(even just a little)


“God turns you from one feeling to another and teaches you by means of opposites, so that you will have two wings to fly – not one.”  — Rumi

Don’t you think that is true?  From hatred to love.  From dissatisfaction to peace.  From fear or anxiety to hope and trust.

I want to fly!   Some days, I do.

b r e a t h e.  Deeply.  (Do it right now.  In and out.  It feels incredible.)

I Dare you.

Osama bin Laden is dead; New York celebrates a...
Image by Dan Nguyen @ New York City via Flickr

Why not love if you have the option between that and hate?  Why does hate come so easily?  Why judge? Or condemn?  Why is it that Christians so often are known for how they judge others?

Jesus said blessed are the peacemakers.

But we don’t bring peace.  We rejoice in someone’s suffering.  Bin Laden is dead!

We wish for more for us which means less for them, who ever they are.

We can only think of our own needs.  We groan about the price of gas and our grocery bill, when others have to take public transport and go to bed hungry.  Often living with fear and financial insecurity.  Have no home.  Have nothing.

Why can’t we love more tenderly?  I dare you.  I dare you to love today.  Be a peacemaker. Hold your tongue.

The world is waiting for us to love, in Jesus’ name.

The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you murder the hater, but you do not murder hate.  In fact, violence merely increases hate….Returning violence for violence multiples violence,
adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR., Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?

Just love.

Why not?

I dare you.

We Are The One Percent

I’ve never really cared to prove that God exists — before today.  My son looked at me with his huge blue eyes the color of warm ocean and cried:

“If God is real, why doesn’t he stop all the bad stuff?  Why Mom?  Why?”

I felt as if I’d been slapped hard across the face by the innocence of his question. It is something that I try not to think about.  I try not to dwell on that now as I sit here enjoying my expensive coffee, in my warm house, in my comfortable chair.  As I sit at my computer which is connected 24/7 to the world, I try not to think.  Or feel how much that stuff hurts.  It makes my comfortable life not — so — comfortable when I turn on the radio and they tell me of people being beheaded.  Or a woman who had acid poured into her face.  Or that going for firewood in some places in the world will get you raped.  Or that girls are still unwanted in many places in the world.

I try not to feel how bad that makes me feel.   I try to not be in that moment because it hurts.  It hurts me!   There I said it.

It makes my stomach hurt when over and over, I have to tell my kids to eat their dinner and be grateful.  How very lucky they are that they have something to eat and a glass of milk to wash it down.  And when they complain that there is no desert, I try not to feel bad that I didn’t indulge them.  And won’t remind them, again, of how much they have.  I makes me hurt when my smart, but bored kids bring home reports of below average work, when they complain about homework, I try not scream at them of their lost opportunities.  And remind them of the children in many parts of the world that will never go to school. Or children in our country who cannot safely walk home from school in their own neighborhood.  I try not to scream.  I do.  I try not to, but we have so much.  It makes my stomach hurt and I try not to compare.

Why could a good God make life so easy for you my son and so hard for so many? We are the 1% and we have no idea how lucky we are. Is it luck? Random stupid luck that made my kids  healthy, and smart, and born into a well to do home?  I cannot answer.  I have — no– answer for my son when he asks me to prove God exists, because I agree!  What kind of God would set things up like that?

My son was born into a white, middle class home full of privilege and opportunity, without the violence and cruelty so many children face.  He was given for no reason of his own doing good health, and wealth, and I believe God intends that he does something with it for others.  My son, along with you and I, we prove God exists by seeing the pain that others suffer from and hearing the cries of those born with less.  We prove God actually loves the world.  We are his love.  We are his hands and feet. We the one percent are a part of the his answer.  No, not just me.  Not my son, only.

Each of us reading and wondering about this today.   We are God’s love.  We prove he exists.
Twitter me this 119/365photo © 2009 Sasha Wolff | more info (via: Wylio)

Miscellany that Bewilder Me


Last night, my ten year old son said he wanted to stay up until midnight — insisting that he had to do it. — But why? I asked slightly bewildered.

“If I do, I will have not cracked my knuckles for a whole day!” he told me in all seriousness.  He has a nervous habit.  It makes him self-conscious but I had no idea how much.  He came up with this promise to himself.  I reassured him that he could “not crack his knuckles in his sleep and that would still count.”

But it strikes me and stays with me today.  That little self-improvement goal seemed so simple to me and yet it was such a challenge for him as he made a promise to himself and kept it.  It made me wonder how many times I promise God something and don’t do it.  Does he, like a mother feel admiration for me that I even try?  Or is he disappointed when I fail?

Blessings & Curses.

I wonder.  Does God withhold blessings from us if there was something that God has wanted us to learn and we knew it full well but resisted.  Or ignored God?  Pretend we don’t hear, like child who acts like they can’t hear their mother calling from the next room.

Sermons are like that sometimes.  Most of the time not offending seems to be the order of the day and sermons become nothing more than a gentle reminder.  Not exactly optional, but full of choices and options … How many of those softball sermons have I ignored or just not allowed them to change me?  Or when they challenge do I consider it “optional?”

Yes I do that.  I ignore God regularly.  Stubbornly.  Foolishly, knowing fully that God has my best interest in mind and yet I can’t gather up the willpower to obey.  To stop cracking my (spiritual) knuckles.

What?  You don’t?  I don’t believe you.

And do we miss out on blessings, on a level of happiness or contentment because certain challenges from God seem too hard? Not that serious.  Life goes on.

Of that we can be sure.

Floodgate of Social Media.

I cannot seem to deal lately with the torrent of information coming into my life through the media.  A friend, who is a Scientist at the university, said he thought perhaps evolutionarily (is that the right way to say that? what is the word I’m searching for?) we are not capable of taking it all in.  Our minds and hearts just can’t absorb it.

Some days I feel my heart cracking open reading about suffering in Japan and Christ Church,NZ, ongoing efforts in Haiti and areas of Africa, our nearly decade long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, cholera outbreak in Ghana, ethnic minority Christians facing religious persecution in Vietnam, unrest in Yemen promoting Somali refugees to flee there, political unrest in Nigeria, drought in Niger, measles epidemic in Kenya, even AIDS being still the number one killer was brought up on the Colbert Report last night.  Can’t even escape the pain in humor.

We cannot get away from it.  How would God have us respond?  It’s too much.  I cannot bear it.  I need to know what God would have us do to respond.


My understanding of the gospel is becoming enriched by the truth of a recent sermon series at Blackhawk on Justice.  And reading Timothy Keller’s book, Generous Justice.  God’s justice is not a distraction from the gospel but a centering on its fullness.  Whenever anyone argued with Amy Carmichael that the gospel was only a proclamation and didn’t include acts of mercy and social justice, she emphatically said to her critics:  “God didn’t make you all mouth.”   Ha.  I love that.

And Bishop J.C. Boyle, a nineteenth-century British evangelical, said:  “Let the diligence of Christ be an example to all Christians… Like Him, let us labor to do good in our day and generation, and to leave the world a better world than we found it….Let us awake to a sense of our individual responsibility.”

My Church & Women: The ongoing Crusade.

I’ve decided to acknowledge to myself that I am on a crusade.  It may be small.  It may be ineffective.  But I am.  In my reading this week I read that if you truly disagree with the premises of your church on women in ministry or ordination of women you will eventually leave that church.  People just do.  For the most part churches don’t change — especially those connected to a denomination.   People give up.  Lose hope.  And leave.

While that was devastating on one level, because I love my church dearly.  It also made me accept the truth that I am on a crusade to change it.

One can’t simply learn the truth and sit on it.

Truth not only changes how we see ourselves, it changes what we do and how we live.

Carolyn Custis James, Half the Church.

What I know.  Jesus loved women.  He consistently reinforced human equity.  He mobilized and recruited and listened to and even hang out with those who were on the margins.  He valued women and they served with him and spoke for him, gave witness faithfully in the Bible, which seems to me to be a story of redemption for marginal people.   And there are leaders in my church who do too.  They believe, they agree, they are willing to concede.  But moving a church is as I’ve said like moving the Titanic.  It won’t happen any time soon.   I will be the quiet, prayerful voice of change.

More on this in the future, but for now…

Authorities at my church have decided to phase out the Bibles that are on hand every week, calling it a Bible Revolution. They want people to use their own personal Bible.  Yay.  The best thing that will come of this, besides the obvious, is that they won’t be tied to the New International Version any longer and can perhaps use an inclusive translation like the New Revised Standard Version that speaks to women as well as men.  That one uses language that is more welcoming to women.

Halle — fricken — lujah!

“Is the gospel truly good news for women who live in entrenched patriarchal cultures?” — Carolyn Custis James

The Titanic didn’t move this week, but the iceberg it is stuck in melted a little.  Viva La Revolution!

Winter seems to be lingering here in the Midwest.  I dug out an old poem from October, 2009.


Winter is uninvited, yet it always comes.

No matter how long  I postpone trying on last year’s coats, hats and gloves,

even still winter comes.  If I leave the hose out until it’s frozen stiff, snaking through the yard,

still winter comes.  The pots and the plants they crack and curl from the cold.  Winter, comes.

Winter comes in the cold,

dark mornings heralding sad thoughts and memories.

I lost my father to the winter.  I discovered, accepted and revealed a family’s ancient addiction.

I miscarried.  I fell down.  I fell apart.  Always winter comes.

Winter means waking early with darkness bringing in the day.

Though I try to overcome, the anxious thoughts settle in.

Remember the cold. Remember, remember.  I am always falling, in winter.

Good things are lost, so do not hold too tight

to what you desire most.  You will lose them to winter.

Love hurts more in winter, dries up and becomes need.

Love becomes memory. I am falling.  In winter.

And at the moment when the winter once again threatens to overcome, I end my slumber.

On that icy morning I wake early. Snuggle in.

Sipping coffee, by the fire.   And I think of Spring.

As you, I am thinking of spring!

Feeling grateful during the season of Lent, as I process how much God has done to redeem me from the pit where my life was.  I must never forget.  Ever.  I cannot.  Reading Henri Nouwen and he speaks to this:

“In our lives there are moments when we realize that, even if we may have done everything to destroy ourselves, we have never lost our true identity as beloved daughters or sons. That identity is never taken away. And that moment of realization is a very, very important moment.

“But take care what you do and be on your guard. Do not forget the things your eyes have seen, nor let them slip from your heart all the days of your life…” (Deut. 4)



Comments on Luke 8:1-3, from J.C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels: St. Luke (1860)

From Wikipedia:

Amy Wilson Carmichael was a Protestant Christian missionary in India, who opened an orphanage and founded a mission in Dohnavur. She served in India for 55 years without furlough and wrote many books about the missionary work there.  While serving in India, Amy received a letter from a young lady who was considering life as a missionary. She asked Amy, “What is missionary life like?” Amy wrote back saying simply, “Missionary life is simply a chance to die.”
Carmichael’s work also extended to the printed page. She was a prolific writer, producing thirty-five published books including Things as They Are: Mission Work in Southern India (1903), His Thoughts Said . . . His Father Said (1951), If (1953), Edges of His Ways (1955) and God’s Missionary (1957).  In 1931, Carmichael was badly injured in a fall, which left her bedridden much of the time until her death. She died in India in 1951 at the age of 83. She asked that no stone be put over her grave; instead, the children she had cared for put a bird bath over it with the single inscription “Amma”, which means mother in the Tamil.  Her biography quotes her as saying: “One can give without loving, but one cannot love without giving.”

“Litany of Humility” or “from My Desires & My Fears, Jesus Help Me!”

This blew me away when I read it, aloud.  You should try it.

Litany of Humility

O Jesus! meek and humble of heart, Hear me
From the desire of being esteemed, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being loved, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being extolled, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being honored, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being praised, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being preferred to others, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being consulted, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being approved, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being humiliated, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being despised, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of suffering rebukes, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being calumniated, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being forgotten, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being ridiculed, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being wronged, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being suspected, Deliver me, Jesus.

That others may be loved more than I, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be esteemed more than I, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That, in the opinion of the world, others may increase & I may decrease, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be chosen
& I set aside, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be praised
& I unnoticed, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be preferred to me in everything, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may become holier than I, provided that I may become as holy as I should, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

(I will admit that I had to look up calumniated which is to “charge falsely or with malicious intent; attack the good name and reputation of someone.”)

Whew, that is incredible to read and let it sink into your heart, mind and soul. This prayer is counter cultural.   A couple of those made my pulse race as I faced my fear in a physical way.

  • Desiring to be consulted has been a lifelong struggle for me.
  • Wanting to increase in the opinion of the world.
  • That others may be praised & I unnoticed is only something I can hope for, pray for.

I do believe repetition and practice in prayer is effective and powerful.  I am going to pray this every day in Lent.

Will you join me?



Read the Lenten Series:

1)  What is Lent Anyway, Besides Strange?

This prayer was composed by Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val (1865-1930), Cardinal Secretary of State of the Holy See under Pope Saint Pius X.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

What Is Most Personal Reveals What is Real: transparency pulls me toward God

The way we experience God every day is in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  We can’t help but respond by changing — some call it growing.  This is individual.  It is personal and it is communal.  The Holy Spirit is present, leading us deeper into the wisdom of God through our honesty and openness with one another.

Even if we choose not to reveal ourselves it is evident through our life.     Don’t you think?

One of my favorite quotes is by Lev Tolstoy is

“A writer is dear and necessary for us only in the measure of which he reveals to us the inner workings of his very soul.

I believe it.  I believe that is what makes writing such a healing and positive thing for me and for those that follow along — the openness.  The honesty.

Henri Nouwen put it this way in Bread for the Journey:

We like to make a distinction between our private and public lives and say, “Whatever I do in my private life is nobody else’s business.”  But anyone trying to live a spiritual life will soon discover that the most personal is the most universal, the most hidden is the most public, and the most solitary is the most communal.  What we live in the most intimate places of our beings is not just for us but for all people. That is why our inner lives are lives for others. That is why our solitude is a gift to our community, and that is why our most secret thoughts affect our common life.

Jesus says, “No one lights a lamp to put it under a tub; they put it on the lamp-stand where it shines for everyone in the house” (Matthew 5:14-15). The most inner light is a light for the world. Let’s not have “double lives”; let us allow what we live in private to be known in public.

I do believe transparency within (trusted) community is crucial to the spiritual life.  Keeping our private lives full of secrets only encourages more secrecy.

I have experienced that transparency pulls me toward God. He longs for us.  And by doing so, often it throws me down on my knees.  Humbles me. And within a community where there is mutual dependence, it draws others in thus allowing space for their own transformation.  That is the miracle.  That is it.  The moment in which the attributes of God are seen us.  That is everything.  That is the resurrection and atonement all over again.

Has this been true in your life?  You don’t have to tell me of course, but I urge you to tell someone. And if you find it difficult to reveal yourself — your true self — to others ask yourself why?  And what are you going to do about it?

Be well friends.

I Looked Up and The Sky Was Blue: What I Want vs. What I Need

I looked up and the sky was blue.

I don’t know why that is so important, except that it is — blue — today.  And I would have missed it, if I hadn’t looked up.

There are so many days when I don’t. Because it usually looks like this.

How often do we miss out on the amazing beauty in our life because we just don’t look up?

“What if we believed in the deep places, the darkest recesses, that God always provides — and not barely, but abundantly?   Wouldn’t we always be at peace — no matter what?  What if thanks in all things actually could be easy — because we believe that God always gives us the thing we exactly need? What if gratitude was as natural as breathing, because we knew in our bones that the air we breathe is grace? (… A Holy Experience)”

We are having an ongoing discussion in our house about “Needs vs. Wants.”

Do we need cable?  Do I need books of my own or will the library suffice?  Does my daughter need rain boots or want them? Why won’t snow boots work in the rain? Do we need Ezekiel 4:9 Organic Sprouted Whole Grain bread or just want it?  Are we desperate for fizzy water (what we call mineral water in our house) or can we live without?  Does the cat need a new collar when her old one works perfectly well?  My daughter is concerned that she (the cat) got her feelings hurt because she received the dead cat’s collar.  Hm … Does Tom need seven or eight guitars, even if they are a knock off brands from China?  But you see what I mean?  And that’s just scratching the surface.

“Your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him” (Matt. 6:8).

“My God shall supply all your needs, according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:19).

Things.  Needs.  Wants.  It’s hard.  It’s complicated!!!

I think we have many different motivations for making change in our lives.  It is smart or prudent or loving or generous or “the adult” thing to do.  I’m thinking of money and resources now, all the stuff of life.  To begin to make those choices because it is all God’s anyway, well, that’s a whole other league of maturity.  Dang, why is it so hard?

What I’m talking about here is complicated.

Our motivations.  Why do we think we need all this stuff?  Cable.  Books.  Rain boots.  Gourmet food.   Stuff for the animals.  More than one of anything? Yes, I have money on the brain.

But it is more than that.  It’s about being discontent on a deep, cellular level.  My pastor called it a cancer and I think it really is.

If you have spent time overseas or simply in a different less abundant and materialistic culture you likely were  floored by how great that was. For me, a summer pared down to a forty pound backpack was still more than my Russian students had.  I seriously never wanted to come back to America.  I felt for the first time an incredible freedom from caring about the things that are so important in America.

I believe.  I believe that God will care for me all my life.

Not that good things will always happen to me or that bad things won’t. Rather that in the midst of life and its icky messes God is here and he loves me.  I’ve never had the courage to read the book of Job all the way through because I’ve always thought that if I read it God will think I’m ready to live it.

I have never felt persecuted.  Even in the midst of my father’s illness and mother’s illness going on at the same time.  Even with major depression not receding no matter how much effort and work I spent on it.  Even needing medication and finding out I was pregnant.  And then losing the baby.  Losing my father.  Helping my mother get into recovery.  Already struggling with my own addictions.  Even in the midst of all that — which I found myself recounting to a friend the other day — I believed. Deep down I believed God would care for me.

I’m reading, slowly as it applies, The Women’s Bible Commentary. (see desc. below)  As I was reading about the Psalms I read this:

“Those who speak with complete candor in the presence of God, those who articulate their doubts and their pain as well as their trust in God are all included among the faithful in the Psalms.  Women who have been taught  (like children) to be “seen and not heard” in relation to faith and religion should notice that the very act of putting anger, impatience, and frustration into words often enables the speakers in the Psalms to come to a renewed sense of assurance in God’s continuing care. The confessional stance of the Psalmists (their willingness to articulate feelings of anger and pain as well as joy in the presence of God, their refusal to submit passively to oppressive circumstances, and their confidence in God’s concern for their needs) has had and continues to have a significant influence in shaping the theology, the piety and the lives of many women.”

This has been my experience.  I think this is why during all of that which I listed above the one thing I was able to do was cry out to God.  Many times by writing but also with friends, and in prayer or through reading Bible, especially the Psalms.  My bitterness toward my parents manifested in depression, low self-esteem, alcoholism …  My poetry is so real because it came from that core.

When I first wrote it was God cleansing and healing me.  A secondary result has been how my words have helped others — perhaps jog a mind or heart to circumstances  between themselves and God.  That was an unexpected delight.

Do you believe God will care for you, abundantly?

If you aren’t sure cry out to him.  He listens.  He is good and he is our Shepherd. (John 10)   This section of scripture describes the most incredibly loving relationship between Jesus and people.  He calls his sheep by name.  The sheep know his voice.  Jesus is the gate for the sheep.  Whoever enters by Jesus will be saved and will come in and go out and will find pasture.  The thief comes to steal kill and destroy.  “But I came that they may have life and have it abundantly!”

Write thy blessed name, o Lord, upon my heart, there to remain so indelibly engraved, that no prosperity, no adversity shall ever move me from thy love.  Be thou to me a strong tower of defense, a comforter in tribulation, a deliverer in distress, a very present help and a guide to heaven through the many temptations and dangers of this life.

— Thomas a Kempis

I want to be content.  I want it to be true of me.  All I need is my pasture.  And the Good Shepherd calling me by name.

Be well, Melody

I highly recommend The Women’s Bible Commentary if you preach or teach, especially if you’re male.  It will give you a perspective that you cannot possibly have since you are not a woman.

From the back of The Women’s Bible Commentary — an outstanding groups of women scholars introduced and summarized each book of the Bible and commented on those sections of each book that have particular relevance to women, focusing on female characters, symbols, life situations such as marriage and family, the legal status of women, and religious principles that affect relationships between women and men.  (It also has a huge bibliography!)

re|think everything




[in singular] a reassessment, especially one that results in changes being made.

I am thinking about many things including the future of this blog.  I was particularly challenged by a conversation this weekend.  My sister questioned why I “live so much in the past?”  She was wishing for me that I would be able to “get on with my life.”

Long before that conversation, I have asked for a clear insight about what is next for me.  I have been seeking — praying — listening.

Rethinking What I Know about Myself.

  • I need to know  that my life contributes to a grander and larger story than simply my own.
  • I have certain passions — God-given, I believe.  Most notable photography.  biblical studies.  women.  any injustice.
  • One spiritual gift I have seems to be Mercy. My heart breaks over the corruption and greed in some that leads to poverty and pain for others.  Over persecuted people groups.  Over homophobia, racism, sexism.  Over anyone being homeless.
  • My voice, in writing, is loud and clear and sometimes even challenging.  Out loud I am meek and unclear, which I experienced this weekend to my dismay.

Rethinking Biblical Translation & Interpretation.

I have a hunger to understand scripture for myself.  Dare I say this?  It frightens me that so much of (most or all) biblical interpretation throughout history was done by men.  It gnaws at me from inside out.

I am not a raging neofeminist or even a strong proponent of a feminist or liberation theology.  (I guess I don’t know enough about them to say one way or another.)  Simply put, things have been stacked against us:women

  • A patriarchal society& culture brought us the message of the scriptures that we live our lives by. 
  • Another group of men translated it into the language for “everyone.”
  • And, then in most churches today men stand up and interpret scripture every Sunday and all week long.

“The Bible has shaped the life of the church in a way that nothing else has done and Christians today are the product of the history of its interpretation.” 1

Why should I trust their translations and interpretations categorically without question?  This is simply foolish, in my opinion.  And still I pray for a spirit of humility — that I would be a fertile ground.  I ask why do I think these things and if my motives are wrong or I am simply being foolish in my thinking, that this thinking would change.  And, I have thought of many responses to this conundrum, from applying to be an unpaid intern at my church in biblical hermeneutics, I would hope, to bring a feminine voice to the teaching being done, to going to seminary.

Rethinking My Role.

As I seriously consider the perception of being a “woman of leisure” which I wrote about recently, I get mired in my own frustrations and can’t pull together clear thoughts.  Because it is emotional for me!  I don’t care about the money (perhaps I should) but I want respect.  And I know if I don’t respect women who stay home, then how can I expect others to respect me?

And before you email me about the value of being at home with kids, know that I’ve had more than ten years to ponder this subject.  I don’t need “encouragement” in that regard.  It is an incredibly complicated personal decision for every women and I do respect the difficult place women (so much more than men) are in.  So if you are a man, butt out. No one can make this choice for a woman or explain away her doubt, fear, aspirations, goals, or desire for “accomplishment” or get why she cries to be away from her babies.

Recently, First Lady Michelle Obama was named Most Powerful Woman of the Year, beating out heads of state, chief executives and celebrities in Forbes magazine’s annual listing.  Some women came out saying Ms. Obama talks about herself as a wife and mother and were questioning how that makes her influential?   Gr…..

But I digressed into an issue that is only a side story in my search for a place to make an impact and contribution.

And I am still left thinking at this point, is this blog much ado about nothing?  Is it time to stop?”

Rethink Everything.

It is difficult for me, at times, to look back over the last decade of my life.  In human terms — quitting  a meaningful, challenging job, succumbing to clinical depression, becoming addicted to alcohol, and straying far away from the LORD — it was all failure on my part. And yet, it was through those experiences, as mortifying as they are and were to me, that I have come to recognize many things.

I am actually grateful to have been brought so low.  I can only hope that I am still learning and am becoming a person useful to the LORD.  I had to trudge through the violence of my childhood and my feeling of betrayal and disappointment towards my parents — and forgive them.  This has opened me up to a new life.

Christ’s broken body for me was real and meaningful in a new way never understood until my humiliation.  And gratefully I can say, this drove me to my knees.  I went from someone who felt she was competent, powerful, knowledgeable and puffed up with my importance to a broken reed, hardly knowing up from down.  Alcohol devastated me — became the thing that I lived for.  The passion, the dreaming, the hoping, the living stopped.

I am so grateful to not have lost everything. It is humbling to sit here in the comfort of my home knowing that I am loved by my husband and adored by my children.  Undeserved, as I know how close I came to losing  all that I now hold dear and even my life.

As I consider what the future holds for me I want to be fertile ground.  Looking back, mostly glad to have fallen.  To have learned.  As I look ahead there is no perfect plan.  I must trust while serving, not knowing the future.  Trust that I have a contribution to make, but if that “thing” the “plan” never happens, hope that I will continue to be grateful and if I am never made whole, still I will ask for it.  And hope.  And stay open.


I have more than fifty poems I have written here.  This one, is called addict.

Being an addict catches me by surprise.  Today,

seemingly innocent things — a drink, a smoke, a purchase, food, even exercise can become



In the time that it takes to feel a flash of happiness, sadness or regret;

less than 60 seconds of my life

and I remember,

I am an addict.  How could I have forgotten?

Today I must ask what brought this on?

For tomorrow I must fill the need

with OTHER.

As for yesterday, I can only look back and remember

I am an addict, but I am stronger than my need.

And as for this moment — I know I am an addict;

I am. I was. I always will be, always will be

an addict.

ADDICT written april 9, 2009 by melody harrison hanson

Those that have no background in addiction look at the word ADDICT and the word alcoholic as kind of wicked and weak.  Face it, our culture doesn’t understand.  But if you’ve been there, if you live there, if you love someone who does or has you know exactly what I mean.  And I thank you for understanding.

1 Bray, Gerald.  Biblical Interpretation: Past & Present, 1996, IVP