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Author: Rosalind Hughes

On being lost

After well over an hour, with the canopy darkening and the narrow path dimming into that grainy soft focus that comes with the dusk, we were afraid that we might, in fact, be lost in the jungle, reputed still to harbour the occasional tiger, and definitely full of scorpions, spiders, and large and small lizards, along with our baby, toddler, and child. It was too late to turn back; the darkness would be upon us within minutes.

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Redeeming Babel

Have you ever considered the Tower of Babel and wondered why, why on earth or in heaven would the good God decide that it would be a wonderful idea if we no longer understood one another?

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Halfway

Halfway through packing for their pilgrimage to Jerusalem, the Temple and its sacrifice, the covenant and its blood, Joseph is distracted by the keening of the child. He had never noticed before how like grief a baby’s cry could be – wailing for the womb, mourning the waters from which it was drawn out and adopted into the world.

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Advent retreat

I am on an Advent retreat, restless and exhausted, looking for room at last at the inn of mercy. Perhaps that is only as it should be, as we sidle slowly toward Bethlehem.

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Envy and a jealous God

Let this, then, be my prayer: not for an unblemished sacrifice, but for an unblocked heart; not for a unwearied spirit, but for pasture to rest in; not for the perfection of love, but for love enough to continue to pray imperfectly and fervently.

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A (Holy) Ghost story

The remembrance of my fear, trembling, and faith as I witnessed whatever was going on in the air that night sustains me through this season, whose decorations do not entertain me, I am sorry to say. I am not so far removed from death, decay, and demons that I need the Hallowe’en décor to remind me that they exist. I turn away from the tombstones and their terrible puns.

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Science and Sacrament

I stood in my cardigan and stole behind a small, low altar, clinging obstinately to that other creed, the science that says that outdoor air is more effective at interrupting the spread of a pandemic virus than indoor seating allows as we circulated Word and Sacrament.

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Aftermath

Fire and flood, storm and pestilence, murder, strife, and rumours of strife surround us. We wonder, often and aloud, what will come of it, what will be our “new normal,” when this is “all over;” we look forward to the restoration of our fortunes, to our recovery. But we know, from our place in the cold ashes next to Job and his old friends, that whatever comes next, there is much that will not be undone.

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The burden of God’s attention

We continue to sit with Job’s story through our Daily Office readings (today, Job 6:1; 7:1-21). He is a parable for the prophet, a paragon for the saint, a mouthpiece for the protest, a sibling to the sorrowful whose sighs are too deep for words.

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