Sep 102009

Yesterday’s post was about God. Sometimes talking about God can hurt people’s feelings. What I want most in the world, besides a personal chef, is to not hurt your feelings. If you people knew how much I thought about you and worried about your feelings you would probably be very, very afraid.

In the future, when I refer to God, feel free to substitute the name of whatever light helps you find your way home. I usually call God well, God.I also call him Jesus, because Jesus was the First Responder to my spiritual 911 call from my bathroom floor several years ago, and because everything He said matches the truth in my heart. I also sometimes call the pizza man God because, well, families can’t live on bread alone.If you call God something different than I do, then…“to-mayto- to-mahto.” Let’s not call the whole thing off due to semantics okay?And if you believe that everyone has to call God the same name… I’d be honored if you’d stick around, too. Let’s all try to understand each other. Because with every passing year I become more suspicious that maybe we’re not really meant to spend our spiritual lives playing a never-ending game of Red Rover.“Send those PAGANS right over!”Red Rover requires a lot of choosing teams and yelling and running and winners and losers and bruised arms. Maybe instead we could all just sit down, take a deep breath and figure out what we can learn from each other. I think God, whatever He might prefer to be called, would like that.

Anyway. The point is that yesterday I wasn’t trying to assert that bumper sticker man was definitely wrong about God. BECAUSE WHO REALLY KNOWS? I was just saying that I don’t buy any theology that fits on a bumper sticker. But there are actually a lot of things I probably should buy that I don’t, like mops and new underwear and a pan, according to my sister.

She came over to cook dinner last weekend, which she does occasionally for the sake of the children, and she yelled from the kitchen:“Glennon, where are your PANS?” and I yelled back “I don’t have one.” And after that shocked silence to which I am becomingwell accustomedshe yelled something like “You don’t ownApan? How do you cook without a singlepan?”And I said, “Yeah. I know, IT’S REALLY HARD.” And then she walked into the family room and stared at me in disbelief for a good three minutes.When she finally spoke, she said something about how she had MULTIPLE PANS FOR VARIOUS PURPOSES and how I COULD SIMPLY NOT not have a single pan in my home.


JEESH, SISTER,give me a break.So I don’t have a pan?So what? It’s not like there’s anything I cando about it. Every day I pray the serenity prayer, “allow me to accept the things I cannot change,” and then Itry to accept the fact that I do not have a pan.I’m not gonna sit around and cry about it. Also, if we’re being totally honest, I think you’re being just a teensy bit judgmental. Just because you’re a fancy pants MULTIPLE PAN OWNER, doesn’t mean that all of us have to join you in your life of excess. Sister, there are children STARVING IN AFRICA, actuallyat my house too, and you’re walking around with your head in the clouds, judging the panless and gloating about your MULTIPLE PANS.

Okay, this post is miles from where it started. I think my points were:

1. Let’s be the first group of people in the history of the world who talk about God occasionally without starting a war.

2. Please send me a pan. And a detailed note explaining what I’m supposed to do with it.

Sep 112009

I have a special friend named Casey. She has twinkly blue eyes that are cozy as faded Levis and a slow, soothing smile. She’s elegant and graceful and a little frilly, like her clothes. Sometimes I wonder if she was born into the wrong era because she has time for people. You realize, as you watch her quietly soaking in a friend’s story, that Casey believes there’s enough love, attention, and time to go around. She doesn’t grab.

Casey and her grandmother write letters to each other. Not emails… letters. Casey likes how letters slow her down, how they insist that she sit and forget everything else. When she’s falling into a letter from her grandmother, she savors the thought that they have both touched the same page. Letters bridge the distance between them, and they are tangible proof of Casey’s life philosophy- that love can and should make time stand still.

About a year ago Casey got quiet enough to hear her heart make a request. Her heart’s request was that Casey combine her philosophy about love and life with her artistic talent to create a career. Casey listened to her heart’s voice, trusted it, and followed directions. And after months of excruciatingly hard work, this week she launched her new custom stationery business, Toast.

It is so incredible to watch someone you love step into her dream. My mom said that to me on my wedding day, and I said it to Casey the first time I saw the Toast website. I won’t do product placements on this blog. But when a friend’s dream comes true, that’s certainly worthy of an exception…

We each have something we know we must do. A gift God’s given to us alone, to share. Because a gift’s not really a gift unless it’s given away.

What does your heart request of you? What do you really want to do? What makes you feel most alive?

Seriously, tell me. I’m going to check in to make sure you’re doing it. Because we need you to do it. It gives us courage.

“None of us will ever achieve anything excellent or commanding except when she listens to the whisper that is heard by her alone.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sep 112009

Ceecee Lyles, Flight 93 flight attendant, 33 years old, in an answering-machine message to her husband: “Please tell my children that I love them very much. I’m sorry, baby. I wish I could see your face again.”

Tom Burnett, on United 93, called his wife Deena: “We’re all going to die, but three of us are going to do something. . . I love you, honey.”

Todd Beamer, on United 93, prayed on the phone with a stranger,Verizon Airfone supervisor Lisa Jefferson. She said hewas calm. They said the Lord’s Prayer together. Then he said,“Let’s roll.”

Elizabeth Rivas, at the Laundromat when the planes hit the WTC, called home to see if her husband who worked in the WTC had called. Her child reported that he had called: “He said, Mami, he loves you no matter what happens. He loves you. That’s it.”

Capt. Walter Hynes,of NYPD Ladder 13, dialed home that morning as his rig left the firehouse at 85th Street and Lexington Avenue for the WTC: “I don’t know if we’ll make it out. I want to tell you that I love you and I love the kids.”

Because of September 11, Bill Cahir, at age 34, sought an age waiver to enlist in the Marines. This month, on his third tour while patrolling the Helmand province, Sgt. Cahir was killed. AsCahir was laidat Arlington, Marines handed the flag to his bride – pregnant with their twins. A dozen men stood in the back of the chapel and were the last to leave; they had traveled hundreds of miles to be there, wearing their FDNY dress uniforms, to honor a hero.

We remember you. We honor you. We will be the last to leave.

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