Archive for October, 2016



imagesA beautiful fall Friday night on Grand Avenue. People are out shopping, going to restaurants, strolling along…… that is those lucky enough to find a parking place.

BUT the trusty St. Paul Parking Enforcement team is out en masse with their measuring sticks (I’m not kidding) to ticket those who have offended by inches. It’s a nice hospitable touch to our fair city. You may have seen them near St. John’s doing their work on Sundays, during funerals, you name it. Measuring tape in hand…

So of course I got a parking ticket (the second in my lifetime – the first in the very same spot). In my quest for justice, I have now called ten separate numbers, from the police department to public works asking them a simple question about the sign that was posted and which I (and two other ticketed cars next to me) obviously didn’t understand.

Three separate officials have told me that mine is an excellent question! And then they refer me to another person who says the same. No one seems to know the answer to my question – which makes me wonder how drivers should know! The last time I left a message at the “media office” telling them I am not FROM the media but will be GOING TO the media unless I get my question answered in two days.

Yes, I am going to fight this. I HAVE SO HAD IT!

It’s been that kind of a week (someone even stole my xxxx campaign button at Walgreens! I had it pinned to my purse – how did I not see them? And no I didn’t lose it!

Gee, maybe it’s not just the parking thing….

I preach this coming Sunday and am pretty sure that the horrific political campaigns will be the proverbial Elephant in the Room. Of course, preachers cannot and should not endorse specific candidates but the moral tone of the campaigns, the deceit, the incivility, the sexism…. these things are spiritual in nature. They drag us down to the gutter; they hammer away at us; it feels like it will never end. To insist that the Church should be above it all is simply not defensible to me. To say we should take a breath and move on is naïve.

The day’s lessons certainly agree!

Ironically (and it so often is) the day’s Gospel is about “not losing heart.” It is about persistence in fighting for a cause. The Epistle even says this: “For the time is coming when people will not put up with sound doctrine, but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own desires, and will turn away from listening to the truths and wander away to myths.”

And look at what Jeremiah says in the day’s reading: “The teeth of everyone who eats sour grapes shall be set on edge.”

Ya think?!

As usual, Scripture has pulled me back and even given me hope. Wrestling with the lessons (in-joke for anyone who reads the lectionary ahead of time) has given me perspective and strength. Join us Sunday and let me help you ….or arm you….or at least challenge you. Maybe even a little comfort.

See you in church. Park carefully.


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