strange and beautiful


when peter’s hopes weren’t fulfilled the way he’d thought they would be, he went back to fishing.

he went back to what he knew.

he went backward.

i get that.

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the past is known and safe.

i like known and safe. i like the past. i can easily understand what god was doing there and often i long to return to a place, a time, i used to exist within.

but time doesn’t work that way and neither does god.

i think maybe that peter was grieving. he had a lot of hope for what could have been. but jesus died and he had failed and he knew how to fish. he knew that.


but even the past won’t stand still.

landscapes alter and people radically change. i’ve gone back to the places i remember and have found that i’m the only one who hasn’t moved on. i find that there’s nothing left for me to do but let go.

every so often grief is the only way through.

and i’d rather do anything than to let go of something or someone i dearly love. actually i don’t think anyone could if god didn’t show up on the beaches of our grief.


jesus found peter on the water and called out in a way that he understood. he’s doing that for me and he’ll do it for you.

and peter jumped in.

he jumped right into the waters of grief in order to swim towards god because peter knew the secret.

he makes life sweet. grief, sorrow, joy and glory. they all get mingled up in the person of jesus. nothing is ever quite what it seems with him.


he asked peter for one of those fish he caught and he cooked it on an open fire. they sat and they ate and then they talked real.

“do you love me?” jesus is asking all of us peters still.

feed my sheep.

tend my lambs.

feed my sheep.

diving into the grief of what has been lost – or rather; the loss of how we thought things should be, we arrive on the shores of the risen christ.

we trade safe and known for strange and beautiful.

and a bunch of sheep besides.


gratitude list ~ one thousand gifts ~ 1985 – 2009

outside office
ann arbor
field day
waiting for fireflies
almost austin
daughters plural
zingerman lattes
short skirts
t shirts
better moods
long days
talking it out
surprised by stories
new sheets
beds made
cool air
open windows
purple hookahs
sharing links
letting go
the past
the friends i haven’t met

7 replies on “ strange and beautiful ”
  1. I, also, found you through Ann’s blog. And after reading your post yesterday, and tearing up, and sharing on Facebook, and adding you to my home screen…well, you get the picture πŸ™‚ so glad I found you…so glad I came back today.

  2. Thank you for your beautiful expressions of the heart…what a gift for all. I have enjoyed everything I am reading (got connected to your page thru Ann Voskamp ). Big heart hugs from a fellow Michigander πŸ˜‰

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