Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast

Reverend Laurie's Blog

"Fix Me Jesus" - 01/26/18

Sometimes in public restrooms while washing hands and checking for mustard on our shirts, women will stare with each other in the mirror and complain about their hair. Not so long ago, in these social situations my own complaints were adamant and plentiful. My hair’s too wild, I’ve tried everything and nothing keeps it down, when it’s short I look like a chrysanthemum and when it’s long I look like a crazy person etc. One day during coffee hour at my former church someone mentioned how they loved my hair which triggered my well-rehearsed “I hate my hair” monologue. A few minutes later, the only African American member of the church sat down next to me and asked if I thought her hair w

"Our Family Story" - 01/19/2018

The name “Granddaddy” loomed large in my family and belonged to my Great-Grandfather, a man I never met. Each of his five children took me in their confidence at one time or another to explain, “I’m the one who inherited Granddaddy’s nature.” Word among them all was that Granddaddy was always whistling, could fix anything, never lost his temper and befriended just about everyone he met. During the Great Depression he built a radio from scratch. It was the first one in their tenement neighborhood and neighbors from all of the surrounding apartments came to their porch to listen. Every night before tucking his kids in to bed, Granddaddy made them stale bread pudding with raisins and warm m

Being A Grateful Stone - 01/12/2018

During Christmas week my family gifted me a free pass to go alone to the Philadelphia Art Museum during our mini vacation. If I’d only had the first ten minutes of that visit it would have been good enough because I got to stand by myself in front of a painting of John the Baptist by the early Renaissance painter Cosimo Tura. The first thing that caught my eye was John’s red robe. If you spend enough time at any church that celebrates seasons you will know that on some special days red fabrics appear everywhere: hanging from the pulpit, sewn onto frontals and looped around crosses. That’s because red is the color for both the Holy Spirit and for the martyrs. John sweeps his cape up and acr

"A Holy Ache" - 01/05/18

When he was a child, the great Russian writer Leo Tolstoy’s brother Nikolia convinced him and his siblings that he had discovered a secret that would make all people happy. Nikolia said he’d written the secret on a green stick and buried it in a ravine by the edge of the road on the family’s property. Tolstoy wrote “As I then believed that there was a little green stick whereon was written something which would destroy all evil in men and give them great blessings, so I now believe that such truth exists among people and will be revealed to them and will give them what it promises.” When he died as a very old man, Tolstoy wanted no part of a fancy funeral. His only request was that he b

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