Yearly Archives


A call to integrity

Glimmers February 26, 2015

Dear Friends,

A few years ago, I was driving in a long line of cars…. from the funeral to the burial of a good man. Traveling alone, I looked at the houses and tall trees. As I followed the car in front of me, I watched people mowing their lawn. Lots of time to think…..

I was thinking mostly about John, as we escorted his body to the cemetery. I was trying to find the words that I felt best described him, the words I would say as part of our prayer and goodbye. Of course, my thoughts wandered. Every loss reminds us of other losses, and I too dipped into that place of loss in my own life. It sits behind my heart, quiet most days. But life sometimes draws back the curtain and returns us to the uncertain feelings that reside there.

I have learned to trust the feelings and thoughts that emerge from that space behind my heart. They, like John, reveal the gift of integrity. Let me explain...

John’s 90 year old body survived a long-ago stroke but responded with atrophy and spastic movements. John managed in a wheelchair, but with only one hand working his progress was slow. When I asked him if I could push the chair to events at the nursing home, I waited for his answer. It was important to recognize his choice in that moment. In spite of the serious challenges of aging, he retained a dignity and warmth that instructed all his caregivers. This was a man of integrity. A man who knew himself as whole, despite his broken body.

Each of us have broken places, some more obvious than others. Life brings loss, doubt, rejection, pain…all sorts of experiences that erode our self-esteem. Each of us have gifts, some we’re willing to name, others not so much. But as humans, we have these wonderful capacities to love, be patient, to create, to choose hope, and so many more. The call to integrity invites us to gather the “whole of ourselves,” to honor our brokenness and accept our giftedness. The call to integrity beckons us toward a life of standing in our own spot, with ease and grace, as we stand in and among the world.

We know what integrity looks like: a tree in its fullness, a chair well-made, a handshake of forgiveness. May these images and John’s story inspire you to take some time to experience your own integrity.

Honor and accept your flaws, welcome and embrace your gifts.

The world needs the whole of you, the “you” that God created you to be.

with love, Lisa

Becoming loveable

Glimmers January 26, 2015

Dear Friends,

Coming off the holiday time has given me lots of opportunity to think about family and love. I am so very blessed to have both. This photo, from our “family of choice,” captures a child’s delight in the Love around him, and hopefully kindles our own memories and experience of being loved….

I also hope those whose families are absent or wounded will hear a message about love and connection available to us all.


Fours years ago, I was sitting with Sr Ancilla as her health was declining. I was her chaplain in a nursing home, and she was my teacher in that moment. Questions and decisions regarding her care were circling around us, as we quietly held hands. We shared both silence and speaking with ease, for our relationship had grown and developed over the years.

  Then she said, “You know, I’ve come to love you.” 
               I responded, “And I’ve come to love you.” 
               And she replied, “I know.”

In that moment, as I cherished the awareness of her love for me, I was a witness to a simple but powerful truth: She received my love for her, fully, without hesitation or doubt.

More importantly, the way she said “I know” had this quality of freedom – impish almost, as she revealed she knew herself to be lovable.

And what did I learn from her in that moment?
I was reminded that it is OK to see yourself as lovable.

Hopefully, we knew we were loved as infants. As we waved our arms and legs and looked out into giant faces and bright light, most of us heard oohs and aaahs. We felt kisses on our skin in all sorts of places! We were held, rocked, shared and protected. All that love showered upon us created a cocoon for us to grow and evolve.

Psychologists will explain all sorts of reasons for why that lovability factor changes over the years. Some of us need more help than others to retrieve the golden memories of our unique wonderfulness in the world. And my recommendation? Go for it! If wounds, fears or doubts are in the way, do the work you need to do! Find your way back!

Of course, Sr Ancilla had another lesson for me and for all of us. She was graced with an experience of the Divine in her bones! Her impish delight in her own lovable nature was rooted in the Light of Christ, where she had embraced the gift of Love, fully and completely. May we all come to realize our inherent value, beauty and lovability this new year. May we, as the daughter and sweet grandson of a dear friend shows us, celebrate the joy of being alive and being loved!

Blessings to you as 2015 begins,