Cancer, Evolution, and a Creation Stumbling Forward

636108839739494027-1837980528_Pink-Breast-Cancer-Awareness-Wallpapers.jpgI have been taking a particularly fascinating (and challenging!) course this semester called “The Epic of Creation: Scientific, Biblical, and Theological Perspectives on Our Origins.”  While many of our class sessions have been (to my mind) thickly scientific and technical and rather over my head, last Monday, we had a deeply engaging conversation about theological and pastoral perspectives on cancer as an evolutionary phenomenon.  Given my family history of cancer — most notably, my mother’s death from breast cancer in 1994 — this is a topic that is very near and dear to my heart.  I rushed home after class to write my reflections about all that we had discussed, and after re-reading what I wrote, I decided to share some of it here.  I hope it’s meaningful for others as it is for me. Continue reading

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Sermón: Palmas y perspectivas

Domingo de ramas / Palm Sunday
9 abril, 2017 / April 9, 2017
Mateo 21:1-11 / Matthew 21:1-11
First Lutheran Church of Lutheran Square

(I also submitted this sermon as an assignment for my preaching class, so I experimented with a different approach to writing a sermon.  I hope you enjoy it!  It also preceded an action with the Logan Square Ecumenical Alliance, supporting reforms of Chicago’s Welcoming Cities Ordinance.)


(sermon starts around 2:04)
(manuscript is below)

Continue reading

Sermon: Truth from the Margins

Third Sunday of Lent / Tercer domingo de cuaresma
March 19, 2017 / 19 marzo, 2017
John 4:5-42 / Juan 4:5-42
First Lutheran Church of Lutheran Square

0e6ef653fa10cdcb6a77686873a70189La única cosa que le interesaba a Kenny era Bionicle – un mundo de ciencia ficción y fantasía creado por Lego, con ciborgues, robotes, y monstruos. Le conocí a Kenny durante el verano de 2006 cuando trabajaba como consejera en un campamento luterano de jóvenes. A mi me tocaba cuidar a un grupito de siete campistas: 3 niñas, 3 niños, y Kenny. Kenny era un niño muy amable. Le gustaba mucho dibujar y contar historias – mayormente sobre Bionicle – pero le costaba enfocarse en las actividades del grupo. Dentro de pocos días sus peculiaridades empezaron a molestar un poco a los demás niños, y Kenny se convirtió en un marginado.

Este cuento de la mujer samaritana, me recuerde un poco de Kenny. Como Kenny, la mujer samaritana parecía ser una marginada de su pueblo. Vino sola al pozo a sacar agua durante las horas más calientes del día. En su conversación con Cristo, revela que ha tenido cinco maridos y que ya vive con uno que no es su marido. Posiblemente era adúltera, pero no lo sabemos por seguro. Puede que fuera viuda o hasta divorciada cinco veces. Quizás le obligaron a casarse con varios hermanos de la misma familia por una práctica que se llamaba el matrimonio “levirato,” y ya se quedó sola. Sea lo que sea su historia, el hecho de que estaba sola en el pozo, conversando sobre agua viva con un hombre ajeno, probablemente indica que era un poco diferente a los demás de su pueblo.

Por lo tanto, imagino que cuando ella vino corriendo del pozo, llena de emoción, la última cosa que esperaba su pueblo era que les traía la palabra de vida de Dios. Y yo lo imagino así, porque cuando Kenny vino corriendo a nuestro grupito, lleno de emoción, yo tampoco lo esperaba. Continue reading

My Own Independence Day

CW: diet talk, weight loss, profanity, disordered eating

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Me rocking a new winter coat that actually fits well and looks nice

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I quietly celebrated an important anniversary yesterday.  It’s been exactly one year since I gave up dieting and stopped trying to lose weight.  I had been resistant and afraid to do it, terrified that I would lose all control over my eating and constantly gorge myself on all the fatty, fried, and sweet foods I so desperately craved.  I felt like a crazy person around food and even thought that perhaps I was a food addict.  I used to hide my eating from those closest to me who I knew would disapprove: hiding candy in unlikely places (like my closet or behind books on a shelf), hiding myself in the bathroom to sneak my little treats.  I felt guilty and hungry and ashamed all. the. time.

A year ago, I was lying face down on my bed, sobbing uncontrollably, feeling like the most miserable life form in the universe.  I don’t even remember what set me off, if indeed, there even was anything.  I was so sick of dieting, so sick of constantly denying myself the pleasure of eating.  And most of all, I was just unbearably sad.  The ideal of the thin (or even the thinner) me seemed impossibly far out of reach, and getting further by the minute.  I had legitimately given it my best.  I have lost as much as 70lbs in a single go in my life, but without fail, it always comes back, and when it does, it brings along reinforcements. Continue reading