Apparently, I worried a few of you with the poem that I sent out by Marie Howe last month for the feast of Mary Magdalene. No, I don’t actually suffer from all seven of THOSE particular demons. I haven’t really given much thought to mosquito faces or aphids. (Indeed, I’m not really sure what an aphid is.) But what I most resonate with in the poem is the propensity to keep making lists and then changing them, and the fact that so many of us have thoughts and fears and quirks that we are pretty sure no one else would understand. It’s a different way of considering what our sister Mary Magdalene may have also struggled with.
Today I had the chance to reflect on another woman from scripture locked in the midst of a struggle—Moses’ sister, Miriam. There are four places in the Exodus story where she appears and, of course, I got the quirkiest one of the four in the lectionary passage for August 3. Still an interesting one to sit with. But, aren’t they all? If you are unfamiliar with Miriam’s story and the important role that she plays as a prophet of hope, speaking words that were like water for the people in the desert, I invite you to check out my preaching, as well as this lovely contemporary take on Miriam’s ancient song after the crossing of the Red Sea. It’ll make you want to get out your tambourine as well.
Meanwhile I will be jingling my tambourine all the way to Texas this afternoon to celebrate the beginning of a new school year with the administrative team of Ursuline Academy of Dallas. This is an event planned in great hope over a year ago. Please pray with me for a safe journey and meaningful gathering.