30 May 2014


PlayFull board member Doreen Olson passed this reflection on the other day. Thanks, Doreen! The subtitle says it’s right up PlayFull’s alley: “A Playfully Serious Reflection.” The article speaks for itself. Keep playing, friends, and thank you for reading!  --Troy


BooBoo-Be-Do: Three Elements of a Faith Journey
A Playfully Serious Reflection From Sarah Maker

If I were to sum up elements of a faith journey in one phrase, it would be “BooBoo-Be-Do.” Let me explain.

As children, when we fall down and scrape our knees, our caregivers teach us that we have a “booboo.” We naturally reach out to our caregivers for comfort. As we grow, we continue to experience booboos, although we learn to call them injuries, or painful situations. As we mature, we also grow in self-sufficiency, and reach out less to others, including God, for help. Yet there are times, no matter our age, when we need help from God and others. For example, at some point, we may experience difficult health, parenting, relationship or vocational issues. Perhaps these challenges--booboo experiences--will return us to our knees, only this time in prayer to God for help. Jesus understands such situations well. He knows that the strange “gift” of a booboo is its capacity to open our hearts, and till its fertile soil, so that we prepare for something new. Jesus actually tells us that he comes to heal those in need, not those who think they have it all together. (Luke 5:31)

Question: Is there a “booboo”/challenge you are keeping to yourself? What blocks you from sharing it with God, with trusted others? What helps you open to others’ support?

Once a booboo experience happens, we enter a time of being. I believe this small word--BE--offers the biggest challenge to many of us on our faith journeys. Christians might experience this time of being as Holy Saturday time--the time between the death of Jesus and his resurrection. It’s an uncomfortable time of “not knowing” what’s coming next. The “gift” of this time might be the opportunity to actively wait, and cultivate an attitude of being. Such a statement reminds me of how I used to think of the Beatitudes as a child. (Matthew 5:1-12) For the longest time, I thought this phrase was “Be Attitude.” To this day, whenever I hear the term Beatitude, I hear it as a call to consider how we are to be, not do. How do we cultivate our Be Attitude? 

Perhaps Eugene Peterson’s translation of the oft quoted passage “be still and know” may offer some insight. In The Message, Peterson translates this phrase in the following way: “Attention, all! See the marvels of God! [who] plants flowers and trees all over the earth...Step out of the traffic! Take a long, loving look at me, your High God...above everything.” (Psalm 46:8-10, sel.) This translation suggests a clear link between our ability to marvel and our ability to be. It appears that noticing something beautiful, like trees and flowers, is akin to paying attention to God. The result? We gain renewed perspective and energy for our doing. No longer stuck in a metaphorical line of traffic, we experience more freedom, creativity, and energy for doing.

Question: What causes you to marvel? What might help you marvel more often?

After a booboo reintroduces us to our need for space to be, with self, God, and others, we enter a time of doing. This type of doing, however, is not the mindless “addicted to hurry” kind of doing that Kirk Jones describes in his book by that title. Rather, it is the doing that flows from the marvelous soil of our souls, tilled and prepared during our Holy Saturday time of actively waiting and being with, in, and around God. 

As the description in Mark 4:3-8 details, the seeds of doing that take root and flourish are the ones that fall on the nutrient rich soil--the sometimes stinking mulch of our booboos and fitful bouts of struggling to just be. Out of that faithful journey grows beautiful hearts, minds and hands for God’s joyful service in our mysteriously broken and beautiful world.

Question: How would you describe your doing? Where does your energy for action come from?

I invite you to say the phrase “BOO BOO BE DO” out loud several times. It’s a funny phrase, a tongue twister even. You, like me, may laugh out loud. Humor is definitely a way to marvel, step out of the traffic, and allow wiggle room for God’s grace to flow through us into our doing. Blessed be your booboos, being and doing! Amen.

As always, I invite you to share any thoughts or practice you find helpful on your own faith journey(s), or that this reflection may have sparked for you. Blessings on the journey!



*This article was part of a newsletter put out May 2014 by Lumunos, an organization that “provides ways for you to reflect on your lives, connect with what matters most and discover your next steps. Lumunos inspires you to listen to your story and find faith and light for your journey.” Visit their website at lumunos.org to find out more.

28 May 2014

Maya Angelou, rest in peace

In remembrance…

Still I Rise
By Maya Angelou

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.


from The Complete Collected Poems of Maya Angelou

18 May 2014

Peace and Sabbath

On day five, God said creation was good and God blessed it.

On day six, God said creation was very good and God blessed it.

But day seven was even better: God made it holy.

Abraham Joshua Heschel points out that the Hebrew expression which we translate as “made holy” can also be translated as “married.” To make something holy is to get married to it—to set it apart and cherish it and cling to it all at once.

For this reason, the Sabbath is often personified in Jewish literature as "one who is to be received as a bride."  She is addressed as Queen Sabbath in the special day’s opening prayers and appropriately mourned in closing prayers.  Her spirit thus infuses the other six days of the week, until a reunion can be enjoyed come next week. Sabbath thus represents both the origin and culmination of life.  In many ways, she embodies shalom: no peace exists without Sabbath and Sabbath always brings peace.

15 May 2014

Thursday Thought:: Vaclav Havel on Indifference

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11 May 2014

Mother's Day

Milieu is the right word for it—
it holds more than what the eye can see

like a garden—
flourish is the best way to describe it—
nurtured by Mothering hands
but growing on its own terms.
Which way will that vine crawl?
Both up and across, free,
wherever she may live, wild

profound and broad like an ocean
with life unseen,
hidden, the Sea’s secret,
unknown by divers—
her vast reserves captured by no thief.

indefinite certainty,
ground of the air

this milieu is what you made

Mother’s Day
a poem by Troy Cady
for Heather