I’ve been trying to write a blog that isn’t about how I’m feeling. Which is proving to be a little tricky.  Everything feels off centre and out of focus 

I’ve got labyrinthitis which sounds utterly fictional and possibly theologically interesting, but is actually just an awful inner ear infection which throws everything out of whack. Vertigo. Sore ears. Staying on the couch. And a whole lot of being cranky.

My doctor said because it’s caused by a virus, there’s nothing much I can do other than wait it out.

He told me to stay home, drink tea and enjoy my children. But I don’t like standing up and they do like eating dinner which I don’t feel like standing up to cook. I must say the Spouse is being lovely and looking after us all. Tonight, he made Smitten Kitchen Deb Perelman’s shaved aspargus pizza. Do. Here’s the link.  All five of us liked it. It tastes like spring. And melted cheese.

I haven’t been able to keep to routine at all today. Although Plum was off at a friend’s house as he always is on Monday morning, I’ve been finding that working coherently takes more focus than I can muster. I dabbled in morning lectionary readings, honestly glad that I’m not preaching this coming Sunday.

Lectionary this week gives us Pauline theology in Romans which makes me dizzy at the best of times. The reading from Matthew 10:24-39 contains the troubling line about not peace but a sword and the image of families being divided. I wasn’t sure I wanted to read any of that this morning. But I did find these words, too:  And even the hairs of your head are all counted. So do not be afraid.  It’s amazing how often those words come up. Do not be afraid. These are strengthening words. I want to be held in those words. Wrapped up and comforted. To know that I, too, am so known and precious.

Then it’s on to the story of Sarah and Hagar. Wrapped in my blanket on the couch, there is no way I’m up for that story today. I don’t know where to begin with jealousy and violence begetting troubled interfaith relations. Again I was tempted just to skip this reading altogether. But another line jumps out at me. Do not be afraid; for God has heard the voice of the boy where he is.

Maybe this is just ‘proof texting.’ Or lazy reading. Or maybe it’s enough for today. There are most certainly days when scripture just sits there and I’m not up for the grappling with history and context and verb tenses. Days when reading it through is all I can do. Maybe today that’s enough.

Do not be afraid. God hears you where you are.

Whatever twists and turns and dislocations distract you.

God hears you where you are.

Whatever unsteadiness consumes you.

Know that you are known. Even the hairs on your head are counted. Do not be afraid.


About Katie Munnik

Katie Munnik is an Ottawa writer currently living in Cardiff with her Spouse and three growing children. Each Monday on the Messy Table, she writes about the practice of reading lectionary and the practical theology of parenting - from birthday cakes to broken hearts and everything in between. Katie also writes Kaleidoscopically, a monthly column in the print edition of the Presbyterian Record. You can also find Katie on twitter @messy_table Subscribe to this blog.