Hosanna…Praise AND Vulnerability

I remember the idea but not the source. About Palm Sunday. Preached it a time or two [or multiple times, but in different churches.] Goes like this. What the people said [and in Texas it’s hollering, both literally and metaphorically], “HOSANNA! HOSANNA!”

The meanings have preaching value. No, more. Make that living value. It means to offer God praise, an affirmation of his presence. Most common. Most prevailing.

The other meaning is 180 degrees opposite. It means, “Help me, save me, do not leave me alone, stick with me no matter what.”

Have often felt that when the praise and vulnerability go together, it’s the most realistic offering of the self. For it never allows self-defeat and self-negativity a victory and it never lets arrogance prance around as if nothing is ever wrong.

In that this Palm Sunday morning I had a related thought…powerfully related. Have shared with you previously about Saran and Hannah Bertsch and about Christie Newbill Brown. Their struggles are beyond overwhelming. Sarah continues her battle with restricted anorexia in a Seattle Eating Disorder Clinic and will be there for some time. Her mother, Sarah, is by her side, literally and spiritually, ever the comforting presence.

Christie, Methodist minister and spouse of Joanne Carlson Brown, battles the reality of a brain tumor and post-surgery swelling brain and difficulty waking up. Her cousin visited her yesterday and when she heard his voice, her eyes opened. Joanne, a most special friend in the whole universe for me is by Christie’s side…always and even more often than that. Not unlike Sarah, Joanne’s a comforting and loving presence.

I thought this morning, having also fished one of two scheduled days, maybe I could tag on a salmon caught last Tuesday. Then, I thought [I could show a fish from previous times], that’s not helpful. Even too self-serving. And, truth holding, no singing reel and one empty net. Which is more than fine.

But, what is not self-serving is to now include pictures, so your prayers, which I beckon with the depth of my heart and soul, for Sarah and Hannah [yes, Sarah is on the left, although she looks more like a sister!] and Christie…so the visual partners your spiritual in prayer.

So, this day…the day of a parade with palms…the deeper essence is for us to always offer “Hosanna” to God…for presence and support and love and understanding. And the first source? The moment in the Bible!

Sarah and Hannah:

Christie Newbill Brown:

About Mark H Miller

Diane and I live in Leander, Texas. This past June 17, 2015 I celebrated the 49th anniversary of my ordination. We returned to Texas after three years in Washington, during which I served as interim minister in Bellevue/Eastgate and Mercer Island. Am planning to begin a 5th novel that will have my protagonist, Tricia Gleason, serve a year in licensed ministry in Snoqualmie, Washington. The novel, "The Lemon Drop Didn't Melt," will find Tricia wrestling with ministry challenges. None of which more daunting than someone wanting her breathing to stop. All the published novels are available on Amazon and Amazon Kindle under Mark Henry Miller. A primary goal in our return to Texas is to make sure grandchildren get lots of attention--here and in Chicago and Washington, D.C. Traveling is definitely an activity that will not slow down. With that, of course, fishing will happen. To that the t-shirt is apt, "I fish; therefore I am." In addition to novels, the book of Blogs, "Voice Of My Heart," is also available on Amazon.
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