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Posts tagged: Passion

Holy week continues

Holy Week…Passion and Grace: we enter Palm Sunday with triumph and joy, a journey into Jerusalem; our own lives seek the journey to return home, to enjoy friends and wonder about our future.  Jesus was deceived by false claims of devotion. We travel our lives with similar steps.

Holy Thursday invites us to share food, drink wine, speak holy words, share our thoughts amid laughter, memories and gentle friendship. Ritual and celebration define us. But soon darkness, betrayal, and anguish overcome us and life offers no real control – even when you are Jesus.

Good Friday crashes down with tragedy and skewed loyalties among friends; a frenzy of courage and grief and loss and confusion and hopelessness; a spiritual wandering; emptiness and death. Primal-scream loneliness. Darkness extinguishes one’s spirit. Where is that God who promises so much?

We seek quiet stirrings and reflection and desperately demand meaning out of endings. How can one live with deep anguish? How can one survive the death of all that is good, close, holy, loving? Chaos reigns.

And then…when hope no longer lingers in one’s bones…that stone which has sealed us into death, suddenly quakes loose in ways we could never imagine, understand or even ask for.  The thunderous movement liberates creation and the stone moves farther and farther away, smashing darkness. Light reaches into our own hiding places and warms what has been broken, offering healing and hope.

While our brains cannot explain, measure or understand, we are healed as we eagerly race from that sealed tomb into God’s grace of light and love; we arrive crashing into our God who will not abandon, our God who dances with joy at our own goodness.

The passion of Christ is the passion we claim for our own lives.

When we listen, we know the cosmic message: we are made in God’s image and deserve to be liberated from all that shackles us. In thunderous revelations or in quiet wandering, we arrive in the Light, we are made whole.

We deserve to dance in the Light of God’s Grace. Joyous Easter, promised resurrection ~ life.   

(S-R archive photo: Sunrise from the slopes of Mount Spokane)

Dancing: later-life passion

A friend and I were discussing passion the other night. Not the sexual kind. But the passion for ideas, causes, projects, new adventures.

We've noticed that as we age (we're both in our mid-50s) it's harder to feel passionate about all of the above. We decided we feel “half passions” which we abbreviated to “half-pashes.” Anyway, a couple I wrote about today, Ken and Debby Dahlke, discovered ballroom dancing four years ago, when both were in their 50s.

They share the passion with others by organizing practice nights at the Kroc Center in Coeur d'Alene. On Sunday, they will hold a Snowflake Ball. (Read my story for details).

 I was in awe of this passion that has helped others, including the young couple here, Bayley and Nicholas, who met at the practice nights and now dance competitively throughout the country. This is no half-pash for the Dahlkes. And ballroom dancing is great for physical and mental health as you age.

(Photo courtesy of Ken Dahlke)

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About this blog

Writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., addresses issues facing aging baby boomers and seniors as well as issues of serious illness, death and dying, grief and loss.

Ask a question: Catherine welcomes questions about aging issues and grief. Email her at

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