Waterman, Carla

Careening Carrots and Welcoming Worship

by Carla Waterman, Ph.D.

There was no doubt that I was somewhere completely “other” from the moment I got off the plane. It wasn’t just the endless sun that never seemed to set as I continued to fly west and west and more west.  It was the spicy air and the curved bent of an alphabet that had as many rounded flourishes as the architecture. It was filing through Customs behindthe wizened Buddhist monk with bare feet and a brown mustard colored robe. The word “Orient” wafted to the top of my sleep-deprived brain. I was in Bangkok.

From Resignation to Expectation (Waiting, Part 2)

Resignation is a soul-deadening, light-obscuring posture of the soul. There is a hopeless inevitability in it that slowly shuts the door to God’s comforting light. When Zechariah the priest entered the temple to burn incense that day a double-portion of resignation is residing in his soul. As an Israelite, he is the member of a conquered people. As a man he is the husband of a barren wife.

Psalm 84: The Sparrow's Nest

by Carla Waterman, Ph.D.

I once read an indignant commentary on Psalm 84:3. The writer was appalled at the suggestion that messy birds would be allowed anywhere near the altar of God, let alone make their home there.  I laughed as I thought, “Oh dear friend, hast thou not a poetic imagination?” Apparently not. I find the imagery beautiful:

Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself
where she may lay her young,
at your altars, O Lord of hosts.

Stranded in Time (“Waiting,” Part 1)

 “The curtain comes down on the Old Testament with the prophet Malachi declaring that Elijah will be sent to the people, followed by years of silence…Four hundred years of silence.

“But the Sons of Korah Did Not Die”

Their role was to encircle the tent. The Levites were to be human insulation: both protecting the priests and the holy things from unclean contamination from without and protecting the people in the camp from holy retribution from within.