Quarantine journals: April 5

312,245 cases

8,503 deaths

15,021 recovered


I remember

the Sunday school teacher handing out branches,

thick, green leaves rustling like crinoline as we

held back our glee about going to Big Church and

singing and waving for the grown ups


How long ago this was, how long ago it seems

we went to church at all.

How hard to find a way to praise this day

when the worst is coming.

Is this how Jesus felt inside as the palm branches waved

in Jerusalem? He knew

His doom awaited.

But still He rode.

Because He also knew the way the story ends.

And so we sing


in small voices that tremble.




“So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!””
‭‭John‬ ‭12:13‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Quarantine journals: March 30

160,020 diagnosed

2,953 deaths

5,595 recovered

Back to work today, work I adore, work I feel—have always felt—privileged to do. I felt stretched again between the urgency of the pandemic and the real time ache of patients needing pain control, assurance, direction, and kindness. The hierarchy of needs.





One foot in front of the other.

Me. Them. Us.

Outside the grass is green. Suddenly, as if the earth sensed the great ache of all of us, begging to see life and new and growing things in the midst of all this madness, the grass is emerald green.

Glorified and sanctified be God’s great name throughout the world
which He has created according to His will,

…says the Kaddish.

And I turn my face toward Him.

Long enough to keep believing.

For today.

Quarantine journals: March 29

125,313 confirmed cases

2,197 deaths

2,612 recovered 


I didn’t want to *go* to online church this morning.

But I went anyway.

As fate (aka The Holy Spirit) would have it, the worship leaders were singing Waymaker, which regardless of how I’ve been feeling has been my theme song of late. I feel like it represents my flimsy soul’s attempt to say that I believe that He will make a way through this monstrous mess and in doing so, somehow convince my heart. 

That reminded me of one of the themes in my novel, Then Sings My Soul. The main character, Jakob, is a Jew in Eastern Europe in the early 1900’s, running with his brother from pogroms ravaging their family and their part of the world at the time. As his faith suffers and wavers over the years from the trauma of the atrocities they survived, his older brother frequently reminds him to always remember to say the Kaddish.

I first learned about the Kaddish when researching Then Sings My Soul in Lauren Winner’s book, Mudhouse Sabbath (one of my all time favorites, by the way). 

I thought I’d join others engaging in online story time (sorry, no pictures in this book!) and read excerpts from Mudhouse Sabbath for you which explain the significance of the Kaddish.

I know, I know. I look like a lumberjack. But I felt called to make this video while in the middle of my workshop today and I wasn’t about to go put on lipstick (sorry, Jeane!).


Here is the Kaddish. Join me in saying it, or something like it, twice a day, every day, until this cruel virus passes?

Glorified and sanctified be God’s great name throughout the world
which He has created according to His will.

May He establish His kingdom in your lifetime and during your days,
and within the life of the entire House of Israel, speedily and soon;
and say, Amen.

May His great name be blessed forever and to all eternity.

Blessed and praised, glorified and exalted, extolled and honored,
adored and lauded be the name of the Holy One, blessed be He,
beyond all the blessings and hymns, praises and consolations that
are ever spoken in the world; and say, Amen.

May there be abundant peace from heaven, and life, for us
and for all Israel; and say, Amen.

He who creates peace in His celestial heights,
may He create peace for us and for all Israel;
and say, Amen.


If you’re like me and not feeling the greatest, I hope you’ll join me in worshipping and praising anyway.

Even if we don’t feel it, He is working.

His truth is unwavering, and He does not change.

If we keep on seeking Him, we will find Him.

Even in the midst of this madness.