Posts by Abby Santiago

The Practice of Plugging into God’s Word

Last Sunday, Pastor Jon challenged us to unplug from our distractions and plug into God’s Word.

So, how is it going?

If you’re like me, sometimes reading the Word is life-changing. Beauty drips from every verse, fills my heart, and leaves my soul in peace.

And then there are the days when it’s just…dry.

Sometimes reading the Word of God is a time when I remember all that we say that He is and discover all that I am who He says I am.

But what about the times, the days, the seasons, the years, when life is hard and difficult and the last thing I want to do is open a book that reads like a text book instead of the Living Word? What happens when God’s Word falls on the dry ground of my heart?

We read any way.

As I write this, tears prick my eyes. My heart is so tender, bruised, torn, bleeding. All the words that describe: wounded.

How am I supposed to read the Word of God when I feel nothing but pain?

Keep Reading.

Why Do We Sing on Sundays?

Like with most things that break me, I never saw it coming.

This time, the words came in the form of a letter. A smattering of broken sentences and life had come undone. My heart shattered, falling like sand through my fingers. Even if I were to gather the remaining pieces, mend them together through tears and time, I would never be the same.

Photo credit (c) Juno Nygren

My life is yours
My hope is in you only

In these moments, when my heart is breaking, sometimes I find it hard to sing. And to my surprise, it is these very slivers of time of heartbreak when it is vitally important to keep singing.

Why do we sing as part of our worship?

When I was a young girl, I secretly harbored a curious fascination with incense. With wide-eyed wonder, I watched the priest carefully open the lid of the gold-plated incense burner. Smoke rose from the burning coals held within. His lips moved in silent prayer as he sprinkled the fragrant incense over the coals. He closed […]

Awkward Hugs and God’s Embrace

I am an awkward hugger.

In the short span of a hug, questions fly—millions of thoughts wreaking havoc in my mind:

Do my arms go over or under? Or do I do the side hug? What on earth, do I do with my hands? Do I turn my head? Ugh. Do I smell bad? No? Good. Yes, this is good. Nope. Too long. How long do we hug? How do I end the hug? Who is supposed to end the hug first? Am I supposed to be thinking this much?

 It appears that I can’t seem to simply rest in an embrace.

Hiding the Broken Things

Here, in your presence, I am not afraid of brokenness.
To wash your feet with humble tears,
O, I would be poured out ‘til there’s nothing left.

I just want to wait on You, my God.
I just want to dwell on who You are.

-Kari Jobe, “Beautiful”

As a child, I hid the broken things.

One Christmas, I accidentally beheaded a ceramic figure from my grandmother’s nativity set. (It wasn’t Jesus, so I lived to tell the tale). I simply placed the head back on and walked away. Weeks later, as we put away the Christmas decorations, I feigned shock and disbelief upon the discovery of the broken figurine.

Another time, it was a bookshelf. I flipped the shelf over and strategically placed items of a specific weight to balance out the offended side. I had forgotten about it until I packed my room for college – I didn’t have to fake my shock, but I did hide my culpability.

Terrified, But Doing the Brave Thing

One of my favorite rides in Disneyland is the Indiana Jones Adventure. The ride’s grand opening to the public happened during my very first trip to Disneyland. After a three hour wait, we were among the few hundred people to ride the highly anticipated new attraction. It was a glorious adventure! I don’t remember it […]

The Songs I Sing

 

I sing little songs to myself while I’m waiting.

This fact was made known to me quite recently, and I haven’t stopped thinking about it since.

I teach classes for a non-profit organization. As part of my job, I demonstrate procedures before I have the class follow along with me.

Several months ago, while I was waiting for the computer to process the steps I had just entered, I sang to myself. The class proceeded to sing the little tune with me before they erupted with laughter. Shocked, dismayed, and wholly confused, I asked what had struck the class with amusement. They reported with glee:

“You always sing that song while you wait.”

Overlooked Stories and the Wonder of Christmas

Once upon a time, I used to write Christmas plays. I write plays for Sports Camp, which is easier by comparison. Demonstrating the big ideas of Sports Camp is simpler than explaining the wonder of Christmas. Despite that, I am proud of those Christmas plays. One of my favorite vignettes from those plays was the […]

Waiting in the Dark

Eyes blink open to a shroud of darkness. He squirms in the tight space–there is no room to move, let alone settle into a comfortable position. Defeated, he bows his head and sees a faint outline of what he imagines is his hand; crumpled and wrinkled from years of construction work. He straightens his back, but his head meets a large wooden plank, unyielding in its slightly curved form.

He built it to be sturdy, after all.

To his left, he feels the rough hide of an animal. He forgot its name, but he easily recognizes its smell. The air is thick with the collective odor of the unwashed – ripe and rank. To his right, is his faithful companion, a dog with soft fur. Its slightly damp nose nuzzles against him, prodding him to see, to climb out into the open air. With a whimper, his dog asks the question that echoes in his own mind in these days of silence that follow the devastation of the world:

Is it time yet?