The Petri Dish

Job's Wife

August 24, 2017 | by: Sharon Bruce | 1 Comments

A couple of days ago I started reading through the book of Job. I have always had a hard time with this book, railing against God’s choice to take on Satan in a bet that leaves a righteous man surrounded by his dead children, his dead servants, his dead animals and his ravaged property, looking out on the devastation from his inflamed, oozing body that is suddenly his enemy. “In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing…In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.” -Job 1:22, 2:10 This is where I do sin, because, I confess, my first instinct is to accuse God. How could He do this? How could he allow a man to suffer so much because of his righteousness? Is this really all just so God can save face? Job doesn’t matter; he’s just a pawn so God can prove a point to Satan? Who is this “God of love” if he can allow this? How can I possibly trust him? This is my fourth or fifth time reading through Job, and the more I read it, the more I think the point isn’t about God winning a bet. It’s something to do with God’s righteousness, how we don’t know what we think we know and how we deal with suffering. I keep thinking of Job’s wife. “His wife said to him, ‘Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse God and die!’” It’s easy to view her, as the footnotes in my Bible suggest, as a simple tool of Satan. Job rebukes her swiftly and the narrative continues. Think about who she probably was though: She was likely the mother of Job’s dead sons and daughters... Keep Reading

Blood and Empathy

June 29, 2017 | by: Sharon Bruce | 2 Comments

At work, we get a free health screening every year. The conference room is turned into a makeshift clinic with stations for various blood screenings, weight, height and BMI measurements, and health coaching. That first station is the one that gets me. I have a little thing about needles. At my first screening a year or two ago, I asked to lie down on a table for the finger prick so I wouldn’t faint. This year I thought, no, it’s just a prick. I’m not going to embarrass myself by asking to lie on a table for a finger prick. I’ll be fine. I got this.... Keep Reading

El Remedio (The Remedy)

January 27, 2017 | by: Sharon Bruce | 2 Comments

In my hometown, El Paso, Texas, there is a traditional food eaten to ring in the New Year. It’s not black-eyed peas, but menudo, a red chile based soup featuring hominy and tripe (the stomach lining of a cow). Many locals swear by it as a hang-over preventative and cure, hence the tradition of menudo for breakfast New Year’s morning. I cannot attest to menudo’s medicinal qualities in that particular instance; and because of its intimidating ingredients (especially that last one) I deliberately and successfully managed to avoid it, despite growing up in the Borderland.... Keep Reading

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Gospel Living

Spring Is Coming

November 30, 2016 | by: Sharon Bruce | 1 Comments

Hey. I’m tired. You? How are you doing? I think a lot of us here in Florida are weary. Neighbors have had their lives blown apart by terrorism, or hurricane winds or a diagnosis. Debris lines roadsides. Great piles of broken trees burn at makeshift dump sites. Paperwork with “Matthew” scrawled across it glares at me from my desk. An election has torn us to pieces. Small griefs eddy at the edge of the larger ones. A little orange cat didn’t make it back from the evacuation. I feel like I’m in the middle of a brutal winter that started somewhere back in May.... Keep Reading

Unicorns Ad Nauseum

November 3, 2016 | by: Sharon Bruce | 0 Comments

Have you seen the rainbow-puking unicorn? It’s gross. This new pop culture symbol has started showing up on t-shirts and Internet memes and greeting cards. Until recently, I had no idea what it meant; I just figured it was a cheap attempt at humor in the gross-equals-funny genre. So I would see it, feel a bit offended and move on. ... Keep Reading

Does Size Matter?

September 21, 2016 | by: Sharon Bruce | 0 Comments

Have you ever thought about the universe? I don’t mean in the philosophical sense- not yet. I mean in a physical, scientific sense. Late one night while driving down I-95, I glanced up at the stars. I remember thinking that the stars were so far away, all the light I was looking at was old. It took years to get from where it started to my eye. Then I thought about how, hypothetically, all those stars could have burned out and we just didn’t know it yet, looking at these leftover bits of old light. A giant cosmic switch could have been flipped to ‘off’ and it’s really all dark out there. We could be all by ourselves. In the dark... Keep Reading

A Piece of Tin

August 24, 2016 | by: Sharon Bruce | 1 Comments

A few months ago I went to the DMV to get a personalized license plate. I took my number and when it was my turn went to the counter with my license, registration, proof of insurance and the letters I wanted. I was prepared. I had thought of everything. The woman at the counter was quick and efficient. She told me the price, had me double-check the lettering, and so on. Smooth, quick, easy.... Keep Reading

Never Let Me Go

July 20, 2016 | by: Sharon Bruce | 3 Comments

Sometimes I think I was born afraid. I can look back at my life and see fear winding through it like a black line denoting a river on a map. Sometimes the river was a trickle, other times a torrent that swallowed me whole for months on end. Many of my earliest memories are tinged with fear: fear of going to daycare; fear of fire drills and the dent... Keep Reading

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