Sunday, October 31, 2010
Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through it. A man was there named Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was rich. He was trying to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was short in stature. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree to see him, because he was going to pass that way. When Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus, hurry and come down; for I must stay at your house today." So he hurried down and was happy to welcome him. All who saw it began to grumble and said, "He has gone to be the guest of one who is a sinner." Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, "Look, half of my possessions, Lord, I will give to the poor; and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will pay back four times as much." Then Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, because he too is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost." Luke 19:1-10
We all like to hide from the world. We wear masks of all sorts. Smiling on the outside, the face of confidence when terrorized and superior almost haughty face when we are feeling very vulnerable and small. We think we can hide from God, too. We think we can just watch from a distance, it in the sidelines among a crowd, take a back pew, volunteer a little and all in all be part of the churchy gang. In truth we know that we are weak, small and needy all the time. We want to see God moving through our lives, changing the course of everything and yet we are scared. We think we have too much to lose.
Zaccheus climbs a tree to see Jesus since he is short. But he also climbs to hide himself. He wants to see Jesus without being seen, finding a leafy perch where he can view God moving in his community. He has much to hide from. He has much toJ hide away. He is a broken man, wealthy and scorned by his own religious community. He has a job to do and he has political connections with all the right and wrong people. His life is compromised but abundant. And he wants to see Jesus, as we all do. When Jesus stops and talks with him, and says he is going home with him, this little wealthy, highly connected man climbs down and takes Jesus home. And more than that, in his gratefulness for God's love, he offers to right all the wrongs and take care of the poor and his community. When God gets close we can't help but be grateful for the abundance of love and forgiveness.
Today, I want to welcome Jesus into mu home as Zaccheus did. I want to open my heart and home, as scared as I might be, so that love and gratefulness can be my all today. May we all welcome Christ today so that love and forgiveness can flow through us like a cool mountain stream. May we all be conduits for God's forgiveness and love.
Saturday, October 30, 2010
“Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroy. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning,and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the wedding feast, so that they may open the door to him at once when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. Truly, I say to you, he will dress himself for service and have them recline at table, and he will come and serve them. If he comes in the second watch, or in the third, and finds them awake, blessed are those servants! But know this, that if the master of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have left his house to be broken into. You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” Luke 12:32-40
We had a wonderful pumpkin carving party at church last night. Families bring their pumpkins to carve, one of our faithful folks orders pizza and provides drinks and the children dress up in their costumes. It is a wonderful time for all with face painting and music. We all delight in the varieties of carving styles and ideas each other has. The night culminates with each pumpkin lit up, the lights going out and four or five minutes of oohs and aaahs as we look at the wonderful creations all lined up on display. We talk to the children about their clever costumes and how they are prepared for Halloween. There is a great deal of energy that goes into getting ready for Halloween.
Jesus tells his disciples to be ready, by having no fear, giving to the poor and being dressed for action. Ready at all times to serve God wherever we find ourselves. Ready to face the tasks ahead of us in a changing world. And yet, we struggle with that, we don't like surprises and we wish we had a schedule for everything. But God's work and God's actions are mysterious, unpredictable as weather, childbirth and the hearts of others. So we are reminded to be fearless and preprared like little ones are for Halloween, full of faith and excitement.
Today I want to be ready and willing, having no fear of what lies ahead and trusting that God is in the middle of it. Asking God for the strength and calm to step out in faith I ask God to make me a servant of Christ, offering my time and my life to those in need around me. May we all be fearless and ready knowing that God will lead us through today and tomorrow and always.
Friday, October 29, 2010
And he said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life. If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you. Luke 12:22-31
Our yard is full of lilies in the spring. This is a common phenomenon for clergy, especially those who live in rectories. The church is festooned with lilies at Easter, seemingly hundreds of them, and when they begin to droop we try our best to get rid of them. Some people take them home, and we often distribute them to shut-ins. Inevitably there are lilies in abundance left over. They are set aside usually, waiting until fall when the bulbs can be planted. I have dozens of bulbs in my garage that need to be planted soon. This has happened year after year here, as the yard is an explosion of lilies. It is a glorious and beautiful sight. Even if I didn't plant a single new bulb there would be hundreds of lilies all around, breathtakingly gorgeous with their promise of life.
Jesus tells the people who will listen not to worry. God is taking care of us. He uses the lilies and the ravens as explanations. He talks about Solomon and his glory, the beauty of the created world and tells us that God is even more attentive to our needs and our lives. How many of us really believe that? We wake up with worry and lie down at night only to toss and turn. We grieve ourselves and those we love with our anxiety and our concern.
Today, I want to give all my worry over to God. I figure if I pray every time I start to worry, that will be one way of replacing worry with prayer and turning it over to God. There is plenty to be anxious about, in my life and others, and I want to learn a new way of living, a way of responding, with complete trust in the one who created us so well.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
“I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him! Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows." Luke 12:4-7
It is good to be home tonight, after a long car ride home after a wonderful gathering with old friends and new at Shrine Mont. Many of those gathered we well into their eighties and yet so much spirit, love and enthusiasm for life. These elders have so much wisdom and patience and filled my days with laughter and tender support. These days there is so much to worry about, so many challenges face us all, and it is so important to gather with faithful friends who are able to impart their wisdom and love with such freedom and spirit. God is so alive in their midst and they reminded how faithful God is, in every moment and with every one of us.
This day is almost spent and I am glad to be home. God is caring for all of us, so much more than sparrows and despite the curves and hills in the road ahead, want to go forward trusting God all along the road. I want to live without fear, turning each moment over to God, each challenge to the tender hands of a loving creator.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
While Jesus was speaking, a Pharisee asked him to dine with him, so he went in and reclined at table The Pharisee was astonished to see that he did not first wash before dinner. And the Lord said to him, “Now you Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. You fools! Did not he who made the outside make the inside also? But give as alms those things that are within, and behold, everything is clean for you. Luke 11:37-41
I just had one of the best pieces of pecan pie I ever ate. I really do enjoy pie and pecan is one of my favorites. The pie they make here at Shrine Mont is gorgeous and tasty. I started to feel sad even before the piece was finished knowing it would be a long time before I wouold taste a piece of pie that good. I also thought I should have had no lunch, just pie - it was that good. It got me thinking about pie and other experiences in my past.Years ago, I stopped at a friends house with another dear friend on our way to a chorus rehearsal. Our friend invited to have a piece of the pie she had just made. It was raspberry, delightful to the eye and incredible to the tongue. All her children were in the kitchen and to her astonishment, my other friend began to lick her plate clean -it was that good. And the children looked at their horrified mother and knew they would try the same thing at the very next opportunity.
Jesus went to eat with a religious leader who was horrified at his manners and his ways. He criticized Jesus for his lack of manners. Jesus didn't lick any plates clean but horrors of horrors, he didn't wash up in the ritual manner. He knew he was clean and hungry. The person he was eating with was full already - full of himself and unable to delight in the presence of the living savior. He was caught up on rules rather than delight and savoring the rare treat before him.
Today, I ask God for the courage to savor every moment and rejoice in the gifts of today, knowing that God is moving here among these people, turning our hearts and making all creation new. May we all have the courage to savor the treasures of today and trust God for all the needs of tomorrow.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
All this is from God who has reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry or reconciliation; that is in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespass against them and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us. So we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us; we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 2 Corinthians 11:18-20
Day one at Shrine Mont is Orkney Springs, Virginia is a day full of reacquainting myself with old friends and acclimating Mark, who has never been here before, to the wonders and beauty of this place and the unique community gathered here. I am speaking at the Tri-Diocesan (three Virginia Diocese) Fall Camp on Aging. Many people here are well into their eighties and nineties, many with active ministries and gifts to offer. We just came from a wonderful paper marbleizing class, where we were able to get messy and make wonderful art. Everyone here is working to use the gifts and talents they have, and are a creative, loving group. Some are physically challenged, but it doesn’t inhibit a one. They are full of joy to reach out and meet others, being ambassadors from many places and many communities. The gathered wisdom in the room is astounding and I feel humbled to speak to so many wise ones.
Paul taught, in his very careful way, that God was one who reconciled the whole world, brought the whole world to himself, making us all a part of God’s family. No outcasts and no one left behind. And we are called to carry the message of reconciliation, to turn our hearts to God and in so doing so, we are reconciled to one another, the broken are mended and the challenges of these days are small mountains to climb.
Today I pray that I can be an ambassador of reconciliation, that my heart, my hands and my words can be used by God for welcome and for healing. I pray that I can learn from the wise ones that are gathered here, who know well the constancy of God and who gather to renew their community and God’s love in the midst of them.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Jesus told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and regarded others with contempt: "Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, was praying thus, `God, I thank you that I am not like other people: thieves, rogues, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of all my income.' But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even look up to heaven, but was beating his breast and saying, `God, be merciful to me, a sinner!' I tell you, this man went down to his home justified rather than the other; for all who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted." Luke 18:9-14
I thought I knew how it would work
pieces everywhere across this room scattered
across the floor broken hearts flutter
by wounded wings clasped tight
together waiting for the mending turning
a new beginning.
I thought this would be the easy part
and losing one thread we unraveled
colors everywhere tangled and frantic scrambling
to be rewoven sacred linen again.
Love mends hearts and breaks spirits aching
for healing relationship
the kiss of forgiveness the sign of peace
a touch of assurance a blessing at the end.
I thought I didn't need help, forgot
to ask include those who might know more
I lacked the soft humility of children
the wise strength of an elder and the trembling
hand outstretched of the finally honest addict.
And love will come to lift up and bind
playing a new song and putting new
wisdom in my heart, fearless love that
cast away the darkness, cuts away the envy
and replaces it with the tender laughter of
a beloved child.
Saturday, October 23, 2010
And he said to them, “Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves, for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; and he will answer from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. I cannot get up and give you anything’? I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his impudence he will rise and give him whatever he needs. And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” Luke 11:5-13
As a parent of grown children, I often wonder if I did everything I could to bring them up well and give them everything they needed - within reason. I am not one for babying children or "treating them like veal" as one of my dear friends remarks. I also love my children dearly and would do anything for them. My heart soars when they achieve and aches when they are hurting. There are no perfect parents and I am barely a good parent. It helps me to remember that God is the good parent, willing to supply our need before we ask, not a spoiling parent, but one who loves us more than we could know.
The disciples were learning how to pray. And Jesus taught them the prayer we now call the "Lord's Prayer". A simple recitation of the goodness of God and of our need to be fed, forgive and be forgiven. How often we forget to pray and to ask God for what we need,and instead count upon our own might and our own strength. When it fails we learn to pray fast. Parents learn to pray out of desperation and necessity often and our surprised by God's goodness despite themselves.
So today I will pray and count on the goodness of God. Some days, that all there is to do. Some days, when we can't see forward and have used up all our tools, then we rely completely on God. Today I want to rely completely on God.
Friday, October 22, 2010
Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-42
It is very easy when life gets busy to forget how to laugh and celebrate. The past few weeks have been challenging on many levels and it is easy to gripe and rehash every bad moment and every struggle. And yet the sun shines and God is with us through it all. Today, my day of is a day I can celebrate. I love this season of the year and I love decorating for Halloween and all the scary and gross things that Go along with it. We have been bringing the decorations up from the basement and looking over all the gross and hysterical decorations we have accumulated over the years. There is sheer joy in preparing for the day and for finding ways to celebrate even in challenging times.
Sometimes I can get too much like Martha, so focused on the work and challenges of the day that I can miss the good portion, the relationships and friendships that surround me. There is laughter and joy in our frail humanity and we can be transformed in the midst of carrying our heaviest burdens. It we are willing to choose the good portion, the love the is present with us.
So today, in the midst of family and church challenges, I ask God to help me choose the good portion, the love and the laughter that surrounds me and the sheer joy in playing with all the Halloween stuff and acting for a time like a kid. May we all choose the good portion today so that we might share God's love and joy with a Martha kind of world.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?”And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.” But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.” Luke 10:25-37
I had a girl friend who had a grandmother who had been a dancer for many years in New York City and who had taught many young girls to dance ballet. When we were eight or so, the grandmother, who was very spry, organized dance classes for us and several other girls. She called us her little flowers and then went on to name the little school she had created her purple pansies. We were an mostly uncoordinated lot, but we tried hard. I was the only left handed girl among them and usually when everyone went right I went left. My whole world centered on a different first step. The teacher was always saying, "just follow me" and "do likewise". And I would try hard to follow and still end up in the other direction. We had a recital or two and loved the time we had feeling like ballerinas. We must have gained some composure and coordination but I always worried that I couldn't follow and do likewise.
Jesus tells the familiar story of the good Samaritan and we all know what we should do from this story. How hard it truly is to go and do likewise in a world where terror concerns our everyday and when border protection and individual security reign highest in the minds of everyday citizens. Those who used to be our neighbors are now suspects and possible terrorists. And yet, in the time of Jesus, terror was everywhere and Samaritans were enemies of the Jewish community. God promises that when we reach out to our enemies the world will change. By our doing likewise, we will transform our world.
Today, I ask God to give me the strength to serve my enemies and detractors, to reach out in love even in the midst of challenging times. I pray that I will be fearless in the face of terror, known and unknown, trusting that God will change the world through those of us who "go and do likewise".
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!” And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” Luke 10:17-20
I remember vividly my walk home from school. With living in the same town now, the sounds and smells often remind me of my school days and how it was to be a child and teenager in this place. Some days I liked to linger on my walk home just to enjoy the air and avoid the beginning of homework. It was only a few blocks. And other days, bursting with news or some accomplishment, I would rush home to the waiting arms of my mother and regal her with the good news. There were also some days when I slunk home, embarrassed or ashamed. MY foolishness or a mistake had caught up with me and I had to face the music. In all of it, I knew I could go home, and no matter what I did, I was loved and welcomed. I might have to accept the consequences of a certain behavior, but no one was ever going to send me away, reject me or turn their love from me.
I imagine that the seventy-two returned to Jesus with the light steps, almost skipping like children returning home to a warm, loving home felt bursting with good news and excited that God was working in their lives giving them the power to serve others. And Jesus reminded them how blessed they were to be loved and secured in the family of God. No matter whether it is a great day or a day full of challenges, we can skip home, rejoicing like children knowing we are welcomed into the family of God.
Today, I ask God to help me remember that no matter the challenge or disappointment of the day, we are welcomed everyday into the family and home of God with open, warm and loving arms. We are not judged but welcomed with joy. May we all rejoice today in that secure knowledge that we are in God's family and full of the gifts and strength of God's line.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to go. And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. Go your way; behold, I am sending you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. Carry no moneybag, no knapsack, no sandals, and greet no one on the road. Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house!’ And if a child of peace is there, your peace will rest upon them. But if not, it will return to you. And remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer deserves his wages. Do not go from house to house. Whenever you enter a town and they receive you, eat what is set before you. Heal the sick in it and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ But whenever you enter a town and they do not receive you, go into its streets and say, ‘Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet we wipe off against you. Nevertheless know this, that the kingdom of God has come near.’ Luke 10:1-11
This past weekend we went to an annual wool and sheep festival in Rhinebeck New York. People from all over to display their sheep, goats, llamas and alpacas. There are wool products and all sorts of related items for sale. There were shepherding demonstrations and border collies in profusion. We have always had an interest in sheep, goats and other small farm animals for some reason. Maybe it is because my family had a border collie that really wanted to be herding every minute, or maybe it was because sheep are followers and like to be around others of their kind. Sheep aren't the brightest in God's kingdom, but they provide incredible warmth, wonderful cheeses and are willing to live among and forgive humans. The colors of blankets sweaters and other clothing was only outdone by the golden oranges in the tree leaves. It was a sweet and cool autumn afternoon to experience the beauty of God's world and the tender and often comic nature of the animals.
Jesus sent the seventy-two out with instructions to rely on the gifts of the community they went to. If they were not received, they should leave. If people welcomed them, they should make a place among them and share with them in everything. And he told them that they were like sheep among wolves, herd animals used to being guarded and lead, now among cunning and hurting folks. I have often wondered how many clergy feel as if they are sheep among wolves, vulnerable and unprotected and less bright and cunning then the church where they serve. I also know that it is too easy, when things get rough for people to play they victim, and not move to the work of sharing the gospel, healing the sick and doing the work of the kingdom. Jesus instructed them to be wise and not play the victim, and to name those place and people who are completely unreceptive to God's love. And to realize that in serving others for God we will always be met with resistance, not all of which is bad.
Today, I am reminded that the easiest way out is demonize one group or individual and victimize the other. And neither spreads the radical love and inclusion offered freely by God in Christ Jesus. I pray that today I can go out in the world equipped just as I am entrusting that God will provide a receptive audience and a community which which to grow and develop the blessings of God in our midst.
Monday, October 18, 2010
As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” And Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Yet another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:57-62
No turning back
as the water rises
we wait alone on the shore
pots bubbling chore finished
praying for safe home
before the storm.
There is no turning back
as the windows steam
up from our pressed breath faces
against the cold brittle glass
hoping anxious for
a sign in the fog.
There is no turning back brothers
push the oars
persist in home coming
fighting wave and wind
keep pushing to enter
under the safe walls of love.
Saturday, October 16, 2010
An argument arose among them as to which of them was the greatest. But Jesus, knowing the reasoning of their hearts, took a child and put him by his side and said to them, “Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. For he who is least among you all is the one who is great.” Luke 9:46-48
It is all too easy to exclude the youngest from complicated events. They are messy and noisy and need a lot of room. I just returned from a wonderful wedding where everyone welcomed the children and it seemed as though this extended family not only included these children, but welcomed their unique gifts and their participation. It was by no means a child centric event, but rather a family that loved and welcomed everyone. I felt blessed to be among such a group, where everyone was valued and were coming together to celebrate Alex and Ryan.
We are all never far from our child selves, our messy exuberant, sometimes flailing selves. But Jesus tells us as we welcome the least, the odd, the goofy, the different noisy and challenging, then we are welcoming God. God is with us as we welcome these and as we find a place for these among us. If we make the least a home then God makes a home with us.
Today, I am grateful for the witness of my friends, for their love and the community of faithful people that surrounded them. And I am so grateful that God comes in the midst of us and makes a home with us as we welcome the least. May we all have the courage to make room, make a home, and make a place for the least among us for God is truly there.
Friday, October 15, 2010
Now about eight days after these sayings he took with him Peter and John and James and went up on the mountain to pray. And as he was praying, the appearance of his face was altered, and his clothing became dazzling white. And behold, two men were talking with him, Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory and spoke of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. Now Peter and those who were with him were heavy with sleep, but when they became fully awake they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him. And as the men were parting from him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah”—not knowing what he said. As he was saying these things, a cloud came and overshadowed them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, my Chosen One; listen to him!” And when the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent and told no one in those days anything of what they had seen. Luke 9:28-36
This time of year, in the small town where my mother lives, an invasion of sorts happens. Monarch butterflies, thousands of them, collect in Cape May Point, before migrating en mass across the Delaware Bay and on to Mexico. It is a vivid season, trees festooned with hundreds of resting butterflies which, when the wind blows or a noise disturbs, flutter wildly in an explosion of color and wings. The town, for a small moment is transformed, changed, and a place that is already beautiful in many ways, becomes a new kind of beautiful which transfixes the eyes and the imagination.
The disciples were witness to a momentary vision of the beauty and reality of God's love present in their lives. They had a foretaste of the true nature of God's love and relationship to them through Christ. And the ultimate transformation would come at a great cost and one that Jesus was willing to pay. But he had an arduous journey ahead of him and God spoke to his heart and gave the disciples a vision of color and light that would hold them through the rough days ahead. Jesus was momentarily transformed to his true self for their sake, for their sustenance, for the strength for the journey.
Today, I ask God to provide me with strength for the journey, small moments of transformation that allow me to renew and recharge for the road ahead. All of us have times when the travel gets rough but in prayer and asking God finds ways to give us moments of color and light which strengthen us for the journey. I pray today that I might be strengthened for the journey so that I might bring strength and courage to others.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Now it happened that as he was praying alone, the disciples were with him. And he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” And they answered, “John the Baptist. But others say, Elijah, and others, that one of the prophets of old has risen.” Then he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” And Peter answered, “The Christ of God." And he strictly charged and commanded them to tell this to no one, saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.” And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:18-27
There are some days when it is easy to rise joyously with the sun welcoming the day and other mornings when the new day is relief from sleepless nights of worry. Some crosses are easier to carry than others, and in times of challenge and seemingly constant disaster, it is easy to feel the weight of the cross and fold under. Jesus knew how challenged and burdened his disciples would be and how burdened and challenged we are. The challenge of our faith is to be steadfast in these times, leaning heavily in the arms of Jesus, the one who bears it all for us, then and now.
When I was a child, I memorized many bible verses and psalms as part of my Church School training. Being a PK has its complications but I am pretty well versed in scripture because of my upbringing. And when the burdens of the day get too hard to bear, I find myself reciting the ancients psalms (the songs of the court musicians and other) as a comfort and a means of living through the hardest days. And as a reminder of God's love and presence in the midst of all turmoil and trails that we face. Today the first verse of Psalm 18 have been on my lips.
I love you, O Lord, my strength.
2 The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,
my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
3 I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised,
and I am saved from my enemies.
4 The cords of death encompassed me;
the torrents of destruction assailed me;
5 the cords of Sheol entangled me;
the snares of death confronted me.
6 In my distress I called upon the Lord;
to my God I cried for help.
From his temple he heard my voice,
and my cry to him reached his ears.
May we remember today that God is our rock, fortress and deliverer, our refuge, our shield, the horn of our salvation, and our stronghold. May we all take comfort that on our hardest days, God is with us carrying our burdens, sharing our sorrows and hiding us from the worst sharp arrows that life can send.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
And he called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal. And he said to them, “Take nothing for your journey, no staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money; and do not have two tunics. And whatever house you enter, stay there, and from there depart. And wherever they do not receive you, when you leave that town shake off the dust from your feet as a testimony against them.” And they departed and went through the villages, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere. Luke 9:1-6
We have known many people over the years who went out on the road with what is called in the theater business "bus and truck" tours. Usually, a long running Broadway show will create one or several other casts and crews to take the show on the road to many cities across the country and sometimes internationally. While the show continues on Broadway, the lesser paid, lesser known actors get experience and exposure on the road in big and small towns and often make a name for themselves while having great stories to tell. The people who have been on tour can tell you what towns are good and bad, which people are welcoming and who to avoid, and are very often great cultural anthropologists. They understand the power in communities and can Describe and evaluate the local societies quite well.
Jesus sends his disciples out to get experience and exposure and to learn their own gifts and power in ministry. They go ill equipped and are to find people and places of welcome where they will be able to practice and deepen their ministries. Life on the road is rough and challenging and Jesus forewarns them that some people and places will reject their gifts. He tells them to not take it personally or as failure. He tells them to simply move on and know that faith and ministry are nurtured (or killed off) by the local community.
Today, I want to remember that we are all sent out on journeys, to use the gifts and skills we have been given, and to know that there will be times and places where the reception and the people are unfriendly and unwilling. It is not that God does not want to heal and renew but that folks have to open their hearts. There is always a choice. I ask God to hear my choice today, that my heart is ever open and my spirit willing to serve. I pray that where ever I am sent today, God can use me for the good of those I encounter.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
As Jesus went, the people pressed around him. And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and though she had spent all her living on physicians, she could not be healed by anyone. She came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, and immediately her discharge of blood ceased. And Jesus said, “Who was it that touched me?” When all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the crowds surround you and are pressing in on you!” But Jesus said, “Someone touched me, for I perceive that power has gone out from me.” And when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling, and falling down before him declared in the presence of all the people why she had touched him, and how she had been immediately healed. And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.” Luke 8:42-48
We have been blessed with three wonderful daughters. Strong young women who are compassionate and caring, lively and bright and who fill our lives with joy and laughter. Each is truly a gift from God because of severe surgery I had as a child, there were plenty of indications that I might never have children. Being a mother has been a true gift to me. I didn't deserve the wonderful women my daughters have become, nor did I merit the love that they give me so genuinely. We have had moments of strains and challenges of course. And as a mother, it is so hard when they are hurting as adults. I cannot do the same things I used to do - a funny song, kisses, band-aids, Popsicles or a bowl of popcorn. Today the bumps and scrapes are much harder and they have to seek healing themselves. How I wish I could carry them to Jesus, follow him in a crowd and just touch his robe.
The story of the woman who touches Jesus' cloak is embedded in the story of Jairus' daughter. He is a rich official with a very sick daughter. He implores Jesus to come to his house and make his child well. They are making their way there when the woman who has been bleeding for years, touches his robe and is made whole. Jesus calls her daughter and blesses her. At the same time someone arrives to tell Jairus that his daughter is dead. They go to the house anyway, and Jesus raises the child, raises the daughter. God's love and miracles are somehow inherently bound to the relationship of parent to child, mother to daughters, fathers to their children. All of our children are gifts from God, shared with loved but marked as God's beloved as well as ours. In this is a parent's comfort, that God is more caring and tender towards our children than we can even be.
Today, I ask God to give me the strength to turn my worry into prayers and to trust God for the healing and safety of our daughters and all our family. I pray that God will remind me moment by moment that God holds all the children in warm, loving hands. May we all remember that each and every one is precious to God, God's sons and daughters and may we give thanks for the children in our lives, no matter their age.
Monday, October 11, 2010
When Jesus had stepped out on land, there met him a man from the city who had demons. For a long time he had worn no clothes, and he had not lived in a house but among the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell down before him and said with a loud voice, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, do not torment me.” For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. (For many a time it had seized him. He was kept under guard and bound with chains and shackles, but he would break the bonds and be driven by the demon into the desert.) Jesus then asked him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Legion,” for many demons had entered him. And they begged him not to command them to depart into the abyss. Now a large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside, and they begged him to let them enter these. So he gave them permission. 33 Then the demons came out of the man and entered the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned. When the herdsmen saw what had happened, they fled and told it in the city and in the country. Then people went out to see what had happened, and they came to Jesus and found the man from whom the demons had gone, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind, and they were afraid. And those who had seen it told them how the demon-possessed man had been healed. Then all the people of the surrounding country of the Gerasenes asked him to depart from them, for they were seized with great fear. So he got into the boat and returned. The man from whom the demons had gone begged that he might be with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, “Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.” And he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city how much Jesus had done for him. Luke 8:26-39
As I child the wind and light caught
me filling me with dreams and fantasies looking
beyond the gray borders of my existence I fell
headlong into confusion as I grew.
My mind lost its way somewhere people stared
at me my skin itched and flaked my body burned
the broken open mysteries flooded my days like
morning light means of brightness carried my insanity.
Mt family stopped smiling lead me outside hoping
for a cure in the sunlight I screamed and tore
at myself and the tortured mess I had
become there were others inhabiting my mind
my heart filled so high with pain and grief
I could only scream and cry to know I was alive.
I lost my way and no friends came only demons
and pigs grunting and foraging they were my only
friends my nearest companions I thought
they understood me and we were the same.
My throat on fire I cried to the gentle master
who looked me in the eye and saw the pain the familiar
gross inhabitants of my world of sorrow and madness
he walked by and stopped to free me.
The crowds then came and faces open shock shown
around the craggy rocks the pigs fled from me over
the cliffs to their deaths away from my searching
eyes my hand held by the tender savior giving me
a cloak, a peaceful mind and my life back.
Sunday, October 10, 2010
On the way to Jerusalem Jesus was going through the region between Samaria and Galilee. As he entered a village, ten lepers approached him. Keeping their distance, they called out, saying, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!" When he saw them, he said to them, "Go and show yourselves to the priests." And as they went, they were made clean. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice. He prostrated himself at Jesus' feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus asked, "Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they? Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?" Then he said to him, "Get up and go on your way; your faith has made you well." Luke 17:11-19
We went to a farm earlier this week to buy some mums and got to watch some chickens and goats there. They all have their ways of deciding who among them is in charge and who the outcasts and rejected ones are. Some are allowed inside and some not. The tire seemed to be a sacred space for some chickens and off limits to others. They communicated this clearly by pecking and squawking at each other. There was an order to life, even if it was harsh for some and easy for others.
Lepers in previous centuries were the outcasts of outcasts. Not only were they sick but they were contagious. Quarantined and separated, isolated and removed they were the last people that society thought deserved God's attention. And yet, it was to these outcasts Jesus came and healed all of them - the grateful and ungrateful alike.
Today, I ask God to make me grateful for all the healing and abundance in my life. An outcast among outcast, and understanding well what isolation means, I want to turn back and thank God for all the healing, at every moment. May we realize God's goodness to us today and be thankful for all of it today.
Friday, October 8, 2010
Soon afterward he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with him, and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod's household manager, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their means. And when a great crowd was gathering and people from town after town came to him, he said in a parable: “A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell along the path and was trampled underfoot, and the birds of the air devoured it. And some fell on the rock, and as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up with it and choked it. And some fell into good soil and grew and yielded a hundredfold.” As he said these things, he called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”Luke 8:1-8
It has been a real joy to have our youngest with us for a few days, and genuine sadness that she had to go all too soon. All together we have been struggling with the challenges of life and the turns and curves throw our way. Love makes us all ache for each other and desire the best for one another. I would give everything I have that they were all healthy and happy at every moment. We learn more from the challenges, mistakes and failures than we do from our successes and victories. It would be great though, if the learning and growing process were not nearly so challenging and so stretching. Sometimes it feels as if we are beyond our limit and we ache for healing and transformation.
It is all too often we hear of the sacrifice of the disciples, but rarely the sacrificial gratitude of the women, who left their normal lives and came with Jesus, providing for the whole group out of their means. These were women who had their lives changed, the people on whom Jesus relied for his sustenance and care. These women were so filled with love that they would risk giving their all. There were rough times and much ridicule on the road with Jesus. And yet, their lives were lives of abundant, quiet grace. They were the good soil that yielded a hundredfold. They had learned from the painful growth processes in their life and were ready to give their all for the ones they loved.
Today, I pray that I can offer that kind of rich soil to God's work. It is not easy when we have been turned over and weeded. When we have been stretched and grown beyond our comfort zone. But God promises each of us an incredible yield from the hard lessons of life. We will each be given an new measure of love, and a cup that overflows with generosity and compassion.
Thursday, October 7, 2010
One of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee's house and took his place at the table. And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was reclining at table in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner.” And Jesus answering said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he answered, “Say it, Teacher.” “A certain moneylender had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they could not pay, he canceled the debt of both. Now which of them will love him more?” Simon answered, “The one, I suppose, for whom he canceled the larger debt.” And he said to him, “You have judged rightly.” Then turning toward the woman he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” Then those who were at table with him began to say among themselves, “Who is this, who even forgives sins?”And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” Luke 7"36-50
In the past few days our house has been full of family. Life is in flux for most of us, one mending from surgery others with job and relationship stresses. It may be the time of year, this time of changes, the winter bearing down and the leaves beginning to fall. A moving inside and a time of examination. Some times these changes come naturally and sometimes there are bumps and curves that no one expected.
Into this scene comes the story of a woman coming to Jesus at a fancy dinner. She is crying, and washing her feet with expensive perfume and her long lustrous hair. She finds herself in a place where life is changing and the chains and imprisonment of her life are falling away. She has made some terrible mistakes, maybe even for the right reasons. In the face of God's love and forgiveness she can't help but be broken open by love. Her tears flow and her heart is generous once again - to herself and the world around her. The weight of her troubles are lifted, despite the rejection and refusal of the fancies around her. Love has made her whole for the first time in a long time and she is not going to let love get away.
Today, I want to remember that we are all forgiven and set free by God's love in our lives. No matter how horrible the circumstances we face, no matter the momentary snags and bumps, God's love and forgiveness is a daily offering, a daily presence, a daily sign od love breaking through all the chains and mistakes that bind us. May we all live in the hope and presence of God's love which breaks our hearts open daily, open for more love this day.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
When John's messengers had gone, Jesus began to speak to the crowds concerning John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? What then did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothing? Behold, those who are dressed in splendid clothing and live in luxury are in kings' courts. What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is he of whom it is written,“‘Behold, I send my messenger before your face,who will prepare your way before you.’ I tell you, among those born of women none is greater than John. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.” (When all the people heard this, and the tax collectors too, they declared God just, having been baptized with the baptism of John, but the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected the purpose of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him.)
“To what then shall I compare the people of this generation, and what are they like? They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling to one another,“‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not weep.’ Luke 7:24-31
Last night our youngest daughter Phoebe came home for a few days visit. It was a last minute thing, but none the less, completely welcomed. We have not see she and Andrew since last month at a family wedding and then our time was not our own. I am thrilled to have them here, and want to stop writing and working right now and celebrate the sunny day with them. There are times in your life when you have to put regular on hold so that the wonderful surprizes can be enjoyed.
Today, we are invited by Christ to hear and see the good news that John is bringing. For me these are special moments to be savored and given thanks for. The days of celebrations are fwe and God invites each of us to celebrate and enjoy when we can, for there is always more work to do and more rules to follow. May this be a day of joy for many.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Soon afterward he went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a great crowd went with him. As he drew near to the gate of the town, behold, a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow, and a considerable crowd from the town was with her. And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.” Then he came up and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” And the dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother. Fear seized them all, and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has arisen among us!” and “God has visited his people!” And this report about him spread through the whole of Judea and all the surrounding country. Luke 7:11-17
Do Not Weep
Head in hand rightly so weeping
a child with a smile as wide as the sea
and eyes delighting in the rainbows and hands
reaching the sky capturing wind and shadow
growing with each breath and laughter
tumbling out at the most inappropriate times.
This boy child, this girl child your offspring lost
disease crept in the night an open window
a careless friend and accident took
your heart your life your breath.
Human jealousy and cruelty has taken so many
sons and daughters crosses and wars
violent obsession and radical neglect
do not weep for God is not complete
until you're complete your son your daughter
resting in your arms.
Mothers and fathers letters and phone calls
loneliness abounds when the offspring disappear
from sight but never form heart and mind
a single woven piece of fabric that extends
beyond hurt and illness and the grave.
Do not weep
God is binding the wounds
do not weep
the Creator is making whole what was
broken and defiled
do not weep for miracles are on the horizon
raising young lively arms
to awaiting loving arms.
Monday, October 4, 2010
“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.”Luke 6:46-49
In recent years, I have watched as people have build huge mansions overlooking the ocean, right on the sand. With money a-plenty these people carelessly build in places that are dangeous in a storm. Often when people have more money than they need they have less sense than a child and willfully throw their lives in the balance. They trust themselves and not the loving protection of a wise creator.
The house my mother lives in and I have known all of my life is a block from the ocean, on solid ground and has a full basement. Years ago, long before any of us knew it as home, it was three blocks further out on our street. All of the once road is now deep in the ocean. I have lived through several hurricanes with my family and the whistling wind sounds like a train at full speed. The ground shakes and the waves crash and the house stands firmly like an indignant child asking for justice on the playground. The house is secured and unmoved, though nor'easter after nor'easter have blasted her for centuries. I have an idea of what Jesus is talking about when he tell his followers to build upon the rocks. Jesus reminds us we can put our faith in flash and cash, or we can put our lives in the hands of the solid rock. The rock that is steady in the daylight and the celebrations and is firm in the darkness and the storms.
May we who live and breath today remember that we want to always put our faith in God, for the rock solid promise of love and protection, no matter the velocity of the storm nor the gale force winds of criticism and human folly. Today I want to live with the solid conviction of my mother's house. No flashy or with perfect expensive views, but with a deep abiding faith that gets even more solid when challenges come.
Sunday, October 3, 2010
At that time Jesus said, ‘I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. ‘Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ Matthew 11:25-30
Today we celebrated the feast of St. Francis, a day early and outside in the garden. The weather was a little cool but there was a crowd of folks, some people who came just for a blessing for their pet. We had dogs and cats and lots of stuffed animals and blessings for pets that couldn't join us. They were each named and prayed for, and given a St. Francis medal as a token of the day. It was a simple and rich service. All of us,the weary and vulnerable, all together seeking God's blessings on all of us and those we care for, including all of creation. It was a rich day full of reuniting and reconnecting, along with singing familiar and tender songs. God's blessings come in all forms, as do all of the recipients of blessing.
Today, I want to remember, as Francis did, the most vulnerable and needy among us. The ones who cannot get to a place to be blessed and those who have been wrenched, by poverty or violence, from any place of safety or blessing. May God use each of us as we are blessed, so that we might share the wealth of blessings that God has for all of creation and especially the least and vulnerable among us.
Saturday, October 2, 2010
“But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back.And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them. If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful." Luke 6: 27=36
Love and Mercy
Today a day for recovery
bright crisp sunlight danced
through windows that saw
pain through the night surgery done
healing beginning but aches settle
in and toss the night rest aside.
Today was a day for cleaning sorting
cooking and washing making
beds and soft spaces for the healng
to dwell gentle day time sleeping
covering the loss and angry incision
Today was a day to be glad the worst
Love and mercy begin where needs cry
and wounds weep hands outstretched
to the tears and the pain hearts aching
to shelter the poor.
May this day and this place be
a home for love and mercy where the need
is met strangers become friends and
there are gentle places, nests
for healing and comfort throughout.
Friday, October 1, 2010
And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said:“Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. “Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you shall be satisfied.“Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh. “Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man! Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets. Luke 6:16-23
It was one of those days when we woke up in darkness and rain. Today Mark was scheduled for some ambulatory knee surgery, one of those things they promise that will be simple and easy. We would be home by two. The surgery went fine and he was a real trooper but the day got out of hand, the surgery suite got backed up and we just got home at 6:30PM. He hadn't eaten since last night and he was hungry and tired when he got home, collapsing into bed. It was one of those days which no one like to have to go through but it was, for the most part, uneventful. Despite all of our anxiety before and during, here we are on the mother side. Home safe and sound.
Today I am grateful for the blessings of living through hard days, of days when my faith in God is confirmed as is my need. I thank God for a family who prays and supports, standing with me in my waiting and worrying. Today, I pray that we can all remember how blessed we are. We are never alone, we are tenderly wrapped in the arms of God, despite what some days bring.