Who would you remember?

Imagine that you work for the post office manually sorting the mail.  I am sure that you would see thousands of letters come through every day.  Do you think that you would remember anyone specific?

I have been thinking about it and I think there are probably three types of people that would stand out among the rest of the mail.

1.  The first person I would remember would be the sick child in town who receives hundreds of letters each week.  After seeing so many letters go through my post office for this child I would probably want to meet him or her to find out how someone so young had already touched so many lives.

2.  The second person I would remember would be the person in town who sends hundreds of letters each week to their fellow townspeople, their neighbors.  After seeing so many letters go through my post office from this person I would probably want to meet them as well and find out where he or she finds the time to touch so many lives.

3.  Finally the third I would remember would be the person who sends hundreds of letters to themselves.  It might cross my mind that this person needs help, and doesn’t really understand the purpose of the postal system.  I don’t think meeting this person to explain in more depth the purpose of the postal system would be useful, because clearly they understand the logistics of sending mail, but seem to be missing the depth behind the technicalities.

I think instead I might to try and arrange for #3 to accidentally meet #2 who is sending so many letters to others.  If they met by chance due to incorrect delivery of some of  #2’s hundreds of letters being delivered to #3, then maybe #2 could indirectly help #3 better understand the depth behind the logistics of the postal system.

I know there probably aren’t very many people, if any, like #3 when actually sending mail, but when praying is this the case?

If prayer is somewhat like this scenario, I hope that I will try harder to be more like our friend #2.   I want God to know me as His child who sends love out to all of my brothers and sisters, not as His child who can think of no else but myself when speaking with Him.

I know I still have a lot of work to do, but at least I think I now have the compass pointed in the right direction.

How will we know Him?

If you were alive during Jesus’ time on earth, would you have known who He was? Would you have felt something stir in the depths of your soul when you first saw Him?   Would you have stopped to listen to Him?  Would you have followed Him?

I don’t know if I would have known, I don’t know if I would have truly seen Him, and I don’t know if I would have followed Him.

Wondering about this makes me so sad as I picture the possibility that I might have walked right by our Lord and Savior, our sweet Jesus, without a second glance.

I don’t want to walk by Him. I want to stop and kneel as He passes by me, I want to crawl behind Him and touch the earth that He has just graced with bottom of His beautiful foot and I want to yearn for Him to turn towards me and smile.

For now I want to prepare to truly see Him and know Him when He returns by looking for Him in everyone I see.  If I can find Him hidden in everyone I see, then maybe I will be blessed with the opportunity to see Him and know Him in His full and glorious form someday.

Jesus, please help me to look for You and see You in everyone I meet.

Let the celebration continue…

Jesus is here, Jesus is born, Jesus is with us and yet what are we doing?

We are quickly taking down our decorations and we are preparing ourselves for the grind, for the coldest part of our winter and the coldest time in some of our hearts.  Our heads are down and the parties are over.

Was it the same back then in Bethlehem?

The angels were not still singing their praises for us to see and the shepherds had to move on with their flocks.  A few still sought Him in this quiet and peaceful time, but the majority of people returned to the routine of their lives.

Yet in Matthew 9:15
Jesus said to them, “Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.”

This is not the time to return to our normal and every day lives.  He is here, He is born, He is with us!  I pray to continue seeking and celebrating because He is here!

Glory to God in the highest and on earth may we all seek Your peace!

Pray for our leaders!

I am reading The Book of my Life by Saint Teresa of Avila translated by Mirabai Starr.

I just read the following passage by Saint Teresa of Avila, only a short 30 min after I readily joined in a conversation complaining about the politicians, leaders and the media in our country.

If some of our leaders have gone bad, the good people shine even more brightly.  May it please God to hold such souls in His hand and help them to help us. Amen.

If only we could all remember this each time we are faced with an opportunity to complain about our leaders.

Jesus please help me remember this the next time this choice presents itself.

Seeking the sacred within the secular…

I am reading a book of the complete works of Saint Francis of Assisi and Saint Clare of Assisi, Francis and Clare:  The Complete Works.

In one the letters that Saint Francis wrote to the clergy, he quotes Corinthians 2:14, The person who does not have the spirit does not perceive the things of God.

I loved reading this today because I have been thinking about the sacred within our secular world versus the secular within His sacred world.  Is there a difference?  Can a strict line define sacred versus secular or are we the ones who have imposed this distinction?

I have been trying to be a little more attentive to every song, every book, every discussion, every thought with the hope to perceive His message everywhere.  I think it is everywhere and I want to be still and listen.

Jesus, please fill us with Your spirit so that we can perceive the things of God and realize that we are surrounded by Them… They are everywhere.

Digging deep…

We are becoming gardeners!  Since moving into a house I have wanted to plant a garden. Unfortunately I am a dreamer with very little follow-up action, but thankfully my husband is the one who gets things done!

This summer he picked a spot in the yard and we started clearing out the ground cover. Within a few weeks we had a nice little spot cleared!  I thought we would be ready to plant within the week so the girls and I headed out to buy some seeds, but wait a min my sweet husband is also very detail oriented and meticulous when it comes to projects!  We were not yet ready to plant, we had to clear out all of the roots.  While clearing the roots we came across some very large and deep cement bases from the old fence.  I was willing to work around them, but my love said “No, they must come out.” so we began digging really deep!   Four, fifty pound, cement bases later, our little plot had transformed into what looked like a miniature disaster zone with deep holes, dirt piles and lots of roots.

We are now about 2 months into the project.  Today I was out there filling in the holes, clearing roots, leveling the earth, and thinking.  I was wondering if my soul is being cleared out as I clear out this land?  I was thinking about my own roots that run deep, my own cement blocks that weigh me down and keep me from producing any fruit, I was thinking about the over growth within my life that distracts me from our sweet Jesus, and finally I was thinking of my husband and the beautiful life he lives.

Thank You Jesus for blessing me with my sweet and wonderful husband who understands Your ways and practices them.  I read Your Book, but he listens to You with his heart and acts on it.  He knows the land must be properly prepared in order to be fruitful, he knows that things must be destroyed to be rebuilt and he is patient!

I pray to continue seeing him with Your eyes of love so that I can continue to learn from his wonderful example!

He’s My Son!

I recently heard this song for the first time, He’s My Son by Mark Schultz.  I didn’t listen to all of the words the first few times.  I only paid attention to the words of the refrain, “He’s My Son”.  Each time I heard it I thought how beautiful it was that someone had written a song from God’s point of view leading up to the crucifixion of Jesus.

I finally listened to the words of the whole song and realized that it was written from the point of view of a father with a sick child crying out to God for help.  It is a beautiful song, but each time I hear it I always imagine how God must have cried out to us in the hours leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion.

Can you hear Me?
Can you see Him?
Please don’t leave Him.
He is not just anyone, He is My Son!

Friday I heard this beautiful song again. A strong desire came into my heart to write a version giving us a tiny glimpse of the painful cries our Holy Father made into our deaf ears as He went through the suffering of watching His Son die.

He’s My Son by Mark Schultz
(original lyrics)

The re-written Lyrics are in bold below.  Please see the link above for all of the original lyrics by Mark Schultz.

Looking down from on high tonight,
Dreading the moment He sets things right.
See He is a boy that needs your love.
I’ve done all that I can do from above.
He now knows His fate,
To shoulder your sin and hate
Tonight as He prays,
He asks, how to show you the way.
And He tries
Not to cry
As the tears fill His eyes.

Can You hear Me?
Am I getting through tonight?
Can you see Him?
Can you pray for Him this night?
If You can hear Me
Please send Him all your love.
See, He’s not just anyone, He’s My Son.

Every night I watch Him sleep,
Amazed at the man He’s grown to be
I send Him strength and see Him through.
Open your eyes, oh how He loves you!
He will never grow old,
Yet lives life without fear
What would you be
If He’d never come here?
His time grows near,
He prays for you,
Let Him know that you’re there.

Can you hear Me?
Am I getting through tonight?
Can you see Him?
Can you pray for Him this night?
If you can hear Me
Please send Him all your love.
See, He’s not just anyone, He’s My Son.

Can You hear me?
Am I getting through tonight?
Can You see Him?
Can you pray for Him this night?
If You can hear me
Please send Him all your love.
See, He’s not just anyone.

Can you hear Me?
Can you see Him?
Please don’t leave Him,
He’s My Son.
_________

Thank you Mark Schultz for this beautiful song that has opened my eyes just a little bit more!

Expand, expand, expand…

Circles are everywhere.  Our lives are filled with both figurative and physical circles.  We see them in nature, we see them in actions and re-actions and we experience them physically around tables, in meetings, and during circle time as children.

We include people when we are willing to expand our circles, but we can just as easily exclude others by refusing to expand our circle for new arrivals.

My sister wrote a blog that I loved last year, Is it a pie or a triangle?.  The conversation we had regarding this blog stands out clearly in my mind as a moment in my life when I finally started to scratch the surface in my personal understanding of Jesus and what He did for me.

Ever since this conversation, I have thought of God as a large circle that we are all held within.  I then picture all of us as small circles within the God’s large circle.  Some of our circles are bigger and some of our circles are smaller and some of them overlap.  The bigger ones represent those who have accepted or included more people, and the smaller ones have accepted or included fewer people.

I don’t think heaven or paradise is possible without everyone and unfortunately we are the ones imposing limitations and building walls within God’s beautiful, all-inclusive circle by excluding others.

Pray for everyone, try to empathize with everyone…
Empathy will lead to forgiveness, and forgiveness will lead to love.

OUR best life doesn’t work unless everyone is included!

I pray and dream for OUR best life for everyone, everyday!  I hope you do too… together we can expand our circles!

Hold your head high!

When I was young I played tennis and I had a coach who once told me to be confident.  He said to hold my head high and walk a little slower when changing sides between games.  I always remembered this and since that conversation I have tried to do hold my head high, walk slow and have confidence in myself.

As I was running today I was thinking about how nice it is to hold your head high.  It gives you such a different perspective and view as you walk or run through life.

When you look down most of the time you see more of the man-made things, shoes, pants, streets, side walks, cars, tires.  When you hold your head high you can see more of what God has made, the eyes of others, flowers, birds, trees and even the sky in your peripheral vision.

I want to keep holding my head high, but I am going to try to change the reasoning behind it.  I don’t want to hold my head high anymore in confidence, pride, or superiority.

I want to hold my head high so that I can keep God in sight!

Jesus, thank you for the beautiful and natural things that fill our world and surround even our man-made things with your beauty.  Please help us to always keep You in our sight!

 

His words are enough!

A friend recently read a book about Dietrich Bonhoeffer.  I have had the documentary, Bonhoeffer, in my Netflix queue for quite some time and our discussion gave me the incentive to finally watch it. I really liked it and am very interested in reading more about Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

A student of his spoke in the documentary and discussed how his teaching was so drastically different than anything she had ever experienced up to that point in her life. He taught her to read The Bible as if God was speaking directly to her.  I love this!

This is just another reminder to me that I need to read The Bible.  I can and should critically listen to others, their thoughts and interpretations, but in the end I need to read The Bible.  I need to give God the opportunity to speak directly to me.

God, thank you so much for Your Word, for blessing me with a Bible of my own and giving me the ability to read.  Please motivate me everyday to read, study, and reflect on Your Holy Words.