Neighbors

11 Jul

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I wrote recently about wonderful sights observed through my magic window.
I mentioned walkers and bikers and traffic, but I have been reminded
that I overlooked some special folks who live in our community.

They stopped by after hearing about my writing, pecked on my door
and let me know they were not pleased, having been left out
of the list of walkers.  I apologized and told them I would
remedy my oversight.  So here they are in their early
morning glory…Mom, Dad and seven children.
It’s a big family by current cultural norms.
But they are valued in our neighborhood, because they are good
neighbors, pleasant to be around.  They bring a unique outlook
on life.  So, I apologize for not including them.    I’m glad we
don’t all look alike, and think alike, or see the world
in the same way.  I think life is better when
variety is valued.

 

Shadowed

10 Jul

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My wife and I were shadowed on our morning walk today.
The hazy figures would appear and then
suddenly be gone.  Around a bend in the
pathway and here they were waiting for us.

Shadows happen only when we are in the light.  Do
they disappear when no light shines?  Well, I like to
think that they are, in a sense, absorbed back into us
and they never separate from us.  I don’t think you will
find this in any theology books, but I welcome my shadow
as a reminder of the Light, a cue to be grateful for
an abiding Presence.  Sometimes in dark moments, we
may feel alone, even abandoned, but then the Light shines
and there he is, my shadow, my reminder of
community and companionship.

I think it was the old prophet Isaiah who advised the people:
“Come, let us walk in the light…”
And many years later, another voice announced:
“I am the Light of the world…”
You see, it’s all about Light.  It’s the Light that enlivens
the shadow, and it’s the shadow that reminds me
of the Light.  So take notice of your shadow next time
you are out and about, remember how it appeared,
and be grateful for the sacred companionship of
the Light.

Green Board

9 Jul

Green Board

Consider that we are in the midst of an horrendous pandemic,
the political world is in shambles,
racial tensions are palpable,
and it is only a short step from anxiety to angst.
Might any or all of this contribute to the Green Board outside a local abandoned facility,
a Green Board expressing anonymous public sentiment?

Here are some of the pressing issues on peoples’ minds:
Build more houses — economics
This too shall pass — hopefulness
Save the trail — ecology
No rezoning — community
Eat wildlife — Survivalism
The USSR will rise — international relations (?)
Josie + Cora — personal
This is shite — a Brit, no doubt.  It rhymes with “height”

But the message written in the biggest letters, signifying its overarching importance:
“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change” — religion/spirituality
What needs to be added to the Green Board is the line that follows the request for Serenity:  “God grant me the Courage to change the things I can.”
We all want Serenity, but we desperately need the Courage to obtain it.

But Reinhold Niebuhr’s idea isn’t complete without his third and final statement:
“God grant me the Wisdom to know the difference.”
Wisdom is life’s balance found in a spiritual consciousness of The Sacred,
The Other, The Unnamable.

And It Is Good

7 Jul

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1. It used to be a pile of rocks
2. It didn’t make itself
3.  Somebody had a dream
4. The dream became the design
5. The design shaped the stone
6.  The hand of the artist placed each stone
with precision and patience
7.  Behold, the Mosaic
And it is good
No, make that beautiful

6 Jul

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MAY YOUR DAY BE WONDER-FILLED.
LOOK FOR BEAUTY.   LIVE IN THE MOMENT.
BE GLAD.

Come On, You Can Do It

5 Jul

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Serene
Perfectly manicured
Graceful
Sorry, but this isn’t life.
Life is strength and pain, laughter and tears, joy and sadness,
births and deaths, success and failure, health and sickness,
and more.
That’s a far cry from serene and perfectly manicured.
But in spite of everything that happens on this
roller coaster ride, Grace is present.
Grace as Presence
Grace as Love
Grace as Gift
Sufficient Grace that invites our hearts to sing
At least to hum
Come on, you can do it

Puzzle Pieces

4 Jul

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I can’t decide whether to write about life’s pieces joined together, or
the need for perserverance, or patience, or how much I dislike
jig-saw puzzles.  But during this Covid captivity, these puzzles have
saved my sanity.  And, quite to my surprise, I like putting them together.

Why are we hestitant to try new and different things?
Jig-saw puzzles, possibilities, the way we regard people.
I think it’s because I’m lazy.  Lazy.
It’s hard work to put the puzzle together,
It’s hard to put the pieces of life together
because that takes courage, open-mindedness, and
the release of long held certainties.

Just so you know, there are two more birds waiting
to appear in the puzzle.  Beautiful colors.
But they won’t come to life unless I put the pieces
together…and that will take patience,
perserverance, and the willingness to carefully
study each piece to see its uniqueness and
its value in the overall picture.

Would that we could regard every human being
with the same patience, value and importance in the
great picture of life.
But, isn’t that the way we have agreed to live?
Isn’t that who we are?
Isn’t that The Way?

You Are Welcome

3 Jul

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Isn’t Welcome a nice word!
Welcome to my home…
Welcome to my heart…
Welcome into my world…
Welcome to The Way that makes sense
and paints the world in the brilliant colors of hope.
Welcome without hesitation, merit, reputation
to the Presence who knows your heart
and loves you anyway.
Welcome to your real home, the place from
which you came and the place to which
you will return.
Isn’t Welcome a nice word!

In The Eye Of The Beholder

2 Jul

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If I were to tell you that the photograph was taken during the
Bighorn blaze in the Catalinas, would the colors be less beautiful?
Nature seems to be neutral to feeling or emotion.  It is the
interpretation that ascribes beauty or ugliness.
It is how one sees.  As the song lyric suggests:
“Everything is beautiful in its own way…”
So, how do you see the world around you?
Is it filled with turmoil, tragedy, terror?
Even with its scars, is not the inherent beauty
our sign of hope?
Do not surrender hope that is grounded in beauty
that is the gift of Creation.
Don’t let life take away your Life.

Do You Have To Be A Saint?

1 Jul

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Now, this is a big test for St. Francis.  History says he loved
all the animals, but he probably never met a large
green rabbit, or a multi-color lizard, or even a
rusty bullfrog.  Just run-of-the-mill antelopes and
aardvarks, and an occasional wombat.

If he had met these three beautifully different,
unique creatures he would have cared for them
as part of the grand creation of life.  Size doesn’t matter.
Color doesn’t mean anything.  A place in the animal
social order?  No, Francis saw each one as lovely
as the other.  Some of us look at the three and think they’re weird.
He thought they were beautiful.
Do you have to be a saint to love all sacred beings?