Archive | May, 2016

Morning Comes

11 May

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Morning comes gently and holds out her welcoming hand.

I will wrap my arms around her as she lifts me into the light and takes me out to play in the long shadowed dawning.

We will watch hummingbirds dart among the yellow flowers, rub the black dog behind her floppy ears, smell pink blossoms bending long green arms, return the quail’s call into the cool air, share the sound of a train’s faint whistle that comes and goes on the wind.

I will lay my head on her neck and she will sing a song into my heart.  It’s a different song than yesterday’s, words are not the same, but the melody is so familiar.

Then when the shadows have reversed their path, when all is spent in the living, she will gently lay me on soft blue sheets and cover me with a cloud she has borrowed from the sky.  We will be apart but not apart.  She will sit with me as night spreads his arms over the mountains, filling the canyons with darkness.

In time, with a gentle hand, when the moment is right, she will lift my cloud blanket and whisper:  “Come, let us play again.”

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Reminded

8 May

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The sound of water falling from the green ceramic fountain reminds me of the life force flowing through all living things.

The fresh fragrance of the crisp morning reminds me of the new growth in all that springs from the earth.

Touching the cool, brown stone by the gate and feeling its gradual sun warming reminds me of the power love brings to an embrace.

The gray finch resting among the brilliant yellow blossoms reminds me of beauty upon beauty in this new day.

What does it mean to be re-minded?  Re-minded?

Is it being momentarily called back to a primordial perspective?  A mind that once looked out upon creation and said: this is good?

Yes.

Fearfully and Wonderfully

6 May

“It was you, O God, who made my inmost self, you knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”  Psalm 139:13-14

These two verses appeared today in a devotional resource I use to begin and end each day.  I’ve read them many times, but this morning two words forced me to pause and reflect:  fearfully and wonderfully.  What?  What do those words mean to a person living in the 21st century?

My guess is that if I asked five people to share their understanding or interpretation of the words, I would get five varied responses…maybe more.  What did the Psalmist have in mind when “fearfully and wonderfully” went onto the page?

Fearfully is the harder of the two.  How about these possibilities:  God was “fearful” when humankind was constructed because God knew the possibility, or even the probability, that we would wander off on our own, become self-focused, cross the line of obedience.  Or, maybe fear was built into the final product so that you and I could experience the full range of human emotions.  Or, it was designed into us so that we would recognize danger or trouble and take two steps back.  There must be other possibilities for the strange word…I’ll leave it to your imagination.

Wonderfully, on the other hand, is commonly thought to mean that we humans are constructed with amazing, complex, intricate magnificence.  We are the top of the totem pole, the crown of creation.  The human body is a marvel that no human can replicate.  Wonderfully made, indeed.

So, with this in mind, let me offer two observations.  First, language changes over time; words from one century might not fit exactly into another century.  Second, sometimes it’s interesting to take words at face value.  For instance, “fearfully” might mean “full of fear”, which would lead you back to paragraph three above.  But remember that the word fear in the bible, particularly in reference to God, really means “awe”.  To fear God is to hold God in awe.  Quite a difference.  Fear’s companion, Wonder, is astonishment and a deep desire to comprehend, quest, search, know.

Here, then, is my own conclusion.  To be “fearfully and wonderfully made” is to possess the inherent ingredients of awe and wonder, built-in traits that come with the whole package.  I disagree with my dictionary when it says that awe is “profound and reverent dread of the supernatural”.  Dread?  Really?  I think the human capacity to stand in awe and to live in wonder has little to do with how one approaches the supernatural, God, but how you and I can experience life itself.  Within this complex construction called “me” there is the potential to receive each day in awe, reverent respect; and in wonder, which for me is amazement and sacred surprise.

Awe stops me in my tracks and makes me gasp.  Wonder moves me to ask questions of and seek relationship with this mystery.  Together, they sit me down on a big rock along the mountain trail and remind me to be “awe-fully” grateful and “wonder-fully” connected to creation.

Works for me.