Archive | May, 2020

The “Me”s in Me

18 May


Except for the few perfect people I know,
(who will be named below)
most of us are beautiful and prickly at
the same time.  That is, I have a trigger that,
when pulled, reveals the B-me or the P-me.
Example:  When the TV hums in the background
all day, never leaving a News channel, it doesn’t take
long for P-me to appear.  But, when I sit at the computer
and the words fall onto the page, and it all makes sense,
and after reading six times I can find no more typos,
B-me smiles.  It is good.
I guess the issue for me is the “trigger(s)”, the thing or
person that pushes the P or B button in me.
It is so easy to blame something or someone else.
Flip Wilson’s old line:  “The Devil made me do it!”
But blaming someone or something else is a copout.
Like it or not, I choose how I will respond in any given
moment or situation.  I am responsible for my own
behavior, my responses, not you.
You see, I know this, but P-me won’t  go away.
It’s so confusing and frustrating.
My friend Paul wrote me a letter the other day, and
in it he said:  “Wretched man that I am! Who will
rescue me from this (curse within myself)?”
And the next line in the letter surprised and
encouraged me:  “Thanks be to God through
Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Paul and I and many others live with this
“curse” but we also live with the spiritual
incarnation of God.  It’s the curse or the Christ.
Which one do I allow to prevail in my comings and goings?
P-me and B-me will continue to share the same address,
but the God-in-me will become the first responder.
That’s my choice.  I hope for the good sense and
the wisdom to remember, plus the courage to
respond from my greater self.
“Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ my Lord.”





I Don’t Have A Clue, Do You?

17 May

Why are there stars in the nighttime sky?
When people are happy, why do they cry?
Will I always be caught if I tell a lie?
And what’s so great about blueberry pie?
Why is it hard to say goodbye?
I don’t have a clue, do you?

There are lots of questions that simply defy
attempts to answer the troublesome “why”?
I live in an era of “me”, “mine”, and “my”.
No matter how deftly or wisely I try
my efforts all end in a shrug and a sigh.
I don’t have a clue, do you?

I try so hard but I get nowhere.
I fully believe that life isn’t fair.
If I step outside to get some fresh air
a bumblebee will nest in my hair!
I wonder if the universe cares?
I don’t have a clue, do you?

Good people suffer, bad people win,
and there’s no way we can start all over again.
What can we do except to pretend
that the universe is a faithful friend?
That I am absolved of something called sin?
I don’t have a clue, do you?

My hope is not beyond the sky.
I cast my lot with a man who tried
to banish the law of “an eye for an eye”.
He was willing to stand and bravely defy
our voracious needs to gratify
the darkness that lives within.

I don’t have a clue, do you
about why his ways appeal as they do?
I simply acknowledge his path to be true
and offer his friendship and presence to you.
But…maybe, in fact, I do have a clue.
Maybe his way is an opening to
the chance to discover the real me, real you.
I think I’ve found the mysterious clue…do you?

Walking For Wisdom

16 May


If Lectio Divina is about “sacred reading”, then Visio Divina is about
“sacred seeing.”  So I invite you to take a walk right now along
the pathway  in the photograph.  This walk is not about reaching a
destination, it’s about the process of following the path as an experience
of The Sacred.

Your goal is not to have a goal.
Just walk.
And wonder.
Wait.  Stop along the way.
Watch carefully for signs of the Sacred.
Take in the Wisdom of the earth as you experience
this path like no other path before.

Not all of life’s great lessons are in the classroom.
Many healing and hopeful revelations occur
right here in the Lab for Life.



Sky Writing

15 May


Do you remember sky-writing?
There was a day when, sitting in the stands at the football game,
you’d look up and there it would be:
“John loves Helen” or “Big Discount At…”
and the little plane, chugging along, trying to form the last
letter in the word before the first letter drifts away.

Sky writers were (and are) artists and pretty skilled at flying
a plane and, hopefully, good spellers.  The sky is a very
big canvas and it’s probably pretty tough to loop back and try to
erase a misplaced letter.  I leave the sky-typo to your imagination.

But speaking of imagination, if you had a big, blue sky, and you could
pilot one of those specially designed planes, and you were confident of
your spelling ability, what would you want the world to know?
What word, or phrase, or paragraph would  you put on your canvas?

What would I write?  Glad you asked.  Just two words, all CAPS:
but I wouldn’t try to cite chapter and verse (Philippians 3:14).
Some messages need to be succinct, from the heart and to the heart,
not all that complicated.
Take one breath and then another.
Put one foot in front on the other one
and keep moving.
Focus, don’t become fragmented.
Look up, not just at your shoe tops.
Press On!
It’s a high calling written across the sky just for you.

Never Alone

13 May


Even though the surface is smooth, there is
turmoil underneath.  Serenity is sometimes
merely an illusion.

Even though the sky is perfectly clear, there
is always the hawk nearby, waiting, watching.
Security is not guaranteed.

Even though I appear to be alone, I am
surrounded by others unseen.  The
unseen is not always unreal.

Alone?  Never!
For your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
And I hear in the wind:
Fear not, for I am with you,
even until the end.

Serenity and Security come and go.
Love neither abdicates nor abandons.
Love is.



Looking Into The Future

12 May


Take a look at the future.

Be grateful for all the bright, inquisitive, wonder-appreciating
faces around you.  The ones Jesus called to his side a long
time ago and held up as models for the rest of us.  The ones that
play on your street, in better times crowd malls and parks, attend
your church, even get on your nerves when you’re tired or grumpy.

We are accountable to them and responsible for them.  Not only
the ones described above, but also the bright, inquisitive,
wonder-appreciating ones everywhere.  Children need a
chance.  Not only members of my family but the Human Family.
Not only the ones who attend my neighborhood school, but
also the ones who can’t go to school.  The average as well as
the advantaged.  All children are “Ours” in a universal sense
that is lost on adults who segregate, stereotype, or stygmatize
on the basis of heritage, appearance, gender or family income.

Oddsmakers are saying we’re leaving a mess they can clean up.
They deserve better.
They deserve a chance to be children now and a realistic hope
for tomorrow.  We owe these Shining Spirits our love, our
labor, and our last ounce of determination to bless them into
the decades ahead.  Every one of them.

Take a look at the future.
Take a look at the One who is holding
them in his lap.

Creation Glows

9 May

Sometimes creation glows!

It’s like Light has just been invented

and the wonder of it takes your breath away.

Moses, when he saw the burning bush, and so many others who have been captured by Spiritual Brilliance,

responded: “I must turn aside and look at this great sight.”

I must turn aside from all that demands my attention, my energy, my awareness

and focus on this one thing that defies description and creates delight.

Flaming Creation, the intense embodiment of the Universal Creator, does not

surprise us every day, perhaps it’s even rare. But when you see it, do not pass

by casually. It’s worth more than a mere notice. It is a crack in the material of creation

and through that crack, another dimension of life is seeping through. It is a Thin Place

where two realities intersect. Turn aside and look. May you find in that

moment an eternal encounter in the midst of human experience.

“The earth is crammed with heaven, and every common bush

afire with God, but only he who sees takes off his shoes; the

rest sit around and pluck blackberries.”

–Elizabeth Barrett Browning

First Things First

8 May


I was browsing through some old magazines the other day, looking for something to read and I came upon an article that would fill a few minutes:  First Principles Study of Electronic Structure and Optical Properties of Tetragonal PbMoO.  It was either that or People Magazine.

First principles.  Yours?  Do you have “first principles?”  Of course you do.  Everyone has “a fundamental, primary, or general law or truth from with others are derived…an accepted or professed rule of ACTION and CONDUCT.”  We all have principles, even if we’ve never identified and articulated them.  Principles define who we are, how we view the world, how we interact with each other.  Principles are crucial to a balanced, thoughtful life, and to the existence of a just and caring nation.

I’m sure this conversation will cause you to sit down and ponder your principles.  What are the first priorities in my life?  What is fundamental and primary.  My request of you, as you formulate or review your first priorities, is to include somewhere in your list these words:  “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.  This is the greatest and first commandment (principle).  And the second is like it:  You shall love your neighbor as yourself.  On these two commandments (principles) hang all the Law and all the Prophets.”

These two principles are the foundational stones of life.  Plain.  Simple.  End of story.  These two principles give birth to extensions and practical applications that keep us balanced and strong.  That’s where we come in.  You and I are the developers of secondary principles that demonstrate the essence of the first principles.  Big responsibility.  Yes.  Big opportunity.  Oh, yes.  Life giving ways to live in community?  Without a doubt.

“Teacher, which (principle) is the greatest?”  “You shall love…”

So, this is beginning to sound like a sermon.  Enough.  I have reading and thinking to do.  It’s a toss up between Electronic Structure and Optical Properties or the Life Structure and Living Principles from the Ancient Voice.    Hmmm.

A Pile Of Rocks

7 May


Almost everyday I drive by the art gallery on Egleston St.  This is
what one might call an “open air art gallery” because there is
no building with a sign in front, just a little patch of sandy
ground where the artistic creations are presented.

The anonymous artist started with one or two rock-art pieces, but, as
you can see, he or she is expanding.  Art has a way of doing that.
Called cairns, the rock-balancing creations are Scottish in their
ancestry and worthy of a stop and a quick iPhone photo.

What would you do if you were given a pile of rocks?  Some of us
would throw them at the sky, or line a flower bed, or toss them in
the nearest wash…they’re just rocks!  It is said that a brilliant sculptor
can look at a block of marble and see the detailed creation
still within the stone even before the chisel and hammer go to work.
This is seeing with the “inner eye”, or with the spiritual eye that
cuts through outer surfaces or barriers and “sees” that which is within.

Today you will have an opportunity to see with your “spiritual” eye.  And when
that moment comes, look beyond the obvious outer and see the essential inner.
You are the artist today.  Make something that blesses the world.
Don’t settle for the “taken for granted” or the “everyday common.”
That’s not just a pile of rocks, you know.
And you will have worshiped the Unique Creator.

Toxic and Beautiful

6 May


Things are not as they seem.
The lovely oleander, brilliant in reds and pinks and whites,
is toxic, as in poison.  And yet in many places, the plant
is  welcomed into the neighborhood, used as a hedge divider
between properties and admired for its beautiful flower.

Things are not as they seem.
It may look good on the outside, but don’t be fooled, there
is poison on the inside.
As a metaphor about life, the oleander is quite
fitting for today.  Don’t be deceived  by Con-men or
deceptive politicians who will offer the moon but
leave you in the dust of broken promises and
wasted time.  Poison is poison no matter how
you spell it.

Discern when making big decisions.
Pray when you feel helpless.
In the case of the colorful oleander, a bit
of social distancing is in order.
Things are not always what they seem.