Archive | July, 2020

Evening Prayer

20 Jul

Night arrives on the coat-tails of another 102 degree day.
It’s not that I’m ungrateful, God.  Just hot.  And tired.
In fact, I’m tired of being tired.  It’s tough to keep spirits
up when everything seems to be falling down.

I do, however, feel very blessed by my virtual friends.  It seems
like so long ago when I saw them as whole people, not half people
projected on a screen.  My waist-up friends are remarkable in
their perseverance and their abilities to “unmute” at just the
right moment and share themselves as blessings.  They are very
special.

I have decided, Generous One, that this exile set upon the earth
carries with it valuable lessons for life.  I pray tonight for the
patience to perceive those lessons and the wisdom to utilize
them in positive ways for the benefit of my friends and neighbors
and the strangers who pass my way.

I suspect that tomorrow will be, for the most part, very similar to
this day that is now disappearing.  And that, in itself, is a lesson
to be learned.  Similar or not, I am grateful for days that invite
reflection and re-examination of what it means to be a human
being in a troubled time, and, likewise, a probing of deeper
dimensions of faith and trust.  I rest tonight convinced that the
Path of Jesus, His Way, always runs through the shadows of
disruption and imbalance, but also that the Way always leads
to light and Light.  I shall sleep tonight thankfully embraced
by your Love.

May it be so.

Beginning The Day

20 Jul

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It happens when I least expect it.  Turn a corner and there
You are.  Say goodbye to a friend and then realize that I have
been in the presence of Presence.  Today I do not plan to look
for You, that way You can surprise me.  But I will meet You
halfway…I will be attentive to life around me.  I will try
to see with my soul and hear with my heart, and in faith I
know that somewhere along the path, I will become aware
of Awe.  And there we are.

May this day bring us invitations to love kindness, do justice, and
walk as humble followers of the Light.  May we be bold enough to
bathe in Living Water, wise enough to talk with the earth of her
beauty and her pain, and humble enough to stand in the
revealing light of your love.
May peace abide in my heart and bless everyone I meet.
May it be so.

Evening Prayer

19 Jul

img_0877-1

As the sun find its way beyond the western mountains
and the arrival of night brings quiet closure to this day,
I pray that my efforts have not been in vain
and that those efforts were always made in a
spirit of justice and human concern.
May I find rest, confident that the Presence is
with me in the darkness and will wake me to the new day.
And may all creatures be in peace.
To the Source of Life, Creator and Sustainer,
I lift my song of gratitude and join
my voice with all living things:
Glory to God in the highest and on earth
peace and goodwill.
May it be so.

Conversation With A Palm Tree

18 Jul

DSC_0059

I asked the palm tree, “Sir, do you tire of this in the evening of your day?”
“It is an infrequent opportunity to stand in pure light,” he answered,
“intensity surrounded by softness.  Night comes as a gift to all of us: coyote, rabbit, wide-winged hawk.  We have learned to stand very still in the presence of light, to allow it to surround us, penetrate to the core of our simple existence.  Somehow we are enlivened by the vividness.  But, I, too, would ask a question, of you, Sir.”

“Please ask,” I replied.
“All my friends and I have wondered: Why are people more interested in
speeding to the market rather than standing still in a moment like this?
It seems to us that you are moved more by a sense of urgency than by a feeling of inherent curiosity.  Hawk said the other day, ‘I feel sorry for all those people with their heads down, focused so on destination rather than delight.’  Will you help us understand?”

We stood side by side until the sun was gone and the sky was black.  We stood without another word shared.  And then I got in my car and drove home.

 

 

Deep Love

17 Jul

Sometimes the deepest love is only

discovered in the deepest cut

Bow In The Clouds

15 Jul

8E7833A9-C67A-47D4-8E65-FC04C9CF9E26_1_105_c

No, it’s not a re-start of the Bighorn Fire.
It is a “bow in the clouds”
And you know what that means!
No?  Visit Genesis 9:13
What a wonderful sign in times like these.
Thanks be to God!

The Eyes Have It

14 Jul

It’s too bad face masks can’t filter the frivolous, fractious
words we spill out into the common atmosphere.
Word pollution.  Human surround sound,
muffled at least.

Thank God eyes are not restricted
to peep holes or little slits in
a hooded humanity.
Eyes are doorways
into a living
self.

Wide
eyes.  Crying
eyes.  Darting eyes.
Sleepy eyes.  Fear-filled eyes.
“They will know you by your love”
Yes, but watch the eyes.  Look deeply.

Face masks are a
medical necessity these days.  I get it.
I wear one.  And I can’t see a smile or a sneer,
but I can see your soul.  Without question, the eyes have it.

Neighbors

11 Jul

dsc_0942

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

img_0985

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.