Archive | October, 2020

A Mirror

30 Oct

Before you begin this momentous day, sit with this flower for about 10 minutes. Yes, you can spare 10 minutes. See how beautiful it is. Think of what this one flower adds to the world, this one flower. It is designed for offering the world a gift. It is a creation that contributes just by being. From the bright splash of color in the center, across the blending of a softer shade, all the way to the lovely edges that rise and fall gracefully. Everything about it is exquisite. Do you know that you are looking at yourself? What you see in this beautiful creation is a reflection of who you are. You may believe it, or you may not. But that doesn’t change the truth. You were made to be beautiful. And it worked.


25 Oct

The reflection of beauty is more powerful, more intense when the surface is calm. Reflections from troubled waters are distorted. Chaos is not the best reflector of serenity and peace.

If a lake understands this, or a river, or an ocean, why not human beings? I have a choice, unlike bodies of water. I have the capacity, but sometimes not the courage…the willingness but not the will…I possess the insight but not the intention. Courage, the will, intention…aren’t those elements that make me human? I pray for the courage of convictions, the will to wonder, and intentions that go far beyond wishing.

I pray to be a reflection of peace that passes all understanding, sacred serenity that only the Spirit can birth, intention with integrity. And I pray that living water will calm, not just the surface of your life, but all the deep currents that flow through your being.

Strength In Shadows

24 Oct
Sometimes there is strength in the almost-seen, the slightly out of focus, the moment or place that demands close attention and intentional awareness. Pay attention to shadows
and opaque moments. They are often the places where opportunity waits for discovery.

Lord, help my eyes to see through the haze to the holy, my mind to move beyond the mist to the miracle. I admit that I do not see clearly, probably of my own doing because I rush
through life never noticing or consciously avoiding those things and people off
the beaten path.

Show me today strength in the shadows,
hope in the hidden.

The Blessing of a Friend

23 Oct
I wake today with deep gratitude for friends
who walk through life with me,
who add meaning to my life
and joy to my heart.
What greater blessing is there than
to have a friend, and to be one.
Thank you, Gracious Spirit, for
linking our lives

I Am I Will

21 Oct

So many of us feel like we are living in the almost dark of a very troubling
time. Our earth home suffers from our blatant abuse, creature-residents
living on the earth with us feel the anguish of climate contradictions,
disease forces us to wear unnatural face covers that protect but also
rob me of my image in the world. There are thirteen more bitter, name-calling days until election or explosion.

And yet.

I will not walk through these days with my head down, my vision
narrowed. I will look for beauty that surrounds me. I will be
intentional. I will not be robbed by fear. I am determined to
see. I will lift my head and look for the good, not the grotesque.
And when I look, I will see. There she is. Shadowed, silent.
Waiting to see what I will do. Delight or destroy. My choice.

I choose.

I will greet this new day with a prayer and a promise:
I am and I will.

Burning What?

20 Oct
If Moses had been herding sheep in this desert, he would
have seen a burning saguaro instead of some
common bush. I imagine God could light up
a saguaro, don’t you?

The Purpose of My Life?

19 Oct

The teacher told her fifth-grade class:
“The purpose of life is to learn so
you can be successful and happy.”

The Drill Sergeant told the new recruits:
“The purpose of your life is to do exactly
what I say…and fast!”

The professor of Theology informed the
graduating class: “As you leave this
place, remember that your purpose in
the world is to propagate the ontological
propositions of existential reality.”

My boss told me the other day: “Joe,
your purpose in this corporation is to
keep the money flow going so our
stockholders are happy and our bonuses
are big.”

I asked a guy on the street: “Friend, what
is your purpose in life?” He stood silent
for a moment, then replied: “Is this a
trick question?”

My good friend blessed me the other day
with a reminder that the poet Rumi
answered the question in the simplest
of ways: “Just to be in Your presence is
the point of my life.”

Simple. Profound. All encompassing.
True. Just to be in The Presence.
That’s all.

It’s All In The Book

16 Oct

The lovely metal sculpture suggests that the Tree of Knowledge
is rooted in a book. Would it surprise you to learn that
it stands just outside a public library?
Lest we forget, though, people who follow the Way of Jesus
are also rooted in a book. Commentaries on the history of an
ancient people, poetry, narrative, stories that pack a punch.
It’s all there in this book.
Some people have put the Bible, a collection of sacred
writings, on the top shelf of the closet and forgotten
about it. The value of the Bible, though, depends on how one
approaches it: literal history, human commentary,
metaphorical meaning. Many who have put the book on
the shelf try to read the “words” and find it all illogical,
therefore irrelevant. I suggest that reading “through” or
“beyond” the words to a deeper meaning turns illogical
and irrelevant into inspirational.
People who try to walk in the footsteps of Jesus
are, indeed, people of the book.

Before I go out on a mountain hike, I read about
the trail in a guidebook. The experience of others is
helpful. A lot of people have walked the trail before me,
and their observations are valuable. In some ways,
the trail guidebook makes the journey more rewarding,
more exciting, more meaningful.
The Bible works the same way.

God On A Greyhound Bus

14 Oct

Do you think that God is through with us?
That he got on an outbound Greyhound bus
and never looked back at the mess we’ve made,
the ways we’ve polluted meadows and glades,
poisoned rivers, blotted out the sky?”
Why would God even want to try
to salvage our distortion of life?

Maybe we’re fully on our own.
We’ve certainly made it clearly known
that we prefer the rewards of greed and power,
the thrill of building Babel’s towers.
Justice and mercy just rode out of town
on a Greyhound bus that is probably bound
for a fresh start somewhere else.

It’s hard to believe what we’ve done to this place,
a dream that began with mercy and grace.
Now, the depth of our shame, the height of disgrace
when we look at each other face to face
and see not a brother of our flesh and bone
but an object we’d all too gladly own
and use with cruel disdain.

I’m surprised God didn’t leave a long time ago.
The human race is certainly slow
to admit that we’ve lost direction and cause.
My little friend Pogo gave me reason to pause
in a comment about humanity’s fall.
My cartoon friend really said it all:
“We’ve met the enemy, and he is us.”

I watched God get on that Greyhound bus.
I called out, hoping he’d look at us,
and finally he turned, after taking his seat
but by then the bus had moved up the street.
It turned the corner at Fourth and Main
and I felt the nails of our mutual pain.
Crucified one more time.


12 Oct

Is she asking or is she offering?
She lifts her bowl into the air,
arms extended boldly.
There is nothing tentative about her.
A determined strength surrounds her.
Her face is left for the admirer’s imagination.
She is every woman, every man,
every human who reaches up
hopefully, expectantly, humbly,
She weeps or laughs.
Eyes open watching for response
or closed in confident adoration.
She is as you wish her to be.
She is as you see her.
She is a mirror of life’s
meaning, moment, majesty.
She will always be the
haunting or the holiness
of myself.