Archive | December, 2020

Shhh! Please

31 Dec

Well, Christmas is over. Packages unwrapped. Christmas tree is laying on its side in the backyard, waiting for a ride to the grinder. The whole house has been “de-Christmased” so I think I’ll take a nap.

I’m a strong advocate of napping. My good friend in the chair has the right idea. She is an electric wire when she’s awake, especially when friends stop by for a visit. She runs and twists, slides across the tile floor, and then comes back for more. If I tried what she does, with that same energy level, you’d have to come visit me in the local hospital. High energy beings need restoring rest. Maybe you know one. Maybe you are one.

So I ask you to consider how your life is balanced or, I hope not, unbalanced. Balance is the issue. Some people take pride in having “too much to do”. Others are bored, even or especially in the pandemic days.
Is there a middle way between exhaustion because of too much to do and exhaustion because of not enough to do? And the answer is yes. It’s called a “balanced life”…a life that takes into account the genuine need for
rest and renewal (naps) along with a need to be creatively involved in activities that provide meaning and ask a measure of physical and mental involvement. Physical life balance, and Spiritual life balance.

So, how would you characterize your life right now, in these unusual days? Are you living on the extremes or in the center. This is not a new idea, but it’s a good one. Examine your days and see if you are living in either extreme. And, yes, it’s hard to know where the “center” is in pandemic days, but it’s there. And, yes, this same message is echoed not only in science but also in most major religions of the world. It is clearly in the Good News that Jesus brought. So, here’s the challenge. Look at a whole week, not just one day, and try to determine your “balance average”. Rest and renewal collaborating with creative involvement equals balance.

And if the exercise is tedious and exhausting, climb up in that big stuffed chair, close your eyes and take a nap. Happy Involvement! and Sweet Dreams. And may a sense of peaceful balance be at your center, the companion of the Abiding Spirit.

Path Of Light

30 Dec

One of my favorite photos. So much to think about if you take the time to really look. So much spiritual blessing waiting for anyone who will use creative imagination and ask of the self: What does this photo say to me about my faith? See how many questions you can create after looking at the picture. List some of the insights about meaning that come into your mind. Look at the picture for one minute without being distracted, then close your eyes, let the picture remain in your brain and your heart while you speak words of prayer…prayer suggested by the picture you see.

Finally, imagine that you are walking along this path, following the light. You reach the top of the hill, pass the tree on the left, and there standing on the same path but previously unseen is Jesus. He invites you to sit for a little while, a couple of smooth boulders are just there and you sit together. What would you talk about?

May peace fill your heart, hope motivate your actions, and courage go before you.

When Did He Know?

29 Dec

When did he know? When was it clear?
Did Mary tell her son what he needed to hear?
Did she talk about shepherds who knelt in the hay?
Or Magi gifts left there that day?
As Jesus grew to be a man, did Mary take him by the hand
and tell him about old Simeon’s joy as he cradled that beautiful baby boy?
Or, Anna’s remarks that same special day when the crowd in the Temple
heard her say: Behold, our Redeemer is here!

When did he know? When was it clear?
Did he ever worry or stand in fear
that the danger was great
from the cruel Roman state?
Did he ever wonder about his fate?

He spent long hours in searching prayer,
wondered how much he could truly bear
of the venomous hate that dogged his way.
Did he have the courage to speak out and say:
Follow me and I’ll show you life!

There are no answers to these questions of mine.
I choose to believe that the powerful sign
heard as he rose from the Jordan’s flow
was exactly what he needed to know.
This is my Son; I set him apart.
Follow his way to your home in my heart.

Have Yourself A Zoomy Little Christmas

28 Dec

What shall I recall about Christmas Day?
What feelings remain, what shall I say
when someone asks “Was it jolly and fun?”
Shall I tell the truth to everyone
or simply say: “Oh, yes, indeed!
My family and friends, we all agreed
that this is the way it should be.”

We should each cook enough for one or two,
polish all the silver, set out the new
holiday dishes, special glasses, too,
pick Christmas carols, one or two will do.
Type in the numbers to activate Zoom,
find a comfortable place in the empty room
and wave at Susie and Tom.

Beautiful faces fill the screen.
But, who is that woman? I’ve never seen
those purple pajamas and her long, blonde hair?
She looks bewildered, see how she stares
like she’s entered a room filled with alien life.
Do you think that’s Bobby’s second wife?
Or, maybe she got the wrong code.

Whatever the case, she’s welcome here.
We’ll laugh at old jokes, perhaps shed a tear.
“Raise your hand to speak. Un-mute, Uncle Ken.”
Technology’s great, but it’s no friend
to those of us who would much rather spend
the day together, and not pretend
that figgy pudding for one is fine.

Let’s all take a moment as we Zoom today
and pray that next Christmas we’ll have a way
to hug and laugh face to face,
that joy will fill this empty space
in my house and my heart, that touch will restore
the wonder of Christmas evermore.
Til then, raise your hand to speak.


27 Dec

I affirm, as this new day dawns, that you,
Divine Center of all things,
are both refuge and strength.
I run to you as refuge when the world
shakes beneath my feet. Only in the safety
of refuge am I able to heal into the strength
which allows me to regain a sense of my
divine humanity. That is why I won’t be
afraid when the world falls apart, as
mountains crumble and the waters
roar and rage.

I affirm this good morning that you are the river
into which all streams are joined. One river, so
many streams feeding into and branching off
from the flowing source. Am I less a part of the
river if my origin is here not there, if my faith
is expressed this way and not that way? One
river, gathering up all the streams and flowing
toward the fullness of one light.

I will rest at the close of this day with no guarantee
of tomorrow, but with an assortment of affirmations
forged in faith, tested with the small amount of
courage that I possess, proved not in my practice
but in your grace.

May the light of the morning bring healing to the
brokenness around me, charity out of the abundance
that I enjoy, and a stronger faith that will carry me
to the end of yet another day.

May it be so. Amen.

It All Began With A Smile

26 Dec

When the shepherds returned to their flocks
and the Wise Men embarked on a new home route,
when the curious had seen enough and the
bright star faded into an expansive starlit sky,
Mary held her son close
and sang him a lullaby.

He clutched her finger with his tiny hand
and watched her movements with large, dark eyes.
He felt the familiar rhythm of her heartbeat,
as if still joined flesh to flesh. Mary’s warm
breath soothed any anxiousness that came
with new surroundings and animal
sounds in the distance.

Tonight he would sleep on freshly cut hay,
snuggled close to his mother in the small
shed that usually housed newly born lambs.
The finest Bethlehem inn could not provide a more
restful setting. Just before the flickering
lamp was extinguished, a little lamb, wandering
from a nearby flock, walked into the shed,
paused for a moment to look all around,
then without hesitation, curled up beside
Mary and her infant, all seeking warmth
and finding complete contentment.

Within a moment or two, a little arm slipped
from the swaddling cloths and the tiny hand fell
gently onto the animal’s soft white wool.
The lamb relaxed into sleep and in the last
flicker of light from the lamp’s dying flame,
Mary’s eyes looked upon the face of her
beautiful son.
No sound was made, no words formed, but
their eyes joined and never moved
from the visual embrace of love.

Darkness descended,
Mary closed her eyes
and welcomed sleep.
It was then that —

Jesus smiled.

When The Time Was Right

25 Dec

When the time was right, darkness gave way to Light,
universes and planets,
stars and comets,
nebulae and galaxies,
so that varying densities
of Light announced Life.

When the time was right, personal and community
Virtues lifted humanity to
a new level of existence,
justice and mercy,
sacrifice and compassion,
truth and honor
led the way to a New Day.

When the time was right, the Definitive Example
of a life lived with
integrity, deep faith,
selfless love,
an insistence on the
intrinsic value of all living things,
and courage
put on flesh and lived
among us.

This is the time.
This is the day.
This is the hour.
Behold life!

5 Christmas Eve Questions

24 Dec
  1. Would Jesus of the Gospels choose to be remembered every year as an infant entering the world, a victim exiting the world, or an adult who fought for a new world?
  2. Would shepherds and “wise men” be invited to the same party?
  3. Jesus of Nazareth? Jesus of Bethlehem? Jesus of The Road? The unborn child bounced over 90 miles of bad road between Nazareth and Bethlehem. Is “Jesus of The Road” a better descriptor of his life?
  4. There is a hint that the Holy Infant grew into the Holy Child…Luke 2:39ff…but his childhood is a mystery. Would there have been a point in time when Jesus, as a child, became aware of his “otherness”? If you were Mary, would you tell him?
  5. It was sometime in the 11th century when the name “Christmas” or “Christ’s Mass” was designated as the church’s official name of the celebration. It was a feast day 10 centuries after he lived. Is there a different name/designation you might select?

Whatever your answers might be, here’s hoping you have a remarkably Merry Christmas and that the Light is rekindled in your heart for the months and years to come.

Transforming Light

23 Dec

The hour is late, almost the new day.
Darkness, a reliable visitor, arrives just
as the last lamp is extinguished.
Silence moves from room to room,
vigilant sentry watching over restless

Into this precious moment, a thought
appears, an idea demanding attentive
reflection. She swims in the sea of my
fading consciousness, until it finally

Light! There must be light! And there
is light. That light illuminates my
drowsy mind, splashes across the desk,
sufficient for the thought to become
a voice, and the voice to speak words
on to the waiting page.

Light always makes things possible.
Uncertainty becomes confidence,
fear evolves into courage. Despair
drops his heavy robe and dresses
himself in joyful liberation.

All because sufficient light gifts the
world with sacred possibility. One
little lamp on a cluttered, disheveled
desk, makes possible the clarity of
the moment, like a star’s insistent
brilliance revealing an infant
word. A Word, fragile at first but
growing in strength and power as
other words follow in their natural order.

A Light shines in the darkness. Glory
streams from the Consciousness of
Creation, illuminating The Word.
Thought has become reality. A
word rests on the page. The story
is complete. The perfect Word
brings the story to life and life
to the story. Publish glad tidings!
The story is done, and the story


22 Dec

My intention this day
is to find no disfavor in darkness
but to befriend the shadows
both within and without.

May I remember this intention
when moments threaten or
circumstances cause fear
to thrive in my soul.

May all callousness be turned
to compassion,
all impatience be turned
to quiet resolve,
all grief be transformed
into gratitude,
so that life this day may
find balance and stability
in a new depth of trust.

At the end of this day,
may I look back over the hours
with a peaceful contentment
that is the gift of Love.