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Ashes and Embers

25 Jun

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It used to be so lush and green
and now thick gray smoke hangs over blackened land
and the burnt carcasses of pine and saguaro.

The mountain will survive, even prosper in the years to come.
Not so the bear and the bighorn,
our sisters and brothers
whose homes were canyons and rocky peaks.

Stop today for just a moment and ponder the sad reality of
ashes and embers, the suffering of the mountain,
and the distress of Creation’s beloved creatures.
Stop for a moment and become one with them.

 

Evens and Odds

24 Jun

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Even and odd.  Even is good…odd is…well, odd.  Odd lacks the polish, the
perfect symmetry of Even.  Even has it all together…Odd is just
slightly out of balance.  But look closely at the lovely flower.
One beautiful centerpiece.
Seven surrounding blossoms.
Five petals on each bloom.
Five white centers in each of the seven blossoms.

I think we have a God who loves Odds as much as Evens.
For which I am very grateful.
There’s room for all of us in the vase.

Hugs For Everyone

23 Jun

You don’t have to be a little child to be welcomed into his arms.

There’s room there for all of us.

A Sign Of The Times

21 Jun

This is who we are. This is who we can be.

May all these statements become our
reality….very soon.

Creating

21 Jun

A few days ago a wonderful friend sent me a brief quotation
from the late Dr. Martin Buber, a prolific author and scholar.
Buber’s work in philosophy and religion produced the remarkable
little book titled “I and Thou”. Buber believed that experiencing
the Absolute, his name for God, was more than simply believing
or possessing knowledge. Expressing his commitment to the idea that
experiencing God is in our actions, Buber wrote: “We do not
experience the Absolute in what we learn but in what we create.”

Buber proposed that the Absolute (God) is not a What but a How.

Creating is to experience God. Yesterday I participated, thanks
to Zoom, in a Writers’ Group where individuals bring their prose
and poetry to read and critique. For almost two hours the souls
of six people sat in the realm of Spirit. We created. We brought
the gifts of our own individual creativities, offered them
to each other, and in the process felt the joy, the emotions, and
the wonderful insights that come when we move beyond beliefs
and knowledge into the world of creativity. The Absolute was
present.

Creativity is not confined, though, to prose and poetry writing.
Creativity is in building or mending relationships, acts of
kindness, responses to human needs. Creativity is in doing.
Every day is an opportunity to experiencre the Absolute.

Even today.

Look For Light

18 Jun

“Where can I go from your spirit? Or, where can I flee from your presence?…If I say: Surely the darkness shall cover me and the light around me become night…you are there.”

It’s still dark at 4:30 a.m., but for many of us, darkness cannot tell time. If you are feeling the heaviness of dark skies in all that is swirling around us

look for light.

Make up your mind right now and stick to it. I will look for light. I will hold grim reality in one hand and genuine gratitude in the other. I will acknowledge one and allow the other to shape my day. Today, without fail, I will look for light.

Scattered Pieces

16 Jun

It feels like some of the pieces are missing. The countless days of Covid Confinement, the unending photos and descriptions of protest in the streets prompted by senseless cruelty, the charred mountain that glows in the dark night, political and economic uncertainty, and now our faithful companion Maggie’s unexpected death have caused the puzzle to shake so that pieces are scattered all over the place.

These things are real, very real, but they are not final. Each of us, at different times, carries a bucket full of crises and challenges. It’s heavy and tedious and tiring. And we would be thrown completely off balance if it were not for the counter balance of Presence. A bucket in one hand, the Spirit holding the other. The Spirit doesn’t lessen the load. The Spirit increases the capacity to cope, to climb, to confront, and ultimately to conquer.

Beloved community of faith, hold your heads up. We are inherently stronger than we think. The puzzle pieces all fit, even though they are now scattered. Keep walking. Carry the bucket in one hand and hold on tight with the other.

There is light ahead.

Collaboration

13 Jun

Did I tell you I’m reading a good book?

It’s one of the discussion books my church is going to use soon in a small group setting…Zoom, of course. It’s called Still Writing – The Perils and Pleasures of a Creative Life. Dani Shapiro wrote it.

This idea jumps off one of the pages. Today I am going to collaborate with God. Here’s what Shapiro writes. “Michelangelo saw a statue in every block of granite…the woodworker George Nakashima believed that when a true craftsman brought out the grain that had been imprisoned in the trunk of a tree he ‘found God within.’ I’ve long envied those artists who work with materials such as these…clay, marble, granite, wood…because I imagine the feeling is one of collaboration.”

So, today I’m going to intentionally co-labor-ate with God in some creative way. Don’t ask me how or when or where. It will just happen, I’m sure. Co-laboring with the Creator! Maybe even Co-Creating! I’ll supply the hands and feet. God will supply the motivation…Compassion.

Yes, I know. God will be in charge.

P.S. Why don’t you try it, too. We can compare collaborations.

Be Prayer

12 Jun

Be patient! Just a few more minutes. Very soon the glorious sun will leap into the sky from the shadowy gray mountain and the fullness of day will have arrived.

But for some of our friends and loved ones, our families, the dawn is another day of struggle. Greet this day with praise but also with prayer.

Two million sufferers with Covid19

More than 1 million Covid19 deaths

The impact of the virus on the economic welfare of millions. The courageous caregivers who risk their lives for ours. Hundreds of people forced to evacuate their homes because of the Bighorn fire in the Catalinas. And all the fire fighters struggling to save homes and property.

This morning pray for the courage and welfare of all. Then put your prayer into practice. What can I do? Food? Water? Shelter? May we all be the prayers we pray. People of The Way can do no other.

Creation’s Gift

11 Jun

Somewhere behind this saguaro cactus is the mountain, scarred by fire that sent animals fleeing, left the burned bones of stately trees and created one huge gasp of sorrow from those of us who daily watched the smoke rise.

But Nature has an elegant and tender way of responding. Thousands of saguaros in the valley now offer juicy buds and fruit to hungry birds, an annual gesture made more poignant now because of the ravages in the canyons and on the ridges.

Life will continue in spite of fire and smoke. But isn’t that the way it is in life? Creation’s redundancy and genereosity sustain us. A very good reason for human beings to protect the sacred nature of our planet home.