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One More Thought

26 May

I just now looked back through the Archives of ShiningSpirit to the very first post, May 26, 2013. This nine-year experience began with a post called ‘Lean Toward The Light” and now, today, May 26, 2022, without any idea what I wrote years ago, I’m still captured by the idea of Light as Surrounding Presence. It’s a magnificent metaphor, but it is also our practical reality. Every new day is a Welcome The Light experience. No charge for the extra thought….

Welcome The Light

26 May
Welcome the Light. No matter what yesterday was like. Maybe yesterday was a wonderful day, or an average day, or a lousy day. It was yesterday and it’s gone. Let it go along with all the things you can’t fix, the anxieties, the “what ifs”. Think of Light as a new coat you put on today, or a flow of cleansing love that washes out all the corners and crevices. Look into the gentle morning Light and take confidence in its surrounding presence. Welcome the Light that shines out of the darkness. And darkness cannot overcome it. Or you.

Just Around The Corner

24 May
The way is narrow, obstacles are strewn here and there, the uphill pathway is so uneven. But do you know what’s around the corner and over the hill? When you make that last corner and step into the sun, do you know what you’ll see? Do you want to know? Shall I tell you, or would you like to discover it yourself? This is a path, so you know others have walked it. It can be done. It has been done. You’re next. Work your way around the obstacles, take small steps and go slowly. You can do it. In fact, you must. Listen to the birds sing along the way and feel the wind dancing with the tall trees. You are an essential part of this life canvas. This is your pathway.
Get up. Pick up your mat. Let’s go. That’s right: Let’s go together, and while we walk I’ll tell you about the surprise around the corner. Now, listen carefully….

Lovely Bird

22 May

An eternal question: Is that true? Are you telling me the truth? Are you genuine? Truth. Truth is the foundation of relationships and societies. We are led to believe by very ancient sources that truth is the foundation for life. And yet in our politics, in the market place we don’t mind bending the truth, or even telling the lie in order to make personal gain.

Isn’t that a lovely bird in the photo above? I just happened to be in the right place when he flew in. Yes, what a pose. And the colors are striking. It’s a very fine photo, if you ask me. In my yard? Well, no. I didn’t take it there. While walking in the neighborhood? Ahh, no. Okay…truth be told. I took a picture of my television screen. He’s a bird on TV. He’s a bogus bird and I have to tell you the truth. I could make up a story about how I captured this photo and I could give you all the details, but that wouldn’t be true, would it.

You and I are offered the opportunity almost every day tell that “little white lie”, the one that really doesn’t matter. But truth does matter. It matters a lot. I believe that Jesus became such a threat to the Jewish religious leaders and to the Roman government that they had to get rid of him. Jesus told the truth in the face of lies and when he named the lie for what it was, he became an intolerable threat. Speaking truth can be costly, but to deny truth is to create chaos.

I still say the little bird is brilliant, even if the photo is a phony. And that’s no lie.

Watching Water

15 May

What a lovely way to spend an afternoon. There is so much in our world that distracts us from the basic, the simple. Complexity confuses. What you see is one smart bird. He knows that sitting quietly on the stone fountain and watching the droplets of water fall, one by one, then in long silver strings, is relaxing, refreshing and renewing. Smart birds make time to watch the water fall. Then they can rise with Strength in their wings. Then they can fly. Smart birds know that, and they do it.

End Of The Road

9 May

It looks like the end of the road. No place to go. No options. But look carefully. Maybe there is a possibility. Maybe there is a turn that appears when we actually reach the apparent dead-end. Don’t throw in the towel too early. Stay alert. Sometimes it’s this way in a spiritual journey, too. When the obstacle looms large or the way seems dark, when old ways don’t make sense anymore and you long for a new word to feed a dry spirit, be alert to the unseen, the unexpected. A moment in time, a person, an event, a casual conversation and there it is! The road just turns, it doesn’t end. The journey continues! Did you see the sign? “New wine just ahead!”

A Transformed Symbol

6 May

It really wasn’t the stories and parables Jesus told that undermined the Roman Empire. Infuriated, maybe, but not undermined. And it wasn’t the miracles or healings. Those things got the Roman Emperor’s attention. But it was reported that other healers roamed the countryside. No, Jesus beat them at their own game. He disarmed the Empire’s greatest weapon. He brought power against power and his was stronger. The most terrifying instrument the Romans possessed was the cross, on which thousands of people lost their lives. These death instruments lined the Roman roads as a reminder to the average citizen to behave and do exactly as the Romans ordered. What better slap in the face than for Jesus to show the Romans how impotent they were, that their hold of terror had been broken. Jesus trusted himself and his God and he broke a Roman cross like a twig. He said that an alternative Kingdom existed, what he called The Kingdom of God, and he proved it. Life to death to life. Along the Via Dolorosa, up the hill, on the cross, in the tomb…and then the revealing of life in a way unimaginable. Resurrected life.

For the Romans, crosses were the end of the line. For Jesus, the cross was a vehicle to victory for a new way of being. He gave himself to a power greater than himself. And the world has never been the same since. Thanks be to God for life. We are people of a new Kingdom, but it doesn’t belong to the Romans.

Rest Well!

4 May

What a beautiful way to end the day! As darkness falls over the land and the setting sun splashes one more stroke of orange on the sky canvas, we look back over the hours and sort through all the events and experiences of the day. Kindness extended and received. A helping hand given. A word of encouragement spoken. It has been a good day. And what will tomorrow bring? Can we know?

Rest in the comfort of love tonight; abide in the Presence; trust that the darkness will give way once again to the light of morning and that your eyes will open to behold the glory.

Rest well.
Fear not.
Trust.
Tomorrow will come as a gift.

Beautiful Earth

30 Apr
For the beauty of the earth,
for the glory of the skies,
for the love which from our birth
over and around us lies,
Lord of all, to Thee we raise,
this, our hymn of grateful praise.

Folliott Sandford Pierpoint (1864)

Yes!

The Anchor Holds

28 Apr

Sound the bell slowly
there is no urgency
hurry and rush do not exist.

drink the cup deliberately
savor the richness that rises
from depths and intensity.

Life’s fabric is worn thin
once vibrant colors blend
run together into muted puddles.

the ship is buffeted by
inevitable winds, expected
but uninvited. Almost friends.

And through it all the anchor holds
steady and sure. It holds. A toast
to last things and first things.
Drain the glass.