Posts made in October, 2009
…for the life and love of my new grandson. If you are reading this, you are a member of my family, and this child, yet to be born, will rely upon you also. Carry yourself and your faith, your sense of honor and your love of all that is known to you and all that is yet to be made clear, with you to the altar of prayers and thanksgiving…
Yes, even while my roof is leaking, I love the rain.
The sound of the rain – outside – brings me softly and quietly to the present moment. The sound slows my swirling thoughts and awakens a gratitude for the simple pleasures of warmth and comfort. The rain reminds me to stop doing and just be for a moment.
And the sound of the rain – inside – brings me running into the present moment. Nothing else matters until I attend to the drip, drop, drip from my ceiling to my floor. Nothing else matters. All deadlines and details and worries vanish, nothing else matters until I have cared for the immediate, demanding drip of my beloved rain. No time to curse, no time to blame or think or direct. I must act and do and strive, NOW.
Same rain, two ways to provide instruction for a willing student.Read More
I have two friends on my mind this morning. There is one that I have never met, but I know her and love her, nonetheless. And there is another that I have known for ever, it seems, but haven’t had in my life for a very long time and I am afraid that we don’t know each other any more.
In a more charismatic, perhaps mystical language, I might call it a “burden on my heart.” I love that language. It takes what is the elusive, illusive substance of God and finds words to convey a realness, a solidity of Godness that the more conservative, non-mystical side of me fears to express.
We can have constant conversation with God through thought, through prayer, but why is it that when it comes to God talking back we hesitate, we become uncertain and pull back from expressing an encounter in conversation with Him. Why is that so strange an idea?
Conversation has its problems, no doubt. There are misunderstandings, sometimes we aren’t listening well, sometimes we project our own needs and desires or prejudices into the meaning of another person’s words and the conversation becomes lost in a mire. Anne Lamott once said:
“You can safely assume you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out he hates all the same people you do.”
My long time friend, who I had lost touch with (a nice way to say that we parted ways because of a disagreement), wrote this in an email the other day:
“I know you are all ‘love everybody’ and be accepting and everything, but…”
When I read that I had to stop, sit back in my chair and ponder that for a moment. Really? I’m all “love everybody” and everything?? I wish! I mean, yes, I want to love my neighbor as myself and all that, but am I? Do I? No. No way. I fall short of that mark on a daily basis.
But what really worried me about what she said was that it sounded like her understanding of a Christian is that we think that we are holier than other people, we are better than other people. And, yes, I’ll admit that there are a LOT of “holier than thou” Christians walking around on this earth, but let me tell ya, Sistah, THEY AIN’T RIGHT!
I am just as broken and bloodied and beaten down and as hungry as anyone else. I’ve just found a place where I can have my wounds tended, where I can be lifted up, where I can be fed.
And it’s okay if you don’t believe in God, my friend, God believes in you.
Oh, and about my other friend. Her latest blog post just popped up. She’s focused, open and willing, and I’m loving her perspective. She is teaching me (and herself) about listening with the heart and eye as well as the ears. Hello, Beloved Friend.Read More
Sometimes, when we allow Disappointment and Despair to lead us, they lead us to God.
“The capacity for hope is the most significant fact of life. It provides human beings with a sense of destination and the energy to get started.” –Norman Cousins
And sometimes, even with Hope, our energy comes and goes—it is a normal condition in life. Some days we feel up, some days down. But until I started delving into the Psalms and into the poetry of mystics and saints, I didn’t know that it was normal to go through periods, even long periods, of despair, of hopelessness, of self-loss—normal for strong people, that is.
In my mind, depression was either a condition that needed to be medically treated with a Chill Pill, a biologically caused malady that you couldn’t control, no matter how strong a will or mind you might have. Or, if your depression wasn’t biological, then it was all in your head and it was a weakness and was something that could be cured with the use of some bootstraps and a pulley system.
I was so wrong.
Read the Psalm 102:1-7 and listen to the voice of despair:
Lord, hear my prayer, and let my cry come before you;
hide not your face from me in the day of my trouble.
Incline your ear to me;
when I call, make haste to answer me,
For my days drift away like smoke,
and my bones are hot as burning coals.
My heart is smitten like grass and withered,
so that I forget to eat my bread.
Because of the voice of my groaning
I am but skin and bones.
I have become like a vulture in the wilderness,
like an owl among the ruins.
I lie awake and groan;
I am like a sparrow, lonely on a house-top.
I cannot read those words without tears. My heart reaches out to my companion poet’s heart, my hand longs to hold his (or hers). Our heads to meet and our tears to mingle. My companion, the friend of my longing heart, how could I not have known you?
I don’t have anything wise to say; nothing pithy, nothing smart. I only have an apology.
If you have been sad and I have not walked with you, quietly, holding your hand, lending you my shoulder and needing yours in return—I am so sorry.
And if, in the future, you reach out and I answer your call impatiently—I am so sorry, my friend.
And for all those times when I have hated my own weakness and cried tears of self-loathing—I’m so sorry, Kim.
We are here to care for one another, that is how we see the face of God. We see the face of God in the face of those we lift up and hold close to our breast. We feel God’s presence crushed between our bodies when we embrace each other. We open ourselves to God’s gift of grace when we gift each other with soft spoken words of love and forgiveness. And when we have a servant’s heart, both to friend and to foe, we build a strengthening comfort that gives itself – as one lover gives to another – to everyone in our presence and all that are beyond our understanding.
I so love these simple words of the Persian poet, Hafiz:
[JUST SIT THERE RIGHT NOW]
sit there right now.
Don’t do a thing. Just rest.
separation from God
is the hardest work in this world.
Let me bring you trays of food and something
that you like to
You can use my soft words
as a cushion
Sometimes, when we allow Disappointment and Despair to lead us, they lead us to God. For without the darkness within, how do we come to know the Light that is also within?