Tag Archives: Peter

BREADCRUMBS: Humbled

Seriously! Teach for 30+ years, and I still get finger-shaking-nervous to read in a front of 1-3 years (1st to 3rd grade) at the Montessori school. It was like every 1st day of school all over again. I laughed for being humbled is never easy for me, and I know God is enjoying reminding me. For all things change – the more they stay the same.

That being said, I still have a “can-do” set of objectives in my head when I sit in a teacher’s chair. I can still spot the mischievous ones within a couple minutes and know their names by the 5 minute mark. I can still see the ones who really want to speak and just don’t know how. I can still get pretty much all of them to laugh, smile, and get excited about a book – a stuffed goat – a piece of plain white paper and a pencil.

Not bad for an old woman.

“But the conclusion is that you should all be in harmony; suffer with those who are suffering, love one another, be merciful and humble…”

Harmony…
Suffering/mourning…
Loving…
Mercy…
Humble…

Torah readings. Sermons. Letters. Over and over…from the beginning…these words have been repeated throughout the OT/NT. It doesn’t seem like a very hard list to live by – – – and yet – – – generation after generation still falter in their steps – stumble over the idols – weep over their broken dreams – and struggle with the choice –

to stand or not to stand.

“And you should not repay a person evil for evil, neither insults for insults; but to the contrary of these things, give blessings, for you are called to this, that you would inherit blessing.”~1 Pt 3:8-9

It is a beautiful evening outside even if it is a little chilly – okay – a lot chilly. Even snow bears don’t want to be out there (after all, if there is no snow to roll in what fun is it?). When I look at the stars tonight and see the universe that Stephen Hawkins wrote and taught about so often, I don’t think of it like he did. I tend to be overwhelmed at the vastness and awe-filled fear as I think of the linear time line of this small world. I think of all the generations that have come before me. 
Those who looked up.
Those who have faltered.
Those who have stumbled.
Those who have wept.
Those who have looked up with dust-filled mouths, skinned up knees and bloodied hands.

When I look up I remember the Genesis. I remember the WORD. I remember the songs and the prophets. I remember the covenants, and in faith – I reach for His staff, fallen by my side. Standing when the WORD offers its firmness under my feet. Thinking when His WORD clears the clutter and shines a light for the first step – for what is faith without action? That is the cool thing about thinking and praying; it always leads to new actions. Maybe salty actions that shake those traveling beside me, but humble actions inspired by the One who walked towards Jerusalem so long ago – who waits outside the door and knocks…

Harmony…
Suffering/mourning…
Loving…
Mercy…
Humble…

“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.

O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive, 
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, 
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Amen.”~Peace Prayer of St. Francis 

   [google images]

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A DAY’S JOURNEY

nepal-gegarYou just never know where a day’s journey will lead. Woke up with a praise song drifting around the corners of my mind. Listened to the rain splatter against the car windows as I drove to a local herb show in a nearby church basement. Didn’t buy much (which is a very good thing, seeing as payday is a week away). I was hoping they would have some hard-to-find treasures amid the usual, but it was pretty traditional fare. However, I did have fun losing myself in the smells of each plant and the overall presence of – albeit – temporary garden for a few minutes. And then – I wondered – what does it smell like after an earthquake?

Later, I happened upon a new consignment shop. Any store named for my April treasureschildhood “thinking” tree (Willow Tree Consignment & Gifts) has to be investigated, so I stopped. I found many treasures but three that really spoke to me…a chair for my desk, a carved, faded vase and an old clay crock. Useful things of days gone by – treasures that hold stories I’ll never know but can feel as I touch them – treasures that have survived for a few years on this chaotic sphere that we call home. And then – I wondered – how many old things remained to tell their stories in Nepal?

“All people are like grass,
and all their glory is like the flowers of the field;
the grass withers and the flowers fall…” 1 Pt 1:24

It is becoming harder and harder to watch the news, and even when I don’t watch, it manages to sneak up behind me and shake my world a little more. I think of the societies under attack – whether by terrorists or the terrors of nature – societies are suffering. Mothers, fathers, children, infants, elders, grandparents, families, strangers, visitors, missionaries, friends, enemies…none of those terms mean much in the face of tragedy. But Christ is much braver than I. He and His angels are there….were there…the entire time. Walking through the rubble… cradling the orphaned and hurt…escorting the 1000+ souls to their new homes…comforting the fearful. And, it is then I remembered…

“…the WORD of the Lord endures forever.” 1 Pt 1:25

The WORD came for times like these. The WORD became flesh for times such as these. The WORD suffered for times like these. The old words of a much older praise song rose to my the forefront of my mind as I was writing tonight. Its message just as true today as it was in the 1700’s. Solace for scared societies…hope for harried households…Grace for the gardeners who have lost sight of how to care for the garden.

“Our God, our help in ages past,
our hope for years to come,
our shelter from the stormy blast,
and our eternal home:”

pray for nepalWith each word I write, the verses seem to gain strength. It is no longer just the voice in my head, but that of an unseen choir members and parishioners – the orchestras – the conductors and ministers of those who sang this song centuries before I was born and will continue to sing it when I finally get to join them.

“A thousand ages in your sight
are like an evening gone,
short as the watch that ends the night
before the rising sun.”

For Nepal I pray, for Israel, for Coptic Christians, for the homeless, for veterans spit upon on a college campus, for those fighting insideous diseases, for those having fun on their prom night, for those that are drawing their first breaths upon this muddy ball, for those who do not see anything but darkness, for those who think You do not exist, for all Your children – in the name of Your Son, Christ Jesus – I pray – I sing – I whisper for found treasures buried in the rubble.

“Our God, our help in ages past,
our hope for years to come,
still be our guard while troubles last,
and our eternal home!” ~Issac Watts14604839-1429967338-640x360

 

The Resilient Soul

goodnightre·sil·ience
riˈzilyəns
noun
1.
the ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity.
“nylon is excellent in wearability and resilience”
2.
the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.
“the often remarkable resilience of so many British institutions”

Last night, just before I yawned through my last couple of words with Our Father, the word… “resilience”… darted in front of my eyes. I hate when He does that. The word danced around in my head, conjured up several images, thoughts, stories and completely destroyed the yawn complacency that had overtaken my mind.yawn

Really?

Now?

Sleep should never be disturbed by a word dancing around in your head. Worse – it has continued its merry romp between my neurons since then. My parents’ generation were certainly resilient. Growing up during the Great Depression, WWII, Korea, Civil Rights Movement, Vietnam, Riots…their middle name must of been “Resilient”. Then again – maybe that is the middle name for every generation.

Adam and Eve foreclosed/locked out of their home yet being resilient enough to build a new one together. David … Ruth… Jonah… Joseph… Mary Magdalene…Peter… The WORD is jammed packed with examples of resilience being displayed in God’s people.

“If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey my commands, I will send you rain in its season, and the ground will yield its crops and the trees their fruit.” — Leviticus 26:3–4

The literal translation of the first sentence is : “If you walk in MY decrees…” What a promise that is. If you follow the WORD, everything that follows will be blessings. Best yet…if you fall smack on your face…screw up in the worst way possible…God gave us our own version of resilience: GRACE.

Apparently, teaching God’s grace is intrinsic within our psyche because we teach our children to say “Sorry” when they break a window, break a heart, break a promise. . The neat thing is – when we trip and fall, we can do the same thing. All we have to do is whisper the same word…”sorry”, and Grace washes it away. While there are consequences to our choices, through it all – resilience takes over. We bounce back into shape. We recover from our difficulty, as we begin to walk in His decrees…

Rain and Sun work together to bless the fields we plant…seeds bloom…crops grow strong… trees bring forth fruit…and at the end of the day, our bodies tired and achy from a day’s work, we try to stifle that last yawn, and crack one eye open hoping that Our Father doesn’t toss another word at us that will keep us awake a little longer than we want to be.

I think I am definitely ready for that last yawn tonight.zzzz