“We look at life from the back side of the tapestry. And most of the time, what we see is loose threads, tangled knots and the like. But occasionally, God’s light shines through the tapestry, and we get a glimpse of the larger design with God weaving together the darks and lights of existence.” John Piper
Worthy. Beloved. Connected.
We belong to each other and forget it daily.
Invite, welcome, embrace.
Self and other.
You belong and everyone else does too.
A smile, a please, a thank you, conversation, looking, listening, understanding.
A tapestry of love.
“Blessed are you playing the stories of who you are through your mind like a filmstrip.
Where you got your laugh or love of music or those terrible navigation skills.
You who can pinpoint yourself on a family tree.
You who know exactly WHOSE you are.
And blessed are you when you don’t belong.
When you can’t explain exactly how you ended up here,
Outside of what was acceptable.
But longing to fit in nonetheless.
Blessed are you in the alienation and the fear,
The “where will I find my people”
The confusion or anger or the still-wounded from unbelonging.
May you feel your own worthiness.
May you feel your own belovedness.
May you find yourself wrapped in a story larger than the one you can trace.
A story of love and hope and courage
A story truer than the one you’ve been told.
Blessed are all of us here, in this family of God.”
“Divine reality is not way up in the sky somewhere; it is readily available in the encounters of everyday life, which make hash of my illusions that I can control the ways God comes to me.” – Barbara Brown Taylor
“Every human interaction offers you the chance to make things better or to make things worse.”— Barbara Brown Taylor
In each interaction today with friend, foe or stranger, make things better.
Put aside judgment, quick conclusions, being “right” about everything.
Open to the possibility, abundance and light that is borne of love.
Spring yourself and others from the prison of your limited thoughts and unforgiving ways.
Freedom to be human and allow others to be as well.
Our best selves to heal, bind, unite.
Kindness, generosity, love.
Unwarranted, unearned, undeserved.
No strings attached.
Hard necessary work.
“The hardest spiritual work in the world is to love the neighbor as the self – to encounter another human being not as someone you can use, change, fix, help, save, enroll, convince or control, but simply as someone who can spring you from the prison of yourself, if you will allow it.”— Barbara Brown Taylor
“We do not think ourselves into new ways of living, we live ourselves into new ways of thinking.”― Richard Rohr
“Most of us were taught that God would love us if and when we change. In fact, God loves you so that you can change. What empowers change, what makes you desirous of change is the experience of love. It is that inherent experience of love that becomes the engine of change.”― Richard Rohr
May you experience love today, offering it freely without expectation.
The act stirs the power of love which always returns to the giver.
Change of thought, word and action.
Entering the river, the flow of life.
Grateful for this day.
Make some space for allowing amidst the pursuit.
Be found, especially by yourself.
You must plant to bloom.
“Faith does not need to push the river because faith is able to trust that there is a river. The river is flowing. We are in it.”― Richard Rohr
“May my soul bloom in love for all existence.” – Rudolf Steiner
“Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.” – Lao Tzu
Learn a second language.
Use it daily.
Master it through practice.
From me to we.
Plant it wherever you go without reserve or account.
Cast light daily and it shines back on you.
Circular, encompassing, full bloom.
“I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” – Matthew 25:35
“Do you realize what I have done for you? You call me ‘teacher’ and ‘master,’ and rightly so for indeed I am. If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another’s feet. I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should do also do’” – John 13:12-15
From the Last Supper, to the denial of the denials to come, to betrayal, to washing of feet, to the Garden of Gethsemane, awaiting for the suffering to begin, Jesus models the way for us.
Who wants to take that journey? To take up crosses, none like the Cross, but burdens the same. To wash feet of others. To love amidst hate and fear. A journey to run from, avoid, look for a short cut. There’s got to be another way. And yet, this is the only way. We do not go alone. He has gone before and carries our crosses for us if we allow right in this very moment, in the past and in the future.
When all of the other paths and models we follow lead to dead ends, again and again, return to this place to rest in love. That’s the story of the Cross. Love that transcends and transforms.
“From a little spark may burst a flame.” – Dante Alighieri
“All thoughts, all passions, all delights Whatever stirs this mortal frame All are but ministers of Love And feed His sacred flame.” – Samuel Taylor Coleridge
When your light within is dim or distinguished, do not go into mere acceptance of the inevitable. Fight. Rekindle and spark the flame. The world will not reignite your internal light so stop going to that dry well. Feed, foster and fan your internal flame to go from darkness to light.
Quiet reflection, prayer, reading, trust, hope, optimism, empathy, compassion, gratitude, joy, generosity are fire-starters. Take an active role in your thoughts and actions and do not succumb to worry, consternation, complaint, fear, judgment.
Choose love, especially when it doesn’t make sense. Starting with yourself first and then moving into the world. Reignite your light so you can cast it into the world which is in desperate need of it right now.
“In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.” – Albert Schweitzer
“You may write me down in history with your bitter, twisted lines. You may trod me in the very dirt, but still, like dust, I’ll rise.” – Maya Angelou
“Love is like a virus. It can happen to anybody at any time.” – Maya Angelou
May we all be blessed enough to catch the virus of love. To never succumb to the darkness. To seize the light and ensure that we cast the light broad and deep to cultivate hope, joy and peace. That is the only worthy thing to cling to, to aspire to, to work for. Be kind. Change hearts, change the world.
“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.” – Maya Angelou
“In a time when nothing is more certain than change, the commitment of two people to one another has become difficult and rare. Yet, by its scarcity, the beauty and value of this exchange have only been enhanced.” – Robert Sexton
53 years ago today, my parents were married. They are a model of love and commitment through 12 years of night school while working full time to get a college degree, raising three (pretty awesome) kids, three (pretty awesome) grandchildren, two knee replacements, a broken hip, cancer, and daily challenges of life.
Some of the many lessons that I’ve learned from them include:
Faith will get you through everytime;
The value of hard work;
Don’t take the gifts you’ve been given for granted;
The importance of laughter;
Discipline produces results;
The satisfaction from giving your all, regardless of the results;
Ask for forgiveness and mean it;
There’s nothing better than a good polka;
Respect others and yourself;
Pay your bills on time and don’t get over your head in debt;
Life isn’t fair, so what, do what you can with what you have without complaint;
You can be both family and friends;
Give without counting;
Character is more important than personality;
Life is short, so appreciate each day.
They’ve taught these lessons not in words but in living them everyday. Thanks Mom and Dad for the many gifts, blessings and lessons. Happy Anniversary.
Dinner with friends
Washing their feet to model service and love
Betrayed by a kiss
Denied three times by His best friend
Alienation, rejection, desertion
Excrutiating, indescribable, painful, slow death
In our struggles, crosses, pain, we are never alone. Never.