For the redemption of my days
For the times when my fumbling attempts at kindness
Hold a tiny hint of true grace
And the words that stumble from my lips
It is God’s warmth,
But my lips.
I am grateful for the gift of connection
That comes from such an offering:
Connection with my friend
And the connection of us both
With the love-beat of the universe.
This small offering
Is but one thread in the great tapestry.
But it is one thread
And the full tapestry is made of threads
[photo by marc falardeau per cc 2.0]
When you sit
With your hands open in your lap
You can manage
To open your mind
You will begin to see beyond
You have accepted
And if you are quiet
For just a bit longer
Your heart will open, too
And you will find
That there are no boundaries
It will find you
And fill you
You will be full.
You cannot hold it all.
You will overflow.
Love is like that.
[photo by Molly per cc 2.0]
The wind chimes
Hang outside my window
And when the breeze is low
I can barely hear them.
My ears are deaf
But my heart is held
By their quiet, soft, round tone.
They melt into that hollow.
Before the world begins its clamor
And the responsibilities click in place
I am held by unspoken beauty.
Even at noon
When the wind is still
And the chimes hang limp
The beauty of hope remains.
And in the evening
When the cool and breeze return
My heart is reminded.
I find I am held, still.
May you hold your own heart gently
As you make it through this day.
Sometimes it is enough
Just to breathe, just to wait.
Words, even tears, are not required.
Those hollow places are sacred,
Holding room for the grace
That quietly surrounds you.
[drawing by Bill Rogers per cc 2.0]
The hall of mirrors where I wander
Gives reflections of the broader world.
Yet, those reflections are often distorted
By my own attempt to fit them in a too-small frame.
Still, despite distortion,
There are truths that can be seen.
Whether stretched or compressed,
My hair is still turning gray.
My eyes still look back at me,
No matter how quickly I look away.
There is no way to look in the mirror
Without looking back at myself
I need other eyes
To catch another angle;
To expand the frame.
Can you help me out?
What can we see together?
I think we are both stuck in this fun house, anyway.
[photo by Lauren Coolman per cc 2.0]
The way down is the way up. – Richard Rohr
I don’t want to follow you on the way down.
I don’t want illness, weakness, failure, or sadness.
And I don’t think that you want me to want such things …
The goal for my soul is not mortification, any more than it is glorification.
The goal is you.
The trick seems to be that the elements of pleasure –
Fullness, satisfaction, acclaim, power, capacity –
Feel so good, that they quickly divert my desire.
‘The pursuit of happiness,’ is a siren song.
It is like sugar for my soul – empty calories that leave me wanting more.
On the other hand, loss is not a distraction for my desire.
Instead, the experience of loss drives me closer to you.
It is at those moments when my soul desperately cries out for you.
So, I must admit that there may be something to Rohr’s contention
That the way up is down.
The Via Dolorosa, the path of sorrows, is not to be sought,
But neither is it to be avoided at all costs,
Especially since even ‘all costs’ will not keep it away.
Even Jesus did not choose suffering
What he chose was to give himself to God.
[photo by Racineur per cc 2.0]
You think you are better than me.
Of course, you are not.
But that does not make me better than you, either.
We are one.
That must make you uncomfortable.
It certainly makes me squirm.
Amazingly, that oneness doesn’t make us the same, either.
The mystery is that we are both uniquely a part
Of the universal One.
Like the left hand and the right,
Like the ear and the eye,
Our difference is a gift to the whole.
Indeed, it is that difference that makes it whole.
Until I put away my need to be complete on my own,
I will always be incomplete.
(Why is that always such a surprise?)
[image modified from a photo by Luc Blain per cc 2.0]
[I send apologies to my English teacher friends, lest you think you are better than I (am). Of course, as friends, you would never think that. I just needed to follow the voice of the small child who still runs around on the playground in my head.]