bottles recycled into flowersYou are, indeed, the great recycler. Not necessarily a moniker I should embrace for You in times of meditation. It seems a bit … well … too close to ‘sanitation engineer.’ But then, I need some cleaning up. My life becomes so easily cluttered and stained. My closet is too full of things I have laid aside in haste, thinking that I’ll sort them out later.

So often my life seems to wind its way along with muddle in its wake.

But nothing is wasted for You: no breath, no hope, nor hurt, nor sadness. You have the time to hold them all until they find their resolution in Your arms. It is in You that life comes full circle – that wholeness becomes whole; that all is redeemed, reclaimed, renewed. No atom is lost, but finds its way to a new home, a new bond, a new purpose, a new joy.

You take the hidden rhythms of chaos and fold them into wonder.

I breathe in the exhalation of the trees and smile in grateful abandon, releasing myself to this same eternal rhythm. I have no choice, of course. But I like to participate, as best I can, anyway. Maybe that simple smile along the way is how I join the dance.

[photo by Angélica Portales per cc 2.0 – made from PET soda bottles]

a robust spirituality

a sturdy flowerA robust spirituality is one that:

  • Holds on to integrity; knowing that honesty is the only path to the true heart of things.
  • Finds the opportunities for gratitude, even within pain and sorrow.
  • Greets the world with an open and generous heart, in sheer delight at the interconnectedness of all that is.
  • Uses self-awareness as the seedbed of empathy; the first hint of what it means to be a part of a world filled with the richness of emotion and held together with the power of love.
  • Honors the self and others equally, recognizing each as a gift in the great exchange that is life.

Friends who demonstrate this robust spirituality – regardless of how they define belief or non-belief – keep me grounded and full of hope. They are not dependent on any particular future. Instead, they they have learned to treasure the now. Their very breath – the movement of the spirit of life within them – sustains each precious moment.

[photo by Joy per cc 2.0]


A Christmas Blessing

Christmas angelMay the wonder of the stable find its way into your heart.
May the dark night burst with a song of joy.
May true light guide you to that place where hope is born.
May wise ones bring their gifts to support you in the challenges you face.

May you know – deeply know – that the Holy One has come;
That you, too, are swaddled in eternal, irrevocable love;
That the birth of the savior is more than a long-ago story;
That the miracle of Christmas is here.

Is now,
Is in you,
Is in us all,
And it will not be stopped.

[photo by John per cc 2.0]

Dance On

stone floorToo much, too much. Too much work, too little wonder. Too much frustration, not enough desire. Too many chores, not enough creativity. Too much dread, not enough delight.

Where, oh Lord, is the touch of your love, which sparks life from the process of living and calls hope from the mundane? Where, oh Lord, is the breath of your presence? Come to me, I pray. Live in me this day, and help me, help me to be. Continue reading

The Tragedy of Tragedy

tragedy's maskWhen tragedy occurs, it seems we must hurry to find someone or something to blame, removing our own guilt and complicity, our responsibility for response, by pointing outside ourselves. What else are we to do with our anger and fear, but place it at a safe distance?

Unfortunately, and all too often, othering is what created the space for tragedy, in the first place –  or, at least, what placed the most vulnerable where they will take the brunt of the impact.

Can we learn to respond first with compassion? Can we learn, when we must blame, to blame the othering, and not the other? Can we learn to see – within our very selves – both the victim and the perpetrator, as scary and disgusting as that may be?

Oh, Holy One, help us to learn to love all ‘others’ as ourselves – as, indeed, they are.

[photo by Isabelle per cc 2.0]


You coming?

fresh strawI’ve got the straw ready in the manger.
I’ve mucked the stalls and moved the donkey to the back corner.
I’ve done my best to hide the mess of my life.
Why won’t you come, already?

I sit at the entrance to the stable-cave.
I look out at the night, at the stars.
I listen to the quiet of the town.
I push the noise of my own heart to the side.

And then the donkey brays.
His raucous voice invades the night.
He graces the stable with a fuming pile of crap.
Isn’t that the way it goes?

I think I’ve fixed it all, but it won’t stay fixed.
I’ve plotted and planned and futzed.
But the mess won’t go away.
Life is just that way.

And isn’t that the message of the manger?
It wasn’t pristine straw.
It wasn’t picturesque.
It was the middle of life as it happens.

Yet you came.

As a mother I should remember
That there is no control in pregnancy.
It doesn’t come when you want or wait till you are ready.
I should learn Mary’s lesson, and rejoice.

I don’t know how your gift can be accomplished.
After all, I am just me.
But I’ll trust your word and give you what I can.
And let you do the rest.

And you do.
Thank God.
You do.

[photo by SuSanA Secretariat per cc 2.0]

The nest of friendship

sharing wine

Once again, I entered that warm space of wonder last night,
Where friends connect in deep appreciation of each other,
Where we get to celebrate the way our connections interweave time and space
And, more deeply, where we weave a nest of grace.

Marvelous food helps. Wine helps.
But the real intoxication is deep regard for each other
And the hope, the assurance, the energy that rises in that context
It is friendship in a state of flow.

I wake this morning in gratitude for the feast of friendship shared.

[photo by Steve Corey per cc 2.0]

[Thanks, especially, to Jean, Jane and Diana]

gift of words

pool reflecting the sky

Just as the pool cannot reflect the full sky, just as the rocks that sit at the bottom of the pool may distort the image, my words are shaped by who I am, but they are also yours. You seem to actually enjoy the fact that we do this together. You seem to delight in sharing the act of creation. Part of your creative gift is the gift of creativity, itself – you placed the seed within itself.

I delight in it, as well. I love to play with you and with my friends, to feel your compassion rise in my heart and see the words form in my soul. I love to watch you enter the space between us, among us, when we are all in conversation.

The creation that happens in the whispered space where souls connect – is beautiful; is full of grace; is full of you. It fills us all and more; shaping our souls to the contours of your very self.

Ah, this is your kiss upon this day.
This is your symphony within my heart.
This is your confident hope for the world to come.

This is your kingdom.
Come. On earth.
As it is in heaven. As it is heaven.

choosing a future

metal boxMy fingers are cold; my whole being is cold. The warmth of my own blood has retreated deep within me and I so I sit, cuddled up beneath the oak tree at the top of the meadow. My blood runs slowly through my veins, sluggish. It doesn’t want to venture out to bring life to my limbs. I huddle down, and try to draw warmth from myself, but there is none to draw. I feel tired. Sleep beacons me, calling to me to retreat from my day before it has even begun. Continue reading

where faith runs free

believe written on a stone

He did not work many mighty deeds there because of their lack of faith. 

What would you do, oh Holy One, if we would but believe?

I would stir the wonder of the world and awaken hope.
I would make your time a blessing
And call you to play with me in a joyous dance of recreating love.

I would feed the starving child and cuddle up the lonely.
I would give comfort to those who grieve and dissolve the bonds of the fearful.
I would make room, in every heart, to bear the gift of life’s communion.

I would make your imagination a gift for all,
And extend the vision of my immanent love into the crevices of every life
So that all my people could feel my breath within their lungs
And the heartbeat of my compassion in their deepest soul.
I would touch their hearts with the finger of your words to stir up a living faith.

Oh, Holy One. Is this really so?

It is.

Then, help us have faith . . .
in you,
in you in us,
in us in you.



[photo by *BlueMoon per cc 2.0]