Christians are the proof of Easter

caring handsChristians are the proof of Easter,
Much more than the empty tomb.
It’s not so much where Christ is not …
It’s where Christ is.

It’s where His body is, today.
And what He’s doing in the world
With our hands and feet and voice …
Which are, of course, now His.

(Ok, so I have to say I find this pretty intimidating.)

[photo by Randen Pederson per cc2.0]
[This saying, ‘Christians are the proof of Easter’ comes from a third grader in a Sunday school class I taught some 40 years ago, when I asked the class, ‘What do you think was the proof of the resurrection?’ and he answered, with excitement, ‘Christians!’]
[St. Theresa of Avila gives us the quote that Christ has no hands but ours.]

Resurrection of hope

sunrise

These words, whispered in my ear this morning:

Do you see, my little one,
The ribbon of red along the horizon?
Do you feel the rush of mystery,
Touched by the fingers of the sun as it rises?

Do you not know, deep in your soul, that my love for you
Is too deep for hope to be forever lost?
Take heart. Take my heart.
My hope for you will not stay in the tomb.
My hope for this world cannot be contained.
There is no crucible from which it cannot rise.

The depth of pain,
The nails of hate,
Even the denial of friends
Cannot hold the folds of darkness so firmly
That they refuse the new day,
Which is rising, even now.

And so, here is my blessing for you, this Easter morning:

May you rise from the many deaths you have encountered, strong and full and free
For this is the path I have opened for you.
My you hold my light of hope for the world to see.
May your fingers join the sun in searching out the mystery.
May you grasp hope as your talisman, as the abiding assurance of my love
That each day, each day, reaches out to you from the far horizon.

It is time for a resurrection.

Take it into your heart,
That I might live in you
That you might live in this world
And live it into resurrection, too.

[edited from photo by Sean MacEntee per cc 2.0]
[see also DONE! and Done]

Irrigating Prayer

cracked earth
Prayer irrigates the earth and heart
– St. Francis / Love Poems from God – Daniel Ladinski

 

How does prayer water my soul?
How can it soften the cracks that have yawned so wide?
How can it fill those holes in me that echo with despair?

What part of the whole am I?
What is diminished when I turn away?
What holes do I leave in that leaving?

When will I learn to listen to your voice?
When will I open to your presence?
When will you come?

Where is the quiet space that lets life blossom?
Where are the thin places in my life, in my soul,
Where I can find you, if I’ll seek, knock, ask?

Why does my prayer sound echoes in my soul?
Why can I not connect to your grace and fullness?

Why won’t you answer me, this morning?

Does prayer answer my questions, or, in acknowledging them,
Do I open myself to the rain of your grace?
Can you sneak up behind me and catch me with a hug?

I so need your embrace, and with my prayer, this morning,
I embrace my need as the very opening that makes the space for you;
The crack in my soul where you can enter.

Will you enter?

[photo by Anjan Chatterjee per cc 2.0]

 

magnificent heart

spring flowers

 

We are silly little creatures.
Why would you concern yourself with us?
Why turn your magnificent heart toward such tiny trinkets?

 

It’s not the pull of the trinkets.
It’s the nature of your magnificent heart
To touch the soul of each little thing
And bring it to
Its full and glorious self.

Life calls to life.
Love calls to love.
Beauty calls to beauty.
You call to me.

[photo by Mike Bizeau from his wonderful photo blog, Nature has no Boss, used with permission]

for Larry, now

Larry's tree at sunriseA sigh at the heart of the universe;
A goodbye to a good friend.
And, for you, my friend, an unexpected hello
On the other side.
And then …
Another sigh,
One of sweet surrender into joy
And into a brother’s arms.

This is my hope for you.
Not because a life of love is not enough,
But because I wish you more.
I wish us all more when our turn comes,
And your wry smile awaits our welcome.

[photo of Larry’s tree – from Facebook]

learning obedience

following formObedience is not the actions you take – though action is taken.
Obedience is not subjugation – though a changing of the will is accomplished.
Obedience is not a precondition of love – instead, love is the precondition for true obedience.

Until your heart is full of love, the actions that mimic obedience are merely practice shots at the goal. Obligation has no role, except as the schoolmaster, the prefect, helping to show you the pattern. Only when the heart is transformed is it true obedience – flowing out of love, in love, to love. Then obedience becomes joy and what you obey is really just your own heart’s desire to love in return.

[photo by ruben alexander per cc 2.0]

fidgety soul

sleeping childIt seems I am continually befuddled.
I question myself and I question my questions.
I gaze at my navel and I wander around the corners of my mind.
And it seems I go nowhere.

So …
I am thankful that the world is not held together by my understanding.
I am glad that the mystery of love is actually … a mystery.
I am grateful that my fidgeting soul, like a small and restless child, can be held
And held, and held,
Until I can fight no more
And I put my head upon your shoulder
And sleep.

[photo by FUMIGRAPHIK-Photographist per cc 2.0]