not perfect

scrappy flowerIt started with very good
Not with perfect.

I started with very good
Not perfect.

That was the plan all along.
That is the gift of life.
Very good.
Not perfect.

Perfect needs nothing,
No one.
Perfect should not change
Else it is perfect no longer.

Good can grow.
It needs soil and sun.
It is not complete in isolation.
It needs relationship.

That’s what makes it very good.
It’s born with the holes
Where the stitches can go.
A necessary part of the whole.

That is very good.

[image cropped from photo by scrappy annie per cc 2.0]

the space between the words

whispered wisdomSometimes, in reading other’s words, a phrase rings so very true that it expands my soul and feeds my journey. For me, these are among the ‘thin places’ that the Celts acknowledged – places where the space between the mundane and the holy is whisper thin.

I hope they will brush your soul with grace, and, perhaps, stir us all to action, as well.

Here’s an addition to this collection, added 1/19/20:

““I’m talking about a strong, demanding love. For I have seen too much hate. I’ve seen too much hate on the faces of sheriffs in the South. I’ve seen hate on the faces of too many KlansmMLKingmemorial 3.jpgen and too many White Citizens Councilors in the South to want to hate, myself, because every time I see it, I know that it does something to their faces and their personalities, and I say to myself that hate is too great a burden to bear. I have decided to love.” – MLK, quoted in The Pause newsletter 1 19 20 by OnBeing. 

Matt Fitzgerald.png

“Let beauty be beauty, don’t worship it. Let your family be your family, don’t expect everything from them. Let work be work, don’t let it define you. Let our nation be our nation, not something to kill for.

Let life be what it is: a beautiful gift full of trouble, days of joy and contradiction, expiring in our hands. Life isn’t everything. We shouldn’t try to wring eternity from existence.”  – Matt Fitzgerald [as posted here]

Image of Franz Kafka

Art, like prayer, is a hand outstretched in the darkness, seeking for some touch of grace which will transform it into a hand that bestows gifts, Franz Kafka – [as quoted here by Maria Popova – photo by per cc 2.0]

Hannah BonnerTears were not weakness when falling from her eyes, they were what courage looks like when it takes a minute to breathe.” [Hannah Bonner-photo and quote used with permission]

Frederick Buechner

One of the blunders religious people are particularly fond of making is the attempt to be more spiritual than God.” – Frederick Buechner; photo by Carl Van Vechten [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons]

photo of Richard RohrJesus did not come to change the mind of God about humanity (it did not need changing)! Jesus came to change the mind of humanity about God.” – Richard Rohr – [Image cropped from photo by Festival of Faiths per cc 2.0]

[From time to time I will add to this collection, placing the new phrase at the top of the list.]  [photo at the top of the post by Pearl Pirie per cc 2.0]

a quiet life

the shadow of a leaf

How blessed I am to live a quiet life
To feel the brush of eternity in clay
To know your smile
To seek your heart
To leave a whisper of that joy
In the ears of the world.

My call reflects both my essence and yours.
How beautiful.
How grateful.
How full of grace
That we could dance together now
And evermore.

[photo by Sam Cox per cc 2.0]

a good day

blissful dance

A good day
Is one in which you dance the dance you were born to,
And hear your own heart cheerfully applaud
Even as the world sighs with deep gratitude
And the Holy One nods and winks in your direction.

It is a gift to give your gift.

 

[photo by John Getchel per cc 2.0]

[Kudos to On Being’s newsletter – The Pause – for the reminder about what makes a good day.]

Fierce beauty

two friends embraceThere is a beauty so fierce
That it cannot be hidden.
Neither wrinkles nor scars
Can mask its magnificence.

It flashes out from eyes alive with joy
And exudes peace even as it struggles.
For there are those who are anointed
With the touch of the divine.

That touch, in turn,
Flows from their fingers
And whispers from their lips
Dusting the world around them with grace.

This is a beauty that expands with time.
Familiarity breeds … amazement,
For its kindness is ever deeper, ever true.
Its very constancy adds to its glow.

The glory of a sunrise,
Even on the highest summit
Cannot match the beauty
Of a fiercely loving friend.

[photo by Mike per cc 2.0]

The Book of Life

Book of LifeThe true book of life
Is not just a list of names
It is a wealth of stories –
Yours and mine.

And each day, we have the chance
To write another episode,
Enriching heaven’s dance,
Which has already begun.

I want to learn to dance with you
To lean my ear upon your chest
And feel the beat of life
To feel your rhythms in the very heart of me.

Even my self-conscious, awkward moves
Are not enough to stop the music.
It is all a part of the undeniable narrative of love
Danced out, within your arms.

[photo by Jo Naylor per cc 2.0]

prayerful imagination

angel

Sometimes, when words won’t do,
My imagination opens the way for prayer.
And so I pray for my friend,
That You will comfort her with your Spirit,
That You will cloak her in your grace
And bring healing.

 

 

Here is the prayer of my imagination:

I see my friend lying in her bed, with labored breathing and discomfort in her soul.  And then I see them: around the bed, a circle of angels is holding hands with one another.  They stand so close that their wings touch each other and form a wall, a curtain around the bed.

One angel begins to sing, softly. Her tones are just barely audible.  The tune, a soothing melody of hope and love, begins to flow from one angel to the other across the circle and around it until it is almost as if they have woven a canopy of song above her bed.  They continue their singing and the canopy grows more substantial, revealing intricate patterns of color and light, of texture and depth.

At a signal from one of the angels, they all soften and lower their voices and the canopy itself is lowered until it covers my friend like a blanket.  The touch of it seems to ease her breathing and soften some of the lines upon her face. She sighs in momentary respite from her pain.

They continue their melody and the blanket enfolds her more closely and then begins to melt into her very frame.  Its melody makes its way into her flesh, into her weary body and brings hope and peace. They sing until all of the blanket has dissolved in this way; all of its healing strength is now within her.

Then a single angel smiles at the others in thanks and they leave. All but that one angel. She takes her position at the head of the bed, watching my friend, holding her steady. She will remain.

Amen

[photo by Bernard Healy per cc 2.0]

what if

a friend's embraceWhat if, perhaps,
My arms, today,
Were meant to bring
God’s dear embrace
to you?

What if my smile
Was meant to show you
Just how much
Your life
Has blessed my own?

What if our lives
Could quietly reflect
God’s very being,
In this moment,
In this place?

What if?

[photo by Archigeek per cc 2.0]

an imagined choice

candle lightI woke this morning with the vestiges of a troubled dream still roiling my soul. It remained, not so much in my memory as in my emotions. It was unsettling, and threatened to take me to a dark place. Suddenly, I could understand the idea of omens and evil spirits. I could feel the power of the imagination.

Nothing about the physical world around me was different. The sheets, tousled upon my bed, the blanket tossed aside, the taste of my morning coffee, were all as they had been yesterday and the day before. But my heart was troubled.

And now I faced a choice. I could let the dream take my imagination, or I could let my imagination take the dream. That idea … that different tone … started as a small point of light in the center of my soul.

Like a candle in the night, it flickered there, faltering, fragile in the darkness. But I cupped my hands around it and focused my attention there. Small as it was, it warmed my hands. That warmth traveled up my arms and found my heart. It began to expand within me until I found that I could breath again.

I took a deep, full breath and shook my head, and shook my soul. It broke the spell of foreboding. I listened to the chimes outside my window and the quiet breathing of my husband, there beside me. A sense of gratitude began to rise within me, just as the night began to fade to day.

Not all evil is imaginary, but sometimes imaginary evil can threaten to steal your soul. And sometimes even the evil that is real grows stronger through imagination. Even then, sometimes, you can choose to see the light, and welcome it with gratitude.

You cannot really hold the light. But sometimes you can choose to let it hold you.

May you find the light, today.
May it hold you in its warmth.
May you learn to choose hope, when you can.
And find room to be grateful,
Even now.

 

[this image was placed in the public domain by Noubi noubi]

 

Now

resurrection

He is risen!

Now … we can rise, as well.
To life
To love
To joyful celebration.

Why wait?
Eternal life starts now.

“The risen Christ is the standing icon of humanity in its full and final destiny. He is the pledge and guarantee of what God will do with all our crucifixions.” – Richard Rohr

[image cropped from photo by lady habib per cc 2.0]