Hope Stew

image of blessing baby

Simeon … was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him – Luke 2:25

Hope Stew –

  • Take 4 parts of deep devotion
  • Pour it into a base of quiet, faithful prayer
  • Stir in a heart that eagerly listens for the smallest urging
  • And, when the moment is right, add the confirmation of the spirit.

Yield –

  • A patient impatience that will sustain
  • A clear confirmation of God’s presence, revealed in the sleeping form of
    an infant resting in the arms of his mother;
    an infant whose father hovers close by
    an infant whose very presence brings the promise and gift of peace.

Me … I read the newspapers and let their false prophecies invade my soul with despair. Too easily I abandon the hope that it would take to recognize the spirit’s work and hear the whisper of promise. Without hope, my hands lie fallow, my heart sinks low.

It is my own recipe for inaction.

Forgive me, Holy One.
Wake my soul.
Bring your peace – to me and to the world.
May we trust your prophecies, rather than all the voices of manipulative fear.
Let us not lose hope.

[photo edited from ‘Grandma’s Touch‘ by Kolby per cc 2.0]
[This meditation was sparked in response to ‘Day 2’ in Forty Days with the Holy Spirit: Fresh Air for Every Day by Jack Levison.]

See also: Anna’s Blessing

the kiss upon my soul

the shadow of a kiss

 

Jesus’ breath in me is his kiss upon my soul. (Jack Levison)

 

There is a deep vulnerability required of true relationship. I hand you the keys to my heart, knowing that gift gives you the power to bring me low, but also knowing that only that kind of intimacy is the true seal of relationship. Otherwise, we are just playing in the foyer.

You, oh Jesus, maintained that vulnerability all the way to the cross, and then came back and offered yourself again, without reservation. You will not be deterred. Nothing can separate us. (Nothing? Not even my refusal to forgive others; to forgive myself? Will you love me, even through the barriers I create in self-deluded self-defense? I dare hope so.)

So – even when my mind gets me tangled, even when my heart feels cold, even when I just cannot hold on to the intellectual or emotional parts of my faith – even then, I can breathe. And you breathe within me, loving my soul, kissing my soul, till I come back to you. Till I come back to life.

This moment-by-moment intimacy – your breath coming into my lungs; my breath flowing out into the world – this exchange of life … what a miracle. I gratefully relish your kiss upon my soul. (And dare to hope, when breathing stops, to feel the kiss, the deep embrace, as you welcome my soul to its true home, in you.)

Thank you.
Thank you.
Thank you.

Amen.

[photo by Jeremy Vandel per cc 2.0]
[This meditation was sparked in response to ‘Day 6’ in Forty Days with the Holy Spirit: Fresh Air for Every Day by Jack Levison.]

there be dragons

dragonAs long as my breath is in me and the spirit of God is in my nostrils, my lips will not speak falsehood, and my tongue will not utter deceit. – Job 27: 3-4

 

‘Honesty is the bare-bones expression of faith.’ – Jack Levison

Honesty.

I admire an honest struggle. Even if the truth you bring to the struggle seems, to me, to be somewhat askew. None of us have a corner on the whole, untattered truth, anyway. But, if we come to the encounter all dressed up in pretense and pretext, we have not really come at all. Continue reading

‘I know you …’

walking togetherBe still and know …
Be still and know …

I know you …
You are the one who I knit together in your mother’s womb;
Who I have loved from your very beginning.
You are the one I have walked beside each day.
You are the one who (sometimes, when you think to do it) leans into my arms.

You are the one I have called
Into this moment, this day, this place.
You are the one I have gifted
With gifts matched to those of your peers
So that, together, we may love the world.

Be still a moment and know.
Know that I know you.
Know that you can know me;
That figuring it all out is not a prerequisite;
That trust is the first step in knowing.

Take my hand.
Walk with me.
It is in the walking that we will deepen our knowing.
We will make the path as we walk together,
And in the walking, you will know.

So … how can I be still while I am walking?

The stillness comes when you release the outcome into my hands.
The stillness comes when you know, fully know,
That you are not judged by what you do.
Judgment is reserved for the work. The better word is discretion; wisdom.
It’s not that anything goes … but that all is in my hands.

When you are still,
When your heart opens to my whisper,
Then you will know.
You are known.
You are loved, and held, and gifted.
And we are walking, together.

‘The Spirit is the durable presence of God from first breath to last.’ –  Jack Levison

[photo by Thomas Mues per cc 2.0]
[This meditation was sparked in response to ‘Day 4’ in Forty Days with the Holy Spirit: Fresh Air for Every Day by Jack Levison.]