Jun 10, 2012

Time Filled With Quiet

Busy hands,
working over simple tasks,
leads to time filled with quiet meditation
and musing over God's ways.

It's a still day.
I've spent several hours creating notes of encouragement for the women who will attend Christian retreats this summer. These are three day weekends that will serve 40 or so women; those who are pilgrims and those who will serve as facilitators of the retreat. It is part of retreat tradition to shower the participants with scriptural reminders of God's love. Many volunteers muster their talents to create and donate dozens and dozens of these mementos of love. 
As I work through the process of selecting a verse from scripture, envisioning the design of the item, and assembling forty of each one; their is an internal conversation with the Lord about what the recipients might need. As the printing is designed I muse, "Where should the font be highlighted for HIS best meaning?" 

As the pieces are assembled I ponder how the selected scripture will nurture the many different circumstances that the recipients process in the course of their retreat. The burdens that will be laid down, the wounds that will begin healing, the call to service that will be clarified, and so on.  

I wonder if the memento will perhaps, be shared, passed on to someone else because women encourage each other that way. "Here, I thought of you. You need this hanging on your fridge to remind of God's care." or "This touched my heart and I knew it would have sacred meaning for you too." The hours melt away. 

By the time I turn the finished work over to those who will carry it into the hands of women seeking a deeper understanding of God, I sense deeply that God has already been invited to guide the message that each woman will receive.  

Take a bit of time to visit the communities over at Holy Experience and STILL SATURDAY.

Jun 4, 2012

Wizened Attitudes Learn Anew

He is a very young pastor, an animated storyteller, and a longtime fan of Super Heroes. With this in mind, I approached the sermon series that he led on this topic with an indulgent attitude. An attitude of “I’m old enough to be your mother” and “I’m many decades past this interest” kind of indulgence. 
Over the three weeks of sermons I’ve laughed deep chest laughter during his telling of Super Hero lore. I have. More to the point, my generational ‘wait and see’ attitude has been impressed.  The teaching points have been solid and they’ve touched deep cords of my soul’s need. 
This young pastor suggests that humanity’s fascination with the legend of a Super Hero is likened to what we think we want God to be; accessible on demand, super powered, and avenging. Yes, we would like that. However, that would likely also be a hero inclined to grandeur, narcissism, and anger.
Our Lord Jesus embodied very different attributes. Our Lord teaches the value of very different characteristics.  Our God wants us to be loving, self sacrificing, humble and to wait on His timing. He wants to be in touch with us moment by moment in praise and prayer; not just in our hour of need. Our Lord pursues forgiveness and restoration before vengence. 

You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the Lord. 
Lev. 19:18 NIV

Yes, the young pastor caught the attention of my wizened attitudes. So I sat up straighter and let the Lord wash these reminders across my heart.