Apr 28, 2013

The Bounty of the Lord: Gratitude

“Come, though font of every blessing,
tune my heart to sing thy grace;
streams of mercy, never ceasing,
call for songs of loudest praise.”
Quiet, deep attention these recent days. 

Quiet attention to God's streaming grace 
across the decades. 

Quiet attention as I walk, 
as I remember, as I bow.

Blessings past and present, 
so abundant every year. 

These, lifted in humble praise 
on the eve of the 60th birthday:

Tears in remembrance of God’s moments of powerful presence
Husbands joy as oncologists reports good health, hands held in shared prayer
Daughter’s shared gaze over the heads of beautiful grandsons
Toddler grandson’s volunteered hugs
Husband’s constant goodness
Father’s aging voice still placing long distance calls
Gratitude for those sent by the Lord to inspire and encourage my faith
Parents, family; the legacy
Health granted across these many decades

Amen, amen.

Apr 21, 2013

Seek the Lord

“I sought the Lord,
 and He answered me;
He delivered me from
all my fears.”
Psalm 34:4

“God is here in our resilience.”
Rev. Liz Walker of Roxbury Presbyterian Church
giving the Opening prayer at 
Boston’s Interfaith Healing Service
April, 2013

All week, the nation reels.
First as Boston’s race ends, with shock and then outrage,
millions watch as bystanders cut down on city sidewalks.
Mere days later, another explosion 
rips the heart from a small Texas town.
The faithful bend knees, bow heads, 
meet palms, whisper prayers, 
turning to the Lord God of all to redeem these, 
the newest wounds to body and soul.
Whispering prayers still here today.
Whispering for mourners, for survivors, 
for a nation.

Apr 14, 2013

God's Grace

But to each one of us
grace has been given
as Christ apportioned it.
Ephesians 4:6-8
Grace is “the force that infuses our lives and keeps letting us off the hook. 
It is unearned love - the love that goes before, that meets us on the way.
 It’s the help you received when you have no bright ideas left, when you are empty and 
desperate and have discovered that your best thinking 
and most charming charm have failed you.
 Grace is the light  or electricity or juice or breeze that takes you
 from that isolated place and puts you with others 
who are startled and embarrassed and eventually grateful, 
as you are to be there.” 
Anne Lamott, 
Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith

Apr 8, 2013

Worries and Cares

Give all your worries and cares 
to God
for he cares about you.

1Peter 5:7

Such words .... they settle the mind and soothe the heart. Yes. 
That is the Holy Lord's intent and Peter's teaching. 
And the faith confident soul knows the truth in the words. 

 Yet just as certainly, the mind  swollen with the brain chemistry of fear hears without hearing. As though corridors and corridors of closed doors stand between the message and the ear. Often, only a muffled, muted whisper reaches through fight or flight biology. 

There is work to be done to capture the peace offered in verse seven. There is the diligence of continuous prayer that repeatedly places those fears in the Lord's hands. There is scripture to be read, and read, and reread. There are songs of praise to sing that fill the ear and flood the mind with the tenets of our faith. There are the frequent contacts with others of faith who repeatedly steer us to trust the Lord. There is worship attendance that strengthens our hearts for the ongoing challenges.

God's peace may not come with just one reading of these tender words. The message of verse seven is not achieved without our participation in relationship with our Lord and with the tools he has provided for the journey of this earthly life. 

Ah, but to follow His path. 
To pursue the power of His presence. 
To attain the peace of His promises. 
That outcome so out shines the alternative suffering. 

Apr 7, 2013

The Long Good By

Mom and Dad, April 7th 1951

In the quiet moments this weekend I am deeply aware that today we would be celebrating 62 years of their marriage ... were she still surviving Alzheimer’s. As it is, she stood courageously in its onslaught from her early 60’s until she was 72. Often I was certain she intentionally showed me how one departs this earth with grace and faith. Often, even in the increasing cognitive darkness, I knew she was determined to tell about her love. And often, in the wake of long silence, she would speak profound wisdom. Yes, mom I heard you. And yes, I will remember.

Please support the Alzheimer's Association to provide support for families living the long good by and to provide a cure for this devastating disease.