Oct 23, 2015

Untethered: One More Gate to Heaven

The first leaves loose their moorings, sailing gracefully from above.
Slowly, they spiral and slightly tilt. 

Cast off from the tethers of elm or oak, pecan or maple, released in a brief and dazzling flight. Spread wide, kite-like, captured in a crosswind, they sweep back and forth. 

Occasionally lifted by an updraft, tossed in a swirl of crimson, mustard, and bronze ultimately falling as gravity draws them ever downward. Destined to assemble as a mosaic, carpeting vast spaces. 

In delight I revel in the glory of color cascading from the boughs and wonder at the bounty that has hung far overhead all summer long. Souls touched by such wonders whisper prayers, knowing the whole world is the house of God. 

“ The whole world is the house of God…
I can stop …long enough to see where I am…
I can flag one more gate to heaven, 
one more patch of ordinary earth with ladder marks on it
where the divine traffic is heavy…
instead of walking right past it… 
say a blessing before I move on to wherever I am due next.” 
  An Altar in the World, Barbara Taylor Brown

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Linking with these communities of writers sharing thoughts on faith: Weekend Whispers, Still Saturday, Coffee for Your Heart

Oct 16, 2015

Suspend Worry and Wrestling

This post from my archivesSuspend Worry and Wrestling, recently caught my attention. The message remains ever so true as it was in 2011, well worth revisiting the wisdom of that day. Join me. Feel the wind against your skin and glory in the luxury of that!

Old Dog sprints stiffly to the water’s edge; darting, nose skimming, reading the news of critterdom left on scented surfaces. A banquet of scents hangs in the air to inhale and savor. Bird song, rabbit skittering, and turtle sightings entice Old Dog from branch to brush and then back to the water’s banks. 

The beleaguered, burdened human trails behind, mentally distant, unheeding, unseeing. A heavy heart and weighty concerns veil the senses. Dappled light dances across shaded lawn but eyes don’t really see. A canopy of green foliage rustles overhead as breezes shift and sway; but ears don’t really hear.

In time the Old Dog, satiated with the frenzied hunt for smells; settles and revels in the shade, nose attentive to buffeting scents carried on the wind. 

A glance toward my Old Dog turns into a full measured pause. It’s clear his aging self has troubles of his own: sight has dimmed, hearing and muscles are much diminished. And yet, I hear the interior Spirit suggest; Notice, your Old Dog knows well enough to be hereHe knows well enough to sense the cool of shaded grass on fur free skin, to lift the nose and savor the smells in the breeze, to feel the wind in his fur, and glory in the luxury of that, the divine restoration of that!

I feel my eyes widen, mind stumbling to be alert. I settle in the shade and strive to suspend worry and wrestling to attend. Water rushing over the rocky falls fills the ears. 

Wind buffets warm across skin and lifts hair. The essence of wood, wind, and water, the marvel of it all, fills the breath, slows the heart, and quiets thought. Listen for that which one can hear only in spiritual stillness. To see what can only be seen with the soul, to sense the holy in the moment. 

 The Spirit of the LORD will be with you to give you understanding, wisdom, and insight.     
   You will be powerful, and you will know and honor the LORD.  
Isaiah 11:2 (CEV)

Human fears lift...
and shift... 
reframed by deeper awareness and divine meaning that transforms into peace filled strength. 
… to be renewed in the spirit of your minds…  
Ephesians 4:23 (ESV)
Smiling now..., 
grateful for the gift received. Old dog and human head home renewed by divine nudging.

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Linking with Still Saturday, Weekend Whispers, Coffee for the Heart, and Tell His Story.

Oct 3, 2015

Celebrate Transformation

“For man, autumn is a time of harvest, of gathering together.
For nature, it is a time of sowing, of scattering abroad.”
Edwin Way Teale ~
Naturalist, Photographer, Pulitzer Prize Winning Author


Indications of fall’s transformation begin to accumulate. 

Canadian Geese appeared on the pond, thousands of miles from their home. Two pair, regally adrift on the water’s surface, robust rounded torsos fitted with elegant long necks to facilitate their alert attention. Their gazed followed me with all confidence and mild interest as I passed slowly along the bank. I marvel imagining the distance that I know they have traveled, pondering where they may have “stopped over”  the last time they rested. I address them with soft words of welcome, compliment their migratory feat, and offer travel mercies for the journey still ahead. Within days they are gone. 

Crisp mornings welcome long sleeves pulled from the back of the closet and vapor rising from mugs of hot tea. 

A myriad of seeds and acorn varieties litter the paths, popping as my step breaks numerous shells. 

The first hues of mustard, old gold, school bus yellow build at the edges of hedge rows and tree tops. Nature begins to shed in brilliant golden showers.  

The neighbor’s produce garden looks leggy, over grown. Spindled stems and yellowing leaves serve as scaffolding for spider webs spanning across the rows.

The sun’s rays rise later and its angles fall differently. Briefly the moon burns blood red.

In this season, nature is transformed; widely opening its hand to disperse hope for the next generation and offer sustenance for a darker season. 

How like the transformation that God wills for own lives. 
In collaboration with Him and by His grace, 
as faith grows, the elements of 
generosity {Duet. 15:11}, 
gratitude {Ps.111:1}
love {Lev. 19:34},
joy {Ps. 90:14},
patience, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control {Gal. 5: 22-23
transform our character and therefore, the living of our days. Widely opening our hands to disperse hope and offer sustenance to others.

Linking with Soulful Friday, Still Saturday, and Weekend Whispers. :-)