For several days now, I seem to be stuck on the story about the Possessed Boy in Mark’s Gospel (Mark 9: 14 – 29). Each time I open my Bible to read on, I am drawn to rereading this story, and like always, with each read I gain new wisdom and insights.
The father asks, “If out of the kindness of your heart you can do anything to help us, please do!”
Jesus replies, “If you can?…….”
The father says, “I do believe! Help my lack of trust!”
How many times have I spoke about, taught about, discussed and thought about my faith. Of course I have faith! At the end of the day, I know that I am loved and that God has a wonderful plan for me.
But, it is only with true humility that I can pray the words, ‘I do believe, help me overcome my unbelief,’ because I have such a long way to go.
I still doubt.
I still hold on to anger.
I still question.
I still want it ‘my way.’
I still desire control.
And so, I pray…..’If you can….’ and Jesus replies, “If I can????”
And I humbly ask for a greater faith…..after all, I have mountains yet to move!
It must be Children’s Book week because after watching the news,
another great quote from “The Little Prince” comes to mind:
“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
Antoine de Saint-Exupery
We are so often blinded by labels…..human-created labels. Our hearts do have eyes and they are able to see far more than the eyes on our faces can. Our heart’s eyes do not see race or religion. Our heart’s eyes are blind to differences that exist between us. They only see what unites us…..one body.
They see shared suffering, compassion….love. It’s time to begin to see with these eyes, the eyes that are not able to see differences.
Helen Keller, deaf and blind perhaps saw better than any of us, “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.”
The Lorax took a stand!
There were some trees to be saved and The Lorax saved them!
(If you don’t remember the book, The Lorax by Dr. Seuss, I recommend reading it….
actually there are a lot of children’s books that should be read by adults,
but that is a post for another day…)
We all need to be The Lorax. We need to feel so passionately about something, a cause, that we are willing to go up against the establishment and fight.
It’s time: speak for those who don’t have a voice, listen to those who have no one to talk to, fight for the weak, the poor, the sick.
The Lorax was small, outnumbered, pushed around and ignored, but he wasn’t a quitter. The Lorax was a fictional character…..or was he????
Think about it, there are many Loraxes around – join the club!
It has been said that a thin place is a place where the boundary between heaven and earth is especially thin. It’s a place where we can sense the divine more readily.
I was fascinated by this definition when I first heard of it, because you see, I have experienced these ‘thin places.’ I think we all have. I can think of sacred places where I have been where I knew that there was much more there than can be seen with the eyes.
They don’t necessarily have to be churches, and if we were all truly aware and in the present moment, everywhere would be a thin place because all is sacred.
It doesn’t even have to be a place, it can be a moment, a glance, a quiet inner voice.
But there have been times and places that have taken my breath away because of the presence of the Divine.
Thin Places – God is always reaching towards us, always creating thin places where we can meet him, touch him, feel him and inhale him……we only have to stop and allow God to occupy his dwelling place within.
Can you imagine what it must have been like to see someone walking toward you on the water?
Here you are, struggling because you have no control over this boat that is being tossed around by the winds and the waves.
You glance outward, and see the shape of a man who seems to have total control over the elements that are rendering you helpless.
It has to be some kind of a ghost, and a new fear begins to take hold. And then you hear a familiar voice telling you not to be afraid. How many times have you heard that phrase from the same man?
We battle with these storms everyday. Some of them are small and last only a few moments, while others seem to take you under and leave you gasping for air.
We have a choice, we can stay focused on the waves and try to battle them ourselves, or we can look upward and see the Man who is always in front of us, ready to calm the seas and calm our hearts.
“Be not afraid.” Comforting words to hear……difficult words to live.
I snapped this pic because it reminded me
that as beautiful as the rose is,
there are thorns close by.
There is always pain hidden in our joy,
and joy and beauty within our sorrows.
I stumbled across this on my lawn a couple of days ago. We had some winds the night before, and this little nest was probably knocked out of the tree that it was in. It made me sad to think of all of the effort that the mama bird put into carefully constructing the nest, and then laying her egg(s). Was she sitting on the egg when the wind was blowing? Did she visit the nest after it was on the ground? Perhaps she wasn’t around the nest when it happened, only to fly back to find the spot where she had made her home no longer there.
I guess that the little life that was forming inside that egg just wasn’t meant to be.
Oh how I wish that I could have placed the nest back into the tree and the mama would just go on as though nothing had changed.
Oh how I wish that I could change some of the pain that I’m feeling now as a result of a close friend’s betrayal.
Oh how I wish that I could close the doors to hospitals because no one got sick anymore.
Oh how I wish that I could bring all peoples together so that we can see that there is far more that unites us than divides us.
Oh how I wish…..
But, some things are not meant to be – at least in this life – and so, we go on as best we can. Mama bird continues to search for food in hopes that she will have the energy to build another nest, and those who work for cures and peace start another day of hope and prayer.
Today I will turn my ‘oh how I wish’ words into ‘oh hear my prayer’ words, and I will be at peace in the confidence that the One who can change things is always listening and loving and working for our good.
“The chair asks that the House now observe a moment of silence in memory of the victims of the terrorist attack in Orlando,” Ryan said.
As he crossed his chest and bowed his head, most of the chamber followed suit.
But a handful of Democrats walked out. (Washington Post)
When I first heard this on the news this morning, I couldn’t believe my ears, so I looked it up. Ok, so the intention was something like, ‘where’s the bill – gun legislation.’
Wow, we had better be careful….NOTHING, nothing is more powerful than prayer and to walk out when someone asks for a moment of silence, whatever the reason is really rather arrogant and stupid.
Ok, so I understand that people are frustrated that gun laws are not tougher, but here is a question:
How do we know that in that moment of silence, someone’s heart could have been changed.
We are a very powerful and controlling people, but let’s not forget who really has the power to change things.
Perhaps a little more silence and prayer will yield greater results than all of our talking and debating.
I will be observing a moment of silence today for all of those involved with the Orlando tragedy, and for those who have hardened their hearts to the power of prayer!
“The natural man does not accept what is taught by the Spirit of God. For him, that is absurdity. He cannot come to know such teaching because it must be appraised in a spiritual way”
1 Corinthians 2:14.