Friday, March 23, 2018

The silence of God...

"Jesus is not questioning the existence of God. He is struggling with the apparent silence of God."
The Little Black Book

When Jesus cries out, "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?" (Mark 15:34) he is struggling on the cross. Bystanders are no help, they are jeering and mocking him. His friends have fled, except for his mom, a couple other women and John. And he honestly prays in his anguish. Jesus shows us that it is OK for us to pray honestly, from the very depths of our being, whatever we may be going through. We don't have to put on a false front of being good sports for God. In the Psalms we see laments to God as well as praise to God and Jesus' cry from the cross was a Psalm he heard throughout his Jewish life. The questions for us, this final weekend of Lent, are these: Do we ever struggle with the apparent silence of God? Do we pray honestly, even in our hurt, anger, disappointment at how God seems to not be showing up? Do we feel our prayers have to mask how we really feel about things? Why would we think we should (or could!) hide our true feelings from God? Love, heidi

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Be yourself!

"'Yet God says, 'I made you, and I like the you I've made, so just do your best and be yourself, and I'll be there to help you.'"
Mary Beth Ingham, SSJ, as quoted in Richard Rohr's Daily Meditation, 3/22/2018

It was pointed out in this Meditation that we often try so hard to be someone else, but in realty, God specifically made us to be us and that's who we should be. After a big event, such as the one this week, I find myself so critical of how I did this or that, when the reality is, I was put there to do this or that because that is who I am. Not that I can't try to do better and be my best self, but just not to get too wound around the axle about myself. That is rather self-indulgent naval-gazing and surely doesn't do anyone any good. Today, as we shake off the dust of winter and think spring, let's thank God for making us unique and truly ourselves. We aren't someone else because God already has all the Someone Elses God needs. God needs us to be us. Love, heidi

Wednesday, March 21, 2018


"Blessed are you, O Lord, the God of our fathers,
praiseworthy and exalted above all forever;
And blessed is your holy and glorious name,
praiseworthy and exalted above all forever!"
Daniel 3:52

Indeed! And I'm singing this song today, my Friends! Have you ever tried something a bit new and innovative and that first time, had no idea what to expect? We are trying a new program at work, bringing in clients and community support people to a two-day training. This is the first time we've tried this sort of deal and, I don't mind telling you, I was nervous going in. I admit I spent way too much time fretting about it, too, shame on me.  I spent a bit more productive time over the weekend praying about it and came up with a little strategy that may be helpful in other situations, maybe for you.  Remember this little acronym:
R for respect--treat everyone with respect, even reverence.
O for obedience--do your best to do what is expected of you.
B for blessing--bless everyone you encounter by being encouraging, supportive and grateful.

I was so busy with Day One that I didn't even have to think back to R-O-B yesterday, but I had prayed with it ahead of time, so it was just there, at the ready.  I praise God for how well it turned out and for giving me what I needed to do my stuff.  The most important thing to remember is we don't do these things alone, if we call Jesus in on the caper. Today, I head into Day Two with more confidence and gratitude!   Love, heidi

Monday, March 19, 2018

The grace of creation...

"The Sacraments," 
By St. Francis of Assisi

"I once spoke to my friend, an old squirrel, about the Sacraments--
he got so excited
and ran into a hollow in his tree and came
holding some acorns, an owl feather, 
and a ribbon he had found.

And I just smiled and said, 'Yes, dear, you understand:
everything imparts His grace.'"

As quoted in The Franciscan Way course, Center for Action and Contemplation,
Fall, 2017

There isn't much to add to this incredible teaching by St. Francis. What can we glean from it, these last hours of winter? Everything in creation is sacred, imparted with the grace of God, the Creator. Let us live today, knowing this truth. Love, heidi

Friday, March 16, 2018

What's your treasure?

“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field, which a person finds and hides again, and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field."
Matthew 13:44

I am taking an online class and our lesson this week is to pray with this scripture. We are to ask (among other questions) what is the treasure we would be willing to sell all we have to obtain? Interesting, right? What would we seek so vehemently that we would let go of all we have? If you are like me, we are at the stage of life where the treasure isn't a thing.  We have certainly learned by now that things are not real treasures at all, but can be more burdensome. We have to pay for them, dust them, protect them, insure them...ugh, all of that! In thinking about the treasure I would pursue, it is the treasure I am pursuing already and have been for quite a while. I am pursuing the treasure of a simpler life, spending time with loved ones, letting go of the career I've had for nearly forty years and becoming the someone buried beneath all of those layers I spent my earlier years creating. I am willing to "sell all I have" and let go of who I thought I was to do this, because it will lead me to the who-I-have-always-been underneath it all. Let's spend some time this weekend thinking and praying about what treasure we would sell all we have to obtain.  Your mileage may vary, but, I promise, it will be illuminating to you!  Love, heidi

Thursday, March 15, 2018

The love and mercy of God...

"The Lord said to Moses, 'I see how stiff-necked this people is. Let me alone, then, that my wrath may blaze up against them to consume them. Then I will make of you a great nation.'"
Exodus 32:9-10

Is it just me, or does God seem sort of...crabby here? I mean, God had every right to be angry about the whole golden calf deal, but blazing wrath just doesn't sound like the same God Jesus showed us. I wonder why it is an important part of the Jewish story that a human being had to intervene for the people? It is a familiar story throughout the Old Testament though, isn't it? Jonah warned Nineveh, didn't he? The people repented and God dialed back the anger. It's a familiar theme that some may even see in the New Testament, too, but I don't see it that way.  Jesus came to show us how to live, die and rise again in love. I don't see Jesus as much an intercessor for us as an example for us of what will happen in every human life and how we humans are to be with each other. Jesus showed us God the Father's love and mercy, rather than his wrath. God's wrath was part of the Jewish story that Jesus came to soften. As Fr. Richard Rohr often says, Jesus didn't come to change God's mind about us, but to change our minds about God. Woven throughout the Jewish story about God is God's coming back to the people again and again to be part of their lives. That is the constant to remember about God...not so much God's wrath. Love, heidi