Friday, August 5, 2011

Old plant, new pot

Dear Friends, I must tell you the story of an old plant.  This plant was in my office long before I was, which makes it over ten years old.  It always looked rather feeble, never getting any new leaves. It just sort of sat there,  drooping to one side and taking up space.  I finally brought it home and planted it into a new, bigger pot.  Soon after being replanted, new leaves began to appear and it has continuously grown new leaves, one after the other.  The moral of the story is this: sometimes you need to be replanted in a new pot to grow.  Change can be good.  Sometimes we get so complacent and stale, we need a new environment to grow! Whether it is a permanent change, a weekend get-away, or a hike in the woods for an afternoon, take some time to get away from your day to day life.  You'll never know what new leaves will result! Blessings on your weekend! Love, heidi

Thursday, August 4, 2011

God, surprise me!

"He turned and said to Peter, 'Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me.  You are thinking not as God does but as human beings do.'"
Matthew 16:23

Jesus startles us by his touchiness here, doesn't he? After all, Peter was a human being.  And even though he had spent a good deal of time at Jesus' side, basically he was still just a guy...a fisherman.  He had expectations of what Jesus was supposed to do.  He was thinking Jesus was going to over-throw the Romans and bring about a new kingdom for Israel. That's what he was thinking.  And all this talking about Jesus going to die in Jerusalem was nonsense--wasn't it? What about the Plan? We all have expectations.  We learn as young children that first this happens, then that. We get it early on.  So when our expectations run up against an obstacle or something that doesn't fit, we protest and seek to change things back to normal--what fits with our expectations.  But God works in the unexpected.  God works in surprises.  God works to help us think outside of the box and to find joy in surprises.  God works to expand us. That is the "thinking" of God.  Human beings want the predictable, the routine.  God wants to surprise us.  Love, heidi

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Chasing after Jesus...

"The Jesus said to her in reply, 'O woman, great is your faith. Let it be done for you as you wish.' And her daughter was healed from that hour."
Matthew 15:28

This Canaanite woman is such a good example for us for her persistence!  As a Gentile woman, she probably shouldn't have even spoken to Jesus, a Jewish man, but she went much further than that--she challenged Jesus! She essentially chased after him and used his own argument to prove her point.  Incredible!  Such a great example of faith and determination!  And it does not go unrewarded.  I think Jesus was impressed with the fact that she came to him asking for help for another person--her daughter.  She was selfless in her request.  But, also, that faith!  She probably realized she had one chance to plead her case to Jesus and she wasn't going to let him get away without her best effort.  We have much to learn from this woman, Friends! Our prayers for others are honored, especially when we come to God in faith and determination.  Love, heidi

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Go outside!

"All things are connected. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the children of the earth. We did not weave the web of life, we are merely strands in it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves."
Chief Seattle, Duwanish tribe, Oregon Territory

Never did I feel as close to nature as I did on retreat this past June.  Since it was a silent retreat and I wasn't there to commune with humans, I spent my time outside with a whole new flock of friends.  I sat for hours, watching squirrels, bunnies and birds.  I drew pictures of the spiders in the gazebo.  A couple of busy rabbits distracted me from my labyrinth prayers, but were a lovely distraction!  I gained a new appreciation for bugs and critters that has carried over since I returned home.  We are all inner connected to nature and responsible to each other--be we man or other mammal, insect or bird. During my hours of silently observing nature, I felt as though I was watching glimpses of God; a magical, mystical reality show.  "All this was going on all the time?" I wondered.  I just hadn't taken the time to tune in.  But I do now.  Today, let's stop and look around.  Summer is fleeting, time's slipping away.  Get outside and watch God's reality show.  Love, heidi

Monday, August 1, 2011

We are hungry...

"We are hungry, we are hungry, we are hungry for more of You,
We are thirsty, Oh Jesus, we are thirsty for more of you..."

Jeff Deyo, "We Are Hungry"

We sang this song at mass last night and it really sent me soaring...what an amazing and beautiful song!  Interestingly, by the time the music group finished and started going up for communion, the ministers were getting ready to put it all away.  We found one who turned around to give us communion, but it was close!  It brought home the words of this song, even as it was still ringing in my heart.  "We are hungry for more of You."  Please give us Jesus.  Give us nourishment, sustenance.  Yesterday's gospel was Jesus feeding the five thousand with five loaves and two fish (Matthew 14:13-21).  This reading is a harbinger of Jesus giving us the most precious food of all--His own body and blood.  And we are so hungry for more of You.  There is a beautiful rain falling right now!  Enjoy your summer Monday.  Love, heidi