Thursday, December 29, 2011

Look back!!

"Do me a favor and look behind you before you back up..."
Jeni Rose, as she left to go back to Portland

Her advice was well-founded and well-intentioned. The only real difficulty I have had while driving lately has been not looking behind me and trouble occurs. More than once, as it happens. But I wondered what else this advice could mean if I look deeper. You see, I am much better moving forward through the world. I have worked hard at not looking behind me, wallowing in past mistakes or difficulties. That is what all the books tell me to do. I choose to look forward, not back. There could be times to look back, I acknowledge. Like occasionally glancing back to see how far we have progressed, for one. It is nice to look back and see God's tracks through our past, reaffirming his presence in our everyday lives. It is fun to look at old pictures of our families, and see the bright smiling faces of our kids. How young they were! How young WE were! These waning few days before New Year's invite us to look back on the the year gone by. But, I maintain, as we approach a bright, shining new year, I want to look forward. I want to focus on the here, now and not the past. Except, when backing out of the driveway...then I will do what Jeni suggests and look backward! Love heidi

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christ in our midst

"What a simplification of life it would be if we forced ourselves to see that everywhere we go is Christ, wearing out socks we have to darn, eating food we have to cook, laughing with us, silent with us, sleeping with us."
Dorothy Day, adapted from an article that appeared in the "The Catholic Worker," December 1945; reproduced in "The Word Among Us"

This was stunning to me this morning. Many of you, like me, had friends or family staying with you over the holidays...did you ever once think of them as Jesus? When I think of extending a helping hand to Jesus, I usually think in terms of the poor, or people less fortunate--I don't often think of my own family in those terms, though. When I think of the dishes I have done, the laundry I have folded, the groceries I have purchased over the last week or so, I don't think of it as serving Jesus, necessarily. But, Dorothy Day is clear in this article...everyone we encounter, no matter who they are, no matter what circumstances they are in, they are, indeed, the face of Christ in our world. The Incarnation did not just happen two thousand years ago. It happened yesterday and will happen again today. Christ is in our world right here, right now. Christ is wearing out socks we must darn (although I'd be more inclined to just buy Jesus new socks!) and eating food we must cook...and dirtying dishes we will end up washing. Wow, Friends! Love, heidi

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Make it last!

"The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and from his fullness we have all received."
John 1:14, 16

It never ceases to amaze me...last night, as we approached one of the places the city has set aside for dumping Christmas trees, we took bets as to how many would be there. I said at least one, maybe two. As we drove by, even we were shocked that there were maybe twenty discarded Christmas trees at the dump-spot, the day after Christmas! It's like, around here, people are eager to begin Christmas, shortly after Halloween, and then can hardly wait to dump the tree, minutes after the last gift is opened. I really don't get it. It saddens me to see the dropped off trees so soon after Christmas, but the point is, does the good will and peace toward men go out so quickly with the tree? I'm one of those people who are dragged, kicking and screaming, into the Christmas season, but, once here, I relish it. I want the peacefulness of Christmas Eve afternoon to linger. I want the laughter, coming from the kids downstairs, to last in my heart so I can pull it out in mid-February when I'm a bit lonesome. I want to keep the tree up, at least figuratively, in my heart. Let's not be in a hurry to end the celebration of our Savior's birth, Friends! Technically, the season doesn't end until the Baptism of the Lord, which is on January 9...Love, heidi