Friday, June 14, 2013

Our sacred earthen vessels...

"We hold a treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing power may be of God and not from us."
2 Corinthians 4:7

My vessel is so very earthen!  I am very much of the earth...oh so human. I get frustrated driving, I get irritated when others don't see things the way I do, I enjoy a juicy bit of gossip as much as the next guy. Oh, so earthen am I! But what of the Treasure I hold in my earthen vessel? That Treasure is the very nature and Spirit of God! Not for anything I have done or am, but only due to the greatness of God. God, in love, has gifted all of us to carry Love in our earthen vessels. But that Love cannot be contained, it must be spread around and shared with others. It's way too easy for us to get wrapped up in our earthen-ness and lose sight of the immense Treasure we hold. We need to realize that BOTH the Treasure and the vessel are God-given, even though we may call our vessels up short. This weekend, let's ponder how our earthen-ness is as God-given as the Treasure we hold. Both are tremendous gifts from God. Let's be kind to ourselves! And blessings to all fathers! Love, heidi

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Peeking under the veil

"Whenever a person turns to the Lord the veil is removed."
2 Corinthians 3:16

This may seem completely off-the-wall, but veils-being-removed reminds me of Facebook. No, hear me out! One thing that has been so interesting about Facebook is reconnecting with people I knew in college, over thirty years ago. At that time, we would sit around, talking about our futures. We were all working toward goals and careers and our lives were all so open and untested. Our futures were all ahead of us. Now, after all that time, we can reconnect and see how we all turned out! It is really fascinating! Now, we are on the later chapters of our life stories, the chapters after the sections of pictures, if you will. All those questions about what we would do, who we would marry, would we have children, where would we settle, are answered. Now, we may be looking ahead to retiring from those very careers we studied so hard to achieve. It is like the lifting of a veil that we were just peeking under when we were in college. And what has this to do with God? Well, one of the best parts of looking back is seeing the God tracks in our lives! They certainly are there! It was thirty-five years ago this week that I graduated from the University of Montana and my grown-up life began...I guess I just needed a little reflection. Blessings on your day! Love, heidi

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The gift of solitude

"It is in our solitude that God gives himself to us completely."
Charles de Foucauld (as quoted in "Reflections for Ragamuffins" by Brennan Manning)

During these last several years I have learned two important truths:
1) God is all I have
2) That is more than enough

When I was doing my mobility training to learn to teach blind people, I was blindfolded for all the lessons. For months. I found, oddly, that when I put the blindfold on, I became "someone." It's not that I became someone else, but I became me, more tuned in to what was going on around me and also inside me. It's hard to explain, but there it is. I find that, since I have unwrapped the gift of solitude, in my alone time, I become "someone" too. Not someone else, but someone akin to me, only a deeper me. I laugh at my own jokes, I share ideas and feelings with myself. I'm quite honest with myself. I'm pretty good company! But this quote today really points to why. I'm more tuned into God when it is just God-n-me. Like being more tuned into things around me and within me while blindfolded, I'm more tuned into God when I'm alone with God. God even laughs at my jokes! The gift of solitude is truly that--a gift. Blessings on your Wednesday! Love, heidi

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Live deliberately!

"Shock me out of shallow living,
to deliberately commit myself
to dive deep inside this gifted day,
tasting, sensing each of its gifts."
Fr. Ed Hays, "A Book of Wonders"
Fr. Ed Hays explains that Henry David Thoreau went to live alone in a small hut near Walden Pond because he wanted to "live deliberately." I love that! So I spent some time this morning thinking about what that means on this June live deliberately. First, I think it means to live with an intense awareness of everything around you. I noticed the beautiful fresh, spring-y fragrance of the air this morning as I poked my nose outside. The air smelled so sweet! Second, I really feel a call today to pay attention to the people I encounter...from coworkers and clients to the attendant at the gas station where I get my morning coffee. I want to deliberately appreciate them and be kind to them. Who knows what they are going through on their June Tuesday? And finally, I want to enjoy this day and celebrate the fact that I have been given a gift of this June Tuesday. It's the only time in my life I will experience June 11, 2013. I want to make the most of it! (perhaps an ice cream cone?) Anyway, it may just seem like a ho-hum day. But today is a special day in that some people will be born today. Some people may go Home to God today. Some people may get a job today or meet a new friend today. Let's think about how we can live deliberately today and not miss a single moment of wonder. Love, heidi

Monday, June 10, 2013

Jesus, the Compassionate

"When (Jesus) saw her, he was moved with pity for her and said to her, 'Do not weep.'"
Luke 7:13

As I meditated about our Sunday Gospel this weekend I had a thought. I wondered if, when Jesus encountered this widow-mother, whose only son had just died, if he thought of his own mother and his own forthcoming death. Widows, it was explained in several sources, had absolutely nothing in this society, if they did not have a man to take care of them. This widow needed her young son to provide for her, practically speaking, besides the fact that she loved him dearly. Mary was presumably a widow by the time Jesus started his adult ministry, so I just wondered if he glanced ahead in his own life and saw his own mother in the same situation as this widow. He raised her son and gave the son back to his mother, in a way foreshadowing his own rising from the dead and seeing his own mother. At any rate, we know that Jesus provided for his mother from the cross, with the last few words he said, "Woman, behold your son," and then to St. John, "Behold your mother." (John 19:26-27). Jesus, so full of compassion, help me to feel with Your heart, for all those who suffer. Love, heidi