"Good works flow from people who have finally found that God's love really heals."
Fr. Ronald Patrick Raab, "Give Us This Day"
We really begin to walk with God when our spiritual lives and our secular lives come to an intersection. Where they meet is where our faith joins with what we actually do in our lives. Do our actions and the way we treat other people reflect our spirituality? They should! The minute we take up the cross and follow Jesus, our lives look different. But how? I think Fr. Raab is right on here. When we experience the healing love of Jesus there is no way we can keep that to ourselves. It is naturally out-flowing to others. God's love, by nature, is a shared love. When we experience it, we know it must come to fruition by sharing it with others. Let's spend some time this weekend thinking and praying about the intersection in our lives where our faith meets our works. That is where we set up camp with Jesus. Love, heidi
I most often work in my clients' homes when I see them. And when I heard this reading on "Pray-as-You-Go" this morning, the question lingered. "Does this reading make you uncomfortable?" Yes, it does. More often than not, the homes I go in are nice, clean, comfortable, cozy. But, other times, they are much more difficult. When I heard this reading, my mind immediately flashed to a very difficult home where I had a hard time, logistically, marking the appliances and doing what I needed to do to help the client. And that causes me to have partiality, just like James is saying in this reading. I, unfairly, judge these folks, whose circumstances are most difficult. And that is wrong and sinful. I am here to help these people, not judge them. Whatever difficulties they have encountered bring them to this point of struggle and I am there to help. Lord, I need you to go with me into each home. Remind me that each person I meet is cherished by you and deserves my utmost respect and compassion. Help me to help them by getting my prejudice and partiality out of the way. Love, heidi
"Everyone should be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger..."
When I have a particularly frustrating day, like I had yesterday, I don't need to reflect long on the why of it. I know why. I do it to myself. I can't control everything that happens during the day, but I can control my reaction to it. When I just hear what I want to hear and jump to hasty conclusions, words come flying out of my mouth; anger bubbles forth. (I wish this had been yesterday's reading!) I have such great opportunity, each day, to do God's work and will and yet...
Lord, please help me to realize that today is a brand, new day; fresh and clean. Yesterday and its frustration is over. Today is what is in front of me. Help me to be attentive and really hear those I meet today. Help me to engage the clutch on my mouth and be slow to speak--so slow in fact that maybe I will say nothing! And let anger not appear on my radar today. With your help, only Lord, with your help! Love, heidi
"No one experiencing temptation should say, 'I am being tempted by God.'"
God doesn't send bad stuff our way to trip us up, in other words. God doesn't need to...we humans can get ourselves into plenty of difficult situations, thank you very much! Our human nature and desire for immediate gratification and pleasure can certainly cause us to chart our own negative course. We can make enough mischief ourselves without God sending anything to tempt us. A little further in the reading, James says, "All good giving and every perfect gift is from above." (v. 17) God only sends us good gifts. So, God sends us good, we make our own bad and then what? And then our Psalm for today:
"When I say, 'My foot is slipping,' your mercy, O Lord, sustains me; when cares abound within me, your comfort gladdens my soul." Psalm 94:18-19
God send us mercy and love, even when we slip--especially when we slip. Thanks be to God! Happy Tuesday-that-feels-like-Monday! Love, heidi