Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Recognizing healing

"And one of them, realizing that he had been healed, returned, glorifying God in a loud voice..."
Luke 17:15

Most often this reading calls us to express our gratitude, but it hit me a bit differently this morning.  I see the one returning leper as a person who has the ability to recognize he is changed after his encounter with Jesus.  In their haste to follow Jesus' instructions to show themselves to the priest, the other lepers were caught up in that--following the instructions, doing it as Jesus had said.  They may have been so involved in that it took them a while to realize the healing that had taken place as they hurried along.  The healings in our lives may be much more subtle than these, certainly.  But, after struggling with a difficulty for a while, it may take us a while to notice we no longer feel the painful twinge or we may feel more compassion for someone who hurt us. We may finally recognize that a healing has taken place within us. 

Khaled Hosseini, the author of "The Kite Runner," expressed it so well in his book, when one of the characters suddenly realized he had gotten over a terrible wrong done to him many years before.  "I wondered if that was how forgiveness budded, not with the fanfare of epiphany, but with pain gathering its things, packing up, and slipping away unannounced in the middle of the night." (Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner)
Isn't that amazing?  Today, let's spend some time with Jesus, taking stock of all the healing God has brought to our lives and give thanks.  Love, heidi

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Of veterans and founders and worldly desires...

"For the grace of God has appeared, saving all and training us to reject godless ways and worldly desires..."
Titus 2:11-12

Yada, yada, yada...but I have a 30% off coupon at Kohl's starting today!  I have a confession to make.  I was sitting, doing my prayer time when suddenly I reached over to grab a pen to jot down the things I want to look for while shopping today.  I stopped short, suddenly seeing Jesus looking at me, shaking his head and chuckling..."Seriously, heidi? Do you have to do that now?"  I laughed with him, defending myself by saying I have a bag in the car for donations and I just need a few things and besides, I have a coupon! Sometimes I wonder how Jesus puts up with me.  But then I realize that Jesus knows all about being human because he was human; a sinless human, but still. Jesus was not a fuddy duddy, stick-in-the-mud Pharisee type human either.  Jesus had friends and laughed and celebrated at parties.  And, who knows, maybe Jesus shopped for a new tunic a time or two.   Jesus delights in us, even as he may shake his head and chuckle to himself at our antics.  Thank you to all veterans, here and beyond. And happy Founder's Day to the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth!  Love, heidi

Monday, November 10, 2014

True forgiveness

"And if he wrongs you seven times in one day and returns to you seven times saying, 'I am sorry,' you should forgive him."
Luke 17:4
No question about it, I think the person who benefits more from forgiveness is the forgiver.  The person forgiven may not even be aware of the forgiveness, but the forgiver certainly is aware.  Once that cloud is lifted, the forgiver feels lighter, more alive.  As long as the forgiver doesn't hold onto a grudge, he or she can move forward.  But grudge-holding means no forgiveness has taken place. There may be an illusion of forgiveness but true forgivers don't hold grudges.  I think we decide to forgive and, once that decision is made, God gifts us with a heart to actually forgive.  Forgiveness can be so difficult that it only can come from God, once our desire is there.  Is there anyone we need to forgive this autumn day?  Let's take the question to God and give God our desire to forgive.  God will turn that into forgiveness in our hearts.  Love, heidi