Friday, May 29, 2015

All the love in the universe

"For the Lord takes delight in his people, honors the poor with victory."
Psalm 149:4
One of the things that stands out in my mind from our Parish Mission last night was this: "wasting" time with the Lord is never a waste of time.  Remember a time when you were in a new relationship and all you wanted to do was spend time with the new friend? It didn't matter what you did, as long as you were together.  Even the most mundane tasks, like grocery shopping or going to the laundromat became new and fun, because you just wanted to BE with the other person.  Do we ever think of our prayer time that way?  This weekend, let's set aside some quality time just to be aware that we are with God.  Even just ten minutes--can we just sit quietly and enjoy a bit of silent time with God? We don't have to do anything formal or specific--just sitting with our hands open and being aware of each breath we take can give us an awareness of the glory of God, because it is God who gives us each breath.  And that time will never be wasted because we are spending it with the One who loves us with all the love in the universe.  Blessings on your weekend! Love, heidi

Thursday, May 28, 2015

The obvious question...

"What do you want me to do for you?"
Mark 10:51
I have prayed often, in recent years, with this scripture.  Jesus asks the blind man, Bartimaeus, what he wants and at first it seems strange.  But the more I think and pray with it, the clearer it becomes.  Jesus asks Bartimaeus this most obvious question because Jesus wants to hear it from him.  Jesus wants relationship. Jesus wants a conversation.  Jesus could have just moved through the crowds of people and healed everyone of everything. So, why do the Gospels tell us stories of Jesus seeking people out, asking them obvious questions, touching them, engaging them and healing them one by one, person by person?  I think it is to teach us that Jesus wants that same type of interaction with us.  Jesus wants relationship, conversation, and engagement with us, too.  Jesus is thrilled to hear from us, even if it is the same old stuff we always bring to him.  We may think we sound like a broken record, but, to Jesus, who just delights in the sound of our voice, it is music.  Let's remember this question Jesus asks Bartimaeus today, as we go about our late-May Thursday.  "What do you want me to do for you?"  Oh, Jesus!  I just want you to BE with me through every minute of this day!  Love, heidi

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Working with great love...

"Use the freedom you have been given to love others into freedom..."
Fr. Patrick Foley, Parish Mission
This was one of the important messages of our Parish Mission the first evening.  I feel like it is so timely for me and I spent some prayer time journaling and fleshing out what it could look like in my life right now.  Loving others into freedom fits perfectly with what I do with blind and visually impaired people, really.  Giving people tools and skills of independence is, quite literally, freeing for them.  It is a very beautiful job!  That said, it seems harder sometimes to "love" them into freedom. I can teach them skills and offer them tools, but Jesus asks that I do all this with great love. The gadgets, gizmos and techniques are much easier than coming up with the love, at times!  As I wondered how that could work, I immediately thought of Mother Teresa, who loved people into freedom everyday.  I sat and pondered what Mother Teresa would look like doing my job and THAT was a fascinating prayer.  Today, let's think about our work and how we can do it with great love...loving others into freedom.  If it helps to imagine Jesus doing our job or someone we admire like Mother Teresa, let's pray with that.  At the end of today, let's look back and see if that way of thinking changed the way we did our job.  Jesus, please help me do my job today with the love you ask of me.  Help me to love others through the doing what I do, knowing that you gave me the gift of this work in the first place!  Mother Teresa, pray for me, as I try to do my work with great love today.  Love, heidi

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Cheerfully joyful!

"With each contribution show a cheerful countenance, and pay your tithes in a spirit of joy."
Sirach 35:8
"The Lord loves a cheerful giver!" I remember learning from my youth.  Don't we all? None of us wants to receive a gift from a reluctant, crabby giver, do we? How sad is that? I think this scripture goes beyond our monetary offerings, however.  Our work and our relationships with others are all contributions we offer to God as well. Are we engaging in our work and our relationships cheerfully, with joy? Or are we dragging around, reluctant givers and stingy lovers of each other? Today, many of us return to our work after a nice, long weekend.  Are we approaching that with dread or are we joyfully wondering what God has in store for us today? How can we cheerfully and joyfully bring our contribution to God this day?  Can we bring to our relationships kind smiles and genuine love? What can we do on our post-holiday Tuesday that will give God what God deserves most--our cheerfully and joyfully given contribution to the world!  Lord, let our smiles be genuine and our hearts eager to give to your people, heidi