Thursday, July 28, 2016

Take a new shape?

"Whenever the object of clay which he was making turned out badly in his hand, he tried again, making of the clay another object..."
Jeremiah 18:4

And may I say that reshaping the clay is a lot easier when the clay is pliable!  Think of that dried out old ashtray you made of clay in second grade (Yes, we actually made ashtrays in the 60's, young friends!) Think of how stiff and stuck-in-itself it was when you found it in an old box.  Not much could be done with that old piece of clay to re-form it.  But, a soft, damp piece of clay is very yielding to shaping and just moves gracefully through the hands of the skilled potter, doesn't it? Our Divine Potter can do much more with us if we stay flexible and pliable.  If we get stiff and stuck in ourselves and in our own ways, we may just break apart when challenged. On the other hand, if we allow the Potter to mold and shape us into what is needed in the world we can be much more useful! Today, let's think of ways we can yield to the Potter as we move through our day.  Can we bend and allow our will and prejudices to take a different shape? A shape that can be more useful in our world?  Love, heidi

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Look for the hidden treasure!

"The Kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field, which a person finds and hides again, and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field."
Matthew 13:44

I am reminded of Fr. James Martin, SJ, who points out that the guy is a bit sneaky in not telling the land owner about the treasure in the field...but that isn't really the point of the story, is it? Each time I hear it I ponder a different angle of it and today I thought of all the hidden "treasures" buried into each of our days.  Each day is a new opportunity to find and dig up a treasure.  Oh, it may not feel like it at all.  We may feel we go along, nose to the grindstone, just doing what we do to make a living and get to the end of the work week. But, in reality, if we really search like the man in the field, we will find many treasures each day.  Maybe it is a surprise phone call or visitor who surprises us. Maybe a project we are working on works out beautifully. Maybe we have an unexpected positive encounter with someone who often rubs us the wrong way. Whatever happens to us this day, let's keep our eyes and ears open for hidden treasures. They may be buried deep, so we really may have to hunt.  But this summer Wednesday is special and God has many gifts for us to behold.  Love, heidi

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The quiver of our hearts.

"May your compassion quickly come to us, for we are brought very low."
Psalm 79:8

I remember, long ago, reading the definition of compassion as being the quiver of our hearts in sync with the suffering of another.  Compassion is feeling the pain of another person's suffering.  Beautiful, that. Daughter Jeni has been helping a couple visiting the US for medical treatment. They live a very simple life in another country so the perplexities of navigating a big city here in the states is overwhelming to them.  Jeni has spent the last several days helping them get "sorted," as they say. Her mission finished, we talked on her way to the airport yesterday and her voice quivered with compassion as she described their situation. Her love and concern for them came through loud and clear. Her compassion moved me and my heart quivered with concern for them, too. Compassion is contagious, Friends!  Let's seek that as we move through our summer Tuesday. Loving and Compassionate God, thank you for pouring love into our hearts so we can feel the struggle of others. Help us to never lose that as you never lose your compassion for us. Help us to help, heidi

Monday, July 25, 2016

There is God...

"We are afflicted in every way, but not constrained; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down but not destroyed..."
2 Corinthians 4:8-9

Do we ever wonder why we go through trials and difficulties? Why do we have to go through times of affliction, persecution, feeling struck down? Looking back on just those times, I can see how, being taken right to the brink, during those times, I grew. I was able to draw from a strength I didn't even know I had; God's strength. What does being taken to the brink do for us? It teaches us that, even when we are taken to the very end of our own ability, we can endure and survive, because God takes us further. God makes sure we are not constrained or driven to despair. God gets us through. Prior to that, we can go along, merrily through life, and have the illusion that our success is our own. Our good times are due to our own resources or good fortune. We can believe we get along through our own devices.  But if we are taken to the very end of our own selves, the line where we can go no farther with our own ability, God takes us through. When we come to the very end of ourselves, there is God.  Love, heidi