Friday, September 2, 2016

The knowing smile...

I want to share a little story with you, today, as we begin our three-day weekend.  The other day, as I finished paying for my coffee at Maverik, I turned to leave and caught the eye of the woman behind me.  She was quite small, shorter than me, and she looked at me with a smile.  There was something about her smile that seemed so knowing and familiar.  It occurred to me, as I reflected on this, that this happens to me quite often. I will exchange a glance and smile with someone and it seems oddly familiar. There is a knowing, a recognition, in the glance. The person is a stranger, but yet, there is a knowing.  I'm reminded of Fr. Richard Rohr's sharing of Thomas Merton's experience of seeing strangers on a busy street corner and suddenly being overwhelmed with love for them. Merton recognizes that these people, as they busily traverse the intersection, are people of God; God's very own and he is overcome with love for them.  I guess it may be happening to me one person at a time, but it seems similar.  I am becoming able to recognize, through the grace of God, these strangers that God has placed in my day to share a smile.  This seems incredibly wonderful to me! This weekend, as we go about our end-of-summer revelry, let's take special care to take a look at each other. Let's look into each other's eyes and smile.  We are all children of God and brothers and sisters! Love, heidi 

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Better at the follow-through

"Simon said in reply, 'Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing, but at your command I will lower the nets.'"
Luke 5:5

This little conversation between Jesus and Peter is so similar to the little exchanges I have with Jesus throughout any given day.  I wish I could say that I'm as compliant as Peter, but, usually, I'm not.  Here's an example, Jesus: "Maybe you should go over and talk to her, she looks lonely." Me: "No, I don't want to bother her." Jesus makes suggestions to me all day for nice things I could do and I usually talk myself out of them, preferring to stay safe within myself and not reaching out to others. Ever once in a while I may pull a Peter and say, "Well, if you insist..." After those times I am very aware that was the right thing to do and am grateful I acquiesced. I love the way Peter makes his doubts known, though..."We have tried this, Friend, and weren't successful, but if you want us to..." His mild little protest said out loud, then he does what Jesus suggests.  If I could be a bit better at the follow-through, instead of just stopping at the protest!  Help me, Lord!  Love, heidi

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

You're already inside!

"We cannot attain the presence of God because we're already totally in the presence of God. What's absent is awareness."
Fr. Richard Rohr, Daily Meditation, 8/30/16

Needless-to-say, I didn't learn this in my catechism class at St. Patrick's in 1961. We grew up believing in a more Santa Claus-type god who doled out treats or punishment based on our behavior, i.e. the size and quantity of our sins. Thanks be to God I have lived long enough to grow out of that! There is no "if" and "then" with "If I do this, God will do that." God is not in my control like that! God always loves me, is present with me and nothing I can do or say will change that. Thinking about it with a bit more age and experience, especially experience as a parent, I can ask what would be in it for God to expect us to earn or work to attain God's free gifts of grace and salvation? Why would God want us to jump through hoops if God only and always just loves us? I think God only desires that we recognize how loved we truly are and realize we can extend that love to others, so they can bask in it too. One of my favorite Richard Rohr quotes is: "Quit knocking on the door, you are already inside!" Let's enjoy that today! Love, heidi

Monday, August 29, 2016

Enough is enough!

"What is the source of our own fear? And, more importantly, what--or who--is the source of our courage?"
Sr. Pat Kozak, "Give Us This Day"

These are the questions I pondered on a (relatively) Silent Sunday yesterday.  One of the fears I recognized is my fear of scarcity...not having enough. I think I inherited this from my mother, who, growing up in the Depression, had one good dress she had to share with an aunt who pitted it out.  There was never "enough" for Mom, coming from that trauma, understandably.  Why I inherited the fear, mystifies me.  I never lacked for anything, but still, a nosey visitor would find 8 bottles of hemp lotion on my closet shelf!  So, where does the courage come from to conquer this irrational fear? It comes from knowing that I have always had "enough" and probably always will.  I don't need all I have and if I live to be 100, (Please God, no) I wouldn't need another thing.  Less is the new more.   Sharing is better than hoarding (would anyone like a bottle of hemp lotion?) It is illuminating to take a look at our fears and where they may have come from, but, as Sr. Pat suggests, the Source of our courage to conquer them is even more ponder-worthy. Gracious God of Every Abundance, please help me let go of this fear of scarcity! Enough is more than enough!  Love, heidi