Thursday, March 9, 2017

Learn from my mistakes!

"Calm your anger and forget your rage; do not fret, it only leads to evil"
Psalm 37:8
"Do to others whatever you would have them do to you."
Matthew 7:12

One of the things I try to do with these little reflections is pass along lessons I'm learning, even the hard lessons! So, there is a guy walking around town with a political sign. I know, it's March and the election is over, but this fellow is still campaigning. I saw his sign as I walked out of my office building leaving work yesterday. I thought the sign said one thing--which I agreed with. But when I flashed a thumbs up and he came running over, I noticed the sign said the opposite of how I believe. Yikes! I told the guy I'd misread his sign (I, seriously, am going to the eye doctor Monday!) and he went off on me, wanting me to defend my position. I told him the election is over, the ship has sailed, why still argue about it? Suffice it to say, by the time I told him I was finished talking to him (he'd said that my salary, as a government employee, was causing the country to be trillions of dollars in debt) I was physically shaking with anger. My head was throbbing. My knees were weak. Why did I engage like that?  Where was Heidi, the Sister of Charity of Leavenworth Associate, in that conversation? Why didn't I just disengage, bid him "Have a nice day!" and get in my car? I realized this morning that there are many lessons to learn from this guy. The first is to Let It Go...the second is to pray for him...may God keep him safe as he walks the busiest street in town with a campaign sign. The third is, what Jesus teaches us today, "Do to others whatever you would have them do to you." And, finally, if there is a next time, nod and smile at the guy with the sign, then get in your car and go home! There you have it--learn from my mistakes! Love, heidi

Wednesday, March 8, 2017


"My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit;
a heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn."
Psalm 51:19

I sat and thought about what it may look like to be humble-of-heart.  For me, I think it means not thinking I have all the answers or am doing it right and everyone else is wrong. Being humble-hearted means that we need God...desperately. We cannot do any of it on our own and trying to just makes us look arrogant and paradoxically, weaker. In our honest, admitted weakness is God's strength, but first we must recognize our weakness and be open to God's working within us.  And that can be so hard when our culture values self-sufficiency, as Fr. Richard Rohr points our in his Daily Meditation today. It's counter-cultural for us to revel in weakness, when our very weakness opens us up to God's strength.  Today, let's think about what it means to be humble-of-heart and what that may look like on our windy Wednesday. Could it mean we admit to God, "I just can't do this without you!"  Love, heidi

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

We have no idea...

"Papa was reclining on an old Adirondack chair, eyes closed, soaking in the sun. 'What's this? God has time to catch a few rays? Don't you have anything better to do this afternoon?'
'Mack, you have no idea what I'm doing right now.'"
William Paul Young, "The Shack"

OK, I admit, things in our country and world seem to be a scary mess to me. I can get so caught up in fear and trepidation...I'm nervous and afraid. It all seems to be unraveling. There it is. What I need to remember, always, is that God can and does work for good in all that seems bad. This scene from the book and movie is comforting to me. Oh, I know I can read many scripture passages that provide comfort and assurance, too, but there's something about seeing and reading God saying the equivalent of "I'm on it, trust me!" It doesn't SEEM like God is working in the scene from the movie, but we can't tell what God is doing as the character sits, soaking in the sun. We may not be able to readily see God working, but we need to trust that it's happening. It's there. God is on it. And, since God works through human beings, we need to be open and willing to do what God asks us to do.  We will only learn what that may be by listening to God, in silence and prayer.  We need to trust that God is doing God's part and we need to listen and be open to our part.  And that seems to be how it works...Love, heidi

Monday, March 6, 2017

Do this, not that...

"For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me..."
Matthew 25:35

If we thought we were getting a gentle start to Lent, today's readings shake us to our very core right off the bat...on a Monday morning! Leviticus 19 (our first reading) tells us what not to do and Jesus is telling us what exactly we must for those among us who are hungry, thirsty, naked, in a strange land and imprisoned. We must help and care for them because they ARE Jesus.  Phew! That is so much to take in, but there it all is...

We say we need to discern God's will, but really, God's will is clearly spelled out for us. All filtered down and laid out we are to love one another.  The stranger, the poor, the outcast are all Jesus. There must be love in our actions, too, not just rote, heartless, grumpy giving because it's Lent.  Our hearts must be in our actions. Our actions must be our love with hands and feet. If we love Jesus, we must serve Jesus in the poor and the marginalized, even those we'd rather avoid.  OK, so now Lent feels like it's started...Love, heidi