Friday, January 12, 2018

A new way of seeing...

"To begin to see with new eyes, we must observe--and usually be humiliated by--the habitual way we encounter each and every moment."
Fr. Richard Rohr, Daily Meditation, 1/12/2018

Humiliated is right! When I read this today, I didn't have to think too far back to find an example of this in myself. I only had to think back to last night! I found out the neighbors (the other side of my twin townhouse) were moving.  This was completely sudden and unexpected, apparently they had really struggled there. My first thought--several thoughts--were only about how this would affect me. He's been taking care of the snow, etc. Only after working myself up into a real stew, did I snuggle into bed and begin to think of them and their difficulties. It's as though, when I finally settle in to say my prayers, God just cradles my heart and says, "Heidi-dear, how do you think they feel?" It's all very loving and compassionate, but God draws me face-to-face with my own short-sightedness. With a gentle arm around my shoulder, God opens my eyes to another way of seeing...a more other-focused way.  I'm afraid this new way of seeing doesn't come naturally and takes a great deal of practice and doing-it-wrong, before our vision improves.  It is surely something to pray about and be aware of this winter weekend.  Love heidi

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Unplug and listen...

"Speak Lord, your servant is listening."
1 Samuel 3:10

This familiar line prompted me to think about how we hear God speaking in our lives. I know I often toss around lines like, "I heard God saying to me" or "God suggested I do that." What exactly is happening here?  I can honestly say that I can hear God in the silence, in pure quiet, much more than in the clanging gong.  When I think back on the times that God's voice has been so clear to me, it was in silence. How do I know it's God and not something else? Because it sounds like God. In my years of listening and learning about God, it fits and feels like God. Maybe it's reassuring and comforting; and so God is. Maybe it's a good idea and if I follow through with it, I see the God tracks later. I hear God especially on retreat, where I pray to be led and am especially tuned in. There are no distractions like the phone or even music. That's when the still, small voice of God can break through my heart. And that where God speaks to us most--in our hearts. Maybe we feel a twinge of compassion for someone going through a hard time. That, to me, is God speaking to our hearts. Maybe we have an idea that is beneficial to others. That seems like God to me.  Maybe we change our minds or surprise ourselves by saying Yes to something when we first decided no. Could that be God giving us a nudge? We often wonder why God would bother speaking to someone like us, but if we really notice--God speaks to the lowly in scripture, like Samuel in this reading today. Why wouldn't God speak to us? Maybe we just need to unplug and listen. Love, heidi

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

With authority!

"All were amazed and asked one another, 'What is this? A new teaching with authority. He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him.'"
Mark 1:27

Imagining what this could have been like for those who attended the synagogue that day, I was a scene. Jesus confronts an unclean spirit, who knows he is the "holy one of God." Jesus speaks with authority and the spirit comes out of the man who convulses and cries out loudly.  And it all happened on the sabbath!  There is so much to unpack here, but the thing that touched me was the authority with which Jesus speaks. Pray-As-You-Go speaks of authority as backing up our speech with our actions, our behavior.  In other words, living authentically and walking the talk. As the new year is still fresh, it is a good time to ask ourselves how authentically are we living? Are we people who practice what we preach? Do we go to church, hear the Word of God and then leave the church, not thinking about that word until the next Sunday, when we go through the motions again? I doubt that! But where are we on the authenticity scale? Are we living and practicing our love for God or just believing in God? Our belief and our faith need to be manifested through our actions and how we live our lives. Can those with whom we live and work and move through the world tell how much we love God?  Love, heidi

Monday, January 8, 2018

Without interfering?

"Can you allow God's plan for you to unfold without letting yourself interfere?"
Pray-As-You-Go, January 6-7, 2018

When I heard this one sentence on PAYG yesterday I immediately stopped and replayed it...several times! It is exactly what I need to hear and heed.  What I wondered, though, is how I cannot interfere, when I seem to know full-well exactly what needs to happen?  I came up with a few things that could help me not interfere with the unfolding of God's plan for me--maybe they could help you, too...

--Don't just think everything to death...use a combination of thinking, praying and feeling (checking with ours hearts) before deciding.
--Be open to all possibilities and "routes" like the Magi, who traveled back home by another route in the Epiphany Gospel.
--Also like the Magi (and St. Joseph) listen to our dreams--especially our daydreams. They can be a window to God's plan for us.
--Say Yes to the moment right in front of us now--this moment may be all we really have.
--Trust how God has worked in our lives before; look back and see all the God tracks in all we have ever experienced.

So, there you go! That's my list but I'm sure you can come up with even more.  Blessings on your winter Monday. Love, heidi