Friday, March 16, 2018

What's your 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 taking an online class and our lesson this week is to pray with this scripture. We are to ask (among other questions) what is the treasure we would be willing to sell all we have to obtain? Interesting, right? What would we seek so vehemently that we would let go of all we have? If you are like me, we are at the stage of life where the treasure isn't a thing.  We have certainly learned by now that things are not real treasures at all, but can be more burdensome. We have to pay for them, dust them, protect them, insure them...ugh, all of that! In thinking about the treasure I would pursue, it is the treasure I am pursuing already and have been for quite a while. I am pursuing the treasure of a simpler life, spending time with loved ones, letting go of the career I've had for nearly forty years and becoming the someone buried beneath all of those layers I spent my earlier years creating. I am willing to "sell all I have" and let go of who I thought I was to do this, because it will lead me to the who-I-have-always-been underneath it all. Let's spend some time this weekend thinking and praying about what treasure we would sell all we have to obtain.  Your mileage may vary, but, I promise, it will be illuminating to you!  Love, heidi

Thursday, March 15, 2018

The love and mercy of God...

"The Lord said to Moses, 'I see how stiff-necked this people is. Let me alone, then, that my wrath may blaze up against them to consume them. Then I will make of you a great nation.'"
Exodus 32:9-10

Is it just me, or does God seem sort of...crabby here? I mean, God had every right to be angry about the whole golden calf deal, but blazing wrath just doesn't sound like the same God Jesus showed us. I wonder why it is an important part of the Jewish story that a human being had to intervene for the people? It is a familiar story throughout the Old Testament though, isn't it? Jonah warned Nineveh, didn't he? The people repented and God dialed back the anger. It's a familiar theme that some may even see in the New Testament, too, but I don't see it that way.  Jesus came to show us how to live, die and rise again in love. I don't see Jesus as much an intercessor for us as an example for us of what will happen in every human life and how we humans are to be with each other. Jesus showed us God the Father's love and mercy, rather than his wrath. God's wrath was part of the Jewish story that Jesus came to soften. As Fr. Richard Rohr often says, Jesus didn't come to change God's mind about us, but to change our minds about God. Woven throughout the Jewish story about God is God's coming back to the people again and again to be part of their lives. That is the constant to remember about God...not so much God's wrath. Love, heidi

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Wiggle free!

"When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been ill for a long time, he said to him, 'Do you want to be well?'"
John 5:6

Such a profound question and we are all asked the same thing, perhaps several times per day. Do we want to be well?  Or are we too comfortable wallowing in our "stuff" that keeps us (we think) out of God's reach? We are never out of God's reach, ever. But, sometimes we may think we are and we'd rather stay stuck in our own mire than change our hearts. God wants to soften our hearts, open our minds and extend our arms outward to love others better. But we can be like this guy on the edge, unwilling or unable or both to get himself into the healing waters. That how Jesus can change us, by giving us the nudge we need to get out of our comfort zones and makes some positive love changes. Today, as we move through our mid-March week, let's think about how easy it is to get comfortable in our own stuck-ness. We get it. We've been there a long time and we know it well. It may be easier for us to stay here than to wiggle ourselves free from it. But Jesus is here to help us wiggle and set us free.  Love heidi

Monday, March 12, 2018

Into my heart...

"Do people weigh you down? Don't carry them on your shoulders. Take them into your heart."
Dom Helder Camara, "The Little Black Book"

This spoke vividly to me this morning as I wrestle with a work issue. People are weighing me down, yes, they are. I'm getting crabby under the weight of them riding on my shoulders. It's lovely to realize they shouldn't be riding there, but safely tucked in my heart, where God and I can love them together. I cannot possibly love them on my own--I'm not wired for it. But God can love them through me and between the two of us, we can love them better. Thank you, Gracious God, for loving through me! Please help me get these people off of my shoulders and into my heart, where they belong. Love, heidi