How many times do I slay my self by unconscionable deeds,
aggression against soul?
How many intentions do I abandon in selfish unkindness,
omission against body?
How many thoughts do I hold so tightly
that they seize to hardened beliefs;
a defended-war against mind?
Aware of these grievances against the singular and collective matter of these, what hope do I have to reconcile the harms I have done? How many times might I be invited, allowed to dip my weary hand into the well-spring of forgiveness?
“As many times as needed”, I am answered.
Forgiveness is not doled out like tokens at a fair.
Nor metered in degrees of deserve or earn.
For as often and as long as needed,
and reached for by a trusting hand,
forgiveness follows to refresh
and renew the soul,
body and mind,
as a newborn in Love.
And then I hear,
“Drink deeply here and as often as you thirst.
I am not satisfied by the arid deserts you walk
but by the oasis you claim in Me.”
Suffering creates space enough for us
to know that we are alone
and in need of the omnipotent
and perfect love of our Maker.
It is not so large a price to pay
to see and step again
into and through
the small doorway of God’s peace.
It is the work we can only do from here
as our little selves;
mistaken mortals longing for Home.
In my best intention, it is better to pray for my enemies without name as one man’s enemy may be another’s saint. And to name, the one over the other is to place my opinion above the wisdom and truth of the God I love.
But, to not pray for the enemy that steals love from my heart is human neglect if not spiritual dereliction. It leaves me vulnerable to the prey of self-righteous ego or influence of lesser angels of this earth.
Lord, soften my heart for those I make enemies. Lift me to trust beyond my own reason and estimation of wrongs. Show me the mercy of You in my time of fear. And grant us peace of Thy will be done.
Sometimes it is hard – facing the limits of what we can do or offer to loved ones in their time of sorrow, struggle, grief.
It sometimes helps me to remember that when God knit me together, God designed me with natural limits of what is mine to experience and do, and to live within these 24 hours.
It’s never too late
to start a spiritual practice for Lent.
It’s never too hard to try.
It’s never too much to ask
if I can be a little more aware
of my short comings,
and a little less quick to judge others.
It’s never too much of a sacrifice
to stop staring at the little me;
to pause and think, and see and serve the greater Us.
It’s never too soon to be a little more willing
to look beyond my more comfortable ideas of what caring,
and an act of compassion, might look like.
It’s never too early to remember Grace;
and to follow gentle forgiveness for myself and for my fellows.
It’s never too late to practice Love.
A young girl, looking on from the safety of her father’s shoulders, to what freedom looks like.
About this women’s march… I went. And I’m glad I did. And apparently, a whole bunch of others did too. But here’s the thing: I really struggled with my decision to go.
I had to get to my own reasons and motives. I needed to pray for God’s idea for me and talk with friends. And when I did, I started owning that I was afraid, and worried that my walking might endorse un-peaceful protest which I am very much against. I worried that my showing up would look like full endorsement of some beliefs that I do not hold, and, here’s the really embarrassing part, I worried about what people might think of me.
At 62, still worrying about other’s disapproval. Continue reading