Thursday, May 7, 2009

eyes of wonder

Afire With God

Earth's crammed with heaven
And every common bush afire with God,
But only he who sees, takes off his shoes -
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.

by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

May we have the eyes every day to see all the heaven that is crammed in on earth. If we take moments to pause and look with eyes of wonder at even the most seemingly ordinary, we can't help but be in awe, and "take off our shoes".......the blackberries are good, but to be able to see a breath-taking God in every little bush is even better!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

spirit to spirit

pulling up to the
low-slung, stucco building
i park, put on my badge
and gather my things.
after signing in
at the front desk
i stride down the halls
of this nursing facility
looking for the patient
i've come to visit,
not sure where i'll find her
this time of day -
sitting somewhere
in her wheelchair
or perhaps resting.

turning into her room
i greet her as she lays
motionless upon the bed
staring vacantly at the wall.
she doesn't move or
acknowledge my greeting
as i settle close by her.

i am getting to know
this mostly silent woman
and what she responds to
so i begin singing,
"Jesus loves me this i know...."
her head immediately swings
away from the wall towards me
and her brown eyes lock
intently on mine.

i am there for almost an hour
and as long as i sing, her eyes
do not stray from my face
and i marvel at that
mysterious and powerful
spirit to spirit connection
coming through spiritual song
a connection that transcends
the human faculties;
a heavenly connection
a deep unto deep.
though her mind is
rapidly failing her
her spirit is not;
and so we commune
she and i
through our eyes,
the open windows
that allow the transmission
of spirit to spirit
while i sing.

with a gentle squeeze
and a prayer
i leave her,
in awe of the amazing
mystery of Emmanuel -
God with us
and God in us.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

God has created us tripartite beings - body, soul, spirit. And though our body and soul may fail us our spirit is eternal, joined to God - indestructible. I am thankful for this bright glimmer of hope in the midst of the darkness of pain and suffering; of the not knowing or understanding.

"For his Spirit joins with our spirit..."
Romans 8:16

"But the person who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with him."
I Corinthians 6:17

Monday, April 27, 2009

writing to save the day

I read these timely words by Henri Nouwen today. Sometimes writing is frustrating and I lose touch with the value of writing in the midst of my own inner unrest and creative blockages. It is good to be reminded again just to put pen to paper by faith, and see what will come forth, whether it is for myself alone or to share with others. To value the process itself, and not just what I want to come out of the process. To let the process itself be an experience of intimacy with God, as I write with him and through him, in his presence.

Writing can be a true spiritual discipline. Writing can help us to concentrate, to get in touch with the deeper stirrings of our hearts, to clarify our minds, to process confusing emotions, to reflect on our experiences, to give artistic expression to what we are living, and to store significant events in our memories. Writing can also be good for others who might read what we write.

Quite often a difficult, painful, or frustrating day can be "redeemed" by writing about it. By writing we can claim what we have lived and thus integrate it more fully into our journeys. Then writing can become lifesaving for us and sometimes for others too.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

resurrection power

I haven't posted in awhile, but the last few days as I've been thinking about Christ's death and his resurrection, I've had this poem on my mind that I wrote last year. I decided I would post it again, as the words are still so vivid in my spirit. I can still feel the power and the meaning of the words so deep within. But how could they ever grow old or powerless, when they speak of the triumphant, death-defying resurrection power that changed life and how it can be lived, forever! Resurrection is not just historical, but takes place daily in us and in so many ways in the world around us. Nature gives us such beautiful and vivid pictures of this life-power. And so I share again what touched and continues to touch and give tremendous hope daily. I hope you too will be touched and encouraged in the re-sharing of these words. What a Christ who lives in us!

God waters
the barren land
the desert places
and new life
springs forth
in response

this is the mystery
of the desert
that seeds lie
seemingly dead
and without hope

who would guess
the secret of life
that lies hidden within
the heart of the seed
locked in parched earth
for the drought
to end and
water to come
and the power
the life-force
within the seed
to be released
and to push its way
through hard dry ground

to blossom
in breath-taking

this is hope beautiful
hope triumphant
hope realized
hope of life
hope of the seed
hope of the flower
bursting forth
in power
in beauty
in vibrancy
in triumph
over adversity
over death

is the triumph
of divine life
and this
is the power
is the promise
of Christ
as the life-force
planted deep
in our hearts

the desert places
need not discourage
let the hope
of resurrection power
give strength

and courage
to wait patiently
to trust
to believe
to not lose heart
to endure

and in time
to rise again
from the ground
and bloom

"And when He comes... springs will gush forth in the wilderness, and streams will water the wasteland....The wasteland will rejoice and blossom with spring crocuses. Yes, there will be an abundance of flowers and singing and joy!" Isaiah 35:6,1-2

"O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?"
I Corinthians 15:55

Sunday, March 22, 2009

a macro God

he is not a God far off
he is a God near

he doesn't stand aloof
over there
looking us up and down
at a distance

he is so near
up so close
that all he can see
is our heart

and he whispers
"I love you"

For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” I Samuel 16:7

Saturday, March 21, 2009

a stll place in the market

I love these words by Henri Nouwen. It is always good to be reminded that we need quiet, still moments with God. But we obviously have lives we need to live too, and the challenge is to somehow allow the experience of 'being still' to be carried into our daily living. It makes me think of Brother Lawrence, and his little book, "The Practice of the Presence of God", and how he learned to experience God's presence in the midst of the clatter of pots and pans as he worked in the kitchen.

"Be still and acknowledge that I am God" (Psalm 46:10). These are words to take with us in our busy lives. We may think about stillness in contrast to our noisy world. But perhaps we can go further and keep an inner stillness even while we carry on business, teach, work in construction, make music, or organise meetings.

It is important to keep a still place in the "marketplace." This still place is where God can dwell and speak to us. It also is the place from where we can speak in a healing way to all the people we meet in our busy days. Without that still space we start spinning. We become driven people, running all over the place without much direction. But with that stillness God can be our gentle guide in everything we think, say, or do."

Monday, February 23, 2009


So on my walk this morning, I was conscious of gratefulness. Grateful for a fresh, new morning. For coolness in the air. For awakenings of early spring becoming visible in the brightly blossomed bush. In flower stalks sending slender shoots up tall while balancing tiny, delicate purple flowers at their tips. For blue sky mottled with whitish-gray cloud swirls. For the renewing of life in the park grass recovering green from a careless fire. For the birds giving life to the air as they fly and twirp and twitter. Grateful for legs that can stride briskly without pain. For eyes to see beauty in the common and uncommon around me. For ears to hear breeze rustling through trees; to hear the many varied bird songs and occasional dog barking. To hear passing conversations and snatches of music wafting through the air. Grateful for a heart filled with wonder and awe at the invisible God within and for the God made visible without through created things around me. Grateful for a sound mind to consider all these things, and for a voice to try and utter the welling up and tumbling-over gratitude wanting to burst out of me.

So grateful.
"Lord, accept my grateful thanks...."
(Psalm 119:108)

Saturday, February 21, 2009


fieri ~ Latin: to become, to be made....."become still so you can know who I really am"


to have, maintain, or occupy a place or position ~ to remain unmolested, undisturbed or uninterrupted.

be still

cease striving ~ be quiet ~ calm ~ trusting ~ attentive ~ waiting ~ not distracted ~ be fully present with Me.

and know

not just intellectually, but experientially be acquainted with ~ be intimate and familiar with ~ recognize the nature of ~ wonder overwhelmingly ~ hunger and thirst for ~ ingest and digest.


I just AM...from eternity to eternity ~ I AM everything ~ I AM everything you need ~ I AM everything you desire ~ whatever you lack I AM in you ~ I AM Jehovah ~ I AM Jehovah-Rapha ~ I AM El Shaddai ~ I AM Jehovah Jireh ~ I AM your supply ~ I AM the Lord ~ I AM God.


Father ~ Creator ~ Healer ~ Savior ~ Provider ~ Ruler ~ Omnipotent ~ Omniscient ~ Love ~ Peace ~ Just ~ Holy ~ Merciful ~ Sovereign ~ Good ~ Faithful ~ Wise ~ Gracious ~ Comforter ~ Intercessor ~ Master ~ Strong tower ~ Rock ~ Shield ~ Defender ~ Papa.

be still
and know

be still.


(psalm 46:10)

Saturday, February 7, 2009

expectant waiting

here i sit in the quiet
in the sanctity
of the morning time

oh, there are noises that want to
profane the holy if i will let them ~
muffled street noises
inside the house noises
head and heart noises

but in my set-apart chair
i choose to draw quiet space
around me like a cocoon
and bubble myself
in expectant waiting

deafening my ear
to all manner
of plotting intrusions
my heart stills
looking for the One
who will come and remove
beginning-of-day chill

who will gently probe the gray
for buried embers
who will coax forth hungry flame
to renew love again
for this new day