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