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Archive for July, 2012

Death leaves a heartache no one can heal; love leaves a memory no one can steal. — Irish saying.

Once again, the fragility of life is brought too close to home for us. The horrifying shootings in an Aurora movie theater rip at the fabric of our daily joy and confidence. We rush to discover if those close to us are harmed. We slowly learn the stories of those who, though we haven’t known them, are so much our fellow travelers – “people like us”.  It could have been us. And our hearts reach out to those for whom this terrifying lightening did strike and for whom life has now been altered forever, propelled onto a grievous and unwanted path.

Our prayers are with all those who have lost loved ones. And we pray for healing for the injured. And we affirm our availability to connect and support and share so that grief will be carried in the heart of strong and loving human relationships, in which the Holy Spirit may find full expression.

And we pray with the ancient words:

Holy of Holies, you are my shepherd, I shall not want.
You make me lie down in green pastures;
you lead me beside still waters;
you restore my soul.
You lead me in right paths
for your name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I fear no evil;
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff—
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Holy
my whole life long.

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It is midsummer. What are your “midsummer nights’ dreams?”

A few weeks ago, Marilyn and I were in attendance at her mother’s 90th birthday celebration. She received a card from a former prayer partner. The card read: “May you be blessed beyond measure.”

And I thought, that is the heart of the gospel – the good news of Jesus and all who share his spirit and hope. We are blessed; at least we may be if we will forsake old prejudice and fear and the self-centering, grasping ways of the ego when it gets anxious and turned in on itself.

Rather, our souls are created to be vessels and conduits of blessing beyond measure. It is the loaves and fishes – not the ways of scarcity, not the ways of Pharoah who enslaves and stores up and creates dependency and bondage. Rather, it is the way of “I am”, of God who is always the God of manna and quail and oil overflowing and rivers where trees grow on the banks, and the leaves of the trees are for the healing of the nations.

And this abundance is not dependent on times being good. Rather, it has to do with honoring and attending to and living in tune with the divine flow of love, which creates wholesome and surprising connections. So in times of cancer, or job loss, or loss of relationship, and also when the daily flow is easy, this connection of love sustains us and carries us forward. It carries us forward with a sense that “deep down things” it’s about abundant love and never anything less. Even when all is lost – “yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death” – the deep river of God’s love flows, and if we will have it, and live in the ways of that river, we will never be taken from it. It is, if I may put it this way, “our great and always home.

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