all shall be well …

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Julian of Norwich was an amazing woman.  She was a 14th century mystic – a very devout woman devoted to God and the author of what are called Revelations of Divine Love.  For those of you who know her, you will recognize these words.  For those of you who don’t, welcome to the wisdom of Julian.

As I sit on a Monday afternoon, contemplating, yet again, two more mass shootings that erupted over the weekend, I find myself pondering the power of these words:

“… but all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.”

I have no answers for those of you who are asking why were there two more mass shootings.  This is a level of evil that is truly frightening.  I have no remedy, short of the obvious:  eradication of all guns and the introduction of good, free mental health care. And my guess is, it is the second thing, free mental health care, that might start to make a difference.

I have no answers, but can suggest that everyone start writing to their elected officials, demanding change.  Expressing outrage.

I, like so many others, am simply numb.  But a permanent state of numbness isn’t healthy, isn’t productive, isn’t focused on God’s message or God’s work.

We can, each and every one of us, do something.  We can pray for an end to the violence. We can pray for peace.  We can pray that our elected officials start focusing on who they represent and stop focusing on polls, ranking, the other party, and the gun lobby.

The something that we do should be focused on God’s healing love.  That healing love will be what starts to turn the tide of hate.  I’m borrowing a phrase I recently heard in a sermon, which is, we need to make more stops at God’s ATM machine, because God’s ATM is one where the love and hope will never run out.

The power of Jesus the Christ is simple.  He was and is and always will be God’s greatest gift of love to us.  If we try to truly capture and live into that love, then we and this world have a much better chance of living into the reality that all truly shall be well.

But to get there, we really must believe in God’s healing love.  Believe in the power of God.  Believe in good vs. evil.  And finally, believe that, really, it all shall be well if we surrender to the divine love of God.  For that is, I believe, what Julian was trying to convey when she wrote these simple and powerful words:

… but all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

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Take a moment in your busy lives and stop to pray.  Pray for those who died, pray for those who mourn, pray for the first responders who have to try to process this without loosing themselves, and pray to our God of love for enough hope and compassion to kindle a divine spark that will illuminate this weary world and reveal the healing balm of love.

Saying goodbye

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I have been blessed in my life.  I have had the gift of a wonderful family.  As the years have gone by, our family has become smaller.  The goodbyes always difficult, but a part of life.

And so over these past couple of weeks I’ve had to say goodby to my Dad.  He was an amazing man, full of love and life and creativity, including this his last and yes unfinished, carving.  We will treasure it and it will, as time moves forward and brings healing, bring smiles to our faces.  It captures his gifts and passions and creativity and is a wonderful reminder of a life well lived.

The circle of life includes death, however much we don’t want to deal with it.  And that is truly sad, because they are each a part of the other, and include an endless amount of God’s grace if we would only but slow down and listen and allow it to enter into us.

May those of you who grieve over loved ones gone, find peace in God’s healing love and grace.  May light perpetual shine upon all of our beloved departed, and may their rest be one filled with God’s peace.

Coming back to life

 

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There are spiritual journeys we make that mirror the seasons of the year.  The damage that can be done during the storms of winter, whether literal or figurative, require not only our attention, but our intention.

In order to be well, we must tend to the gardens of our souls.  And just like “real” gardening, when we tend to our souls, our spirituality, our faith, we need to clean up the debris, pull the weeds, feed the soil, water the plants, and wait for new growth.

There are moments of great joy and happiness in our lives, that sit in tension with the moments of difficulty and sorrow.  We need both the bitter and the sweet in order to thrive.  The sweet always makes us grateful, and the bitter teaches us to find gratitude in the shadows that sometimes surround us.

The paths we follow are not straight – there are bends and twists and hidden ways that take us to new heights, new challenges, and new joys.

Our lives, and just as importantly, our faith, is not stagnant.  We move, we breathe, we pray and we hope, within the circle of life.

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The joy comes when we pause on our trail and look off to the side, finding the promise of spring, new growth, new life, and just as importantly, hope.

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In the stillness of early morning

This is a favorite time of day for me, this early morning, with a cup of coffee, and time for God.

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It allows me the space to prepare myself for each day, reminding myself always of whose I am, and who I serve.  That sense of true self can get lost in the busy-ness of each day.

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So on this Cyber-Monday, take the time to reconnect yourselves to God, and breathe in the peace that truly passes all understanding.

May your day be one filled with cherished blessings and joy.

 

God’s will

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I am reminded this morning of the great wisdom found in the words of our most blessed Julian of Norwich:

It is God’s will that we accept His promises and His comfortings as broadly and as powerfully as we can receive them.

And He also wills that we accept our waiting and our distress as lightly as we can take them, and pay no attention to them – for the more lightly we take them, and the less value we place on them for the sake of love, the less pain shall we have in experiencing them, and the more favor and regard will we have because of them.

Wise words indeed that travel the space of time and find relevance in the here and now.

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Hope

There is hope, even when we least expect it.  It is here that we find respite from the incivility of the world, from the ludicrous nature of the 24/7 news cycle.

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In our world which seems filled with despair, there is one certain way towards hope.

From the end of Psalm 27:

“Hope for the Lord!  Let your heart be firm and bold, and hope for the Lord.”

Sound advice in an insane world.

 

Going the distance

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Perhaps, some days, we get too caught up at the distance we have to travel, and so we miss the path we are really on.

Remember that each day is a gift.  So, stop.  Pause.  Breathe.

Savor the path you are on right now, and trust the path of the future to God.

Because the now matters more than all of the ‘wonder ifs’ we think about.

God is here, right now.

Here.