Who are you? Mary or Martha…or both?

My head tries to keep filling up with “stuff”, dreams and lists of what to do. Does yours?  If you make a list, won’t your day go better?

Whether it be in the garden or the house, plan ahead…then execute…in the office or in school…plan, plan, plan like Martha. Jesus was at the home of Martha and Mary in Luke’s Gospel (Luke 10:38-42). Martha kept herself busy doing so many things, but did not make time to rest. To sit and be. When all else fails, do you reach for more information, from the internet? Or, do you sit and just be with the Lord in the world? I have been told I am a little of both.

During this past week, Midwesterners had a really disastrous storm, a derecho much like a hurricane, hit our cities. Once more, God caught our attention by saying…stop. Take notice of what is important here. Stop the attention on the material world… fighting, the internet, zooming, the business of the day…I was forced along with the rest of the Midwest to notice my world. At first, I was irked when the power went out during our Rotary meeting….it was a great program on how Scouts are adapting in the zoom world when the screen went blank and sound stopped.

Poor me. I had all this planned to do that day when all at once, in the blink of an eye, things changed. Oh, well. I needed to check the plants outside, perhaps move some things indoors. As I kept busy, I watched my neighbors to see what was going on with them. Thoughts ran through my brain. Was their power out too? Call the power company. Check with husband…on and on.

As the evening came, power did not come back and my heart started to beat faster. Plans for tomorrow, what about the zoom meeting tomorrow? Oh, man. More changes. Then I started hearing stories about how the storm wasn’t just an ordinary storm.  The August storm was turning into a derecho. Ripping and tearing through Nebraska, central Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Michigan.

I felt a shock run through my body and sat down in my porch chair to calm my mind in prayer. I realized how caught up I had been in that day…With Martha, it took a reminder from Jesus to see what is important. With Martha, she wanted everything to be just right for Jesus. .What was getting our attention? As the day ended and days passed, I started to slow down again like I had during a 10-day silent retreat in March. No internet there either. We didn’t know what was happening to others. Lost without communication.  I awakened to possibility that perhaps, we were each being forced to awaken to God’s world again, as we were forced to do during earlier months of the pandemic. Paying attention to each other, the world around us, the electronic world of zoom had burgeoned to sweep us into it. Zoom is a wonderful way for people to meet when they can’t meet in person, but you can become numbed into its’ world…focused on it, too. Now, the beautiful quiet world seemed to engulf the cozy electronic nest some had built.

God swept us up in his arms again as if to say, Come together, my children, and awaken to what is important in life. Be together, rest. Sit at Jesus’ feet. Have faith that things that need to be done, will be done. In My time.

Endless plans, viruses, disasters, and myriads of other “stuff” will be a part of human life. But Beauty and Love is infinitely stronger and will prevail. Let the Light infuse you, warm you, hold onto Jesus’ strong right hand and listen to the Holy Spirit in your heart in the midst of the storm. Jesus will get you through. Mary knew it…Do you?

A simple word of wisdom from Carl Jung to carry into your day: Who looks outside dreams. who looks inside, awakens. All is well and all will be well.

© Bonnie L Smith-Davis 2020

The Weed Cross

Weed Cross

Life emerges, struggling up through the cracks in your Pathway toward the sunlight and nourishment into a new life. You stand at the ready with your pruning tool ready to get rid of this overgrowing body of plants. Then, the light catches your eye and you perceive something special about it…lying within its shape. You pause.

As you bend down onto your knees deciding about what to do, you close your eyes and open your heart to try to “see” what is in front of you. You have seen ants that crawl over this shape, seemingly disrespecting its struggle. The mailman tramples it as he moves from house to house. Can’t they see it is trying to grow? This shape has no meaning to them. But perhaps there is more to it …on the inside counts so much more.

I feel Sunlight warm on my face and down my body as the Light reach out on its journey to caress the horizontal arms of this trampled weed cross which resolutely reached the small, lonely bright yellow dandelions struggle on each side. They barely had any life left, but they hung on for dear life reaching for nourishment … struggling so hard, yet hopeful that there would be a way for the water to find them. The nearby Gardener lovingly cares for what He understands lies deep down inside.

Life-giving, cold water seeps into my senses and opens my eyes to see. The overflowing water ripples and shimmers on driveway nourishing the outside and the roots deep within. As we face storms of life in your boat, waves washing high up by us, do we reach out and grasp Jesus’ hand? Help me, strengthen me, nourish me. . Do you respond with Hope? To reach for Help invisible, yet visible to in faith. When you or your neighbors face catastrophes, or just need a helping hand do you respond with Hope…we will get through this…together…joining heartbeats?

Are you attune to the heartbeats of your neighbors and world? Do you look to the Hope that will get you through? As storms hit southern Iowa, many have been affected. How do you see life…as devastation or a challenge you can face together.  With surrounding chaos, new bills to pay, yes, hurts digging into hearts so deeply, can you see the One walking down the trampled lives on the streets, whose Light is bringing order to your lives…working together. Do you see how beautiful life is…when the cool water just seeps in and you are become slowly, more clearly aware.

From where I am on my knees, this plain, trampled weed cross is a reminder to me. I touch its growing leaves and give it some water. There is hope. Reach out to help together. All is well and all will be well.

© 2020 Bonnie L Smith-Davis