Where is a rose most lovely? The deep aromatic fragrance of beauty Soft, fragile petals silken and radiant within and without Upright, graceful stems reaching up to the collar holding awakening, nursing color Flowing full on with the energy of life-giving nutrients Thorns gently protect delicate loveliness within Wherever it is, the magnificence stays Filling the world’s heart with never-before thought of possibilities Because it is wholly love. Beauty in and of itself Hello, rose. Fill your world.
Open your eyes a little wider, please. What do you believe you will see with your eyes wide open? I believe that the healing process of Light penetrates the eyes so you can see more. But what is it you wish to see in the busy-ness of the present and planning for what is to come?
Do old songs ever get into your head? Your heart? I believe the healing Spirit puts them there for a reason.
Also, I believe that what I intend to perceive is what I will see. I must be open. God knocks at the door; I must open the door to let in the Light. Yesterday the Spirit touched my heart and stopped my “busy” plan cold with the radiant, sweet lines of the old song “I Believe,” slowly ungunking my sight with its message…
“I believe for every drop of rain that falls…”
“What is on your to-do list for today?”
“Where are you going, honey?”
These questions are answered in myriads of ways…lists of to-dos. Check off one, go to another… Little Rascal stands wagging his tail. He just doesn’t understand why the list doesn’t seem to include him.
“A flower grows…”
I sit, looking down at the phone in hand, answering yet another text message from a friend while sweet puppy Rascal wags and quietly stares in my direction, peeking around the Christmas tree. He asks with big brown eyes, “What is so important to you? Pet me. Please.”
“I believe that somewhere in the darkest night…”
Slightly irritated at Rascal, but more at myself, I get up and pad in my muk-luk socks down the hall toward my room, I peek in to see the computer light shine on my husband’s glasses as he works on another project. He’s busily involved in family finances. Looking beyond him, I see through the darkness… fresh fallen snow. Christmas week.
“A candle glows…”
Turning the corner into our family room, I sigh at stacks of books and files left over from a conference I returned from a week or so ago. Projects seem endless and I have reports to write, but where is the time to share the candlelight glow of a warm fire with a loved one?
Pet the puppy?
Extravagant use of time, right?
“I believe for everyone that goes astray.”
Digging down into my pile of books, I find the one I was looking for to handle a business issue that has come up and move down the hall toward my study, when a glint of light flashing off the brass lamp at my piano calls me over.
“Someone will come to show the way…”
My eyes are drawn to the light falling on a song that I was practicing for an upcoming meeting. I stop in my tracks, entranced by the title…” I Believe…” I make my way around the piano and continue reading the words. My hands are drawn up to the keyboard and I start playing and singing the words dear to my heart.
“Then I know why…”
The busyness of the day fades away, and I smile as I hear Rascal jump into a nearby chair and cock his head toward the piano. My heart radiantly fills up with the Holy Spirit, Who once again gently taps me on the shoulder and encompasses me with a loving warm embrace.
Rascal sniffs the book sitting quietly on the table beside him and loses interest as the melodic tones flow into him.
Rascal comes next. That report can wait awhile.
Jesus lives on, in, and through us, God’s Will is continuing to manifest now and will forevermore.
How is the Holy Spirit tapping you on your shoulder today? How are you seeing the world at this moment?
I believe for every drop of rain that falls A flower grows I believe that somewhere in the darkest night A candle glows I believe for everyone that goes astray Someone will come to show the way I believe I believe
I believe above the storm the smallest prayer Will still be heard I believe that someone in the great somewhere Hears every word Every time I hear a newborn baby cry Or touch a leaf Or see the sky Then I know why I believe Every time I hear a newborn baby cry Or touch a leaf Or see the sky Then I know why I believe
Writer/s: Al Stillman, Ervin M Drake, Irwin Graham, Jimmy Shirl Publisher: CONCORD MUSIC PUBLISHING LLC, T.R.O. INC.
Mark 4:27 Night and day, while he’s asleep or awake, the seed sprouts and grows, but he does not understand how it happens.
Ephesians 3….20Now to Him who is able to do so much more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, 21to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
More snow. A beautiful thick blanket of white tucks in the Earth below every night now. As my feet touch the ground a soft crunch radiates up from my boots to my ears. Icy cold too. As I struggle to focus through glasses fogged with breath, evergreens gradually appear to my right standing tall and strong with snow heavily resting on their branches. An occasional bird and squirrel peek out from under the green cover.
Close by, the empty bird feeder glass shows hunger of the wildlife. Time to feed again. The chill blazes down through my nose as I breathe in the winter air. As I move to get the mail and garbage container, the deep silence resonates a loud chill into my soul. Next week is Ash Wednesday.
With measured steps I make my way to my destination. Quietly I move as the earth rests preparing itself after a very long year open to all that came seeking. I see no one which seems so much a part of last year. Separation from those of us that are dear to us. Not able to see the vibrancy of their lives close up, their breath, touch and dear faces within an arm’s reach. Yet. Hope sustains.
I see a small bit of earth peeking out where the plow has dug deep down, bleeding the life underneath. I remember the lesson that resonates throughout the Gospels. Infinite Beauty calls us to stop, rise above the noise to listen and feel the warm embrace that surrounds all life everywhere. The quiet growing of Life beneath the Earth seems to shout “I Love you. You are mine. I forgive you and you will be with me forever.”
Scratching the ground for a bit of food and chattering to himself, an impatient squirrel hears me bringing the empty garbage can up to the house. Ralph, as we call him, scampers up the tree. Hurry up human, I am hungry. “Patience,” I say under my breath. I observe that I feel a lot like Ralph sometimes. Just digging and searching impatiently for quick wisdom and reassurance of what I think I need.
How will we approach Lent this year, as we are rooted and grounded in Christ, to proclaim our beautiful connection to all that exists in this world? Deep inside the seed that grows within …Jesus shows us how as we listen, observe, participate fully in life. I wish to grow, to learn as I push upward through the snow with Christ as my closest friend and guide through in whatever “weather” I find myself.
And, as Ralph reminds me so lovingly, don’t forget along the way to feed the animals and all creation, including yourself. Nourish tenderly with kindness, service, joy from deep within your beautiful self that God created. Live in the moment and perhaps, hug a tree…
Takeaways: Stop and warm yourself with the joy of Life. Listen with your heart to the message of the following beautiful old hymn of faith and trust. Listen as the Spirit leads you to grow…to push upward through whatever “weather” you find yourself. Find the Light in others.
Begone, unbelief, My Savior is near Author: John Newton
Begone unbelief, My Savior is near, And for my relief Will surely appear: By prayer let me wrestle, And he will perform, With Christ in the vessel, I smile at the storm.
Prayer: Jeremiah 15:16 When I received your words, I ate them. They filled me with joy. My heart took delight in them. Lord God who rules over all, I belong to you. Amen
The lemonade quenches my thirst after a hard day. A squirrel catches my eye while gracefully jumping across the chasm between neighboring trees in our backyard. I strain to focus on the little acrobat as the Sun radiantly peers down between our dear old trees which struggle to thrive.
Their leafy branches protect me and contain the strong fire of the Sun while a deep gurgling reminds me of the “swamp” sump pump runoff that saps away some of their strength. The Sun slides down into the honey locust as the yellow fireball steadily moves across the yard. My eyes travel down its trunk as a glint of Light gently caresses its rough bark scorched with dryness from lack of nourishment to its roots.
To the left of my chair, its roots reach up to the surface of the grass, as if pleading for nourishment from the Earth. More than once I have mowed over one of the roots as it reaches out to get something, anything to grow. Its very life threatened by the sandy soil it was growing in and the swamp tearing away life-giving nourishment.
As the Sun moves across the yard, its light holds for a moment where the honey oak’s branches seem to grasp its neighboring ash tree gently with its leafy limbs as if for help…as they seem to be giving strength to each other. The ash has required a lot of love this year, but it refuses to give in and reaches up to the sky with fresh new leaves. I admire its strength and will to focus on surviving. The borer will not claim this one despite years of damaging storms tearing its limbs and insects crawling all over it … all wounds that our arborist said could eventually kill it. Yet, they both hold on. They remain strong fed by the Love that have helped them grow to magnificent height.
Gentle reader, how do we get fed? Do we reach out as these magnificent trees? Each form of life has its own needs, just like each person. All interconnected to the rest of the world and universe, dependent on each other – overcoming, surviving the cracking, hurting, being fed. When we look at each being, do we see Christ’s face? Do we reach out to assist or turn away? Do we shine the Love indwelling in us?
A simple takeaway: find one thing in this moment you are grateful for in your life and reach out with Joy and Love to someone or something else. Perhaps share a smile or an encouragement to a dear one, a stranger, a struggling friend, or just someone you haven’t spoken to in a while. Or, volunteer to help victims of a storm when headlines disappear, while hurt and destruction remain. Listen quietly to the Spirit inside and be there as the One who is always there for you. Love will return to you as surely as the Sun consistently rises and sets each day.
My child, do you know who I am? Be filled and listen deeply as I enfold you. I am the joy of the bird floating gently on the depth of air I am the song of the bird that sings its song to the heavens I am the heart of the fish swimming in the sea searching for food I am the soft breeze gently moving in the atmosphere I am the radiant candle flame burning eternally
I am in the hope of a child gazing at his mother I am in the deep trust of hearts entwined I am in the heart of the mother gazing at her baby I am in the heart of the parent nearing eternity I am in the heart of the mother losing her child
I am within the swirls of air tantalizing and filling all that lives I am within the ever growing dandelions through the rocky soil I am within the growing of branches and budding leaves on trees I am within the deep, searing warmth of the sun I am within the powerfully life flowing waters of the river I am within the star-filled darkness that encompasses the Earth
I am embedded in blueness of the sky I am encrusted in the moist, constant warmth of Mother Earth
I am part of the glowing sunrise encompassing the Earth I am part of the ever flowing thought that provide wisdom I am part of the laughter, the smiles, the twinkling eyes I am part of the soft, purring of the sleeping cat I am part of the gentle yip of the dog that sees its best friend I am part of the Essences of all that live, move and have being
I am one with the All in All. I exist only because the One exists. Now and forever. Who am I? I am Love.