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Religion

  • He will add humility wherever he goes

     Funerals are never easy events for me. They evoke multiple and mixed feelings. Loss and regret commingle with sorrow and blessing. Relief and sadness embrace. Tears flow as tender smiles erupt. Past and present merge into an unknown future. Cultural commands dictating appropriate behavior collide with an innate sense of rightness that opposes propriety.

  • Obstacles are avenues of opportunity more than objects for avoidance

     

    Hubby Dear often speaks fondly of his godmother, a Roman Catholic nun now deceased. She was a woman of faith, fidelity, and forcefulness. The bar was always raised in her presence. On one occasion in his life, when H.D. was just knee high to a grasshopper, he received a card from her that bore a simple message, but one he has never forgotten. It read, “An obstacle is something that gets in the way when you take your eye off the goal.”

  • Early followers were people of the way

     Early followers of Christ were not known as Christians, but as people of the Way. This nugget of information has always intrigued me. Perhaps the intrigue is evoked by the various movements that still arise in society. Early on, there was an understanding that following a person was itself a recognition that each day is a unique opportunity to enter the process of dying and rising. We have models, examples, in the various persons who opted for Christ as described in Scripture.

  • Looking beyond the shadow of doubt

     So often we have allowed doubt to cast a shadow on our faith. We let it tinge credence with incredulity, casting the gloom of uncertainty upon the grace of certitude. This causes distress and dismay to dog our steps and burden our spirits. We are shaken, but not to the core. To try to dismiss doubt summarily — banishing it to the darkest corner we can find — does no good. Somehow it surfaces when we least expect it and we are, once again, ill at ease.

  • Walking down the wrong road, talking

     

    One day my sister was busily discussing with me all that had happened in her young daughter’s life. She was engaged in a lively monologue of maternal advice and suggestions as I listened with the heart and ears of an older sibling who had been that route many years before. Neither of us noticed that we were not alone in the room, until a small voice interrupted our reverie. I smiled as I heard my niece tell her Mom, “You are walking down the wrong aisle, talking.” 

  • An exquisitely connected world is always about critical connections, never critical mass

     The emails I receive often carry with them little nuggets of wisdom. I am struck with the wisdom and inspired to ponder them beyond a glance and a quick move to the next objet d’art. This one was presented by Grace Lee Boggs via the Daily Good website. She wrote: “We never know how our small activities will affect others through the invisible fabric of our connectedness. In this exquisitely connected world, it’s never a question of ‘critical mass.’ It's always about critical connections.”

  • Lent is a time to listen to God’s voice
  • Empty words entrench doubt in our hearts

     I like to believe there is nothing coincidental or accidental in our lives. I am wont to ponder all as being part and parcel of Providence acting to evoke our awakening to the divinity hidden in our humanity … in all creation. Actually, it is more than my “liking” to which I refer. It is my experience.

  • There is a healing power to storytelling

     I frequently state my inadequacy regarding history. There were so many facts, dates to memorize with accompanying names of rulers or tyrants, winners and losers. I had a hard time keeping them straight. So, it was cram for the exam and don’t give heed to any future impact. No one ever offered the option to view history as our human story. No one tried to make it interesting. No one seemed to think that one day I might … one day we might … beg, “Tell me a story before I go to sleep.”

  • A presidential fare thee well

     Saying goodbye is never easy. Even when one believes that endings are openings to new beginnings, goodbye is a word that sticks in our throat. So many thoughts and feelings emerge, converge and draw tenderness and toughness into a complicated embrace. Memories come to the surface, good and bad alike. Regrets join the company, creating a sharp edge and an intake of breath. Should haves, would haves, could haves cannot be completely erased. Perhaps that is a good thing.