Through a window dimly: The Weight of Love

I often fell asleep on the way home from grammies house.
And when we got home my dad would carry me inside.

When I think about how I know he loved me I think about those times.
Heavy with sleep (and probably just plain heavy!)
he scooped me up and carried me the rest of the way home.

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Through a Window Dimly: Humans Being

We are, You are, Us are Humans trying our best to Be

you are kindness
you are challenge to status quo
you are hospitality
you are questions
you are stories
you are prayer
you are friend
you are ally
you are companion
you are curious
you are tired
you are thirsty
you are family
you are voice
you are ears
you are belief
you are called
you are sent
you are rest
you are weary
you are tears
you are joy
you are wonder
you are surprise
you are child
you are adult
you cleanup
you show up
you argue
you lament
you wander
you fish
you sleep
you lie
you forgive
you confess
you betray
you reconcile
you are you
you are others
you are neighbor
you are angry
you are sad
you are full
you are hungry
you steal
you pay
you bless
you trust
you bake
you eat you drink
you learn you grow
you walk away
you stay
you follow
you lead

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Through a Window Dimly: Start rising

on a long day on the way to the shortest day in the winter:

what would it look like to stop falling in love with Jesus and start rising in Jesus’ love for the world?

 

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Through a Window Dimly: Where Power Comes From

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When the Clay Jars Break

2 Corinthians 4 (NRSV)

But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us.

 

I bought this mug at Sturbridge Pottery in Massachusetts.  It was one of my favorites.

I practice mindfulness every morning when I am making my tea.

I choose everything carefully.

This morning I intentionally chose this mug.  I gave thanks for it and for the potter who made it.  I measured the sugar, poured the tea and sat down to work.

After being at my computer for awhile I mindlessly stood up and somehow managed to knock my mug to the floor.  After scooping up our curious kitten, Bo, I looked down to survey the scene.  The mug was laying in the remnants of my pear chocolate truffle tea.  The liquid that had been left in the bottom of the cup  was quickly spreading toward the nativity scene at the foot of the christmas tree.

After assuring Bo I did not need his help, I cleaned up the mess.

Returning to the kitchen sink with my dirty mop I noticed the broken open mug resting on the counter.  It was glowing.  Filled with sun.   Broken and cracked I could, for the first time, see that the designs inside were as beautiful as the outside.

Broken, I could see what it was really made of.

 

 

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Through a Window Dimly: mary and elizabeth

mary and elizabeth

greeting wonder with wonder.

now a sharpening.
now a knowing.

holding a leap in the bones of her being.
ground shifting, settling to make way for something new.

where there is now two there will be four…
Joy (multiplied)

 

Scripture:
Luke 1: 39-45 (NRSV)
39 In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, 40 where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit 42 and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. 43 And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? 44 For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. 45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be[a] a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.”

Wondering Questions for the road:
What do you notice? What do you hear? What does this call you to be about today? What is your prayer?

Visio Divina:

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Through a Window Dimly: Ruth, Naomi and Orpah

Blessing for the One Who Follows

God be
God be the air
God be the air you breathe
God be the air your breathe filling you, lifting you
God be the air you breathe filling you, lifting you, raising you
God be the air you breathe filling you, lifting you, raising you, showing you
God be the air you breathe filling you, lifting you, rising you, showing you, keeping you
God be the air you breathe filling you, lifting you, raising you, showing you
God be the air you breathe filling you, lifting you, raising you
God be the air you breathe filling you, lifting you
God be the air you breathe
God be the air
God be

 

Blessing for the One Who Turns Back

God be
God be the air
God be the air you breathe
God be the air you breathe filling you, lifting you
God be the air you breathe filling you, lifting you, raising you
God be the air you breathe filling you, lifting you, raising you, showing you
God be the air you breathe filling you, lifting you, rising you, showing you, keeping you
God be the air you breathe filling you, lifting you, raising you, showing you
God be the air you breathe filling you, lifting you, raising you
God be the air you breathe filling you, lifting you
God be the air you breathe
God be the air
God be

Scripture:

Ruth 1:6-14

6 Then she started to return with her daughters-in-law from the country of Moab, for she had heard in the country of Moab that the Lord had considered his people and given them food. 7 So she set out from the place where she had been living, she and her two daughters-in-law, and they went on their way to go back to the land of Judah. 8 But Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go back each of you to your mother’s house. May the Lord deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead and with me. 9 The Lord grant that you may find security, each of you in the house of your husband.” Then she kissed them, and they wept aloud. 10 They said to her, “No, we will return with you to your people.” 11 But Naomi said, “Turn back, my daughters, why will you go with me? Do I still have sons in my womb that they may become your husbands? 12 Turn back, my daughters, go your way, for I am too old to have a husband. Even if I thought there was hope for me, even if I should have a husband tonight and bear sons, 13 would you then wait until they were grown? Would you then refrain from marrying? No, my daughters, it has been far more bitter for me than for you, because the hand of the Lord has turned against me.” 14 Then they wept aloud again. Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her.

Wondering Questions for the road:
What do you notice? What do you hear? What does this call you to be about today? What is your prayer?

Visit Divina:

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Through a Window Dimly: Inspired, Challenged, Comforted, Driven and Mindfully Present through other peoples words

After writing about what I did not completely read I thought I would share some inspiration from what I AM reading:)

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This pile is all about slow reading over a long stretch of time.  Each one calls for practice in the art of showing up and learning how to be.  I will probably never finish any of these books.  So none of them have to be returned to the library.

Devotions Mary Oliver

Like the insistent chickadee who lives and sings in the forsythia bush, i wait with joy for each new Mary Oliver book of poetry.  and then i sing for more.

Real Love: The Art of Mindful Connections Sharon Salzberg

I have never read a book this slowly, carefully and intentionally.  Because I am convinced that the truth in it will heal me in ways I can’t even understand yet.  Sharon Salzberg’s work with what love is (and is not) forces me to reconsider a lot of things i have held as truth.

Love Heals Becca Stevens

Searching the truth.  Embracing the stories.  Confronting my own story telling.

True Refuge: Finding Peace and Freedom in your own awakened heart Tara Brach

Exercises grounded in real life that advance my mindfulness practice.  Both practical and  deep.

Mindfulness on the Go: Simple Meditation Practices You can Do Anywhere   Jan Chozen Bays

This is one of several copies of this book.  I keep one in my computer bag and have one handy to give away to anyone who seems remotely interested in practicing mindfulness.

 

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This pile mixes things up a bit.  It reflects a bit more intergenerational work with centering prayer and mindfulness.  And some Christmas thinking.  Some planning for my  fiber arts work.  I top it off (the pile and the learning) with some field instructions on the wilderness walk.

A Quiet Place Douglas Wood

The story and illustration point to the gift all people need: a quiet place to be.

Journey to the Heart: Centering Prayer for Children Frank X. Jelenek

Love this book as an ingredient for helping children stay centered in the times where sensories of all become overloaded.

A Midnight Clear: Selected Family Christmas Stories Katherine Paterson

I am reading some of these stories Katherine Paterson (author of Bridge to Terabithia and Jacob Have I loved and more great children literature) wrote for her husband to use as part of Christmas in the congregations where he served as pastor.

A Stash of One’s Own: Knitters on loving, Living With and Letting Go of Yarn Clara Parks

I am only a bit of the way in and i love this book.  I would post a picture of my own stash but there is not enough room on this blog.  I am working on turning my stash into something else and i am finding inspiration for the pilgrimage.

Braving the Wilderness:The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone Brene Brown

I could not sleep the other night.  So I woke up and began this book.  Soon I found myself weeping because somebody was telling my story.  Did that ever happen to you?  I kept reading for more instructions on how to embrace my life in new ways.  I am reading it again.  I suggest you do, too.  Especially if you are finding a way to belong in communities where you aren’t sure you can fit in.  And if you ever wanted to be able to be you wherever you happen to find yourself.  or if you ever wanted to figure out who the bullshitters (her word, not mine…but it works) are in your life.  And how to live in it all.

I use these for short, daily devotions.

Sacred Journeys: A Womans Book of Daily Prayer Jan Richardson

This book is wonderful.  Each week begins with a theme and then there are daily readings and prompts for further thought and prayer.

The Ordering of Love Madeleine L’Engle

This collection of L’Engle’s poetry is a treasure of thinking about many of the Biblical figures in new ways

Fragments of an Ancient Name:365 Glimpses of the Divine for Daily Meditation Joyce Rupp

Rupp uses expansive language and thoughtful, provoking images and helps me notice God in new ways.

Advent and Christmas: Wisdom from Henri J. Nouwen

I like this daily devotional because, in addition to scripture and theological expansion on the scripture, it suggests an advent action for each day.

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And I just uploaded these on my electronic device:

The Story of Arthur Truluv Elizabeth Berg

Because I am always reading something that is fiction.

Red Suitcase Naomi Shihab Nye

I love her poetry.  Her poem “Kindness” is one of my all time favorite poems ever.

The Monastery and the Microscope: Conversations with the Dalai Lama on Mind, Mindfulness, and the Nature of Reality Wendy Hasenkamp

Because the title and cover are interesting.  And i like to read things that challenge the walls i have put up around my thinking brain.

Chasing Utopia Nikki Giovanni

I just listened to an incredible interview with Nikki Giovanni on a podcast of On Being.  It reminded me again that I love her work.

 

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A Sacred Pause

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Through a Window Dimly: The beginning and end of the Gospel according to Mark

Albany has a tremendous public library and that is where I get most all of my books. It is not unusual for me to have up to 10 books out at any given time. Sometimes, more. Recently I found myself looking at a pile of books I had fully intended to read, but knew i could not finish by the end of the day. It had been a busy week and I just had not made the space to read as I had intended.

So I sat down with the pile and read the first chapter and last chapter of each one. then I took a picture so I could check it out again later if I wanted to know the middle part. Efficient…maybe. Best practice…not at all. But it eased my sadness about not reading the books (a little) and my guilt about not making enough space to read (a lot).

I still remember learning somewhere that the first sentences of any book (more than the blurb on the book jacket) tell you the most about what you can expect from any writer. I have found this to be true. So true, that this practice of reading first sentences is how I ended up with all those books in the first place! It is my natural default when looking for a good book.

I like to look at the Gospels this way, too. In the first sentences you get a dim glimpse at the expansive story about to unfold. And I have to say, I give the gospel of Mark high points for getting right to the point. John is a close second with his poetic musings and meandering, but give me Mark when it comes to the need for a gospel that leads me on a path of justice and redemption.

And if you don’t have time to read the whole thing today I humbly suggest you read the beginning and the end. And be reminded that indeed the women did not let the fear of their insight and the truth of the resurrection keep them from talking for too long. Because we wouldn’t have the beginning if in between they decided to tell the story anyway.

And since there is no due date on when the story must be returned, you might find some power for living and authority for actions of love in the middle chapters.

The story of the good news according to Mark is at times hard to fathom and even more difficult to abide. Forgiveness, redemption, lament, anger, justice, love, death, life, fear, truth.

Scripture:
Go get your favorite Bible and read the first and last chapters of the gospel of Mark

Wondering Questions for the road:
What do you notice? What do you hear? What does this call you to be about today? What is your prayer?

Visio Divina:

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Through a Window Dimly: Awesome

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