Friday, February 13, 2009

When someone you love is hurting

In this economic time, people all over the world are praying for guidance, hoping for security and stablity in a time that seems to be pitching and swaying like a boat on turbulent waters. Watching the world markets rise and fall, hearing the headlines filled with alternating hopeful and then discouraging stories of revenue reports, job losses, housing markets, and bailouts does not help us find a sense of peace and calm. We all know people who are anxious and worried--maybe to the point of exhaustion, illness, or utter hopelessness--and perhaps we are sometimes those people ourselves!

A phrase that has been arising in my mind and heart a lot lately is "It is for this time we have come." (This comes to me from the story of Esther, when Mordecai encourages Queen Esther to speak on behalf of her people to the king.) I think that phrase has a lot to do with the hope borne in this country and catalyzed by the Obama presidency, but it also reflects our response to the needs of our earth, the globalization of our community, and our search for meaning and purpose. It is for this time we have come. We have gifts, talents, love, compassion, vision, connection, faith, and energy to invest. Perhaps right now we don't feel we have a lot of money. But there's much to give and receive. It is still an abundant universe.

Today Hazelden's Today's Gift e-mail offered something that was clear and simple and uplifting, and I'd like to pass it along. The idea is from Douglas Bloch's book Listening to Your Inner Voice(I'm paraphrasing):

    When someone we love is hurting, we may not be able to make the problem go away (we each have to do our own inner work, after all), but there are very definite ways we can help support our loved one as he or she seeks peace, guidance, and change: (1)We can affirm that there's a purpose behind the situation--it is here to bring some kind of healing or it wouldn't be happening; (2) We can imagine her surrounded by love and light, protected and embraced with goodness (this is true because God is Love); and (3) we can know that that the God is with her, right now, in this circumstance, and wants the best and most loving thing for her. All is truly well.

Welcome your blessing as you love and hope and walk in faith today. It is for this time we have come. The love that sustains, leads, and accompanies us will not let us down.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Overflowing Good

This morning as I was getting ready for work, I was thinking about the 23rd Psalm, and the deep comfort it offers us in times like these. Specifically the words, "Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; thou annointest my head with oil; my cup overflows..." has a huge amount of resonance for me (for some reason when I reflect on this Psalm especially I always hear the old English in my head).

Instead of outer "enemies," in my life I recognize that thoughts of worry, fear, and anxiety about the future are the obstacles that keep me from recognizing the presence and power of God in this very moment. God is annointing our heads with blessings--countless blessings--right now. Are we receiving them? How are those blessings running over into our lives? Where are the blessings we receive flowing naturally beyond any limits and spreading out to bless others through our day?

I love the idea that we can notice where our cup is already overflowing and it will give our hearts courage and our minds peace. God is working right now, and somewhere in your life, your blessings are overflowing. I invite you to notice where, say thanks, and relax and let God do the blessing! That's what I'm going to try to do today. :)

Sunday, February 01, 2009

If Wendell Berry were on Twitter...

I recently started posting to a Twitter account (it appears here, to the right, and on my business site, reVisions Plus). My intention was to find out what all the excitement was about and determine whether Twitter was a helpful tool to add to the social networking/online communications system we're creating at the nonprofit where I work (KDP). I enjoy the short, brief, "You are here" kinds of posts, and I like hearing what others are doing in bite-sized chunks.

It occurred to me just now, as I updated my Twitter feed, noticing the icicle across the yard melting so quickly it is dropping a near-constant stream of water on the ground, that I would love to read Wendell Berry's Twitter posts. They would surely point to the sacred in a pure, crystaline way, like the thinnest skiff of ice on the surface of a flowing stream.

Each word has power and clarity. Every phrase is its own living image, stirring your mind and heart, calling your own memories into the sunlight. Behind the imagery and the rhythm is a swirling essence that makes you glad you've surfaced at precisely this moment, with the soul-nourishing task of reading a Wendell Berry poem. He would Twitter about the catch of the light just now on that disappearing icicle. He would tell me about the face of the finch peering in just before finding the filled feeder. And he would wrap it all up in the arms of a natural world so vast and solid and eternal that I wouldn't need to worry about anything for the rest of the day.

I'm looking forward to the day Wendell Berry begins to Twitter, but I realize I may wait a long time. He's busy on the farm, at the desk, describing the steam of the morning and the easing of the day. :)