Thursday, September 30, 2010

prepared moments

one has to be prepared for the desert
and I saw today how God prepared me
while I did not yet even understand the word
He led me to the poustinia

and then He opened the door

after a bit
He taught me how it was necessary to close the door
while inside

it is in the desert
where there are moments
the barrier
between the visible and the invisible
can be broken
when one can penetrate beyond the world of things
when the invisible presence is revealed

Monday, September 27, 2010

Carlo moments

a year or so ago while doing some reading
I came across some words written by
Carlo Carretto ......
these words were so stunning
so beautiful
so vulnerable
they almost sang their presence on paper

this man was expressing things in my heart -
I had not the language to speak them
but he did
and I was lost in these words
they wrapped my spirit
my heart
my mind

all I had were little snippets of things he had written
I tried to find his books
they were all out of print I was told
and so I simply continued to devour the little bits I had

a few weeks ago
I "suddenly" came across a website
where one could order Christian books
I tapped into it
and discovered these folks could order
some of this author's books

and two days ago
they arrived ............

I had a housefull at the time
and no quiet moments to sit
until last evening

I have only read the tiniest bit
but am completely wrecked .............

this man
Carlo Carretto
at the age of forty-four
in the midst of "successful"
fruit bearing activities for the church
heard God ask him to give it all up
and come away with Him into the desert

God said He wanted Carlo's love
not his works

when you hear that call
you really have no choice
and so Carlo went into the Sahara

a well intentioned friend
gave him an injection
to protect him medically from some of the desert dangers

an incorrect vial was used
and the injection left Carlo paralyzed in one leg

Carlo's dream
after his time in the desert had been completed
was to serve God in the Alps
working and living alongside the porters
and the climbers
and now
with this paralyzed leg
his dream was also paralyzed

his reaction:

"I won't say it was a misfortune.
I only say that God was able to transform it into a grace.
The thickest cloak that weighed on my misery
and my blindness
God has torn away,
and the nakedness of my wounded flesh
has helped me to recognize
out beyond the veil of mystery,
the nakedness of God"

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

covering moments

one day last week during a rain storm
we heard
inside the house
and thus learned we had a leak in our roof
after calling a roofer to inspect things
we were a tad shocked
to discover our roof
our covering
was totally shot
we bought this house in a March
with three feet of snow on the roof
and so the house inspector
was never able to see the shingles
there was a disclosure clause that
required the previous owner to speak of any problems
however, the state of the roof was never mentioned ..........
one of the compelling reasons for us to buy this house
was the sterling reputation of the builder
we have since learned
that not all his subcontractors shared such a fine reputation
so, although only 12 years old
we need a completely new roof ..........
the shoddy workmanship is only evident from the back of the house:
when looking up from the front
everything appears in fine order ..........
and I see all sorts of spiritual implications in this expensive lesson
firstly, sometimes things are hidden
and these hidden things affect the spiritual coverage
of anyone abiding in a "house".
secondly, it is important to inspect the covering
from all angles
thirdly, even though the reputation might be sterling
one must take the time to dig
and reveal
and expose
and then watch to see how what is exposed is dealt with
or indeed
if there is a willingness to deal with it at all
there have been times I have not paid enough attention
to the state of the "shingles"
of my covering
as in the natural
all the old shingles must be removed
so in the spiritual
there must be a total removal of the previous covering
a complete coming out from under a defective roof
I am grateful to have been reminded of this
before the storms of winter arrive .........

Monday, September 20, 2010

wombed moments





each moment

my God never gives me the future
He only gives me the present
moment by moment

how vitally important it is then
that I live fully
wide awake
and at peace
in each moment

Saturday, September 18, 2010

silent moment

leaves falling noiselessly
doing a quiet dance while making their way to the ground
no longer quite so full
dressed in such magnificence
do the trees feel their loss
do they mourn the nearing of winter
their still, quiet season
when pregnant with the promise of spring
of life hidden within
they simply stand through a long silence

Friday, September 17, 2010

committed moments

a passing remark by a friend caught my attention ........
he spoke of someone being a committed Christian
and I wondered about that word committed ..........
what exactly does that mean?
what do we base our using it to describe someone on?

I know of some
maybe many
who are so busy doing this, that and the other thing
in the Name of Christ
for the "church"
that being around them makes me feel I am in a whirlwind

there is a certain freneticism about their activities
their very lives

is it approval seeking
affirmation needing
trying to fill an inner hole
a lack of solid certainty about their belovedness

and we look at the outward manifestation
and conclude they are "committed"

perhaps it is we might even strive to match
their "committedness"
so that we too would be considered committed .........

but my wondering in all this
is about the heart

how and where is their heart

I have known for a very long time
that my life is to be a life of prayer

outwardly it seems I am "doing" nothing
and I have been hammered over the head
and pierced right through the heart
more than once
with the scripture
"faith without works is dead"

when younger I felt it was necessary for me to attempt to justify my life
of prayer
and solitude
and contemplation
but fortunately that is no longer the case .........

there is a quiet knowing within my spirit
within my soul
within my body
that allows me to rest and be still

I hear the words of Jesus
when his colleagues came to Him
saying didn't we do this, that and the other thing for You
and He answered with
go away, I don't know you

I for sure do not wish to judge anyone
nor even question
anyone else's commitment


is it really necessary to be highly active outwardly
to be

or is more the degree of surrender of a heart

what about the ones who chair every committee
teach every class
drive every child
memorize every scripture
and yet have no peace
no love
no mercy
no joy
no tenderness

I heard a pastor say once that
you can go to hell with baptism waters still fresh on your head

I think he probably knew what he was talking about

Thursday, September 16, 2010

moment moments

today I began to feel the weight
of the moments of the last three weeks .............
and my first thought was to yell out

which meant of course
take it all away
give me a break ............

note the "me" in there

a purely selfish reaction

there has been Ron's medical stuff
entailing 4 trips to emerg in 3 weeks
and more to come
asthma striking with a vengeance in the midst of all that
walking with my brother through the suicide of his wife's son
a leak in the roof
and Jenn's call yesterday about the lump biopsy

it has been a lot
that is the truth
those are the facts

and if I only focus on the "lot"
it weighs me down

but mixed in with the "lot"
there have been moments of pure God
many moments of pure God
many moments of seeing Jesus
hearing Jesus
feeling Jesus

and so
now I have moved away from ENOUGH
to simply saying
thank You

thank You for Your faithfulness
Your kindness
Your provision
Your grace

thank You for life
and for breath

thank You that You hold all our moments
in Your perfectly capable hand

thank You that You know the end from the beginning
and are present in the now

I love You

Monday, September 13, 2010

or moment

head held not quite so high now
the horizon a little closer
arms drooping a bit
body a little bent, gnarled and wrinkled
bared of any outward beauty
the storms
even the most ferocious
have not caused a falling down
externally now seeming barren and finished
within there remains a dance
a song
a beautiful glimmering golden hope
life remains incubated
wombed deep inside
awaiting the freedom of the coming season
a soaring never before known
a living within the colors of the rainbow

a tree

or me .................

grace-less moment

rebellion is devoid of the memory of grace ......

Friday, September 10, 2010

shadow moment

thinking about how even the most beautiful flower
has its own shadow

Thursday, September 09, 2010

easy moment

if a bird stays within easy reach of the ground
it will never fly well

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

eagle moments

you cannot expect to keep an eagle in a forest .........

even the most majestic bird
which soars higher than all others
and endures the longest flights
will sink into despair
when placed in a cage
and forced to beat its wings against prison bars

Monday, September 06, 2010

eyes moment

this week has brought about many moments of sitting in emerg
during the day
in the middle of the night
and very early in the morning

there is not much to do in emerg
other than duck sneezes and coughs
while trying to remain calm and positive

you watch a lot ...........
listening can be a bit off-putting
so you simply watch

some swagger in
gold everywhere
big boots
strange hair
the obligatory ripped knee in jeans

others sort of whimper in
eyes refusing to make contact with anything other than the floor

and then there is the occasional demanding entrance


each one in their own particular agony

soft words
angry words
hateful words
weeping words
bold words
scared words

a lot of life passes before you
during the wait

a muslim woman
all in black
only her eyes betraying her fear

a fire fighter
fighting his own battle
and yet offering his jacket for warmth

a pastor and his wife
while rushing in to a family emergency
stopping to help

a young woman
who sat for hours
silently weeping

the no-nonsense triage nurse
gently holding my hand as she passed me the chart

the very big security guard
carefully walking me to the car in the dark

the docs
touching much
and yet
taking time
to make sure we understood

all these
the ones needing help
the ones giving help
all someone's daughter
someone's son

the eyes give it all away

the toughest
the most flamboyant
the strongest

when you look into their eyes
all you see
is someone very tiny
and very vulnerable

at times I wished there were 50 of me
just to come alongside
to listen
to be fully present