Sunday, March 21, 2021


 But I tell you this:  love your enemies.   Pray for those who torment and persecute you - in so doing, you become, you reveal that you are children of your Father in Heaven...for He causes the sun to shine on evil and good alike...It's easy to love your own kind (those who love you), for even tax collectors do that.  So be perfect as your Father in heaven is.  Matthew 5:43-48

Some key words to consider.  Enemies - ekhthro - haters, those who are actively hostile.  Perfect - mature, virtuous.

What enemies, Lord?  Haters.  Those who would steal my joy and subvert my path towards godliness.  I am thinking about how I can act righteous and pursue godliness with support and how certain dreadful people get me off track - make me want to swear and obsess about their dreadfulness.  

How about the system which oppresses my black/brown friends?  It breaks my heart and steals their joy.  How do I pray for those enemies of God's people?  Martin Luther King said they would only be won over with love.  Which prayer could I pray "for" them.  By implication my prayers are that they would be moved towards God.  

The scariest prayers I pray for my loved ones, these enemies deserve:  "Lord, do whatever it takes..."  Do whatever it takes to remove oppression, to return hearts towards the Lord, to allow love to flow between people instead of hate and eliminate hostility.  Such a focus would move me and them.

I think of how I want to pray for my friends, colleagues, brothers and sisters in Christ.  May I want to pray for all enemies with the same fervor.  Feels daunting, but I must.

Monday, March 08, 2021


 Having weathered many storms (gulf coast freezes and hurricanes, midwest blizzards and tornados), I know how to prepare and improvise  through a catastrophe.  As a city, country and world traveler I thought that during the pandemic, this would be a nice time to regroup.  This would be a good time to collect myself.

But I didn't need 12 months to regroup.  At first, the puzzles mollified me.  A few things got cleaned that needed it.  I increased my meditation and study.  These were all good.  But 12 months?  There was no way I was going to stay away from grandkids and kids for 12 months, and they pretty much stayed in the same bubble protocols as we did, so I didn't have to give up visiting. 

Now, in the 12th month, I have had some new revelations.  I have learned to love the space I am in.  I like being in the rooms of my house.  That may sound like an obvious thought, but I mean that I actually take time to enjoy a picture or an item, sometimes for its inherent artistry, its source - the aura of its presence adds a color or a memory.  I love my yard and gardens. They speak to me; I speak to them.  (They really need some encouragement right now.)

This kind of quiet presence in the company of great blessings, I must admit I haven't always held.  I'm usually on the clock, or worse yet, a stopwatch for activities. 

A pandemic lull has been the place I have really learned to linger.  In some fashion, I am at peace in a new way.  I don't want to go back to "normal."  I want to rest, take in nature and humanity, my own and others.  I want to continue some sense of deeper knowing that I didn't have before.  My words are slack in telling it, but I want to stay where this pandemic has put me.

I have given much thought to this:  Do less so you can be more.

Tuesday, March 02, 2021


 God is so rich in mercy and he loves us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sin, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. It is only by God’s grace that you are saved.  For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and sealed us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ.

Ephesians 2:4-6, 7-10

Over and over I read about the generosity of God and the sacrifice of Jesus to deliver these riches to us.  These origins of the faith, I cannot forget.  My peace from His torture, my healing from His wounds.  Heavenly realms are spoken in the present tense.  It’s now.   “He raised me up” is the song by Josh Groban:

            He raised me so I can stand on mountains…

            He raised me up to walk on stormy seas….

What low place might we feel right now?  How might we “sit” ourselves in the heavenly realms with Christ?  Take 2 minutes and breathe that truth.

So God can point to us in the future as the example of his incredible wealth of his grace and kindness, to show what is available for those united with Christ.

A life of meaning comes from the design of God.  We are to be the example to a lost world of his incredible grace and kindness.  To allow His gift to us to flow out is a gift, an honor, a burden.  The world doesn’t always seem to welcome it, but we an do no other thing.  Consider how we can show grace and kindness in all the places we are.