Lover of Life, who awakens us with the light of day,
Breathe into us anew as we attend to your holy Presence. Hold us in this moment, carrying us in the fullness of your love. Give to all who are in pain or grief, a sense of comfort through the monotony of hours. Remind us that even as Spring blooms fade into yesterday, you renew us with strength to persevere in difficult places. Provide all that is needed for your peace to shine in places of conflict. Most of all, give us clarity to know that sometimes even when we suffer, you use us to be part of your plan to relieve another’s burden. Amen.
We are all artists growing in becoming our true self. The gift to the world is the process. It is how we see both what is human and what is divine.
The bottom of the barrel is where the food rots. It’s smelly. The bottom of the barrel appears more empty than full. The bottom of the barrel is dark. No one wants whatever is in the bottom of the barrel.
Why is it that it seems that the bottom of the barrel, the most illogical place to find riches, is where we find God?
Sometimes we have to move toward the illogical in order to find the riches there. The labyrinth is a pathway of prayer. In Chartres, France, there is a well-known labyrinth. This labyrinth was created with a mathematical formula that uses the human body to teach the soul. It causes you to turn left when you think you should be turning right, it takes you far from the center when you think you are closest to the center. It is a learning experience for our bodies to do the work of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit moves in unpredictable ways. Jesus taught, “The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going.” (John 3:8a) To align our bodies with the movement of the Spirit will take us to places we never expected to go. When walking the labyrinth, an openness to possibility is essential. That means moving toward something we are not attracted to, it means moving toward places that don’t seem familiar. Our souls learn important truths as our bodies move in alignment with the Spirit.
Are we open to taking the thing that is at the bottom of the barrel and making our lives about that? Maybe the thing that is at the bottom of the barrel is the thing that counts the most. It might be the bottom of the barrel that takes us to the riches God intends for our lives, and my friends, we don’t want to miss that!
Splitting Hairs: The Fine Art of Picking Paint
I happen to love playing with color. I am sensitive to the way color ‘feels,’ warm or cold, quiet or loud, storybook or vintage. We associate color in some fascinating ways. Picking paint takes time and thought. Paint can look very different depending on the light. The tiny paint chips at the paint store don’t often convey what an entire wall will look like when it is covered. For me, creative versatility is important. My office needs to be peaceful on some days and playful on others. So I look for a color palate that will allow for a wide range of possibilities.
Once we have decided to renovate our lives and proceed fully committed to God, there are a wide range of possibilities for learning, growing and sharing in God’s love. Discernment is the process of making hair splitting decisions, most often between two good things. Shall I serve at the soup kitchen today or visit my elderly neighbor? Should I play with my children or call my sister who is going through a divorce? Should I clean the house or go out and work in the garden?
God doesn’t waste anything. Sometimes surprising blessings come from making the ‘wrong’ decisions. So get creative, pick a new color, do something you have never done before, make the best decision you can for today, and the rest will faithfully follow.