Tuesday, October 30, 2012

From an article by William Easum "When People Would Rather Be Nice than Be Christian"  -
People who would rather be nice than Christian do not love enough. 
They do not have enough compassion. 
Instead, they are afraid of hurting someone or of being hurt. 
But fear is the opposite of love: "Perfect love casts out fear" (1 John 4:18).

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Split leaf philadendrom

My neighbor told me it was time to bring the plants in.  So I finally re-potted the split leaf philadendrom that loves being outside in the summer.  It gets so big and happy all summer long, sitting in the garden.  It had completely outgrown its pot.  So I put it in a bigger one and brought it in.  Winter is hard on it.  It loses leaves.  It shrinks.  It hates winter, just like I do.
This is my grandmother's plant.  It lived on the back porch in Texas.  My mother took it when grandmother died.  And gave it to me.  It is about the only plant I try to keep alive.  And so far, I have succeeded.  But when it is sitting in my living room, sometimes it whispers to me, "Why can't we live in Nicaragua?  I would fit right in there, under a lemon tree in your courtyard.  I don't belong here at all."  Yeah, I whisper back.  Me neither.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

now the eyes of my eyes are opened

Yesterday, I visited a woman
who was too busy dying to talk to me. 
Beside her bed was a book of poetry. 
I riffed the pages' edge to find a place
where the book opened easily,
and so I came upon this poem,
which spoke most clearly:

i thank You God for most this amazing day
By e e cummings
i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky;and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday;this is the birth
day of life and love and wings:and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any-lifted from the no
of all nothing-human merely being
doubt unimaginably You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

Overheard on FaceBook

Part of a conversation:

I open my mouth and sometimes it makes people hate me.
I keep my mouth shut and sometimes it makes me hate myself.

Maybe that would make a good prayer of confession.

It makes me think about what I say and fail to say.  There are lots of times I keep my mouth shut when I have an opinion or observation that I know would not be welcomed.  And if I thought it was just cowardice over what others would think, I couldn't live with myself.  But I tell myself that my concern - the thing that stops me from speaking my mind - is that I care about the other person, and the possibility of a relationship with them, and the peace of the community we both share.   My opinion is rarely as valuable as any of that.  And, to be honest, I don't have a very good track record of knowing when speaking up is and is not helpful.  If I err (which I do) I'd rather err on the side of silence.