Friday, September 26, 2014

Weather Report:

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Storms and rainbows, followed by . . .
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. . . followed by periods of bright sunshine!
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Monday, July 7, 2014

Here I Am

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There have been many times in my life when I gripped tight
in desperation
to calling, gifts, and kin,
thinking that my grip could hold.  And yet
most often,
there was nothing I could have done to prevent the slipping away—
no desperate enough prayer, no holy enough life, no adequate bargain, no amount of  rule-keeping and promise-making.
The dark and loss crept over my youthful optimism and my faulty belief that somehow I was protected—impervious—because
I held the right creeds and made my bed in the right holy camp,
but here I am,
helpless once again, eyes open once again to my need, and
I am gripping tight
to You.

Friday, June 6, 2014

My Book of Uncommon Prayers: Here in the Middle

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Time and non-time,
the common and the uncommon, spinning together,
sometimes glimpsed, but often not–
always together, spiritual and material,
God is calling, wanting communion;
it’s a call to communion,
to participate
in all these grace-gifts.
Heaven and earth are tangled, and here I am in the middle,
thinking I am caught only in my own will and experience, when
there is this tugging for the eternal, the mystery–for me and my affections,
and I am off trying to find myself, when
I need only find myself in You.
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Saturday, May 24, 2014

Perhaps the end of the story–at least my part!

Well, I just got a gift.  
I went out to check on where I had the cage. I left his sock nest there just in case he came back. Then I saw him in the crook of a tree cheeping. I thought, oh, no. Now what? So I went in to get a dropperful of food.
When I got close, he went to another branch. And then a black-chinned hummer started beating on his head to drive him away from the feeder area! Argh!
He flew up in another branch, but not close enough for me to get him or protect him if the black-chinned came back . . . which, in fact, he did. But………… did mama!
She came swooping in and chased off the other hummer and was eyeing me, too. I wanted to see if she really was protecting him and would feed him, but she did not come close to him–just chattered in the tree close by. So I went inside and peeked through the window.
I saw her fend off the black-chinned again; and then, she went to the feeder, loaded up apparently, and went up and fed him. Yeah!  Hallelujah! Then she took off and he followed in her direction.

Why am I crying?

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Well, I guess it should be a happy ending, but why am I crying?
I took Bano outside in a birdcage we have to see if his mom would hear him and find him. He was hungry and cheeping. I thought the cage bars would hold him, though he is small. But . . .
We sat there for a while by the feeder, and he was very excited, hearing hummer sounds. But none of the several hummingbirds there even expressed curiosity about him until . . . she came in my face, closer than close.
She came several times, opening her mouth and talking to Bano. She even clung to the sides of the cage, then flew around trying to get at him. She came back several times, and I didn’t know what to do.  There was no doubt this was mom.
I thought I would put him on his sock bed cupped in my hand and see if she would come to him out of the cage.  When I tried to catch him in the cage, he got very excited, flitting around, and he squeezed through the bars! 
He flew up where I could not reach him, clinging to the stucco wall, cheeping. I watched him, letting him know I was still here. Then he flew to a nearby tree and clung to a crook, swaying in the wind. No breezes here. I watched and prayed. He cheeped.
Finally, he flew again into the neighbor’s, out of sight, but I could still hear him cheeping. I felt sad, and there was nothing I could do.
Then mama zipped by, and over the fence. I heard her chattering to him, and the cheeping stopped for a long while.
I just finished cleaning up the mess, and I am happy-sad. I think–I hope–he will be okay, especially since I believe his mom found him. But this has been an awesome experience, and though he needs to be free, I will miss those tiny feet on my hand.  :(

All Creatures Great and Small

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All things bright and beautiful,
all creatures great and small
all things wise and wonderful,
the Lord God made them all.
Each little flower that opens,
each little bird that sings,
He made their glowing colors,
He made their tiny wings.
~~Cecil F. Alexander

Pajarito del Bãno

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Since the bathroom is his home right now, this is what we have christened the little one.  Thanks to my hubby for the correct Spanish.  In French, it would have been La Petite Oiseau de la Salle de Bain, which is too long a moniker for such a little one.
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The Drama Goes On

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Poor little guy.  We almost lost him today–away too long at work.  Okay, the year is almost over, so everyone gets an A, and you don’t have to come to class any more.  Happy summer!  I have babysitting to do.
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Rescue Me!

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This little baby hummingbird either tried to wing it before his time or was a victim of foul (or fowl) play; however, a rescue operation is now in effect at the “Doolittle” home.
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We took him to a vet who does rescue, but given that he flew around the room, they sent him home for us to release.  But he is not ready to be on his own.  He had perched on the same branch (my neighbor placed him on) all night and all morning.  He had no food and was crying.
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And he has not even tried to leave the box since we brought him home.  So as of now, we are rehydrating him and keeping him in the bathroom till he seems strong enough to make it and not be cat food.  So cute!
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Monday, May 12, 2014

Silence Meets Silence

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There is a kind of silence that nourishes the soul,
allows pain and busyness and life to recede to the sharp margins,
leaving space,
room to breathe, room to be.
But there is a kind of silence that cuts like a knife,
walks through the mind with a clattering,
each step an unexpected resonant defeat,
a bully and a thief.

There is a kind of silence that breeds prayer upon prayer,
and the would-be blanks are filled in with communion—
to You, from You.
And there is life-substance in the weighted calm,
but not the weight that heavies the soul.
But there is a kind of silence that isolates,
birthing spits of anger
in and around the prickly edges of this wordless accusation.
And the unknowing
and the lack of resolution hardens by degree
what once was supple and red.

Where one silence meets the other is in these upturned hands,
this shattered, upturned heart that feels
so ill-equipped for trouble,
so helpless to control conditions, so unable to forgive, and
silence meets silence in  blessed and sacred surrender.

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Psalm 91
He who [a]dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty [Whose power no foe can withstand].
I will say of the Lord, He is my Refuge and my Fortress, my God; on Him I lean and rely,and in Him I [confidently] trust!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Of Trinkets and Treasure

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And we collect trinkets our whole lives,
this’s and that’s—so much useless stuff,
scraps of memory designed to hold the moment now long gone,
and it doesn’t matter in the end, when others sift through the detritus of a life, not valuing what you valued,
only seeing your treasures as burdens.
The literary wealth of a Dickinson stuffed in an overlooked drawer is an anomaly at best, when most treasured things will have been treasured by us alone.
So maybe the time, money, and affection was misspent after all.  And maybe these carnal things are, and have always been, the chains that bind us to this decaying corpse when we were made to
fly. If
I could go back, would I live differently?  . . . Perhaps,
but maybe not,
because the closer you reach the end, the clearer the vision, and
the nearer the transition to realized eternity, the more open the hands.
I guess it’s just the way of things.
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Saturday, April 12, 2014

Spent--Too Much

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I think too much.
My wonder causes me to wander to rocky, unsettled paths
where questions grow like weeds,
poking holes in my confidence,
crowding out joy.

I stink too much.
This old, carnal rag I drag around,
attached to my will by threads of world,
holds me back and blinds weary eyes to what is
truly true.

I sink too much.
This seeking first and worrying not
is swallowed up by circumstance,
and my energy is spent struggling for air in dark deep,
till I remember . . .
grace is enough;
death will be swallowed up;
flesh will be made new;
and every darkness even now is overshadowed by unfailing Love.
Open my eyes.
Proverbs 13:12
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Selfies by Allen

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Lives Interrupted

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It makes me feel like crying, this suffering we do.
The rain pelts the earth; the stratus overlay presses down—and
the burdens within and without are heavy
with rain,
with tears.
It doesn’t make sense—all this brokenness.
Well, maybe on one side of the brain, the prickly side.  But
the heart knows when redemption seems still far off—and
the earth groans, and
the weak and infirmed groan, and
I groan with all this groaning.
Grey drifts by the waiting room window, the room where loved ones sit and sigh and pray while the infirmed wait, and the world cries for all to be made right.
And the sky rushes earthward, and it weeps the tears of atmosphere and groans for redemption.
Little matchbox cars and trucks off in the distance do what they do and go where they go,
while 6 floors up and 8 miles down, the grey-black troposphere pushes the weight of the world on these lives.
And our time stops as our watches march on, and what matters changes consultation by consultation.
The fog drifts in—in and around cars, buildings, trees, light poles—mundane silhouettes against this pressing vapor,
the rolling something that looks more like an ominous nothing.
And it shadows the fog in my brain in these tenuous times
when what was
in a moment change to the dark that is.
And faith looks for perspective, and faith looks to the sun above these wafting mists
to find grace,
the face of God in lives interrupted.
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