Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A Quote From C.S. Lewis

"People often think of Christian morality as a kind of bargain in which God says, "if you keep a lot of rules I'll reward you and if you don't I'll do the other thing." I do not think that is the best way of looking at it. I would much rather say that every time you make a choice your are turning the central part of you, the part of you that chooses, into something a little different from what it was before. And taking your life as a whole, with all your innummerable choices, all your life long you are slowly turning this central thing either into a heavely creature or into a hellish creature: either into a creature that is in harmony with God and with other creatures, and with itself, or else into one that is in a state of war and hatred with God, and with its fellow creatures, and with itself. To be the one kind of creature is heaven: that is, it is joy and peace and knowledge and power. To be the other means madness, horror, idiocy, rage, impotence, and eternal lonliness. Each of us at each moment is progressing to the one state or the other." (From Mere Christianity)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Overlooking the Rain Forest

There is much unwritten about the rain forest. The sky, for instance, where does it say that the stairs to the clouds begin here in the wound of the rainbow? Where does it warn that romantics will be over-indulged here, encouraged to covet robin eggs and wrap themselves only in sky? This blue converts the self-respecting honeybee From performer to dancer Because really, there is no need for applause. It is false to believe that unless the dance is done correctly, the others will not find food for the hive. Everywhere here is God’s feast, Its abundance unavoidable, Sweet to the point of purple prose; a stumbling block to the clinician wanting to live up to the law. All those William Stafford elephants, urging me to freedom, to truth, to smallness have arrived here. Before me sits an enormous bowl of rain-drenched sun. And out of reverence to the God of the sky, who is also the Sea God and the God of the Poor and the Rich and stars too many to count, I will be grateful on this God-stocked morning – for every betrayal, every misconception, every failure, loss, argument, death & violent awakening that brought me dumbstruck to His branching arms and His indigenous mind. Here I sink into my romantic propensities and do not founder. To all the if onlys and what ifs, God snaps back and says, “I told you so.” “You weren’t so wrong.” “Your desire is warranted.” “You aren’t a Polly Anna, a cry baby, a whimp.” This place both widens and answers my inexplicable longing, By its very filling creating yet a deeper thirst. Here it is useless to deflect the compliment, the lavished undeserved gift of gratuitous beauty. One does not crave untasted fruit. Somewhere before I have tasted this. Not the me of my body but the me passed down through Eve, Proving something even grander awaits. I will lift/levanter/inclinacion my eyes/ojos unto the hills/Colinas, from whence cometh my help/remediar. My help comes from the Lord, the Maker/fabricator He will not let your foot slip – he who watches over Israel will neither slumber or sleep. Even still, I am aware of death; can I actually stand by your bed, while you go from living to dying and trust beyond your sad transfiguration – your affirming face caved to a slack canvas completely abandoned, forced to consider how I might continue on without you, knowing what happened to you in your last hours would someday happen to me? Only I wouldn’t have you to hold me. Or what if it is me first? I don’t want you to see me slowly dissolving, unveiled, becoming a caricature. If only to stand in the arch of this rainbow long enough to be scored by its colors and carry its mark home to you, wishing you would always see me this way – awestruck with color, small-waisted, hair blowing, firmly planted in joy.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mother's Day Prayer by Barbara Lyons

Heavenly Father, Jehovah God, from whom your whole family in heaven and on Earth derives its name, we thank you for motherhood. We thank you for what it reminds us about who you are. We thank you that you understood first the joy of anticipating your perfect family. We thank you that you understood first the pain of losing your perfect children to sin and death. We thank you that you understood first the pregnant advent of centuries as your redemption formed. We thank you that you understood first the pain of delivery in water and blood on the cross that those children might be born again to you. We thank you that you pursued first the blessings and difficulties promised of adoption. We thank you that you modeled first a mother’s love as you gathered Israel, then the nations under your wings. And we thank you for your grace that covers our failings as mothers, The grace that makes us all your children, The grace that covers your church, which is your body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.