Sunday, February 28, 2010

All My Hope on God is Founded

This Sunday's hymn, which I chose to post is "All My Hope on God is Founded" - it's one of my favorites - it always interests me how a congregation participates in hymn singing. Are they singing with a smile? Are they singing it as though it comes from their heart, mind, and soul?  Are their heads buried in the music? Do they sing regardless of the tune they carry?

This particular video, I wonder, do the folks know the camera is recording their every move? They seem to sing with more gusto!



Faith reaches the intellect not simply through the senses but in a light directly infused by God. Since this light does not pass through the eye or the imagination or reason, its certitude becomes our own without any vesture of created appearance, without any likeness that can be visualized or described. 

Merton, Thomas, New Seeds of Contemplation. New York: New Directions, 1961, p. 132.

Saturday, February 27, 2010


Last night, some friends and I were sitting at the table and on one of the friends was taking a class in diversity. She said that the instructor asked their recollections of their first encounter with diversity.
We talked about those younger than us maybe not remembering their first encounter,  because there is diversity all around us? And, yes, there is... to a degree.

I grew up in the 60s and 70s (I don't remember much of the 50s) and remember the homogenous neighborhood where a single mom raising her children was diversity. I remember the first African American child in my class in fourth grade. "Fusun" was a name of a friend I had from Turkey who lived on the hospital grounds of a tuberculosis sanitarium about a mile away from my home. My first experience with diverse food was waking up to what I thought were my kind of pancakes to pancakes made by a Norwegian mother. They turned out to be crepes with preserves on them. And then, I remember going to a friend's home whose only source of heat was in the living room and kitchen. We slept under LOTS of blankets. I thought everyone had heat in their house all over.

In high school I remember the student named Ricky who was in a wheelchair with cerebral palsy. Come to think of it - that is the only student I remember who may have been a student with "special needs" - where were the rest of them? Oh yes, I graduated from high school before IDEA act came into being.

Our town is full of diversity - the families that have Asian restaurants, the families that take care of our toenails and fingernails, the poor, the wealthy, all living in the same community.  Even though we look different, speak in different languages, and have different customs, we are all living in the same community.

Yet on Sunday morning, I still attend church with pews full of white faces, and leaning on the side of being mostly over 50. Mostly.... not all.... but I digress.

Today, I watched this video and realized that for the most part, I have experienced diversity under the comfort zone of the United States, where there is conformity to a degree with our culture.  I placed myself in their country and wondered what it would be like to be there and be on the other side of the fence. Being the "different" one.

Egypt / Lebanon Montage from Khalid Mohtaseb on Vimeo.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday chaos and musings

It's late in the evening, and all is quiet in the house. So quiet, that I am hearing the sound of silence. It's interesting that silence stil has sound to it. After a day of organized chaos (and some of it unorganized chaos, from the mere nature of my job), I relish the quiet at the end of the day.

The afternoon after school was a bit frantic with errands to run. One of those was to get a pedicure, a gift certicate from Christmas, which expired today. Just before walking into the door, I saw a woman walk into the salon with four children. Just trying to think how a person could get their nails done with that many children with them was beyond my knowledge. However, I did get to see some friends I had not seen in ages and caught up on news of this and that. 

Picked up a few groceries and by that time, I realized it was nearly 7 o'clock!!! Dropped off supper for Mom, and ran over to a good friend's house for pizza and a movie. Conversation around the table was fun and was a time to catch up with friends. Though the intent was to watch the movie, it never really happened.  The friendship conversation was much more rewarding. And, by ten o'clock, this girl was ready to turn into a pumpkin.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Lenten Pilgrimage

Lent is the time of pilgrimage -
and that doesn't have to be
to some faraway foreign shore.
It can be as close as your own soul.
(credit goes to Spiritually Directed for this quote)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Jesus Loves Me - for grown ups

Lent - Give up or Take on?

"I gave up coffee creamer for Lent one year.
By the end of the tenth day, I began to love black coffee.
That's the year I learned that it isn't giving up things that counts.
Me? I became aware that only internal change really counts."
Joan Chittister

I have, at this point in my life, stopped giving up things for Lent. Generally not very productive for me and I am not sure of the end result of how it makes me a better person, or enhances my relationship with God. So, I lean towards taking something on. This year, I decided to take an online class Holy Companions, which is studying the Saints from Great Britain during the Dark Ages. I am auditing it.

At this point, I am failing in a sense. I was on track and then a dear friend's daughter was in a freak accident at home, requiring major surgery and colostomy. Pretty big words for a 1st grader, and much to take in when your life changes so quickly. So, my heart and soul have been connected through prayer for the past week. And my heart aches, and my ability to focus has been difficult. So... I am hoping tonight I will be able to post to the group to explain my lack of participation and ask for prayers for this darling child.

However, the failure part is not failure at all. There was a slight detour in my journey to devote to prayer for a family that is near and dear to me. So, I continue on, making slight changes in what my plans were and accommodating some curves along the way.

Lent grabs at me in a way I don't understand. I see that people post they love the journey in Lent and I fight the season. So, I am trying to see it in a more positive light - a journey in which I may grow. Please pray that when Lent comes to a close I can see that maybe, just maybe, I have inched towards seeing it in a more positive light.