Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Through Stained Glass: A Mid-Week Reflection-dog days & psalter prayers

I took this photo last night (2.5.18) while I was walking my dogs.
Below was a journal entry I wrote after our time outside.
I share it with you below.

Letting Go

Let go of the day.
Let go of the expectations.
Offer up your prayers as an evening sacrifice, or a morning prayer.
Relinquish your hold on the hour and your worries.
Be still.
Rest in God’s presence.

Now, read Psalm 102.

Reflect on the closing verses:
25  Long ago you laid the foundation of the earth,
          and the heavens are the work of your hands.
26  They will perish, but you endure;
          they will all wear out like a garment.
     You change them like clothing, and they pass away;
27       but you are the same, and your years have no end…


What can you let go of to embrace God’s outstretched hand that brings healing?

Naming God’s Presence

I love this weather. I really do. I remember sitting outside in August when the humidity and heat weren’t the only things weighing heavy on my spirit and thinking, “Every chance I get this winter to walk in the snow, I must.” It’s cold. It’s sleeting more than snowing. The streets are slick beneath the mixture of precipitation. The cars traverse down them as gently as an autumn leaf falling to the ground. The world is muted. No air conditioners disrupting the night with their incessant roaring. There are no cicadas humming. There is only silence. This silence is what I miss during the dog days of summer. So we walked, the dogs and I, our breath rising as prayers and our steps gentle as the glow of a lightning bug. There’s solitude in the silence that only winter can provide. Yes, I’ve complained about how winter is taking full advantage of its limited time. And yes, I’ve asked him to hurry along so I can get back to doing the things I love:  gardening, playing catch with my brothers & friends, and smoking a pipe while the sky goes indigo around 8:00 pm. I miss seeing the dogs drink from the hose and writing beneath my “Nashville lights.” But, I love this weather. I love seeing Silas prance with white flakes on his gold coat. I get much pleasure out of seeing Chloe make snow angels in the yard. Above all, I welcome how the bitter cold makes my hands hurt, and my cheeks turn red, a feeling that takes me back to when I was a little boy. I celebrate and embrace how winter reminds me of my humanity and how there’s a season for everything. It’s up to us to decide how we will spend our days and what we will do “with this one wild and precious life.” Seasons are gifts that help us become what we hope to be...

Where have you encountered the Divine this winter?

Taking Hold

Psalm 102 is a prayer for restoration. The psalmist walks us through the destruction of Jerusalem with bird similes and describes his troubles as a sickness. The end of the psalm speaks of God’s permanence. Everything we create, as beautiful as they may be, will one day no longer be. But the love of God remains forever.

So, how will you live in this permanent, never-ending love of God?
How will you with your one wild and precious life offer hope to those in your life?
How will you help restore the reign of God on earth, as it is in heaven?

May you enjoy the new day with the assurance of know God hears your cries for help. May you receive the chill of winter’s wind with confidence trust Christ to lead you back toward the warm light of love. May you join the Spirit in her work of restoring God’s earth and your beautiful life!

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