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“Trust is a lot easier when you quit worrying about what could go wrong & remember how much you’re going to live no matter what happens.” –StoryPeople

I am not sure if it is a lot easier, but there is something to those words.  I have found that remembering the hellish dark times I’ve made it through does give birth to a certain amount of trust, peace & strength in the now.

Yet & still, there is always this lingering presence of doubt & awareness that I am not entitled to a life without pain… my heart can & will break again. Most days the best any of us can do is keep trying… keep fighting to keep some flicker or ray of light in sight.

And most days that is enough.

“The light that’s in your eyes / reminds me of the skies / that shine above us every day-so wrote a contemporary lover, out of God knows what agony, what hope, and what despair. But he saw the light in the eyes, which is the only light there is in the world, and honored it and trusted it; and will always be able to find it; since it is always there, waiting to be found. One discovers the light in darkness, that is what darkness is for; but everything in our lives depends on how we bear the light. It is necessary, while in darkness, to know that there is a light somewhere, to know that in oneself, waiting to be found, there is a light. What the light reveals is danger, and what it demands is faith. ” James Baldwinphoto 2 (30)

flowers

I was reminded in the silence this morning, that flowers don’t compete or compare themselves to what’s around them… they just bloom.

flowers lean into the light & bloom to their fullest potential.

joy is found in surrendering fully to your own blooming… the process… and remembering we each have our own unique way of becoming. allow the journey to awaken & strengthen the soul.

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they are tall strong beautiful flowers.  they can grow as big as a house or small enough for a child to hold in their hands.  but either way, they are flexible enough to move with the movement of the earth.  they look like the sun even on a cloudy day.  even on a bad day, they bring sunshine into your life.. they always face the light

-Nicole Motal

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The Sun
By: Mary Oliver

Have you ever seen
anything
in your life
more wonderful

than the way the sun,
every evening,
relaxed and easy,
floats toward the horizon

and into the clouds or the hills,
or the rumpled sea,
and is gone–
and how it slides again

out of the blackness,
every morning,
on the other side of the world,
like a red flower

streaming upward on its heavenly oils,
say, on a morning in early summer,
at its perfect imperial distance–
and have you ever felt for anything
such wild love–
do you think there is anywhere, in any language,
a word billowing enough
for the pleasure

that fills you,
as the sun
reaches out,
as it warms you

as you stand there,
empty-handed–
or have you too
turned from this world–

or have you too
gone crazy
for power,
for things?

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The Necessity of Patience
-Stanley Hauerwas-

Hope without patience results in the illusion of optimism or, more terrifying, the depression of fanaticism. The hope necessary to initiate us into the adventure is to be sustained. Through patience we learn to continue to hope even though our hope seems to offer little chance of fulfillment…. Yet patience equally requires hope, for without hope patience too easily accepts the world and the self for what it is rather than what it can or should be.

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Memory most days is my friend. Last Friday we enjoyed each other for most of the afternoon, especially when sharing with a somewhat attentive ear about the first day I began reading Theology of the Body by Pope John Paul II, in 2004 while working in Leeds, England.

I remembered the day as if it had been Thursday, March 28, 2013. I sat for an hour in a small little coffee shop near Leeds University, feasting on each and every line really wanting to digest what this particular influential theological voice had to say about creation… my neighbor… future lovers… me. I did not get very far that first read, I think I only got 5 or so pages in because my imagination was captured by his words that every single created thing is a divine manifestation of a good loving God. I was stuck… Captured. There was absolutely no reason for me to try to read another line in his book that day.

I remember reading the two creation narratives over & over for an hour or so, then journaling for another hour about this reality and the implications of such a truth upon my seeing, speaking, touching and being. It was one of the only moments that the written word read instantaneously transformed my thinking & seeing in such a way I was not the same. It was in some ways my “Aldersgate Moment.”

I remember my vision being the sharpest it has ever been, and possibly will ever be, as I drove home that fall West Yorkshire day in 2004. I was overcome with tears by the light of each and every person I passed, wondering if they could see it to; whelmed by the truth, possibility of things and keen awareness of the harsh daily realities that we can too often give the power to dim such radiance.

During this season of awakening for me, of labor, I am glad memory invites me into moments like last Thursday that help me push a bit harder and breathe in the stillness of the light within, around, below and above me, as she also invites me into moments that I long to forget but need to remember to forgive… to heal.

The journey awakens the soul.

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… So I watched the world tear us apart
A stoic mind and a bleeding heart
You never see my bleeding heart

And your light’s always shining on
And I’ve been traveling oh so long
I’ve been traveling oh so long

A constant reminder of where I can find her
Light that might give up the way
Is all that I’m asking for without her I’m lost
Oh my love don’t fade away
Oh my love don’t fade away

“Reminder”, Mumford & Sons

A Message in the Dark
Jurgen Moltmann

“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light” (Isaiah 9:2). The message of the prophet is a message for the people, a message sent into the camps of the exiled, and into the slums of the poor. It is a word against the captains of the arms industry and the fanatics of power. If we really understood what it means, it bursts the bonds of Sunday worship. For if this message really lays hold of us, it leads us to Jesus the liberator, and to the people who live in darkness and who are waiting for him–and for us.

Source: The Power of the Powerless

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I’ve tried to stand my ground
I’ve tried to understand
but I can’t seem to find my faith again

like water on the sand
or grasping at the wind
I keep on falling short

please be my strength
please be my strength
Cuz I don’t have anymore
I don’t have anymore

I’m looking for a place
that I can plant my faith
one thing I know for sure

I cannot create it
I cannot sustain it
It’s Your love that’s keeping (captured) me

Please be my strength…

at my final breath
I hope that I can say
I’ve fought the good fight of faith

I pray your glory shines
through this doubting heart of mine
so my world would know that You

You are my strength
You and You alone
You and You alone
Keep bringing me back home

-Gungor, please be my strength

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"Christianity is a way, not a state, and a Christian is never something one is, only something one can pray to become." W.H. Auden

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