life: acoustic & amplified

poetry, quotes & thoughts about life

Archive for the category “perceptions”

world changer 

You have to go through the falling down in order to learn to walk. It helps to know that you can survive it. That’s an education in itself.

    – Carol Burnett

A KEY TO HAPPINESS — SPIRITUAL HUMILITY

So many religions and philosophies, ancient and modern, set forth paths to happiness, fulfillment and the end of suffering. Many of these paths are filled with great wisdom and deep spiritual insights that have helped countless people throughout the ages. I have been inspired by so many of these spiritual traditions; and I have learned so many hard lessons though my own inner struggles and challenges, as we all have. Consistent with so many of the spiritual traditions, I have found that one of the keys to happiness and finding a deep spiritual connection is cultivating a spiritual humility — reaching beyond our egos as best we can by quieting our minds with a bit of wisdom, by opening our hearts to a bit of unconditional loving-kindness, and by expressing a bit of gratitude for the light and wonder that has been given and that touches us even in the dark times.
1. WISDOM AND THE INTERDEPENDENCE OF ALL EXISTENCE. We — and all of life — are interconnected in a vast and boundless divine tapestry. Our belief that we have a separate, “fixed” self is a delusion that cuts us off from the flow of life and the interdependence of all things. We are nothing but a wondrous part of a larger, interwoven whole. To see all this, even a little, leaves us humble, but also touches us with a deep wisdom that we are connected at our core to something so much greater than we can imagine.
2. THE INNER SPIRIT. As a part of that greater whole, we are truly children of God, at one with the divine essence. Yet, when we come into this world at birth, we put on a limited and fragile ego mask that we wear throughout our lives, believing that the mask is our real self and forgetting our true, inner spirit that is a part of the greater divine radiance. So, we struggle to keep this mask-self safe, closing our eyes to the flow of the divine presence through our lives. Seeing all of this, even a little, we begin to see the futility and childishness of so many of our self-important dramas; and, with the resulting humility, we begin to let go of the ego games and begin instead to focus humbly and joyously on our connection to others and to the greater divine reality. 
3. JUDGE NOT. Looking with an open heart at the cosmos, we may begin to see, even if dimly, the presence of a boundless divine power that supports all of existence, guiding the planets in their orbits, causing the flowers to grow, holding all of the law of physics in the palm of a hand, and supporting our very existence. But, when we grasp after our ego-mask self, and forget our own inner spirit and its connection to the greater divine presence, we begin to make judgments, limiting and defining God, ourselves and each other. We think that we know better — indeed, we think we “know” what is really going on — but the mystery and wonder of existence is beyond any knowing. We do not know, for instance, the truth of another person and where he or she is on the spiritual path. Indeed, we do not even know who we are ourselves. How, then, can we presume to judge others and where they stand in God’s plan? How can we truly judge ourselves? And, even more importantly, how can we judge God, the ineffable foundation of all existence and non-existence? Seeing all this, even a little, we can only begin to humbly let go of our limited, ego-based judgments and open our minds and hearts to a gentle faith in the divine, in ourselves, and in each other. 
4. SPIRITUAL PRACTICE. So, how do we come to see all of the above and cultivate a joyous spiritual humility? Each must find their own way. For me, it come from a gentle spiritual practice: 
(a) First, I try to be mindful of the interconnection of all life, as well as of the impermanence and transience of my own ego-mask self. Then, with a little inner quiet and stillness, I try to watch for the presence of ineffable wonder; I listen for the quiet whispers of my own inner spirit; and I open my heart to the rumblings and reflections of the presence of a boundless God beyond all knowing or grasping.
(b) Next, each day I try to practice a little kindness and unconditional love, as best I can and with as much wisdom as I can muster, quietly shining some light in the darkness on myself and those around me. We all can open a window in our hearts to the divine and let the divine presence shine through us, as if through a glass darkly — but we can polish that glass each day to let in more and more light.
(c) I judge God, myself and others so much. So, I practice not judging by being mindful of how much I do judge, and examining how much of that judgment comes from my own arrogance or insecurity. I then think about the the mystery and power of the divine presence — and the preciousness and miracle of all life, including my own — and stop for a moment and acknowledge, as best I can, that the divine presence is boundless in ways I cannot begin to fathom or judge.    
(d) Finally, I try to find reasons to be grateful: for the presence of wonder, wisdom and light, even in the darkness; for the preciousness of my own life and that of others; and for the blessings, sometimes hidden, that grace my life. There are so many opportunities to express that gratitude to those around me through words and deeds; and to God in my prayers and in the songs of my heart. Finally, I try to express gratitude to myself in the words I use in speaking to myself. We all can begin to appreciate more our own inner, luminous spirits. Humility in the face of the overwhelming wonder of the universe may cause us to begin letting go of our ego games, but it also opens our vision up to the magnificence of the cosmos and to the luminous wonder of our place in it.
Simple Inner Truth by Steven Jay




words and eye above by Jen Lemen 

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your prison is walking through this world all alone  – Deperado (lyric).  

You must leave a lot behind

for your life to become whole.
What the Beloved lets go of

to have you!
If there were a hell 

God would always be there 

carrying people out. 
There is a flock that is not well

without you.
When you think you’ve run away,

proud of your independence,

you’re really just lost.

You need each other. 
All of life is God’s party

at having found you.

Or maybe, today, another.
Don’t be ashamed to be brought in

on the shepherd’s shoulders:

you got lost in the best possible way,

looking for God. 

         

Remember each of the other ninety-nine

came the same way. 

         

         

__________________  

Steve Garnaas-Holmes

Unfolding Light

http://www.unfoldinglight.net

listen to Love is My Religion



and before it can be begun

the wind whips the wisps of promise

out of our reaching hands

the hard ground dries the wettest seeds

the thorny earth strangles

the fragile thin ice easily breaking

plunges us under the dark icy water of yesterday’s pain

the sensitive places choke us

we allow old wounds to be reopened 

by new innocents

replay 

rewind

again and again

life is not always kind

love is not always given a chance to bloom

buds crushed early

unicorns are tricky

yeti never let themselves be fully seen

or photographed

quickly disappearing into the foggy forest 

yes, truth is written by those in the know:

“it is ours to win or lose”

so, what will we choose?

to step in or duck out?

some people love to talk loud about the desire to win

then secretly, swiftly throw the game

and silently walk away

thinking they are playing life safe

fear is a brutal master

comfort-zones will kill us all

though we’ll keep 

breathing for many years

trust is a deep quarry hidden within

the high walls of the castle

each kingdom must be won 

the beast slain by our courageous spirit

removing the massive heads of the monsters

with the found sword of our personal truths

Envision holding those fearful grotesque trophies aloft!

Stepping into your full name! 

Champion

Conquerer

Love always wins! 

You must choose it! 

You can do it,

were born that way! 

Amy Lloyd (AL)


All my life, I thought of love as some kind of voluntary enslavement. Well, that’s a lie: freedom only exists when love is present. The person who gives him or herself wholly, the person who feels freest, is the person who loves most wholeheartedly.
― Paulo Coelho 


Read that again:

All my life, I thought of love as some kind of voluntary enslavement. Well, that’s a lie: freedom only exists when love is present. The person who gives him or herself wholly, the person who feels freest, is the person who loves most wholeheartedly.
― Paulo Coelho 

A New Thing  


I am learning a new thing

I am digging deep into my belief systems

My very foundation –

the thing I learned,

the thing I wanted,

from the very beginning. 

The very thing I have based every decision of my life on for 51 years,

has crumbled,

discovered hidden and rotten 

under every good thing I’ve attempted to build. 

I kept wonder why my fabulous additions 

kept falling down around my ears…

now I see the gaping ground fault,

the illusive, sinking sand,

which I must release and repair. 

It’s very difficult. 

It’s extremely frightening. 

It’s supremely challenging. 

My new thing goes against the grain 

of everything I’ve ever thought, 

dreamed,

done…

since my very earliest childhood memories. 

It’s been so very expensive. 

Life built. 

Time spent. 

Dreams bent. 

All washing away

as I open my hands and allow 

a new firm foundation 

to be built

as the levee breaks 

and carries the remaining sinking sand 

forever away…

times…

they are a changing!




check in



“This is my living faith, an active faith, a faith of verbs: to question, explore, experiment, experience, walk, run, dance, play, eat, love, learn, dare, taste, touch, smell, listen, argue, speak, write, read, draw, provoke, emote, scream, sin, repent, cry, kneel, pray, bow, rise, stand, look, laugh, cajole, create, confront, confound, walk back, walk forward, circle, hide, and seek.”

— from LEAP by Terry Tempest Williams
With Leap, Terry Tempest Williams, award-winning author of Refuge, offers a sustained meditation on passion, faith, and creativity-based upon her transcendental encounter with Hieronymus Bosch’s medieval masterpiece The Garden of Delights. Williams examines this vibrant landscape with unprecedented acuity, recognizing parallels between the artist’s prophetic vision and her own personal experiences as a Mormon and a naturalist. Searing in its spiritual, intellectual, and emotional courage, Williams’s divine journey enables her to realize the full extent of her faith and through her exquisite imagination opens our eyes to the splendor of the world. READ an excerpt: http://knopfdoubleday.com/book/191447/leap/


grace has a liberal bias  


Most of life begins with a whisper ..a sigh that slips through the unconscious mind, the bridge between human and divine… raising the bar… giving us jiggle room to live a different kind of life…..there are no notes any more. Wisdom on paper, wisdom in blood. 

Nothing more than thin layers dividing land from the sea, a clear lane that resides between ethereal sound and make believe. Peter Pan, a ship in the sky, a way to live enchanted, before the mystery flies over…beyond the eye…and heaven looks like…feels like…sounds like…smells like…a way through where nothing is divided.  
Breathing God takes concentration, purity runs like…peach juice down the chin; laughter from a child; finding honey on the tongue as ordinary …dressing in robes no one can see, and purple, drapes nicely in the heat of the day…some will say it is only play, and a new day begins with thin sheets of invisible…wide roads of possible, milky white and radiant.
Stepping into, standing beside, claiming victory, ignoring nothing other than the speed in which you die. Born for this…

to be alchemy and dreamer all at the same time… tantalized by burning through layers while walking the streets catching whiffs of perfume…Julian of Norwich no further down the road than a few hundred years and I can still hear her saying…”this God of yours walks in mysterious ways, I’ve heard it too….” and the sunrise begins to taint the Nebraska sky…a slight puff of cloud coverage begins on the edge, a yellow hue…prayers slip through the heart space, between kingdoms of glory and powers of might…I call on all the guidance that waits nearby…and another holy day begins. The world within the world. 
 Beauty,

 Donna Knutson



I step softly into this day

a bit raw

a bit salty

I sit with my understanding 

I stare into the abyss between

I uncover the wound to feel the morning air

I gently touch what is exposed

I sing over it

I let it go

I allow this hard thing to be the right

I do not see it all

I see enough

I walk forward with my longtime companion, 

Beauty, in all she is,

attends my walking,

never disappoints,

she keeps my heart soft,

gives me hope in the smug places. 

I am ever aware and grateful 

🌸

Amy Lloyd (AL)

…and in the time remaining…all I wish you is love…

rest in the miracle that has always already happened!    – Fred LaMotte


When the world does not conform

to the story in my head

I get a feeling that

“something’s not right.”

Why is the story in my head

not down-loading properly?
Why do I sense that the world

needs to be fixed

and I must repair what is “wrong”

by imposing my story

onto the mystery

of the ineluctable?
Yet the world is not a problem.

The problem is

there’s a story in my head
but it’s not quite the same

as your story, is it?
And so there is conflict,

there is suffering,

even if our stories are about

salvation, about justice

and equality, the perfect

marriage, the cleanest

environment, or gaining

enlightenment…
Happiness cannot arise

if we slather the world in the thin

veneer of our narration.

Happiness is the dance

of atoms ordered by

the dynamics of chaos

in the heart of the now

when we let both story

and teller disperse

like a fine mist,
when we let things clarify

all by themselves

the way silt filters and falls

through a mountain brook

in liquid transparency.
Now rest in the miracle

that has always

already happened.

Just shut up and see.

A rain cloud vanishes.

There are crystal drops on

blades of grass, each containing

the sun.
💫

SOMETHING’S NOT QUITE RIGHT by Alfred LaMotte
https://www.amazon.com/Savor-Eternity-One-Moment-Time/dp/0996523146

Let us go forward quietly, forever making for the light…

   Vincent Van Gogh 

these anniversaries 

the marking of dates

building Ebenezer memorials 

from the stones of help

bringing me to this place

tasting again

the bitter herbs

the roasted lamb

the flat bread

the milk and honey flowing over everything 

the fresh dates and figs 

of now

sitting with this

bitter-sweet

sweet-bitter

this life

this love

this past

this practice 

this present 

this grateful 

that gratitude 

that changing

this constant

this birth

this death

this resurrection 

always this love

ah this love

just. 

this. 

love. 

always the path of thanks

always the gifts presenting 

along the diamond road

this is my tradition

my version of holiday 

each one

my best of days

my worst of days

feeling it wrapping around my senses

these memories clouds 

wrapping around me

enveloped from behind me

me always facing forward

always facing toward the rising moment just ahead

the path before me the most important 

always remembering,

along with that other Southern Belle…

tomorrow is another day…

the best is always yet to be! 

🗓

AL 7/23/16 gratitude/tradition


Life

                                    truly             

                            is beauty                

                    beauty                                     

           salted                                                     

        by rare moments                                           

of exquisite suffering.    
 Life

  truly             

    is suffering               

              suffering                                    

  peppered                                              

           by rare moments                                           

of exquisite beauty.    

         

🌹                   

Duality of Life Mug


there’s this summer song

of cool wind on my skin, 

playing sweet percussion through the tall, lush marsh grass

gentle water

invisible birds singing in surround sound

my heart resonates with the language we have spoken

the songs we have sung

the rich vibrations of our connection

over the past few days

the new sun warms my back

my shadow sits large

writing poems

this silence my gratitude

this morning my pleasure

this day my gift

this moment my life

thank you for reaching out 

for breaking through the darkness

for holding my hand
💞

AL


The worst isn’t the last thing about the world. It’s the next to the last thing. The last thing is the best. It’s the power from on high that comes down into the world, that wells up from the rock-bottom worst of the world like a hidden spring. Can you believe it? The last, best thing is the laughing deep in the hearts of the saints, sometimes our hearts even. Yes. You are terribly loved and forgiven. Yes. You are healed. All is well. 

     – Frederick Buechner 

      The Final Beast


Then I walked 

straight forward

out of the gate,

through the wood,

along the river,

toward the mountain
and I thought of the future

I could make in the world

if I walked toward it

like this,

with my face toward the hills

and my eyes full of light

and the earth sure

and solid beneath me,

walking

with a fierce anticipation,

and a faithful expectation,

with the sun and the rain

and the wind on my skin

and that old sense…

of many paths

breaking from one path.
So learning to walk

in morning light

like this again,

we’ll take our first 

light step

toward mortality,

walking

out of the garden,

through the woods,

along the river,

toward the mountain,

its simple,

that’s what we’ll do,

practicing as we go

and

we’ll be glimpsed, 

traveling westward, 

no longer familiar,

a following wave,

greeted, as we were at our birth,

as probable 

and slightly 

dangerous strangers,

someone

coming into view,

someone about

to find out.
Some wild 

and improbable risk 

about to break 

on the world again.
..
David Whyte

Adapted from LEARNING TO WALK

From RIVER FLOW: 

New and Selected Poems


mirror mirror   


Reborn as a court reporter

Inside a waking dream

Trapped between misspelling Subpoena and shouting guilty over and over

In a feudal land someone personified Justice as a woman, as a joke.
Oh the bliss that reason brings

Cold, calculated, harmony of all things

Where we agree, to agree, to disagree

That we can all agree on something.

“If only I got what I deserved”

Said no man ever.  

The wrongs of another cannot be punished too harshly

Until you turn the eye inward,

To the mote and see yourself,

Know yourself,

Judge yourself,

Find mercy for yourself if you can.

Such a futile exercise for man

When you are done with yourself, 

Ask if you can ever withhold forgiveness again?

🙀

Finding Mercy by Charles Cooper


We are all of us judged every day. We are judged by the face that looks back at us from the bathroom mirror. We are judged by the faces of the people we love and by the faces and lives of our children and by our dreams. We are judged by the faces of the people we do not love. Each day finds us at the junction of many roads, and we are judged as much by the roads we have not taken as by the roads we have.
The New Testament proclaims that at some unforeseeable time in the future, God will ring down the final curtain on history, and there will come a Day on which all our days and all the judgments upon us and all our judgments upon each other will themselves be judged. The judge will be Christ. In other words, the one who judges us most finally will be the one who loves us most fully.
Romantic love is blind to everything except what is lovable and lovely, but Christ’s love sees us with terrible clarity and sees us whole. Christ’s love so wishes our joy that it is ruthless against everything in us that diminishes our joy. The worst sentence Love can pass is that we behold the suffering that Love has endured for our sake, and that is also our acquittal. The justice and mercy of the judge are ultimately one.

~Frederick Buechner originally published in Wishful Thinking and later in Beyond Words

              Somewhere between what it feels like, to be at

one with the sea, and to understand the sea as

mere context for the boat whose engine refuses

finally to turn over: yeah, I know the place—

stumbled into it myself, once; twice, almost.  All

around and in between the two trees that

grow there, tree of compassion and—

much taller—
tree of pity, its bark 

more bronze, the snow
              settled as if an openness of any kind meant, as well,

a woundedness that, by filling it, the snow

might heal…You know what I think? I think if we’re

lost, you should know exactly where, by now; I’ve

watched you stare long and hard enough at the map

already…I’m beginning to think I may never

not be undecided, about all sorts of things: whether

snow really does resemble the broken laughter

              of the long-abandoned when what left comes back

big-time; whether gratitude’s just a haunted

space like any other.  This place sounds daily

more like a theater of war, each time I listen to it—

loss, surprise, victory, being only three of the countless

fates, if you want to call them that, that we don’t

so much live with, it seems, as live for now among.  If as

close as we’re ever likely to get, you and I, is this—this close—

⛵️

Carl Phillips. 

Originally published in Poem-a-Day on July 19, 2016, by the Academy of American Poets


I am not your enemy.

I am for you, not against. 

I am not like your anger,

I am not your fear.

I am your joy, your peace. 

I am your breathing, your heartbeat, 

your blood, your Being. 

I am the fullness of you, 

unfolding as you let me.

I have only blessing for you,

like a mother for her newborn. 

I am your perfection, longing for you. 

My judgment is not harsh, but pure mercy,

my seeing your brilliance folded in the bud,

my knowledge of your beauty waiting in you.

I do not judge your doubts 

but give you strength to tear them open

and find in them the mirror of your grace.

I know your childish fears, 

your helpless lashing out,

I have seen the rage seeping into you.

My wrath burns not against you but that lie.

I will hold you until you quiet in my arms.  

You are angry because you are afraid

that I am not here for you

but I am here

                   for you.

Be still, and let me hold you. 
__________________  

Steve Garnaas-Holmes

Unfolding Light

http://www.unfoldinglight.net



threads that won’t break 


On Dec 3, 2014 (2 year anniversary of my living death in the dark night of the soul, I got a post titled Love never Dies from Jen Lemen at Hopeful World http://hopefulworld.org

Here’s a taste of what it said:
I am struck also as I write to you from this wintery desk, that building our capacity for stillness helps so much when the wild comes to our restless souls. Without that practice of being quiet, it’s easy to be scared when our wild, instinctual thoughts pop up. It’s easy to think that they are bad somehow or in need of corralling. But the practice of quiet and stillness helps us recognize our instinctual knowing for what it is: a call to our most true nature. A call to a kind of expression that is more vibrant, more textured, more passionate, more alive–even if it’s a little bit messy. Even if it kicks up a little bit of shame that we are this human, this raw.
So I invite you today to sit with me for three magic minutes. I’ll be right here with you, my own mind a rollercoaster of crazy, of frantic, of nonsensical worrisome things. I’ll sit with you and notice everything in my own soul, while you notice everything in yours and together we will begin to knit together an understanding of what’s underneath that noise: a gorgeous, exquisite tapestry of human longing designed to carry us to an awake magnificent place.
Will you join me?

Setting the timer now.

Let me know how it is on the other side.
With so much love,

Jen
It’s now 3.5 years later and Jen Lemen is still bringing all that, and more to me, to you, to the shaky, hoping world, to the edges of eternity…love never dies. 
Today, in this crazy, brutal brutal place, where we ask…
how can these two people be our Presidential choices?
how can people keep killing other people?
how can I deal with the grief and the fear of this? 
how can I help?
what is the solution? 
what is my part? 
Jen Lemen is doing her part. She’s offering Soul Snacks – 
http://www.thewayofdevotion.org/soul-snacks
Amazing gifts to all of of struggling, hungry, hurting, angry, frustrated pilgrims and poets. 
Right now she has open enrollment and I have just this…
Don’t wait! http://www.thewayofdevotion.org/soul-snacks
Gobble this up, savor it a bite at a time, eat them from start to finish, or nibble from the middle to each edge of crust. Savory, delectable soul-spices involving all your most subtle senses. 
http://www.thewayofdevotion.org/soul-snacks

💞

Keep wrestling, burn, scream, let go, melt, let your heart keep breaking for the sake of your heart, keep saying the names of your people, fiercely defend your tenderness, think, grieve, repair, renew, continue to do what’s in your heart to do…each thread matters…each color makes the world more beautiful…
in the end, only love is eternal, only love remains…
http://www.thewayofdevotion.org/soul-snacks

🔥

AL


We are God’s thread

weaving through the tapestry,

the masterpiece is slowly 

created. 

Potential for beauty, we can’t know,

    unfolding,

       becoming,

          revealing glory 

so bright 

it makes the sun squint 

and reach for sunglasses.  

Brilliance so far beyond ourselves

we go shining into the gray

as we open to the new jewels appearing,

sparkling in the moonlight. 

As we step into the needle’s eye 

the angels catch their breath,

cheering our blazing garments,

dazzled by the vision

God is revealing through the creation. 

As we surrender to the greatest mystery,

the beauty we inhabit 

becomes us,

walking in humble clay

eyes out shining the stars 

set in the heavens. 

Until we totally disappear and all that’s left

is holiness 

so pure 

all we can do 

    is 

bow in wonder 

at ourselves

and give thanks 

as the silk thread 

becomes liquid gold and silver

pure and simple

glory

as we realize our place in the whole. 

We are the temple of our creator. 

The home of God. 

😎

AL



As deftly and finally as one pulls out a thread

someone is weaving them, gracefully tying them,

minute and irreversible.
In the towering sky, even under the fortress, 

root tendrils muscle in and bind ligaments

through an abyss we had been told was absolute.
No enormity of terror

can keep up  

with the steady, unseen healing. 
Before the assault, the horrible wound, 

gaping and exposed,

the stitching has already begun.
Even as we sigh in our own world,

moving on, separate,

we are being sewn in. 
In the earthquake, the collapsing mountains,

not a bit of rubble falls

on the path from the temple.
If you could hold your immortal soul

in your hands, you would hardly recognize it

from one moment to the next.
Your grave is already empty. 
__________________  

Steve Garnaas-Holmes

Unfolding Light

http://www.unfoldinglight.net


photo sources found at pinterest.com

she talks to trees 


each tree grows in two directions at once, into the darkness and out to the light with as many branches and roots as it needs to embody its wild desires. 

🌳

    –  John O’Donohue


Sky, embrace storm.

Let there be a stillness

around your whirlwind.
Breathe in chaos, breathe out

impossible turquoise blossoms

of transparency.
Ignite the cinders of yesterday

and burn them completely

under the andirons

of your sternum.
With a gentle sigh release

your eternal spark,

an infinitesimal diamond

dense as the wisdom congealed
on a corpse’s brow.

Intelligence without words.

Understanding without thoughts.
Today’s forecast:

sunny with rain,

and no distinction

between sorrow and joy.
Now rest in a darker silence

where opposites dance

like long-estranged lovers
renewing their marriage vows

against the advice of all

their relatives.

____
Fred LaMotte


Sometimes I just lean
against the nearest tree trunk
lay my hands on the rough bark 
stand heart to heart with the ones who give me clean air
in return for the exhaled breath they need from me
I rejoice in how we keep each other alive
I brush my cheek against its rough chest
and we dance for a while to the music 
of the wind through the leaves
🌳
AL

I see you


A woman in the city, who was a sinner,

stood behind him at his feet, weeping,

and began to bathe his feet with her tears….

He said, “Do you see this woman?”

—Luke 7.37, 44

……………………..
No, we do not see.

To one of Jesus’ most arresting questions,

we have to answer: we don’t see her.

We see our prejudices and stereotypes. W

e see our fears and projections.

We don’t see this woman;

we see what we think of her.

We see a sinner.

We see someone disrupting our dinner.

We see someone who makes us uncomfortable.

Which is to say, we see our judgment,

our expectations,

our discomfort.

We see our own stuff.

We don’t see her.
But Jesus saw this woman,

really saw her.

He saw her pain and her strength,

her gratitude, her courage,

her transformation.

He saw the precious value of her gift.

He saw her soul at work.

He saw God’s grace in her.
Jesus really saw people.

He saw who they were and knew their story,

not because he had ESP

but because he paid attention.

The woman at the well,

the bent over woman,

the rich man,

Bartimaeus,

the woman who touched him in a crowd…

he really saw people because he wanted to. He

paid attention.

And there was healing in his seeing.

What he saw in people was not their flaws

but the mercy of God.

And seeing the grace was like sunlight on plants:

it made people heal and grow and bear fruit.
God, help me really see.

Help me set aside my feelings and judgments,

and see whole people,

your beloved,

precious souls.

Help me see myself:

help me notice my projections,

and name my fears and expectations;

help me confess my blinders

and set them aside so I can see.

Beloved, help me really see people,

really see your grace,

really see at all.

Beloved, I want to see.

 

__________________

Steve Garnaas-Holmes

Unfolding Light

http://www.unfoldinglight.net



At dusk, by the irrigation ditch

gurgling past backyards near the highway,

locusts raise a maze of calls in cottonwoods.

A Spanish girl in a white party dress
s

trolls the levee by the muddy water

where her small sister plunks in stones.

Beyond a low adobe wall and a wrecked car

men are pitching horseshoes in a dusty lot.

Someone shouts as he clangs in a ringer.

Big winds buffet in ahead of a storm,

rocking the immense trees and whipping up

clouds of dust, wild leaves, and cottonwool.

In the moment when the locusts pause and the girl

presses her up-fluttering dress to her bony knees

you can hear a banjo, guitar, and fiddle

playing “The Mississippi Sawyer” inside a shack.

Moments like that, you can love this country.

—–
“Passing through Albuquerque” by John Balaban


I wanna take this moment to look into your eyes.
Linger there with courage, allow your soul to rise
Feel your loving spirit
Touch your hidden dreams.
Let you know you’re not alone

that you’re finally seen…

Now’s there’s one less stranger in the world.

One less lonely heart in the night.

Lift your eyes and look at me

now there’s one less stranger in the world.

If you speak right from your heart
and let me do the same
If you allow my point of view
As we grow and change
If we both ask questions
to answers we seek
Then just sit in silence
allow our hearts to speak….

There’d be one less stranger in the world.
One less lonely heart in the night.
Lift your eyes and look at me
now there’s one less stranger in the world.

💑

AL


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