Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Slow fires trailing from the abandoned camp-sites.

Come and listen, all you who fear God, and I will tell you what He has done for me. Psalm 66:14

Oh, I have made myself a tribe
out of my true affections,
and my tribe is scattered!  by Stanley Kunitz

Related to this is the question: What are your circumstances? As we ask this of ourselves Smith counsels that, The crucial thing is to name your present reality in a hope-filled way. Not nostalgically, not regretfully, but to realize that your vocation is always historically located.

Vocation grows out of the reality of who and where you presently are. You cannot go back to a previous starting point, nor can you fast-forward to the future. Discernment is simply asking the Lord, at every stage of life, “Where do we go from here?”

So this morning I am reading “Embracing All the Layers of Your Life,” a piece about becoming whole by having the courage to revisit and embrace all the layers of our lives, denying none of them, so that we're finally able to say, "Yes, all of this is me, and all of this has helped make me who I am."

And yesterday afternoon I wandered the halls and some beautiful spaces downtown in Imago Dei Middle School, a private Episcopalian school free for low-income students.  And the scent was one of joy and peace in the midst of middle school angst. Who knows? But it is such an encouraging thing to be constantly reminded that He is at work through His people all over the world, and all through time in His task of restoration.

And this piercing poem was written by a U. S. Poet Laureate just before he died, a hundred years old. That is a lot of profound reflection with the perfectly chosen word.

I have walked through many lives,
some of them my own,
and I am not who I was,
though some principle of being
abides, from which I struggle
not to stray.

And as I consider the very extended Mother’s Day celebration and ribs and pizza and rhubarb pie with ice cream in the backyard, I am reminded of the declaration of Christ:And stretching out his hand toward His disciples, He said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”

Though I lack the art
to decipher it,
no doubt the next chapter
in my book of transformations
is already written.
I am not done with my changes.

 And the Parker Palmer writes of his three trips down the Grand Canyon, which if anyone knows me, knows how its layered majesty speaks to the depths of my soul as a testimony of God’s faithful majesty.

And this is my prayer once again; oh, how many times have I soaked in its promise:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
    and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
    and He will make straight your paths.

Amen.