Help me, O LORD my God; save me for Your mercy’s sake. Psalm 109:25
In effect, Francis said through his lifestyle, "I will delight in powerlessness, humility, poverty, simplicity, and failure." He lived so close to the bottom of things that there was no place to fall. Even when insulted, he did not take offence. Now that is freedom, or what he called "perfect joy"! Lady Julian put it best of all: "First there is the fall, and then we recover from the fall. Both are the mercy of God!" –Richard Rohr
Let us give thanks to the LORD for His mercy and the wonders He does for His children. For He satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things. Psalm 107:8–9
Well, there is no end to the good things, especially at Trader Joe’s. Everyone was coming over to see the photos from The Grand Tour. So Mary Anne and I decided to try and capture the complete overwhelmingness of deliciousness of Turkey and Greece and Italy. So we served salami cacciatore and prosciutto and capocollo and four kinds of olives and grape leaves wrapped around rice and spinach and feta pita bakes and lemon chicken and tzatziki sauce and orzo pasta and a Greek salad and a Caprese salad with marinated mozzarella balls and basil out of the garden and a big basket of pitas and blood orange juice and red and white table wine and of course the blue bottles of water.
And Alan set up the overhead projector and we watched the past six-and-a-half weeks of life, starting with the arrival of Miss Simone Rose pass before our eyes. Inadequately captured, even by panoramic iPhone shots of the sun setting down around Santorini, or fisheye GoPro shots of The Blue Mosque or even short video clips with sounds of happy singing and dancing Franciscan friars and nuns leading six hundred young adults into happy singing and dancing.
Then after Daniel cleared away the dishes, Mary Anne brought out fresh-from-Jenny’s-garden rhubarb pie with big scoops of Costco vanilla ice cream on it.
And it wasn’t even about the crammed full table or the folders of iPhotos, but the people crowded on the picnic benches. And Everette was a little tired because Mimi didn’t get her down for a nap even after watching Daniel Tiger and reading Angelina and the Princess four times, but Dustin was ever-so-patient as he carried her outside for her three-minute time out and then rocked her through The Wheels on the Bus, even after a long day of replacing coolers on trailer roofs in 108 degree temperatures. And Brandon was pretty tired too, but he had a few stories about job shadowing in an ambulance before he drifted off, curled up in the orange chair. And Scott was quiet and listening while Jack asked good questions. And Simone snuggled and snacked neatly wrapped around her momma, and Adam and Dre are both learning new jobs that are hard and humbling but a little hopeful in the long run. And Mary Anne told about the Turkish scrubbing bubble bath and deniz’s joy of sharing her city Istanbul’s beauty and of the deep blue of the Aegean Sea and of the focused affection of the Italian guy singing and hugging refugee children and the chin-wiggling love of the Borrelli family and of sweet conversations in Lugo and long walks along white sand beaches and the deep, deep peace and Presence which permeates Assisi.
Let us give thanks for His mercy.
And Mile High Vineyard was finishing up their annual summer series, Reel Faith, with clips from the life of Gandhi. And we watched a man humbly follow the teaching of Christ more closely than the so-called Christ-followers. And he walked through humiliation and danger and questions of integrity with quiet strength and courage, that which Richard Rohr would call “freedom” and what Francis called “perfect joy,” because that is what Paul called it, to count it pure joy when we encounter various trials and tribulations.
And sometimes His mercy doesn’t look like heaped-up plates of deliciousness. But mercy it is, for His glory’s sake. And the preacher ended his Gandhi sermon with this question, Jesus, is there anywhere in my life where I can humble myself and repent first?
Because blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for His name’s sake.
For He satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.
Let us give thanks to the LORD for His mercy and the wonders He does for His children.