Welcome to our blog! This is a place to share ideas, thoughts, concerns and joys of our faith journey. I'll be posting sporadically, but hope you will feel free to comment and join in the discussions.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

A Splash of Color

Life can just seem to go on sometimes, plodding and uneventful. Sometimes though, something will happen. Sometimes those things are joyful, exuberant events and sometimes they are just the opposite. The effects of these events is what makes life interesting, vibrant, something to greet each new day. The big events: a new house, a new job, sometimes even a new dress add a lift to your days. But sometimes that lift is caused by a person. We meet people all the time who come and go and stay and leave. I thought about the people that I know and began to assign colors to them, likening their personalities to a color. Why not? Beats chewing my nails!

Let me explain: some people you meet are like the color fluorescent green—all flash and dance. They can take over a room if you let them. And when they leave, the room is not quite as colorful, but after they've gone it can be more restful. Some people can be more like muted shades of natural things, like the beige of the sand, the pink in a sunset, the green of spring. These people are usually kind of quiet and yet, the color they bring to your world is necessary to the way you see things. They are part of the fabric of our “coming in and going out.” They are the base coat of our lives-- listening, painting alongside of you as you create your painting on the canvas of life.

And then there are people who are blend of the vibrant splash and the understated hue. If you find someone like this, you know you are blessed. If you are friends with someone like this-- your life is more colorful, rich, more—well—more something.

And so I come to my friend we pay to tribute today. This colorful friend was a mix of the splash of humor—that fluorescent green I talked about and the muted hues of understanding and compassion. And he has gone on ahead without me. He left me standing in the middle of the room without a paintbrush or even some paint. BUT—I can hear the color of his laughter and see the gold sparkle of his understanding. I can feel the warmth of his brown bear hugs, even though I will never physically feel them again. And oh, I really hate that. Because he brought so much color to me. So much love and joy and exuberance and even passion for our God and his life, that my paintbox is suddenly devoid of much. And I want it back. I want him back.

We get to go on. We add some more brown or green to our day. We splash a bit of cream into the fluorescent blue of the sky so it will seem not as bright. We hug. And hold hands. We pray and we slowly, slowly see the Master Painter has left us a canvas to keep on painting. To show others the colors that are in the world, even though our friend the giver of color, is not.

But I am so thankful for that colorful man. So very blessed to have had him as a friend and a painter along the way. Rest well, Carl and save a paintbrush for me.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

The People of God

I just got  home from a committee meeting. As meetings go it wasn't the worst or even the best one. It sort of got stuff discussed if not things accomplished. It was a committee at church. There are people at these meetings that although they are part of the same church family, do not think alike. In fact, I would say at least half at one time or another don't think like the other half. But I'm pretty sure we come together for roughly the same general idea. We want the church to do the work of God on earth.

The title to this post may sound exclusionary, but it isn't. The people of God is everyone. No exceptions. Whether you believe in God, Buddha, a Higher Intelligence, a Cosmic Hiccup, or any other terminology. And even if you don't believe in God (or any of those other things), you are still a being of creation. You are here for a reason. At least I firmly believe that. And so, you don't have to be part of a committee, part of a discussion group or even a pew sitter to be a person of God. Maybe it's more like a person TO God. You mean something to someone. And the things you do every day matter to someone. To that Higher Being you either recognize or don't. You mean something.

I have another meeting tomorrow night and for several nights after that. At each one, I listen to others say what is on their minds. Sometimes our minds work in tandem, sometimes not. But it isn't for me to decide who God listens to. It also isn't for me to decide whether they are worth listening to. God gets to decide. I'm just the one taking notes. I wish you would join me, not necessarily in the committee meetings...those kinds of gatherings are not for everyone I know...but come out to St. Marks and listen to the people there, listen to the music, listen for God. He is listening to you. I'm sure of it. No matter who you are or what you have to say.

Would You Like to Build a...?

I looked at my postings recently and realized I hadn't posted anything about Christmas! How could that be? It's one of my favorite times of year for so many reasons! And then I thought of what Christmas was like for me this year. I don't want to complain, but it hasn't been the most stellar of holidays. First of all, I got sick. Not horrendously sick, but juuuuusssst sick enough to make me go to the doctor and get medicine. And then my husband got sick. And just when I was getting used to the idea that "oh, well, I'll get better again," my son got sick. And he's on the West Coast. And there wasn't anything I could do about it. He was sick enough to be in emergency room, but not sick enough that I had to fly out there...although I wanted to. Several times. A day.

We're all on the mend now. And the lights are still up, the candles still in the window and the Nativity scene still adorns the mantel. I lost the magic for a while there. The special feeling I get when I know that God came down for you and me. It was lost behind the closed doors of me, my stuff, my problems, my woes. I couldn't see beyond the doors. I didn't hear anything over the plugged up ears and coughing in the middle of the night. Yes, I was sick. And I was worried. And I'm not suggesting that I should have been superhuman and risen above all that. But I want to realize something as well.  The Lord is there for us behind the doors if we let him in. He may not wave a magic wand and take away all our sufferings on earth, but how much easier it was to bear when I finally went to him and ask for comfort. I slept easier, knowing that God was with me in my circumstances.

In the movie Frozen, which everybody and their brother has probably seen at least once, there is a song called, "Do You Wanna Build a Snowman?" The two princesses are separated by a locked door, but each wishes to be on the other side in company with each other. That's the way this Christmas felt to me. I was wishing to be in company with God on the other side. It wasn't until I realized I had the key all along and opened the door and asked him in, that I knew I wasn't alone. And neither are you.