Saturday, April 19, 2014

Today, we wait

Dear God,
This is Kelley.

These words are from the collect for Holy Saturday:  "so we may await with him the coming of the third day, and rise with him to newness of life."

Today, we wait. I cannot imagine how the disciples waited. But I know Your strange peace must have hovered with them. I know from my own trials, when danger seems to be close on every side, still I can experience peace, and I know that peace is gift from You.

Tomorrow, Lord, we "rise with him to newness of life." This must be deliberate on my part, yes, Lord? It doesn't just happen. I must take hold of the grace of that day, even that day remembered, and make use of it. How shall I do that, Lord? How shall I be new?

May I focus on You, Lord, and just know it will come. You will lead. Your Spirit will whisper. Oh, may I hear! May I obey! May I participate in Your resurrection, now and always.

Amen. Amen.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The cross

Dear God,
This is Kelley.

Galatians 6:14 is on my calendar for today: "May I never boast of anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ...."

Why would I boast of the cross? The cross reminds me what our world does to those who try to be good. Right?

Wrong. So very wrong.

It is paradox, this cross of Yours, Lord Jesus. I cling to it. I draw strength from it. It makes sense of my world, yes, but it also fills my world with power and meaning. It is confounding mystery.

Yes, I boast of it. I wear it around my neck. I've allowed You to mark it in my very being, for it --You upon it and You climbing down from it -- has saved me, is saving me. The power of it, the power of what You did upon it explodes through time, and evil cannot look at it without terror. It is the answer to all questions, the explanation, the key.

Boast of it? Yes. And wrestle with it, analyze it, pray about it, sing, write, draw about it. It is simply central to who we are.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

As we forgive...

Dear God,
This is Kelley.

Why do we get so angry with one another? Why do we pick at, criticize, and interpret others' actions in the most negative light we can? Haven't we ourselves done enough wrong things that we realize another doing something selfish could very easily be us? Don't we know the freedom that comes with giving the benefit of the doubt? Have we not experienced the transcendent power that comes with showing mercy?

We all need mercy from one another. We get mercy from You, Lord. In fact, we pray for the same mercy from You that we give to one another.That is a scary proposition! "Forgive us ... as we forgive those...." I think -- were You to take our words seriously -- a lot of forgiving would not be happening!

We do have great power, each of us. We know what a smile from another human being can do to us. Why, it can change darkness into light. We know what allowing another to go first, how that can lift us. We know what a momentary hesitation to look us in the eye and greet us can do. It is the difference between being invisible and being seen, noticed, appreciated. How dare we not acknowledge one another, we who are made by You and who move in Your image and grace!

O Lord, let the criticism leak out of us. If there is issue there, let it be known. Shine the light of Your wisdom on it and guide us to deal with it so that it no longer marks our days with its gray depression. May we be up to the task of loving one another. Amen. Amen.

Monday, April 14, 2014

The heart of God

Dear God,
This is Kelley.

How she worded that, Lord, really struck me. She said she "noticed God's heart that He put in me for the poor." She realizes that love she feels there isn't of her; it is of You; it is from You. You have shared part of Your heart with her. And she shines with it.

Each of us has a piece of Your heart, don't we? Each of us carries part of You, and it is up to us to discover it, kindle it, apply it to our world. Oh, the tragedy for those who go without finding it. And, oh, the marvels of those who do!

May I not bury the piece You have given me, Lord! I know what it is. I have discovered it. I've unburied it, dusted it off, and put it on a high shelf. For the most part, it is sitting there. I talk about it every once in a while, but not enough, not like I should, not like it warrants.

You share Your heart with us. May we fan it into flame. May we allow its beat to take us over, possess us, and guide us. Teach us, Lord, to allow Your heart to beat with our hearts, merging our love. May we be up for the adventure this will take each of us on. May we use the courage, the wisdom, the creativity You offer us in order to do so.

O Lord, may we, too, notice Your heart that You have put within us.