Few words have been written that are more thought provoking than these words offered by Julia Wright. Ponder them. Reflect on them. Take a few moments to consider where you are in these words.
As the Sunday of Pentecost nears, please contemplate the message of this wonderful poem by my friend, Maren C. Tirabassi, posted on her blog, Gifts in Open Hands.
Pentecost Poem, 2021
Not this year,
the images that have nurtured me before
Don’t get me wrong! I’ve loved
the blowing wind,
but deadly storms of climate change
have taken the air out of that one.
Tongues of flame remind me too much
of cremation in India and Nepal.
Certainly even reading about
the crowded streets
sends me digging in my pocket
for a mask,
in these tentative,
emotionally so complicated
days of re-community.
This year it is the languages
that … speak to me, in me, through me
not even so much celebrating
the holy, beautiful syllabification
of global diversity,
or the most successful sermon ever
giving birth to a church,
as one hundred twenty people
being willing to speak
without being in control of their words.
We all have learned this –
how we said the right thing at the right time
buried in ordinary conversation,or a small public courage
of naming truth we didn’t know we knew.
This year my simple pentecost
is just lending my tongue to something
someone needs to hear,
because I am waiting in the right place,
and willing to open my mouth.
Read more of Maren’s writing at this link:
THOSE WHO DREAM
That’s the problem, isn’t it, that the Angel Gabriel departed from her!
It happens to us, too.
Our angel departs
Just when the deepest shadow of fear hovers over us.
Just when grief has shattered our hearts.
Just when our deep, deep life losses have left us disconsolate.
Our angel goes away.
Just at the moment of our most profound impoverishment,
Just at the moment when we know, beyond doubt,
That we will never dream again.
As for the dreams we long held hidden in our hearts . . .
Well, those dreams disappeared!
The dreams we held so closely are not in us anymore
Can not be dreamed anymore.
Suddenly, our angel left
And we were no longer those who dream.
Yet, we moved headlong into Mary’s story and Elizabeth’s;
Life growing in their wombs;
Holy Life growing in their wombs.
Both of them holding the dreams God gave them
Both dreaming into an unknown and unknowable journey
As women often do.
And on that journey, as we follow these two dreaming women, we see it!
The Star in the East!
The Bethlehem Star sparkling in night sky!
Our angel left us
But courage and hope still courses inside us.
We lift our gaze still and we see Bethlehem’s star
And the dark indigo sky sparkles
Manifested before us in human form!
The Word Made Flesh who would never leave us like our angel did.
We follow that holy star
Because we know what we hold deeply in our souls;
We know exactly who we are —
Those who dream!
We are those who dream!
Rev. Kathy Manis Findley, Advent 2020
In your sacred pauses during this Advent season, may you find peace, knowing all is calm. Listen to this music in your contemplative time.
November 12, 2019 — the day of my kidney transplant
I’m welcoming twilight today, that space created for me by a gifted anesthesiologist.
It is, I imagine, a magical thing that gathers all the worries, fears, disappointments of illness and tucks them neatly into a glittering silver pouch.
The twilight is a good feeling, a sense of new well-being in the all places where my feelings and emotions live.
It is a comfort and a grace.
It is a relief, a blessed sense that all is well.
It is an alchemist holding the silver pouch in her hands and flinging it into the heavens, each fear and worry joining the stars in the night sky.
And as dawn breaks — a new dawn — I welcome a new life, a different life, a gift of life that feels like hope.
On another note, please pray for me as I look toward my kidney transplant today at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida. I am so grateful that you are walking with me on this journey that often felt so frightening. Your thoughts and prayers mean so much. If you would like to rea the story of my illness, please visit the Georgia Transplant Foundation’s website at this link:
A “Go Fund Me” page is set up for contributions to help with the enormous costs related to the transplant, including medications, housing costs for the month we have to stay near the transplant center, and other unforeseeable costs for my care following the transplant. If you can, please be a part of my transplant journey by making a contribution at this link