Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Just breathe

Take a deep breath.

When it’s the end of a long day and there are still so many things to do, when you are tired and feeling guilty about being tired, when you just don’t have the mental fortitude to finish what you’ve begun, just breathe.


And turn that breath into a prayer, exhaling all the depleted energy you cannot transform, offering the only thing you can at the moment, which is your weakness. Then inhale, invoking the sacred Name that can only be whispered by the poor in spirit, and feel your lungs expand with life that is not your own.

Breathe until you remember this life is your own, given for this moment and the ones to come. This is the Spirit-Breath of God, by which all things are once again possible.

Just breathe.


Sunday, 11 September 2011

This My Salvation

Driving home on a country road, the moon hangs, suspended glow over the trees and I remember how I have found saving grace in its light. And I begin to think about this my salvation.

My salvation has been a matter of preservation. How can the faith of a five year old be kept fresh all these years? How does it keep from going stale?

Only because God has sent his daily bread, manna from heaven, each morning and evening. It is only the mystery of grace, falling from the sky. Last year’s bread is long gone, and even yesterday’s will not be enough for today. He has renewed me constantly, opening his hand and providing food in season.

It has drifted down in the mercy of snow. It has been the moon, a silver wafer offered to unclean lips. It has been every word proceeding from his mouth, plucked from the fields of Scripture. It has been gathered on my blistered knees, searching desperately for just the crumbs from his table.

This is bread I have not baked. This preservation is not of my doing. I have only opened my hands, my mouth willingly, to receive what he gives.

Oh I have at times been seated at the table of fools, eating the cake of deception, frosting gone to dust and ashes on my tongue. I have tried to hoard and hide, stubbornly feasting on my own fermentation. I have nearly starved on self-reliance because I would not get up and gather his provision. I have turned his grace aside, only to find there is nothing else.

Nothing but manna, and what is it? and some days I cannot tell, I cannot taste, I cannot know how what has fallen can be what is good. I can only eat, and yet I can testify that brokenness has become wholeness, because all manna is from the mystery of the one loaf, broken for all.

He is bread and bread is life, and I must eat or die. And this is how I live. This is how I am saved, this is how he saves me even now.

And falling grace leaves rainbow trails in the rain clouds and rises bigger than the moon on a September night, reminders that this His salvation is all around.


Saturday, 10 September 2011

The Heavens Declare

The way the early autumn light is bounding and resounding around the world this morning is a marvelous thing.

Those particle-waves are racing through the atmosphere, gathering every shade of cerulean and azure in the spectrum, spreading them wide over my horizon.

Every photosynthesizing leaf is practically bursting with new energy, gathering our faded breath and exploding into songs of oxygen green.

Rich rusty red oozes out of the pores of the earth, a super-saturation of organic overflow, making decomposition a thing of beauty.

Even brown reveals its subtle personalities in the mown hay fields, the cud-chewing creatures across the road, the flash of feather in the air.

And, marvel of marvels, it my eye that is able to catch what this kinetic spectacle flings out, to render the nuclear language of the sun into these colourful phrases.

Me, praying with eyes to see, spherical windows washed clean by the light, till I can feel the glory of God pierce my soul at 300 million metres per second.


Saturday, 3 September 2011

late summer praise

Six sunflowers stand tall in a vase on the middle of the table, saluting the morning. They are stretching from night’s slumber, waking to the light, turning, turning. Bowed heads lift and faces open in bold yellow praise as they find their Creator.

We bought them at Hope River farm last night as the evening light cast long shadows on our way home from the beach. We bought honey too, and met the chickens, and saw how raw wool was brought into line with steady hands and a spinning wheel. But the sunflowers, acres of them, were top billing last night. Hundreds and hundreds in straight rows, all facing the same direction, a congregation of sun worshipers.

This is what sunflowers do, and I can’t help but wonder if they were created to do just this, to remind us to turn to the Sun, that our fitting posture is one which stands tall in bright worship, showing others the way. As the Countenance shines down, we lift ours up, and it is right to give our thanks and praise.

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