Lesson from the Sunsphere

Knoxville has this Sunsphere from the World’s Fair one year. There’s another city or two that has a shiny sphere included in the skyline. This one is different though. It sparkles and glows in the sunlight and moonlight without the need for the electricity that flashes across the other cities’ spheres.

You see, each panel that forms the sphere is filled with 24 karat gold dust. It’s because the gold has been crushed that it reflects the light so beautifully.

So, if you’re feeling crushed by what’s going on in your world or the world at large, please hold on to the hope that the very thing that’s crushing you now will one day give you the ability to better reflect all that is beautiful and good.

What crushed you is the very thing that will help you brighten the dark places in this world.

Shine on…..

Mother’s Day Weekend for the Rest of Us

Looking out of my apartment’s window on this Mother’s Day weekend….

I love it when the wind rocks the chair on my balcony. I like to think that my Mom dropped in from Heaven to sit with me for a bit. I know she would love that spot if she were still alive.

If you are blessed to have your Mom, your wife, your kids with you on this weekend – celebrate each other well – with not a drop of love held back.

But as for the rest of us: those of us who never had children, or Moms whose babies wait for them in heaven, or those of us whose Moms, wives, or those who have otherwise nurtured and loved us well no longer walk this earth with us… know that you are not forgotten and love and prayers rise up for you.

You see, to be a mother – a nurturing, life-giving one – isn’t limited to the physical bearing of children. And a mother’s love lives on long after the temporary separation death brings has occurred.

So my prayer for the rest of us on this weekend is that though it may be bittersweet – it will still be beautiful. May precious memories surround more than grief weighs you down. May you be reminded that your inestimable worth is not determined by your ability to give birth.

I say to you… to me… Happy Mother’s Day. On this weekend that is for many so bittersweet – May we sense the full and nurturing Presence of the One who died to set us free. And know, that when you have those moments when the tears begin to creep, He, too, understands and with you weeps.

Happy Mother’s Day….

A Prayer for Empathy from Isolation

A Prayer for Empathy from Isolation
 
By Tracy Mauro
March 24, 2020

A virus -
To our eyes unseen
Holds us under lock and key.
But still we find that we are free
Through purchased connectivity.
But what of those who aren’t so free?
Even in better times than these
Chronic illness, addiction, lack or disease
Makes isolation their constant reality.
Though we can't fully know their pain
Perhaps now we won't turn away
Now that we have had a little taste -
May this strange season birth new grace.

Intersecting Seasons

Yesterday…. these pictures dropped into my “Facebook Memories”. I took them during a bizarre spring snowstorm in Texas 10 years ago.

Perhaps the weather anomaly I photographed back then is a picture of what the world is going through right now in this pandemic-induced “winter” of illness, fear, and social isolation.

This has all hit us like a sudden spring snowstorm. The normal spring-song of the season suddenly muted by frozen tones of ice and snow.

Yet in this odd intersection – there is so much beauty. Some of the spring buds still shine as the press through the snow that so beautifully reflects the sun’s light.

And this same weekend in this most strange season…. This most beautiful poem begins making it’s way around – capturing well the absolute beauty that is still shining through this unsettlingly strange season we find our world in:

Lockdown by Brother Richard: 

Yes there is fear.

Yes there is isolation.

Yes there is panic buying.

Yes there is sickness.

Yes there is even death.

But,

They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise

You can hear the birds again.

They say that after just a few weeks of quiet

The sky is no longer thick with fumes

But blue and grey and clear.

They say that in the streets of Assisi

People are singing to each other

across the empty squares,

keeping their windows open

so that those who are alone

may hear the sounds of family around them.

They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland

Is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound.

Today a young woman I know

is busy spreading fliers with her number

through the neighbourhood

So that the elders may have someone to call on.

Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples

are preparing to welcome

and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary

All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting

All over the world people are looking at their neighbours in a new way

All over the world people are waking up to a new reality

To how big we really are.

To how little control we really have.

To what really matters.

To Love.

So we pray and we remember that

Yes there is fear.

But there does not have to be hate.

Yes there is isolation.

But there does not have to be loneliness.

Yes there is panic buying.

But there does not have to be meanness.

Yes there is sickness.

But there does not have to be disease of the soul

Yes there is even death.

But there can always be a rebirth of love.

Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now.

Today, breathe.

Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic

The birds are singing again

The sky is clearing,

Spring is coming,

And we are always encompassed by Love.

Open the windows of your soul

And though you may not be able

to touch across the empty square,

Sing

Happy Mother’s Day to ALL Women

This is actually a re-blog from a post 3 years ago. But out of everything I’ve posted – my website stats show that this one continues to be the most searched and read.

Perhaps this is because traditional Mother’s Days gifts and greetings often exclude those who contribute to the nurturing and raising of many – but may not have their own actual children to show for it.

Whether you’ve spent the day with children and grandchildren, are estranged from your child and it breaks or heart, or if you’ve never been a mom in the traditional sense, the words in the blog below are for you. Who you are and why you do matters. Your impact and value exceeds anything you can imagine!

……………………………………..

Original post from May 9, 2016:

Happy Mother’s day to all women! 

You might respond, “All women aren’t mothers”.  I beg to differ.  

One definition of “mother” describes the word as a verb meaning to “bring up with care and affection”.  

Yes, some women bring up children in the traditional “mom” sense of the word.

But ALL women raise up other people through mentoring, coaching, leading, and loving.  

So, beautiful one…. no matter what form your mothering takes – celebrate yourself and the powerful nurturing spirit your God and Creator lovingly breathed into you.

Happy Mother’s day… to YOU!

Soul Healing: Complicated, But Worth It!

Healing is often a complex journey. Have patience with the process and be kind to yourself. And, remember…. there is never a moment where your Maker is out of earshot of your heart’s cry.

“I have told you all this so that You may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” – Jesus (John‬ ‭16:33‬ New Living Translation)

Don’t let a temporary change in view shake your faith in permanent truth!

The beautiful landmark #KingAndQueenBuildings looked quite different during my commute in this morning’s fog than they do in the #AfternoonSunlight. But the #LifeLesson in this is that the actual structure and function of the buildings didn’t change just because my view was temporarily obstructed. Do not let what you see weaken what you KNOW to be true. #LessonsFromTheSky.