Love In Action

My friend was struggling with life decisions that seemed overwhelming to her. I did my best to not give unasked for advice. My truth fits me, but it may not fit her. So I kept my mouth shut and listened to her. We strolled around the lake, taking our time to admire the ducks and geese as she shared all that weighed heavy on her heart.

As the sun tipped from her highest point and began her slow slide down towards the horizon, we ended our walk and parted ways. But not before my friend hugged me and said, “Thank you for listening. Thank you for letting me hear my own words. It was helpful.” I held her for a few moments, pressing my heart to hers.
“I’m honored to listen to you,” I said.

Listening is love in action. It’s how we help each other find the truth. Let’s not forget that. Let’s not forget to listen. Deeply.



Don’t Let This One Do The Driving!

I got dressed to go to an important meeting. A soft winter’s rain fell as I walked to my car. What if it turns icy before I get to where I am going? I thought to myself as I slid into the driver’s seat. That worry set off a cascade of other worries that began with the gut-wrenching phrase, “What if?” I felt uneasy, so before I put the key in the ignition, I paused.

“God? You there?”
“Always,” He answered immediately.
“I’ve got a really big meeting today. I need for it to go well. Any suggestions?”
“Kick fear out of the front seat. Ask the other’s to sit up front with you.”
“The others?”
“Curiosity. Wonderment. Gratitude. Let them be your companions today. You can even let them drive. My Dear Child, you’ll never be rid of fear entirely. But you can insist that it sits in the back seat and never, ever, drives.”
“What do I do if it talks incessantly back there?” I asked.
“You can listen politely, say thank you for its opinion, then turn your attention to other things. Curiosity, wonderment, and gratitude will eventually drown out fear’s voice.

I started the engine and backed out of the driveway. Looking over my shoulder, I imagined fear sitting quietly in the back seat. I looked to my right and imagined curiosity, wonderment, and gratitude sitting next to me. I pondered which one would make the best driver for my meeting. I chose curiosity to lead the way, along with God’s good grace.

“Thanks for the advice, God,” I said. “Fear will probably come along, but I won’t let it drive.” The rain that had been steady all morning, disappeared. The sun peeked her sweet face between the clouds. And curiosity asked a hundred questions about the day ahead, all filled with excitement and possibility.

“Thank you, God!” I said out loud, as gratitude took the wheel for a moment. “Thank you, very much.”

God Loves You Anyway.

God Loves You Anyway.

The wind lashed at my umbrella as I leaned into the force of the gale, determined to complete my morning walk in spite of Mother Nature’s wrath. When I turned the farthermost corner of my journey, I walked past a church. A young choir inside sang, their voices spilling out onto the sidewalk. I stopped and listened, forgetting the weather. Their voices filled my heart with such sweet innocence, that I was transported back in time–before the hurt, before the shame, before my hardened heart.

My heart ached for all the paths I’ve wandered that took me away from God, away from my goodness. I shivered standing there in the rain.

“I have loved you anyway,” God whispered as the tears I was fighting won and chased my regrets down my face.

“What?” I asked, raising my face to the rain.

“I knew you’d break my heart, but I loved you anyway,” God said gently.

“Oh God, how could you?” I could barely get the words out.

“I created you. You’re mine. How can I not love my creation?” He answered.

“I’m so sorry for all of my mistakes. I’m so sorry I lost my way so many years ago.”

“I know you are. I’ve forgotten all about those years. I wish you could forget them too. Tell the others that even though I know they too will break my heart, I love them anyway,” God asked.

“Yes, of course, I will,”  I answered.

Here is that message: God wants you to know that He isn’t a keeper of wrongs. He loves you, even when He knows you’ll break His heart. You are still His precious innocent child. No matter how far down the wrong path you have journeyed, you can always turn around and come home, back to His arms, back to His heart.

I dried my tears and pushed on, each step propelling me towards home. I savored the company that I was now aware was walking with me—had always walked with me. “Thank you, God,” I whispered, full of gratitude for a love I can only appreciate, never fully fathom.

When You Can’t Be A Light, Be A Mirror

“God, I’m in a bad mood,” I said as I washed the morning dishes. “I’ve tried prayer, meditation, singing, even a hot shower, and nothing helped. I may not be able to be a light in the world today.” A finch landed on the feeder just outside the window. Then another. And another. I watched as they happily filled their little bellies with sunflower seeds.
“It’s okay if you can’t be a light,” God said gently. “You can be a mirror, instead.” He said.
“A mirror?”
“Yes. You can reflect my light,” He explained.
“How do I do that?” I asked.
“Don’t complain or in any other way spread negative energy. Be humble and grateful and my light will reflect off of you, even if you are in a bad mood,” He explained.
“Okay, got it. I’ll not complain, and I’ll do my best to be humble and grateful. I’ll do my best to be a mirror today,” I said.
“Thank you,” God said gently.
“You’re thanking me? Are you kidding? It’s me that needs to be thanking you. You created me!”
“I did indeed create you, but I thank you for being a reflection of my light and love. You could choose not to be, but you’re choosing to serve me.” He explained.
“Yes, I want to serve you, God. Even on the days when I feel too out of sorts to generate light. But now I know you are happy even if I simply reflect your light.”
The little birds at the feeder suddenly flew away to do their morning duties. I knew that they were busy being mirrors for God, reflecting His light to me so brightly that it was almost blinding. I smiled. My bad mood was disappearing in that glorious light.



New Beginnings

I moved from the San Francisco Bay Area to Nevada City, California last week. When I arrived at my new destination, a dear friend called to check in on me. It was good to hear her voice. She congratulated me on my new chapter in life, emphasizing the opportunity of a new beginning. I agree with her. There’s a freedom in striking out on a fresh journey; a sense of being able to get closer to your true self, your true destination. But we can all start out on a new journey, every day, without having to move, or to make big changes in our lives.

Every sunrise offers us a clean slate we can fill with curiosity, wonder, creativity, gratitude, service, etc., or we can fill it with fear, worries, anger, resentment, victimhood, martyrdom, etc. The choice is up to us. True, we are often pushed along by our negative emotions and our beliefs, old patterns of thinking, and unhealed trauma, but we can give those things to God to heal.

If we make a conscious effort to live in “full bloom” every day, we have the same new beginning that changing locations affords us. Here’s to the morning’s sunrise. As it warms the day, let your heart and soul be warmed by God’s desire for your highest and best expression of who you are. Be bold. Be bright. Shine!

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