Do You Hate The Rock?

Someone threw a rock and shattered my elderly neighbor’s window. A few of us who live on the street gathered outside of his house to assess the damage. “Sorry, Tom, that you have to deal with this,” a neighbor said to him.
“Don’t you hate people who do this kind of damage?” asked another. Tom shook his head. “No, I don’t. I feel sorry for them.”
“You’re a bigger person than me. I’d hate the person who broke a window at my house,” chimed in another.
“It was a rock that broke my window. Should I hate the rock?” Tom asked.
“But a person threw it,” a woman said.
“Yes. That’s true. But it was the pain inside the person that caused them to throw the rock. I can’t hate that pain. I can only feel compassion for it, for I too, have felt pain,” whispered Tom. I drew in a quick breath, surprised at Tom’s wisdom, his Christ-like heart.
Neighbors shook their heads. I heard one whisper the word “crazy” as they walked away. I remained, not yet wanting to leave the company of such a dear man.
“Do you need any help cleaning up?” I asked.
“No, but thank you for asking,” Tom answered.
“Thank you, for your loving heart,” I said.
“Is there any other kind to have? We must help each other heal from our pain that causes destruction in life,  not hate it,” he said as he rested his hand on my shoulder.
“The world would be a better place if we could do that,” I said. It would be a better place, indeed.

Don’t Let These Weigh You Down.

“And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone,
so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”
~Mark 11:25

“You’re awfully slow today,” God said as I drug my feet to start the day.
“I know. I just can’t seem to get going,” I said as I made a cup of coffee.
“That’s not what you need,” God said. “What you need is to stop lugging around all that dead weight.”
“I need to lose weight?” I asked, a bit surprised. “I’m a size four,” I argued.
“No. Not body weight. The weight of resentments. The weight of anger. They exhaust you.”
“You’re right about that,” I said.
“It’s because you don’t let go of the past,” God explained. “If you let go of yesterday and the all the days that came before it, you’d be living only in today. The past wouldn’t matter.
“How do I let go?” I asked.
“With my help. You lean on me and not on your own understanding. You forgive, just as I forgive you,” God said quietly. I nodded. I took my coffee and sat outside in the garden. The sun had already climbed halfway up the sky. I sat near the birdfeeder and listened to the finches chirping.
“I’ll do my best to let go of the past. I’ll do my best to forgive.”
“Good,” God said. “You’ll have more pep in your step. You’ll also enjoy your coffee more.”
“Really? I like it a lot right now,” I said.
“Everything will look, feel, taste, and sound better when you’re not resentful or angry,” God explained. I sat for quite some time in the cool of the day and sipped my coffee, praying all the while for help to let go. A finch flew down and landed on the table in front of me.
“Thanks, God,” I said. The little bird cocked his head at me, as if he too, had heard me. I smiled. I felt better already.




Our Common Stardust

“Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body…”
~1 Corinthians 12:12

1jhzqk5oty8-christian-nielsenSomewhere in this vast expansion between us still remains the knowledge of our shared stardust. The same breath that God breathed into you, He breathed into me. I walk through our dark divide with hands and heart stretched out before me, feeling my way back to you. Can you hear me calling you?

Turn to me. Let me find you in this lonely place where we parted. Let me look into your eyes to see again, God’s Spirit. Let us remember where we came from. Let us remember where we are going.