Cradling Christ.

Cradling Christ.

“This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped
in cloths and lying in a manger.”
~Luke 2:12

Everything in my life was rushing past me so fast that I couldn’t make sense of it. I felt only chaos and confusion. I knew what I had to do—what I often do when I feel like everything is spinning out of control. I went out into my garden and sat down. I took  a few  slow deep breaths and closed my eyes.

I imagined myself out in a field with shepherds. Silence cut through the night, save for the bleating of the sheep. The stars waved above us, lighting the way. We walked for awhile.

We finally arrived at a stable. The barn animals sat quietly as the shepherds and I entered. Inside was a young mother and father, their newborn lying in a manger. Without a word, the young mother picked up her baby and placed Him in my arms. I felt the warmth of His small body. I breathed in His sweet innocence. I felt an incredible love flow through me when I looked into His eyes. He was so precious! I cradled Him, rocking Him in my embrace. When He fell asleep, I kissed His forehead and handed Him back to His mother.

When I opened my eyes, everything that had been rushing so fast had come to a stop. What had felt confusing and chaotic now felt calm and coherent. When I imagine that I am cradling Christ, all of my worries and woes vanish. All that remains is peace. Sweet, sweet, peace.

On The Wings Of God’s Peace

On The Wings Of God’s Peace

“For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.”
~1 Corinthians 14:33

I sat down on the damp earth in the garden and watched three gray geese swim across the sky, their wings parting the air with graceful strokes. There was a determination in their flight as if they had made the decision to fly over my cottage a lifetime ago. I was mesmerized by their beauty. I closed my eyes and listened to their lonesome cries drift back to me: “Hur-lick!” “Hur-lick!” I felt God’s peace fill my soul until it brimmed, then overflowed.

I opened my eyes to see the geese— now small dots on the distant horizon—languidly heading to wherever it was that God had directed their flight. I stood up and brushed away the leaves and twigs that had stuck to my pants. With sure steps, I strode back out into my day, as if I had made the decision a lifetime ago. Perhaps I had.

The Eyes Of A Child

“And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become
like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
~Matthew 18:3

I pulled out a long row of Shasta daisies that had taken over the front of my flower bed. As I worked in the gentle sun of the winter’s day, my thoughts focused on my problems. Slowly, I sunk into a bad mood. A squirrel scampered into the garden and sat up, begging for peanuts. “Thank you,” I said to her. You’re a good distraction from my self-induced misery.” I stood up and got the bag of nuts. I threw her a handful.

“Do more than feed the squirrel,” God urged.

“Do you want me to feed the crows and the jays, too?” I asked.

“No. I want you to do more than distract from your negative thoughts,” God explained.

“Meaning….?”

“If you only distract, you’ll eventually return to your judgments and feel miserable again,” He said. “Become childlike instead of judgemental.”

“Wait. What? You’ve lost me,” I said.

“Children are innocent. They see the world through eyes of curiosity and wonder. They don’t judge until they are taught to fear and hate,” God said. “Look at your life with curiosity and wonder. Don’t judge. Look with kindness and compassion, the very same way that I look upon you—with love.”

I watched the squirrel eat the peanuts. She wasn’t concerned about her problems. She lived in the moment. I took God’s words to heart and promised I would do my best to become childlike. I’d do my best to see my life, including adversity, including my past mistakes, through the lens of innocence, and wonder. I’d look at everything as if I were looking into the eyes of God. Such peace that would be!

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