The quality of Mercy
When speaking about mercy there can be turns in the road, or forks even, were different aspects can be pondered. Like many other topics on the spiritual life, different facets can be dwelt upon, to the exclusion of others. Sometimes the best way to try to understand mercy, both human and Divine (though the mystery of the Infinite will always be that; mystery), is to contemplate how we experience it in our every day life. Both on the receiving end and in the giving as we
Stream of consciousness (nothing else)
I look at myself in the mirror and wonder who is looking back,
an old man with too much hair, with beard needing a trim,
grey with a slight trace of red moving rapidly to white,
now that will be a sight, looking forward to that expression, white ;
though I am getting used to the reflection, at times it is a shock,
for I will see others my age and think them so much older than me,
what a surprise to see that in fact, I am older than they,
A ramble about scripture
As a Christian the New Testament holds a special place in my spiritual life, it is my sacred text from which I seek to listen ever more fully to the Holy Spirit. Ones perception of any text will of course dictate how it will be read. The scriptures can be read as simple literature, for much of it is beautifully written in both sections. In the Old Testament for instance, the book of Job is considered by many to be a truly great work of literature. Others read scrip
People have different understandings about faith, what it is, why some have it and others don’t and also as one matures, the above understandings change, it seems to be a life long process. A slow maturing that never ends, an ever deepening adventure for those who are on the path, pilgrims who learn to deal with uncertainty along with the deepening of faiths roots. I would say for me, at this time, faith is a choice, one that I make everyday.
There are times when I am praying,
Dialysis I would suppose is hard on everyone. For at the clinic I see some young people there, in their mid-thirties, a couple even younger, who seem to be able after more than a few years, to still have energy enough for a life outside the long hours they spend on one of the machines, needed to keep them alive. Though they tend to look older than their years, at least the few I have seen. Undiagnosed high blood pressure seems to be the culprit or many of them of these young people.
Got a call from Fran, Fred’s wife. She told me that Fred did not want the stomach tube; however he keeps waffling about the decision. I knew that in the end it would be Fred’s choice, but the going back and forth is starting to weigh heavily on Fran. Being the mother of the family she is smack dap in the middle of it all. The oldest wants Fred to have the feeding tube, some of the other children, at least from what Fran told me, want to let Fred make the choice and send him home to
About a friend of many years
It was Monday morning when my cell phone rang; it was about 10 AM. When I saw who it was from, I felt some apprehension as I answered the call. It was Mike, the eldest son of one of my best friends, Fred; who for the last few years, has been in last stage Parkinson’s and suffering deeply from its ravages. Mike informed me that Fred was being taken to the hospital for a urinary track infection; he will keep me informed and then hung up. This of course saddened m
A veteran from Iraq
It was one of those wonderful Georgia days in mid-February, which resembled more a day in spring than one in the middle of winter. Bright sun, no clouds in the sky, a wind yes, but not very cold; just a very nice, slightly bracing day, mood elevating, just like spring. I got off at the Turner Hill exit here in Conyers, Ga.; it is the turn off for Stonecrest Mall. It is a large mall, which is like all the others and has a great many stores that have grown up around it.
To be childlike
What does it mean for an adult to be childlike? Small children, before they become self-conscious are often delightful to watch as they play before us adults with delightful abandon. Then there is also the ‘childish’ behavior that is also expected from them since they have yet to learn how to act properly in public, for lacking a broader understanding of the world they are narcissistic, which at that time of life is appropriate and good. So to be childlike, spontaneous, open,
Accept or fight
In my experience in working with the elderly, I am often humbled by the way in which they accept diminishment in their lives. I have always thought that as we get older year by year, we are all slowly backed inexorably into a corner. It is simply part of the process we must go through as we age. This process of course is faster for some than for others, and no two people adapt to this in quite the same way. I am not sure that there is a right way to adapt; each seems to hav
The giving and the taking
The rain pours upon the earth,
lighting flashes that often strikes,
winds breaking branches littering the way,
water soaked earth allowing life to continue
yet devastation often a given.
Why Lord are both present,
the giving and the taking?
Children play and laugh in the yard,
mothers laugh at their transparency,
then dad gets drunk and hell descends
leaving pain and at times death in its wake.
Why Lord are both present,
the giving and the ta
Woman in purple
I was waiting at a doctor’s office for Laurin who was in back for a procedure. I came prepared for a long visit, a couple of books, one a work of fiction, the other something about the whole God debate thing going on, something I love to read about. As I was sitting, I heard the door slowly open accompanied by soft moaning and labored breathing. The door was opened by a tall young man in his twenties, for a large woman, perhaps over six feet tall if she was not bent over her
The lone plane
In the night as I walked slowly around, up and down the long drive that goes East and West, in the early morning warmth with only crickets for sound and the occasional car sounding like ocean waves driving by in the night, with my inner instincts aware, though gently so, of any danger in that young mornings darkness; I find peace and contemplation away from my sleepless bed.
In the sky, a lone plane flies overhead, lights all aglow as if mocking the night. I wondered about tho
My soul created in utter simplicity,
yet the years experience leads to thoughtlessness,
transparency lost in life’s long struggle.
The light clouded by self inflicted wounds
and yes by the scourges of others,
seeking after permanence an illusion.
Torn in so many ways
rest a mirage nevertheless sought,
inner bleeding hid from outer sight,
hiding from others as well as self,
truth too much to bear.
Yet love is love after all,
seeing more deeply than inner sight,
Trust comes from embracing, believing, in the love of God,
in failures and sins, when the road is dark,
when in rebellion we wander,
when our heart is cold and filled with self loathing and despair,
yes even then, when we become aware of our state,
even though we know that we will fall again,
wander off the road and harden our hearts, yes even then,
we must look to infinite love for the Savior’s embrace.
We jig, over there, now here, bippity, bippity, we bounce,
I guess along with the search for happiness, there is also the unwelcome guest of suffering and its brother and sister, frustration and loss. A trinity of sorts, for in a sense they are really one, for what makes us happy can also drive us crazy, and like all things in this life, must leave us in one way or another. Try as we might nothing can really be clung to for very long, for one moment changes to another, in an unending line of seconds, minutes and hours. We are called to fa
It is a strange thing for me, how my faith is challenged not by the suffering in the world, nor the evil, for that I understand, or perhaps just used to it; though I wish the world were a better place. Although I know that if I had free reign in the process, I am sure that it would all turn out worse by far, than what it ‘seems’ often to be today.
No what challenges my faith; tempting me to back away, is not the horrors of the world, for again it is simply the way things are, but
In dialoguing with atheist, which I do on occasion (or perhaps I did); and by the way, feel that I do poorly, is not necessarily a waste of time or effort. That there can be a learning curve is correct, if true listening is achieved. Though in truth I am not sure I have ever really reached that point. There always seems to be a level of defensiveness in me. and I sense it also in those that I have attempted to converse with. For belief systems, no matter which ones held, are very
I often get confused about the difference between ‘feelings’ and ‘emotions. They can be blurred I guess and in many ways they seem to be the same, yet in reality they are quite different. Of course this is my own take on it and how they affect my inner life. They can both cause me quite a bit of inner suffering and turmoil, of which for the most part I am the main cause. It is in how I relate to them I guess.
Emotions are transitory, or at least they are meant to be. For
A modern tale of a prodigal’s return
This poem is written by a good friend of mine of many years. He wrote it one day while sitting in a restaurant. It was written on napkins, and it took him more than a few hours to write it. He conveyed to me that the server there, knowing something special was going one, just keep filling up his coffee cup. So to that person, man or women, I thank o for your kindness to a friend, who needed to put something important on paper. It is a good poem, and h
The center most part
There are days when things can seem bleak,
life a playing field of different shades of gray,
when taking one more step takes exertion
and the body so tired that it desires,
hopes, for the earth to reach up and embrace,
absorbed into something immense,
blotting out thought.
It passes, this dreary walk down sand covered walkways,
transient states leading to something else,
the grays will again fade and vibrancy will return,
and for a time smooth sailing