Life always begins again.
The Angel of Earth embraces the seed
And gives unto it Life.
The kiss of the Angel of Water
Awakens the seed.
The warmth of the Angel of Sun
Makes the seed grow.
The little plant bends in the breeze–
The Angel of Air makes it grow strong.
The little plant is holy.
It bathes in the Lifestream
Of Eternal Order.
~ from Thanksgiving Psalms of the Dead Sea Scrolls
Holy One, help us to trust that you are present to us in the midst of our ordinary lives as clearly as we are present with one another. Give us grace that we may yield always to your Presence which resides within us and recognize that we are bound to your Presence which is beyond us. May we be vulnerable together, move gently onward together, and in the midst of our journeys, share the healing that only comes from letting go and letting You make all things new again. May embracing your Love support and transform us into a source of your healing in the hurting world. May we remember this love today and always. May we live this love today and always!
~ The things that are very alive ~ love, intelligence, faith ~ don’t keep till tomorrow; they are for now. ~
This weekend I will celebrate another birthday – glory be! Through my work as a chaplain and spiritual midwife, I deeply appreciate the gift of a birthday in this life. And so it is that I am awake to how true the wisdom of my opening thought is and still, struggle to live that way.
Yesterday, I was with a middle age man who is developmentally disabled. He has been shy in our initial visits still, he never forgets a story I share with him or any details of my life. He loves to ask me a question as we begin visiting that reveals all that he retained from our previous visit. He is at once innocent and vulnerable yet at the same time, accepting, resolute and in that way, quite strong. He patiently waits for his end to arrive. It is a gift to know him and to give witness to his life as an instantiation of Divine Presence even as it is a microcosm of the universal human story.
I sincerely hope and trust that my loving and compassionate presence is a comfort to this patient and to all the others I visit – endless human stories. And I hope and trust that my life might evolve to be my prayer as I spend my “talents” (in a New Testament sense) in the moment I am in – the now.
I promise myself that I will enjoy every minute of the day that is given me to live. – Thich Nhat Hanh
In a Thousand Forms
by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
English version by John White
Original Language German
You may hide yourself in a thousand forms,
Still, All-beloved, I recognize you;
You may cover yourself in magic mists,
All-present, I can always tell that it is you.
I discover you as well, All-beautifully-growing,
In the cypress’s pure young surge,
In the stream’s fresh, living rush,
All-enchanting, I know you well.
When rising jets of water unfurl,
All-playful, how glad I am to see you;
When clouds form and transform themselves,
All-manifold, I discern you in them.
In the blossoming tapestry that covers the meadow,
I see your All-colorful, starry beauty;
When ivies reach their thousand arms around,
I meet you, All-embracing.
When morning lights the mountain range
I greet you there too, All-brightening,
Then, as the sky grows round above me,
All-heart-expanding, it is you I inhale.
What, with out and inner senses, I know,
I know only through you, All-teaching;
When I name Allah’s hundred names,
A name, with each name, re-echoes for you.
May these words encourage you on your way as you bring this divine loving presence into the world today through your precious being!