Just because I’m unique, doesn’t mean I’m different

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i am uniquely made, a one-of-a kind design
yet i choose not to believe that i’m different;
the moment i believe i’m different from my brother
i begin separating myself from the world that God loves;
and no one can be a relevant voice in this world
without community & love for one another.

“So God created humankind in his own image; in the image of God he created him: male and female he created them.” Geneses 1:27

Solid Rock

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“The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.”  Ernest Hemingway

She was a natural-born paradox.  Gentle yet tough; loyal yet independent; social yet a bit of a loner.

Remembering the autumn so many years ago when we watched her free-spirit belly grow under her man-size shirt.  Surely she is carrying someone’s child, but she denies it for as long as she can.  Until one cold day in December, she delivers a baby girl into the waiting arms of the adopting parents.

She has her reasons.  Good reasons painfully drawn from the deep waters of a brave girl’s heart.  I don’t judge—I know better than that.  She shows us the birth certificate with tiny footprints and cries.

A year later, on a snowy night in January, she stands with us at the church altar as her brother and me exchange our wedding vows.  We will never see her again after that night.   Her gypsy heart and hippie spirit calls her westward where her life comes to a sudden and tragic end a few months later.  She was 22 years old, and our hearts broke.

Life goes on; 20 years pass—and then a letter, a phone call, a knock on the door.  We embrace through tears, and I whisper, “I always knew you would find us”.  And through her daughter’s eyes, she smiles knowingly.

The death of a young person brings confusion, perhaps even more so to a person of faith.  We ride the waves of grief—up & down, down & up—until eventually, somehow, we land upon solid ground.  Ground that takes us in—womb-like—and protects.  The solid rock of trust in God when there are no answers to the hard questions.  Solid ground—placental earth—protecting, revealing & healing.  Something that does not happen overnight.  Love & Peace.

 

 

 

A Meal With Jesus

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Gathered around the family table, I am called upon to pray before the evening meal.  In a moment of what I can only describe as sheer insanity, my irreverent little ten-year-old self, the same child who blew out her bubblegum upon the big red doors of the First Baptist Church, boldly declares, “Good bread, good meat, good God, let’s eat!” 

My father chuckles and tries to cover it with a cough.  My mother is not amused, and I am asked to leave the table.

I am a follower of the teachings of Jesus Christ.

I love that Jesus leaves the 99 to go after the 1.

I love the story of the prodigal son’s return, and—while still a long way off—his father runs full tilt with arms wide open to welcome his son home.

And I love that Jesus “…welcomes sinners and eats with them”.  I think that may be what I love most.

I mess up more than I’d like; I am far from perfect.  Yet, still Jesus welcomes me with arms wide open & eats with me daily.  That’s amazing.  That’s grace.

A meal with Jesus—a moment of grace; a time of connection and communication.

A meal with Jesus—offering “a divine moment, an opportunity … to be seduced by grace into a better life, a truer life, and a more human existence.”*

A meal with Jesus—to be shared with others.  Literally.  Sharing a meal with friends, or strangers, extends God’s grace and life into the world.

It’s called hospitality: the relationship between guest and host, where the host receives the guest with grace & open arms.

I’ve found that Jesus is the perfect host.  He serves up a great meal.  He is good bread.  He is good meat.  He is a good God.  And I eat—as often as I can.

“O taste and see that the Lord is good …”  Psalm 34:8 (KJV).

 

*Tim Chester, A Meal With Jesus:  Discovering Grace, Community, and Mission around the Table.

 

Sometimes Walking Away Is Okay

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I am learning to love the sound of my feet walking away from things not meant for me.”                                                                                                                                          Author Unknown

Sometimes … 

walking away is okay.

If it takes more courage & faith

to walk away than to stay

Then just maybe … 

walking away is okay.

 

“But he [Jesus] walked right through the crowd and went on his way.”  Luke 4:30 (NIV).  Love & Peace.

Photo Credit:  64715267 Everst | Dreamstime

 

 

Hygge: Profound Simplicity

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Once again I’ve stumbled upon a word that I unabashedly embrace:  the Danish word, Hygge.  Although a bit difficult to translate to English, hygge (pronounced hue-guh) can be defined as “a state of peace, coziness, calm and personal wholeness”.

I imagine hygge to be a Winter word, or perhaps more of a Winter concept; as for me, hygge and a cold Winter’s day go hand in hand (a very hygge description, by the way, for who doesn’t love the coziness of walking hand in hand with another).

Binge watching Hallmark channel Christmas movies in front of a wood-burning fireplace, drinking yet another “cuppa tea” on a snowy day is definitely hygge.  Burning candles, sugar cookies baking, knitted wool socks, soft cashmere throws, old sweat pants and oversized sweaters are all ever so hygge.  Hanging out with good people, sharing a meal together and laughing until it hurts—that’s hygge, too.

So this Winter I’ve made a decision to cozy up to a more peaceful, calm self.  To channel my inner Dane and embrace hygge.  To focus on the simple pleasures of life with an attitude of gratitude.  It’s simple, really—simple yet profound.  I like the sound of that.  Very hygge.