I Am Not Color Blind

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It’s been years now, but the memory-moment when I first saw her still runs deep.  Sitting cross-legged on the bed, with pink sponge curlers in her hair, she looks up as I enter our college dorm room.  Me, a middle-class white girl from the suburbs; she, a lower-class black girl born and raised in West Philadelphia.  Our eyes meet for a split second and then both our heads drop silent.

I grew up in white privilege; she grew up among the working poor.   We had a lot to discover about each other, and that we did.  A critical juncture; a defining year that gave me a new perspective beyond my own safe little world.

Amazing how God arranges life experiences to add in the missing pieces.  A divine appointment; a God set-up that added something needed, something of value, into the core of my identity.

My world got a whole lot bigger that year.  And I will be forever grateful to my West Philly roomie whom I grew to love, honor and respect.

Fast forward to last weekend…

We enter the retreat center where I am one of three invited speakers.  Seated beside the other speakers—all beautiful, strong and gifted African American women, I am feeling my “white-ness”.  I’ve heard these women speak before, with incredible power and passion.  They can raise the roof with their fiery-Pentecostal preaching.  An expectation to conform and perform begins to emerge from within me.

Conform and perform—I’ve done it before.  Not proud of it, but true.  Caved to my own internal pressure and took on another’s identity to be approved and accepted.  Yet in the process, I lost something invaluable—the gift of myself.

And then it hits me—my college roomie, this is the lesson we learned together.  I can honor and celebrate these African American women without pretending to be one of them.  By staying true to myself, I give room for others to stay true to themselves.

I quietly walk to the podium and begin sharing God’s love from my heart—in the way I do best, in the way I am designed.  People are moved by the gentle power of love—tears flow and healing comes.  I am a cool drink of water in the fiery heat of the day.  Different, yet the same.

I am not color blind.  God gave us color and the ability to distinguish between colors.  It’s a gift that I plan to celebrate more.  When we celebrate our differences by not pretending they do not exist, we celebrate the multi-faceted nature of God in whose image we all were created.  

Different, yet the same.  Hard to explain.  A divine mystery from the heart of God that I one day hope to understand better.

 

Living in the Present Moment

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See more inspirational thoughts like this at my new “Knowledge Bursts” page.

This picture was taken at the top of Mt. Washington in New Hampshire.  Oh, how I wished it were me up there!  Love & Peace.  

“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart …”  Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NIV)

Nature’s Garment

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Nature is the living, visible garment of God.”  Johann von Goethe

Eye-gate opened to The High and Lifted Up

I reach for His garment in the dawn’s early light

The train of His robe fills this temple of mine

At the threshold of an Alaskan fjord.

 

*Writing for me becomes a dialogue with the Spirit of God.  My heart’s response to scriptures whispering through my spirit.  This dialogue flows from Isaiah 6:1: “In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.”  May the dialogue continue in you… Love & Peace.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It All Becomes Clear on the Mountain

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You are a prophet of caves, rocks and deserts”, she states wittingly—my poetic, thought-provoking teacher of all things spiritual.  The one who uses extraordinary words like “coruscate” and “obfuscate” and “mercurial” in our ordinary, every-day chats.

Standing still inside myself, I reckon, “It takes one to know one”.

Wilderness wanderers eating the locust and wild honey of life—the revelation of creation that declares the Majesty of God.  We give thanks and eat.  Our spirits strengthened with each taste.

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We reach the top of Maine’s Little Kineo Mountain.  Spectacular scene.  Bathed in the glorious sunlight above the treetops.  Free of a shadowed view.  We eat the vision.

And then…something happens.

Although the air is still, a thunderous roar comes from the sky.  An intense sound—like that of a jumbo jet engine.  Like the sound of a mighty rushing wind.  We stand motionless in holy fear as what can only be described as the very presence of God moves upon the mountaintop.  Both feel it.  Both experience it.  Both awe-struck.

Next morning, I search, and He reveals.  Kineo, a Greek word meaning to move; to set in motion.  Where we get our English word kinetics. 

“For in Him we live, and move (kineo) and have our being… “.  I recall the Apostle’s words.

Something moved upon us on Mount Kineo that day.   Someone moved upon us and within us, and we were moved.

A mountaintop experience–not meant to teach but to transform.

It all becomes clear on the mountain.

Standing still inside myself, I know who I am.  Yes, I am a prophet of caves, rocks and deserts.   And the mountains.  

My iPhone signals.   A text message awaits.  It’s her.  “Have you been to the mountains lately?”

The mountains call and I run.

 

The Sounds of Silence

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Have you ever experienced the sounds of silence?

So much pain in the world.  We ask the hard questions and … silence.

The silent wilderness seasons of life are hard, but do I make those times harder…than they are meant to be?

During my most troubled times, I am most often without words.  I lean hard into my husband’s strong, full-body embrace.  And love whispers softly in the silence.

Could the silent answers to life’s hard questions be a means to a greater capacity to lean hard…into Him?  And in the leaning, to learn to listen for the all-encompassing whispers of Love?

The ’70’s child in me remembers the song.

And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming.  And the sign said,

“The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls”

And whispered in the sounds of silence.

Soft whispers; the sounds of silence are all around us…if we would just listen with our eyes.

The sound of soft chimes dancing upon life’s hard winter’s winds.  A full-body love embrace in the wilderness stillness.

And in the silence, I begin to reflect His nature and become still.  In the silence, I gain a knowing, if only a glimpse, that He is God and I am not.

The tide of the prophet’s words ebbs and flows…

Be still and know that I Am God.  

Be still and know that I Am.

Be still and know.

Be still.

Be.

I think maybe I am ready To Be.  Entrusted with the sounds of His silence.