No one needs to encourage a flower to bloom. But, we humans seem to have a harder time “blooming”. Perhaps that is why being an Encourager is considered as one of the spiritual gifts.
This Wednesday I was SEIZED with a desire to ENCOURAGE a person. Looking back, I realize my encouragement (money) was enough out of the ordinary that I am surprised I wasn’t embarrassed. (Hm. The receiver might have been a bit embarrassed.) But, I was a woman possessed. I pressed on! Joyfully! Smile.
And, God, as You have probably designed it, I ended up being the main beneficiary of my endeavor. Driving home I found myself thinking that I wanted to do something similar. I had wanted to begin this project for some time. But, I hadn’t. Slowly it dawned on me that . . . maybe . . . I could encourage myself. It was a brand new idea!
But, how simple. Indeed, how obvious. I need encouragement! Oddly enough just accepting that thought was breakthrough. And then as I was advocating — to someone else — the importance starting off knowing you were going to make something terrible . . . I took my own advice and STARTED! I’m not exactly blooming . . . but I am beginning! And I am thankful.
I really wasn’t sure if I would make it through yesterday! Wednesday is my busy day . . . and I had added THREE extra events into it. And each event was at least 2 hours long. YIKES! I left home at 6:20 a.m. and returned at 8:15 p.m. On my one break between activity number 2 and number 3 I had 25 minutes. What to do?
No time to go home. But there was time to stop at Kawaikui Beach Park. Time to get in more steps, more sun, and take more photos. Time to enjoy and admire. Time to be grateful.
It was a day spent — invested — in doing worthwhile things that I loved — with people that I love. And then home to my wonderful husband! This is such a gorgeous world, God. I was very thankful for a break to do nothing but stop, walk, and admire.
It comes to me that I don’t need a whole 25 minutes to stop and admire. I can stop anywhere along my full days. . . taking a minute. . . here and there to appreciate. The world is waiting. . .
I’m back . . . after a long time away. Time during which I grieved over our oldest daughter’s reactions to EMF radiation. Grieved (and raged) over the millimeter waves blanketing the city she lives in. . . all part of the fifth generation of the internet. Millimeter waves that THEY insist are safe for humans. But, (read warning) the testing is jiggered and based on it being “non-ionizing”.
Sigh. I confess God, that instead of blaming people like me and our love of the FUTURE . . . or maybe blaming AT&T and Verizon etc who were rushing heedlessly ahead . . . I blamed YOU. I guess I must have thought that You had set a limit on our free will. I thought You had limited it so we couldn’t destroy ourselves! Ah, well . . .
It has taken several months for me to digest all of this — at least digest it to the point where I am accepting responsibility on behalf of my species. After all, I was raised on science fiction and was unknowingly part of the Cult of the Future.
I am THANKFUL . . . even though tired. Actually, I am thankful for the reasons that have made me tired. Families are so incredible precious. I was chatting with a friend and it came to me that all families are imperfect for a reason. It is in them that we learn what love really is. The tough gutty love of having to forgive others and having to forgive ourselves.
And mostly it helps bring us to the reality of being loved as we are . . . imperfect beings! I know, God, that we human beings learn by making mistakes. It takes a lot of falling down before we learn to walk. Then it came to me . . . since we are made in Your image. Do You make mistakes? Do You learn as You go? WOW! Even to dare to ask the question it a bit unnerving.
But, it does strike me that I am in a LEARN AS YOU GO Universe. So, I am pondering my question. Actually, maybe I am using the wrong word when I talk about “Mistakes”. Maybe they are better seen as ONGOING ATTEMPTS — AS STRIVINGS. I like that!
This morning on our church bulletin was a quote from Father Rohr: Jesus didn’t come to change God’s mind about us . . . but to change our minds about God. I like that! Thank You for Easter and all it brings to me in Hope and Love.
After what seems like a very long time . . . I am back . . . daring to write again. I was stopped by a day in which four or five folks started following me. Yikes! This really was a public place. Not just my private meanderings.
That is something we all forget, isn’t it? That we ourselves, our lives, our words and our thoughts even, have a wider effect. And, so when I take myself to a church service . . . or to Centering Prayer as I am this morning . . . I am WANTING Your help. Knowing I need help . . . knowing that being human is a big and complex deal.
I remember YEARS ago, complaining to You that the human brain was too thin to deal with my powerful reptilian brain. Sigh. I do have upwellings of my deeper selves. But, they have ENERGY and STRENGTH in them! They are MY RESPONSIBILITY to manage . . . to love and care for. Double sigh!
So, today, Silent Saturday, — that profound gap between the Death of Jesus and the Resurrection of Jesus — seems like a very good time to resume our conversation. I think it was Father Keating who said, “Silence is God’s first language. All else is a poor translation.”
Ah, help me to be silent, too. And to listen with my heart.
My spiritual director has been working with me on the importance of Being. This is because I am an extrovert and greatly addicted to Doing. Doing, I understand. Being was a mystery.
It is, of course, still a mystery! But now I have an image of what it is. In the science I grew up in — and electron was a busy creature — endlessly spinning around the center. But, as near as I understand it — electrons now inhabit a spherical shell of “energy”. They are not so much “doing” as “being”.
My understanding is probably totally wrong. But, it has been incredibly useful for me. When I do my Centering Prayer and sit quietly — doing nothing other than welcoming You in — I can “see” myself refreshing my spherical shell of Being.
Sometimes I even see my “colors” changing — all in my imagination, of course. But, still, a JOY!
Sometimes, I hear something so clearly analyzed and thought out that it takes my breath away! That’s how I responded to Jan Rader’s TED talk on “In the opioid crisis, here’s what it take to save a life.” Basically, she observed that just resuscitating someone is not enough. Even after being resuscitated for the 3rd or 4th time the person still doesn’t know they have a problem! Addicts just don’t know they have a problem.
In addition, the drug that saves them makes them feel horrible. It isn’t a great time to talk sense to them. So, they created a Quick Response Team (QRT) composed of a paramedic, police officer, someone in the recovery community and someone in the faith community. They go and visit those who have overdosed within 72 hours. And right now around 30% of the folks accept some kind of help.
They also created a free-standing specialty clinic – PROACT – for assessment by an addiction specialist. First responders can take or refer patients there who do not want to go to a hospital. This helps the overloaded hospitals, too.
But what moved me the most is that they have started a first responders self-care program. If you are seeing 5 young people die every month . . . many of them classmates and friends . . . you need help! So, now they have yoga in the firehouses and on-duty massages. And they have off-duty programs like pottery and cooking classes.