"The spirit of the LORD came upon him ... " - Judges 3:10
Cancer is invading his brain. He lies in bed most of the day. People come and go, but he seems alone.
I visited the other day. When I left, I touched his hand to wish him well until I visited again.
"All of a sudden I have goosebumps", he said. "Look at the goosebumps!" he exclaimed.
The room was not cold. There was no air blowing. I knew where the goosebumps originated. The Holy Spirit passed from me to him. Pentecost is alive and well.
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth. Amen.
I was waiting in the doctor's office while the patient was having a procedure. How much time do you spend waiting? In the checkout line, "on hold" on the phone, watching a train cross the tracks? It seems like hours, but it's often only minutes or even seconds.
Why are you in such a hurry? What's more important than what you're doing right now? How productive are you with your waiting time?
Are you anxious? Are you angry? Are you impatient?
Are you relaxed? Are you prayerful? Are you thankful?
As for me, I drifted asleep. I wasted my waiting time when I could have been waiting with Jesus.
Lord Jesus, help me to see the time that I wait as an opportunity to spend time with you. Amen.
"Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!" - 2 Corinthians 9:15
As part of the cognitive therapy following his stroke, he was told to match the socks laid out before him and put them in the basket. He performed this exercise with such slow finesse. He studied the details of each sock and then placed the pairs in neat piles in the basket. It was fascinating to watch him tackle the intricacies of this seemingly simple task.
How often do we glance over the graces and "socks" that are placed before us? Do we take the time to appreciate the beauty and the joy of everything around us?
Thank you, Jesus, for all that we have and all that You have given us. May we slow down, at all times, and on all occasions, to take time to give you thanks. Amen.
The man set aside his walker and threw his arms around the life-size statue of his Beloved Saint in a tight bear hug. He squeezed the statue with all his might and laid his head on the statue's shoulder. I so wanted to join him in a big group hug!
I was sure that when he saw me, he would be embarrassed. But rather, he turned around, grabbed his walker, looked at me with a grin that stretched from ear to ear, and shuffled away. He had just met up with his long-lost friend.
It’s wondrous what a hug can do.
A hug can cheer you when you’re blue
A hug can say, “I love you so,”
Or, “I hate to see you go.”
A hug is “Welcome back again.”
And “Great to see you! Where ‘er you been'
A hug can soothe a small child’s pain
And bring a rainbow after rain.
The hug, there’s just no doubt about it --
We scarcely could survive without it!
A hug delights and warms and charms;
It must be why God gave us arms.
Hugs are great for fathers and mothers,
Sweet for sisters, swell for brothers;
And chances are your favorite aunts
love them more than potted plants.
Kittens crave them, puppies love them,
Heads of states are not above them.
A hug can break the language barrier
And make your travel so much merrier.
No need to fret about your store of ‘em;
The more you give, the more there’s more of ‘em.
So stretch those arms without delay
And give someone a hug today!
--"What Hugging Can Do", Dean Walley, The Messenger
Oh, the power of a hug. Sometimes we need them. Sometimes we give them. Have you hugged someone today? Have you been hugged by someone today?
I recently had to see the on-call eye doctor for an urgent issue with my eye. The doctor was a very nice Oriental woman. Her given name was very pronounceable, I'm sure, in her native language, but not so to our American tongues. Then I saw the name that she used on some paperwork that was handed to me. After some initial anxiety over this ordeal, I now felt an immediate peace and calm fill me. I knew that everything was going to be OK.
Her name was Lucy.
St. Lucy, patron of the eyes, pray for me and for us.
I had trouble with my computer this week. I discovered that the "automatic" updating did not occur since November 2017.
So as I worked to solve the problem, my impatience kicked in, and in my impetuousness, I started clicking and pushing buttons instead of waiting for processes to run their course. Well, now my computer was really confused. There was a time when I thought it would never start up again!
Then God placed this quote before me: "Upload Prayer, Download Peace". God always manages to place the right words before us at just the right time, if only we would stop and pay attention.
Instead of panicking, if I had simply raised myself in prayer, God would have given me His peace.
We enjoy watching the curling events at the Olympics. So much strategy, intrigue, and finesse. We were really looking forward to seeing the men's gold medal match: USA vs. Sweden. Instead of catching the live stream in the middle of the night, we chose to watch the replay the next morning.
As we settled in for the match, the announcer states, "Stay tuned for the great USA win over Sweden in the gold medal match." I looked at him; he looked at me. Did she really need to say that? In a flash, the wind was sucked out of our sails.
Sometimes, though, we want to fast-forward to the end in order to learn the outcome of an event. After Jesus spent 40 days in the desert, and suffered his intense Passion and death, it is comforting to know how the story ends.
SPOILER ALERT: Jesus rises from the dead! Alleluia!!
"Seek the LORD while he may be found, call upon him while he is near." - Isaiah 55:6
He is constantly chasing his slippers. Wearing slippers in the house is new for him, so they are continually being left in this room when he's in that room, or left in the garage when he's in the house, or found upstairs when he's downstairs. Until this new practice becomes routine, he will always be chasing his slippers.
What do we chase? A promotion? A new house? A new car? A new iPhone?
Perhaps we should leave the "slippers" behind and chase the things that matter most for eternal life.
"Love is patient, love is kind. ... " - 1 Corinthians 13:4
The retired couple live a straightforward life. They have a cozy home, sing in the church choir, and gaze at the stars. She became life-altering ill on the day before Easter 2017; he became life-altering ill on the day before Christmas 2017. There is irony in God's plan. Life changed for both of them in the blink of an eye.
Now, he worries about her and she worries about him. Together, they worry about life without the other. Then, quite simply, and with a subtle poignancy, she places her hand on his arm.
This is love.
"Jesus spoke to them again, saying, 'I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.'" - John 8:12
The lamp post at the neighbor's house didn't work for 15 years. Then one day it was discovered that two wires that at one point were connected became disconnected.
The light now shines like a beacon in the neighborhood. A welcome sign for all visitors. A guide to those who lost their way. A lamp to guide people through the darkness. A signal for safe passage from fear.
Christ, be my light. Lead me, guide me, protect me. Amen.
"Looking at little life moments with a spiritual eye."