Seeing Backwards

Uncharted paths-

do those words

go together?

It’s as if

our eyes are

on the back of

our heads

so we can see

where we’ve come from.

Can we see

where we’re going?

If we walked backward,

would we then see

the path ahead?

A puzzle.

Life-

looked at in reverse-

seems to show us

what we needed

to find the place

where we are now.

Those steps

that seemed like

zigs and zags

at the time

can, in retrospect,

reveal

that we

took the

most direct path

after all.

 

Living Lines Reflections

 

SACRED WORK

Words,

Just words,

I am

just sick

of words.

Social justice,

Hold out hope

for a better world.

Hope won’t do it.

The courageous youth

are putting themselves

OUT THERE.

In Washington,D.C.

Cities all over the country

Around the world.

Their voices

are loud and insistent.

Do you hear

what I hear?

Values of compassion

and Justice.

Healing the world,

one school,

one community

at the same time.

In Judaism, Passover

In Christianity, Holy Week,

For ALL.

Signs of marchers

say

Do

Justice, Love, Mercy.

Equality.

Heal the World.

What one thing

can you do today?

Sacred Work.

It is Now

or Never.

There may not be

a future

for us

for our children

grandchildren,

for all.

Red, Blue

Listen to each other.

Then

we can change

the poison climate

of hate and fear.

There is no time

like this moment.

Healing From the Inside Out

Wounds that heal

superficially

need deeper healing.

Sometime the wound

needs to be

reopened

to heal

completely.

A friend, a nurse,

helped a patient

with a compound-fracture wound

that had become

infected

after the scar

had formed.

She described

how she cleaned

the reopened wound daily.

Gradually,

the festering cleared up

and the new healthy layers

grew and sealed the wound.

My friend’s ministries

are a good metaphor

for treating

physiological pain

and emotional wounds.

These wounds

develop a scab,

then a scar,

but may not heal deeply.

Sometimes later,

sometimes more than once,

these wounds

need

to be reopened.

This reopening

is very painful,

but creates an

environment

for deeper healing.

At transition times

in our lives,

body and spirit

call out

for a more intense exposure

to our pain.

Once the pain

has been faced,

often a disorienting process,

we can grow

and thrive again.

 

Living Lines Reflections

 

 

First Responders

Tragedies

are part of almost

every evening news report.

Devasting fires in California

Mudslides smashing

homes, cars, people

covering ground

once visible.

Shootings,

killings

in schools,

concerts,

on the street.

Blizzards

bringing snow, wind,

flooding.

Huge, aged trees,

utility wires down,

no power for days.

People without heat,

Spoiled food,

no way to cook.

Hurricanes,

tornadoes,

bombings.

The list

and realities

go on and on.

The descriptions

are not the focus

of these words.

How often do the

heroes,

First Responders

get the attention

they deserve?

So often,

First Responders

don’t just show up

first, then leave.

These

courageous

men and women

often

 remain on site

for hours, days.

Sometimes

after more than 18 hours

working in one place,

go to another disaster

far from home.

Operating

under the extreme conditions

little or no sleep,

food, water.

Can we pause

and make each

and every one

the focus of

gratitude.

What would we do without them?

 

 

The Worst of Times

The future belongs to those who give the next generation reason for hope.
PIERRE TEILHARD DE CHARDIN

Thoughts and prayers

How often have we written or said

to someone who has lost

a dear one?

Yet another tragedy

cliches these words.

Carolyn Winfrey Gillette,

a composer who wishes her song

has not been

needed,

again and again

the way communities

share their outrage

and sorrow,

“If we just talk

of thoughts and prayers,

and don’t live out a faith

that dares,

and don’t take on

the ways of death,

our thoughts and prayers

are fleeting breath.”

On Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day,

the worst happened again.

This time,

it is the young survivors

who are not becoming

faceless victims

having to find strength

to show up at

school each day.

There is movement now

not “a” movement.

Articulate and brave

they are speaking out

at THE Establishment.

If there is to be

hope

in the present

and the future,

we must all

do something

besides

offering

thoughts and prayers.

What are you doing?

 

Love Sweet Love

Some comments

from Higher Authorities

seem to miss

opportunities

to create ways

to honor Ash Wednesday

and Valentine’s Day

which

coincide.

For those who choose

to honor the day

with ashes,

fine.

Fasting, fine,

if that is

meaningful to you.

How about some ideas for

integrating the days’ spirits.

Share.

Donate food

in some way

to one or many.

Think of ways

to show love to

first oneself.

Then out of that respect,

show love

and appreciation

to those

near and dear

and someone else.

Pay It Forward

as some find ways to do.

Use imagination

and/or

respond in the moment

to opportunities

for a smile

or helping

to SEE

someone who

usually isn’t seen.

Laws, laws, rigidity, regulations.

Not meaningful to me.

What can you do

to

Love someone

as Yourself?