Strength for Today


It has been a trying year.  Too many prominent members of the congregation have died with difficult circumstances surrounding their deaths.  It is emotional fuel for continued conflict and hurt within the leadership.  Too much personal anxiety around mental health issues in immediate family members, inheritance details, feelings of isolation, and decreasing hours of daylight has given birth to a silent litany of “I don’t care, I don’t care, I don’t care” as a way to cope.

I’ve been quilting, constantly, but not finishing a single project.  I’ve started three major pieces in the last month, all with deadlines.  I get almost finished, pull it down off the design board and start something else.  I contemplate whether my inability to finish mirrors my inability to let grief go.  Daily I begin by praying I will have enough emotional resources to get through today.

14729352_10202070259313637_5136655464477300416_n A couple of weeks ago the widow of one of the recently deceased members celebrated her 65th birthday.  Attempted to celebrate.  It has been very difficult for her.  The first anniversaries after a loved one dies typically is, the first Thanksgiving, the first birthday, the wedding anniversary, the baptism of a grandchild.  Christmas is going to be bleak.  I managed to finish this quilt and gift it to her.  I named it “Strength for Today, Hope for tomorrow.”  A line from the powerful hymn Great is Thy Faithfulness.  I pray it brings her comfort and some measure of peace.

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide,
strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

Lamentations 3:22-24   The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”

Two Weeks in the Whirlwind


It’s been a tough two weeks.  The not hoped for, daily prayed about, inevitable happened.  God’s everlasting light shines upon my father.  I will miss him dearly.  Presiding at his funeral was the most uplifting experience, difficult but affirming.  Ever held in the love of God, Dad went to tend the fields of heaven.  I love you.

George with hay

Luke 6:1-5  One sabbath while Jesus was going through the grainfields, his disciples plucked some heads of grain, rubbed them in their hands, and ate them. But some of the Pharisees said, “Why are you doing what is not lawful on the sabbath?” Jesus answered, “Have you not read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? He entered the house of God and took and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and gave some to his companions?” Then he said to them, “The Son of Man is lord of the sabbath.”

you are with me still


this morning, I reached into the dishwasher

grasped the smooth handle of my favourite mug

clay from the hands of the Mistress

formed into a vessel that holds memories

sadness, pours into me,

hotter than the waiting coffee

Lord, I miss Her!

alma mater

mine, hers and Hers

this –  Her gift to me –  to celebrate the journey

the end and the beginning

alpha and omega

living

striving, thriving, surviving

my graduation, penultimate to theirs

a year passes and we gather again

to encourage, reorientate, reclaim the promise

of what and who we are called to be

another year

dead

Less that two years Your priest, Lord?

mute incredulity

really?

You heal the cancer – remission

in thanksgiving and wonder She hears You

says yes

dayenu*

was it?

tears stream as voices slosh here to there and back again over cellular waves

we did not know, we were not told

of deadly returned, cellular multiplication

liver hosts, breasts long sacrificed to hope

we did not know, unaware

we wallow in guilt

the third rants

“I know you have a good reason, God!”

begging, threatening, “tell me what it is!”

yes

dark coffee spills and fills a vessel still holding the past

leaves fall beyond the kitchen window fast

turns a season

thanksgiving approaches

thanksgiving

for Her life

yes

for death

no reason

yet

I suspect it was missed

in a moment noisy

the still, small voice

“Spring comes, She is fully alive in Me.”

Romans 8:38-39   38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Isaiah 64:8
But now, O LORD, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.

*it would have been enough for us