Thursday, November 24, 2011


"I used to complain because I had no shoes, then one day I met a man who had no feet."

I'm actually in the middle of a new post but had to stop for a moment to give thanks. Let us not forget in the frenzy of cooking and eating and then shopping and wrapping that this day is really to remind us to be grateful. I try to be thankful for everything even things which seem bad at the time but sometimes I forget. I'm thankful that our country sets aside this day to remind me.

Today the sun is shining, Thank you God.
I have family and some very good friends. Thank you God.
 I am currently about to start work. Thank you God.
I am eating and will be able to eat later when I am hungry. Thank you God.
I am relatively healthy and so are those closest to me. Thank you God.

God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today.  Have you used one to say "thank you?"  ~William A. Ward

For those 86,400 seconds. Thank you God.

If you have lived, take thankfully the past.  ~John Dryden

For all of the things in my past, good and bad, which have brought me to this moment.. Thank you God.

As each day comes to us refreshed and anew, so does my gratitude renew itself daily.  The breaking of the sun over the horizon is my grateful heart dawning upon a blessed world.  ~Terri Guillemets

I could go on but you all get the picture. I hope that tomorrow, when the turkey and dressing is digested and the credit cards are maxed out, we don't forget to give thanks yet again and again the day after that.

This is me, with a grateful heart, signing off for now.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

In Memoriam (For All the Saints)

I must apologize to readers for the long time between posts. Oct. 18 marked the 53rd anniversary of the day of my birth. It also marked the 12th anniversary of the day of my mother’s death. I don’t always handle that well. This began as one thing and morphed into something completely different.

A couple of weeks ago I saw that someone was publishing an in memoriam notice to mark the passing of a loved one. I tend to pay attention to those things around this time of year. The poem they included in the notice ended with the line "God broke our hearts to prove, he only takes the best." My immediate reaction was, whoa, wait a minute! Do you actually venerate a god who deliberately hurts you in order to prove himself to you? Think about that for a minute. If this was a relationship between human beings the kindest word we could use to describe that would be dysfunctional. Gotta say, I don’t know that god and don’t think I want to.

I started thinking about two particular bible verses which point me to a quite different God. They tell of a God who wants good things for us and is not in the business of hurting us so that we will see how "good" he is.  Listen to Jesus in Matthew 7:9-11 - "Which of you, if your child asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he or she asks for a fish, will give them a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask." or Jeremiah 29:11 - "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." 

When my mother died 12 years ago, it was from a broken heart. She had a heart attack. Her heart was literally, physically broken. Broken from a to short lifetime of less than healthy behaviors and lifestyle choices. Some times those behaviors and choices were dictated by circumstances and sometimes they were made through ignorance but the end result was a heart unable to continue working properly. She also in her 63 years had more than her share of metaphorical broken heartedness, some of which I know about and much more of which I can only guess.

Did God break her heart? Of course not. Life broke her heart. Other people broke her heart. Sometimes she broke her own heart. Was God there? Absolutely. The one constant when things were difficult or unsure. The one unassailable source of comfort and strength and even healing. Is my mother with God now? Yes, she is. I know. I have seen it. Did God need to "bring her home" in order to be near her. No, God was near her always anyway. Was my heart broken 12 years ago by that phone call? Yes it was. Did God break my heart in order to prove something? Of course not. Was God there? Absolutely. Just like for my mother, God was the one constant. The one unassailable source of comfort and strength. Was God near? Yes, God was and is near always, in ways for which I can only be profoundly thankful.

So God does not need to "prove" anything to me. God's greatness is proven to me everyday when I open my eyes on God's creation. [Yes, even when it's gloomy and raining :)]. God's compassion was proven to me when I saw my mother beaming with happiness because she had seen Jesus. That's the God I worship.