Reflecting on Easter….

Tux Bunny by Cassie RichardsSpring leaves adorn our trees, all the brighter green against an overcast sky. It seems that spring is late while Easter Sunday came early this year. So I was drawn to this whimsical photo taken by my new friend Cassie, of an unexpected Easter bunny. I know bunnies normally hop, but it seems to me the Easter Bunny should defy gravity, just as Christ defied death and the grave. I even like the tuxedo, a much better choice than those silly plaid vests that the Easter bunny is usually pictured wearing. I’m sure many of you might say I missed Easter, that it’s too late for the Easter bunny. At least in the Episcopal Church, Easter is a season, lasting from Easter Sunday until Pentecost. The resurrection isn’t just about the day Christ walked away from the tomb – it’s much more than that. We celebrate his resurrection, his time among us in his risen form, his ascension to heaven, then on Pentecost, the descent of the Holy Spirit on the twelve Apostles and followers of Jesus. A lot happens during the fifty days from Easter to Pentecost. The apostles go from huddling in a locked room to publicly proclaiming the good news of Christ, empowered by the Holy Spirit that rested on them in the form of flames. While Christ may have been resurrected in three days, it took fifty days for the apostles to be transformed. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like change, even when the change is a good change. Initially I resist, hoping whatever is upsetting the status quo will simply go away. Then comes the temptation to dwell on the negatives, and by God, I’ll make up a few if necessary. In time, I come around, although I may not always admit it. So I’m not surprised it takes a leaping bunny, dressed to the nines, to catch my attention, to bring me good news, good news I might actually hear. I need to hear that good news again and again, to resist the temptation to stay where I’m at, to simply remain the same. I need the ridiculous or fantastic to make me smile, to jar me out of complacency. Make time today to focus on good news. Listen closely to others around you, even when their viewpoint may be less than welcome. Remain open to new ideas, accept surprises with a smile. Refrain from labels of good and bad, us and them, comfortable and uncomfortable. And always remember, we must die a little to claim new life, to accept transformation wrought in God’s time rather than our own. Text by Connie Chintall ©2013, Photo entitled ‘Tux Bunny’ by Cassie Richards ©2013, All Rights Reserved.

Reflecting on Security….

Falling by Alexz JadeI’m enjoying a slow morning after way too many hectic days. The trees are beginning to leaf out, and the bulbs are blooming, yet it seems difficult to trust that spring is really here. So I was drawn to this amazing photo by my friend Alexz. I love her position, one foot trailing behind the other, her face turned toward the ground rushing up to meet her, one hand seeking to brace the impact of the fall. A lifetime ago I tried skydiving. I had always wondered what it would be like to jump. In fact, I feared high places, not because of the height, but because of my desire to jump. The real thing was more euphoric and more terrifying than I had ever imagined. After the chute deployed, there was the strangest sense of peace. I expected to hear wind rushing by me, but there was complete silence. I was in awe, amazed at how far I could see, at how secure I felt in the gear. Then I heard shouting and saw the ground screaming toward me. I crouched just in time to land safely, barely missing a nasty looking cactus. The reality of the jump had banished any fantasy about leaping off a tall building or sharp cliff. Yes, I had jumped and survived, but it took training and good gear, even the folks on the ground to help as I landed. It seems to me that security is a lot like that moment just before you hit the ground. You have done everything possible to minimize risk, yet there is always a chance something can go wrong. When you least expect it, someone is willing to take it to another level. Perhaps they lash out in anger, shattering the dreams of those around them because all they know is nightmares. Our security is always after the fact, addressing yesterday’s breach. And that security comes at a great cost. What do we gain, and what do we lose, when our schools look more like prisons than places to learn and dream? Shall we focus on the few who chose to harm others, or the many that rush to help, even at their own peril? The mathematics of tragedy has been distorted, with far too many news stories on the one or few that choose to pick up a gun or plant a bomb, while the many who quietly do good are ignored. What would our newscast look like if there was one news story for each person that sought to help another? Make time today to focus on the invisible heroes in your lives. Turn off the news and take a good, hard look at what is going on around you. Say thank you to the teacher who should give up, but does not, the mother who wipes away a child’s tears when her own heart is aching, the driver who stops to help another when he is already running late. Practice random acts of kindness, believe in the good of the world, turn away from a sense of false security. And always remember, all it takes to make the world a better place, is for each of us to reach out to one another in love, one thought, one prayer, one action, at a time. Text by Connie Chintall ©2013, Photo entitled ‘Falling’ by Alexz Jade ©2013, All Rights Reserved. To see more of her work, go to http://alexzandrajade.tumblr.com/

Reflecting on Then, and Now….

Over a year ago, I posted this photo by my friend Tomasz. I love his persistence and discipline, often photographing the same spot day after day. While the scene changes with thee weather and the seasons, another change is happening as well. Tomasz has gone from an good photographer to a truly outstanding photographer. I’m proud to say the world is beginning to take notice. Compare this photo from January 2012 to his most recent images at the link below. You’ll also get a chance to read an interview with Tomasz about his work.

http://www.7tutorials.com/uncovering-artists-through-windows-themes-tomasz-huczek

Photo by Tomasz Huczek ©2012, to see more of his photos, go to http://tomasz.cc/

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