Reflecting on Health….

Good health is something we all take for granted, until there’s a problem. Perhaps our health deteriorates over time, part of the inevitable decline of old age. Some of us may experience chronic health concerns, issues we may have dealt with since childhood. Yet what we struggle with most is a sudden, unexpected illness or injury, leaving us or those we love grappling with debilitating consequences. So I was drawn to this mesmerizing drawing by my friend Jeanne. I love how the bird is perched at an odd angle, deftly clinging to the branch against all odds. The compass rose is the centerpiece of a roulette wheel, with the needle missing. Instead of indicating true north, our direction is determined by sheer luck. I find myself wondering if the bird plucked out the compass needle, or if the bird holds the roulette ball in its beak. Then of course there is the background. This capricious scene plays out against solid wood, a firm and strong foundation. I’m reminded of a quilted wall hanging I made for my sister years ago, using fabric from garments I had sewn for the family. Each square contains a different birdhouse, but there were no birds in the original pattern. So I added them to the quilt, using the smallest of scraps, mostly from ties I had made for my father as a young girl. Somehow the bird pattern was reversed, and the birds in her wall hanging are upside down. I began to tear out my work to start over, then thought better of it and left the birds as they were. There was a playful quality to their odd orientation, a suggestion of motion that would be missing otherwise. It seemed the birds were swooping down, frolicking on the wind. It can be difficult to see the wonder of creation when ill health comes your way. Your body becomes the birdhouse without a bird, a burden instead of a joy. We become lost in the details of caring for ourselves or others, struggling to get from one place to another, to perform simple daily functions, to bathe and to eat. It takes someone from outside our encapsulated world to set us straight. Make time today to call a friend or family member who is recovering from ill health. Offer to bring them a meal, to run an errand, to just stop by and break up the day. Share your own story of healing and redemption, and how others helped you in your hour of need. Lift them up in prayer, helping them to hold fast to the healing that has been prepared for them. Most of all, recall we are all anchored to a firm foundation, entrusted to a God that offers healing and mercy without beginning or end. And always remember, when true north seems all but lost, and we know not where to turn, that same God eternally draws us ever closer to him, until we are one with His heart. Text by Connie Chintall ©2012, Art entitled ‘A Little Disoriented All of the Time’ by Jeanne Mischo ©2012, to see more of her work, go to http://jeannemischo.wordpress.com/

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Reflecting on Birds….

It’s a mild winter morning and spring will soon be here. Daffodils are blooming and birds are singing, ready for the earth to awaken with new growth. So I was drawn to this amazing photo by my friend Lynda. The muted colors of the sky are balanced by the dark branches, softening the scene and welcoming us in. I love how the bird is perched in the crook of the branch, ready to take flight. Since ancient times, birds have been considered a supernatural link between heaven and earth. These delicate but powerful creatures can defy gravity, soaring high above our heads. For centuries, man dreamed of flight, trying all sorts of contraptions to join the birds in the heavens. Perhaps what we seek is the bird’s eye view, the ability to take in the whole scene, to see it all at one time. We want to see through God’s eyes, to discern the hidden, rather than painstakingly piecing together the whole picture. It seems a heavy burden to place on a tiny bird. Yet the Celts considered the lowly wren the king of all birds, flying further than the majestic eagle in a race to the sun. Take time today to step back and consider the whole picture. Look at a difficult situation from all perspectives, not just your own. Seek to understand the motivation of others, refraining from judgment or snap decisions. And remember, when you grow weary, that even the lowly wren can win a race to the Son, one prayer at a time. Photo entitled ‘Bird’s Eye View’ by Lynda Jeffers ©2012, used with her permission, to see more of her photography, visit http://lynda-jeffers.artistwebsites.com/index.html

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