Reflecting on Relentless….

Heading Home by Jeanne MischoI often find myself caught in my own little world. I miss the obvious because all I can see is what I already know. My mind fills in the answer before the question is asked. This photo really brings home that message. For a long time, all I saw was the veins of the eye. I worked on lasers in the military, so part of my annual physical was a photo of my eyes. Each year the powers that be had to determine if my eyes were still intact. The doctor would shine an awful light into my eyes then take the photo. My medical records contained writing on the right, and a photo of my eyes on the left. It seemed part and parcel of every doctor visit. Fortunately for me, my friend Jeanne took this amazing photo of a tree with the moon in the sky above. I can imagine her lying on the ground to get the proper perspective. I wonder if she used a flash, or if a street light has lent its glow. I love the depth and intricacy of the branches, the way the tree divides and then divides itself again. It seems the tree is inviting us into another world, a world of our imagination, a world separate from our earthbound reality. On this Maundy Thursday, we celebrate the humility of our Lord. Christ washes the feet of the disciples, despite the protests of Peter, despite everything we are and were and will be. God draws us in, again and again, relentlessly seeking communion. After countless rejections of his prophets and angels, God sends his own Son to reconcile us to him. God becomes man to be one with us, to experience all that this life offers. Make time today to step out of the comfortable. Let go of the familiar and let in the annoying, the perplexing, yes, even the startling. Hold open a space that makes room for growth and greater understanding. Lie down when you would rather stand up. Step aside when you would rather rush ahead. Look up and around rather than keeping your head down. And always remember, when we open our minds before we open our eyes, we embrace the relentless intimacy and endless possibility of our all loving God. Text by Connie Chintall ©2015. Photo entitled ‘Heading Home’ by Jeanne Mischo ©2013, to see more of her work, go to http://jeannemischo.wordpress.com/

Reflecting on Abundant Life….

It’s been a warm, wet spring, alternating between storms and beautiful clear days. Like the weather, we have been riding a roller coaster of emotions, with many happy events interspersed with some sad moments. So I was drawn to this striking photo by my friend Luis. I love the huge moon, hanging low in the sky. The tree looks like lace, with new leaves still unfolding. Then there are the birds, perched in the highest branches, hoping for the best view. I wonder what it was like for the first bird. Perhaps that bird was simply looking to be alone, to find a perch away from all the others. Sad or unwelcome news can be overwhelming, and our first response may be to turtle in. All we want to do is dwell on our misfortunes, or the harshness of this life. Then a few others arrive, and we attempt to be polite. We may not even talk about what’s bothering us, yet in the end, their company is a great comfort. Slowly we let go of our defenses, we relax into the moment. We look up, we look beyond. And in the midst of our sorrow, there is a moon that is so huge it should fall out of the sky. We are awestruck by the beauty and majesty of God’s creation, and we begin to pray, to open ourselves to God’s possibilities, to let go of our human perspective, to trust in the power and grace of the Almighty. After all, Christ did not promise us a perfect life, a life without sadness or pain. Christ offered us abundant life. When we embrace that promise, we find all things are possible. We are empowered to deal with what life brings, able to enjoy the happy moments, even while persevering through sadness and pain. Take time today to embrace the fullness of life, the celebrations, the joys, the losses, the disappointments. Let go of what you expected and let God show you the path that has been prepared for you. Pray for faith in what lies beyond your capabilities and understanding, trusting that God will provide others to walk with you in times of need or confusion. And remember, even when all seems lost, we only need to look up to see beyond. Text by Connie Chintall ©2012, Photo entitled Influjo by Luis Gonzalez ©2012, used with his permission

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