Reflecting on Stars….

I had the luxury of sleeping in on this cold and clear morning, after a weekend of celebration with friends and neighbors. My husband’s company party was Saturday night, with over 600 folks gathering at the National Portrait Gallery. We returned home for our neighbor’s annual Christmas gathering, small by comparison. In the midst of all this socializing, I am drawn to a remarkable long exposure photo taken by my friend David. A short glance focuses your attention on the clouds on the horizon, while the traces of stars above dominate the longer view. I love visiting with friends and a chance to catch up. Yet there are times when the noise overwhelms any effort to connect, when distractions prevent any real conversation. My friend Paulina said it best in her Facebook post, “loving another Sunday morning when the silence is so loud and everything is magnified: the bright blue sky, the crisp looking air outside (through the window). Don’t want to move. I might disturb the peace”. Take time today to make room for God’s peace that passes all understanding. Allow the silence to soak into your soul and draw your heart into the eternal now. And remember, the clouds may be on the horizon, but the stars are always here, to light our path through the darkness. Quote by Paulina Duker, Photo entitled Star Trails vs Incoming Clouds by David Buckwalter © 2011, used with his permission

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Reflecting on Grief….

It’s raining this morning, or perhaps the rain from last night is dripping off the large oak trees. I linger when walking the dog on days like this. The world seems so silent and at peace. So I was drawn to this photo of my parents at my sister Lana’s wedding over twenty years ago. Mom and Dad are making their grand entrance at the reception, happily greeting everyone. You can see my sisters Rita and Pam in the background along with members of the groom’s family. This morning Lisa and Roxanne, sisters and my friends since elementary school, are burying their father. Last month, they buried their mother. My heart aches for them as I write this, knowing they are preparing to leave home for the funeral. I remember looking at my feet the morning of Mom’s funeral, wondering why I only had on one shoe, wondering how long I had been sitting there, without the energy to put on the other shoe. Over fifteen years later, getting ready for Dad’s funeral, I expected to feel that heaviness. Yet expecting something doesn’t make it any easier. When I read about the Pit in the Psalms, grief is what comes to mind. You feel stuck, oppressed, lost without hope of ever getting out. Someone you love is gone from this life forever. I’m not sure I understand what happens after death, and for me, I’m not sure it really matters. All I know for sure is that while we all die, love lives forever. Love is more powerful than our frail bodies, our weak wills, our feeble attempts that fall short in this life. So this morning I bid your prayers for these precious sisters, offering the words of a favorite hymn, Ubi Caritas. Where love and caring are, there is God, Ubi caritas, et amor, Deus ibi est. May this peaceful morning and the peace of God that passes all understanding, be with you, now and always. Amen. Photo credit The Torre Studios in Burlington, NJ

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