The truth that can bring joy to every moment

I step out the back door. I can’t see him, but a robin is singing somewhere under the clouded sky. This moment is a gift from the One who loves me.

The wind pushes and presses against me as I run face-first into it. This moment is a gift from the One who loves me.

The reminder has been echoing through my days, inviting me to slow and savor the reality beneath the surface. This moment is a gift from the One who loves me.

As I drift off to sleep, this moment is a gift, a good gift from the One who delights to refresh me.

As I lie awake in the wee hours, this moment is a gift, a good gift from the One who is inviting me to snuggle closer, to know myself held, to share with him and let him lift whatever is weighing on me.

When the sun glints on crushed shells, flinging sparkles across the beach, this moment is a gift from the One who loves me.

When drips drop from the purple rim of my umbrella, soaking the knees of my jeans, this moment too is a gift from the One who loves me.

A grief—an invitation to let myself be held.

A joy—a call to laugh together.

A long, wondering wait for a response to an email—one more gift from the One who loves me and desires to bring me into his joy so is nudging me gently to turn again to him, to let go of fears, of outcomes, of control and savor his love in this moment.

Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,

for his compassions never fail.

They are new every morning;

great is your faithfulness.

I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion;

Therefore I will wait for him.”

— Lamentations 3:22-23

When everything feels transient and uncertain

DSC_0574The branches behind my home are alive with blossom. I walk down another street that bore blossom-full branches last week; now they are empty.

A friend’s home-that-felt-like-home-to-me has been sold.

Disagreement rises and a friendship shakes and quivers. I see new depths of selfishness in myself.

Who of us knows the depths of our own hearts, or what another person’s response to our next word will be, or where we’ll be a year from now, as individuals and as nations?

Sometimes this world feels so fragile, transient, tentative.

This week in the moment-by-moment uncertainties of life and friendship and faith, Thomas Merton’s prayer has been ringing in my head:

“My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I cannot see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But, I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore I will trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.”

“Therefore I will trust you. . .” Here is the hidden gift: Uncertainty makes space for trust. Transience opens opportunity for fresh grace.

Letting go is not only letting go of but letting go for, an opening of hands that I didn’t know were clinging, a being-set-free to receive the new life our lavish Lover is already pouring out.

He walks toward the cross and I walk with him, seeing all over again: It is his own life he is daily pouring out, his own life that transience is making space for me to receive.

Branches burst with extravagance and petals float onto my shoulders as chickadees flit from branch to branch, every-morning-new grace falling all around me.

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“Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.

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They are new every morning; 

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great is your faithfulness.

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I say to myself, ‘The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.'”

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Lamentations 3:22-24