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Daily Dose (May 7 – 10)


This week, I had a Sabbath Moment reader tell me, “I am emotionally parched.”
And I do get it. Good choice of words. Spent, or at the end; times, without even knowing it, when we need space to be (and stay) emotionally and spiritually hydrated.
So, this week, the power of pause.
And the permission to make space that can heal.

We are all wired to be replenished. And care of any kind begins with self-care.
I stand by that, more than ever. Depletion and exhaustion, and being parched, are rampant.
Not that many years ago, I spoke to a group of hospice care workers, about emotional and spiritual hydration. I started this way, “What I’m about to tell you is very selfish. I want you to be replenished. Because one day I will need one of you.”
No one of us is on this journey alone. And we need one another not only for care and comfort, but to pick up the pieces and find ways to create spaces in our world that do not diminish, belittle or devastate.
What can I do to create that kind of world?
Too often, when I see acts of courage, I see heroism, and I don’t see myself. Or I see how far I have to go. Or I see how far short I have fallen.
But I do understand tired. And I do understand discouraged. And I do understand the end of my resources.

I can almost hear my hero’s voice (Mr. Rogers), “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.” (Thank you Fred Rogers)
Hope comes from ordinary people who care. Helpers who try and give; and work to make safe places where we can heal. And grow.
Helpers who, when they are parched, can find places to be emotionally and spiritually hydrated.
So, let’s begin here: How’s your spirit?
And what can we do to replenish it today?

And for our friends and family in the Plains and central U.S. Please stay safe, with the rare and high-end severe storm outbreak underway. 


A new dervish sat in a Sufi khaniqah when the Master—walking through the room—said in passing to one of the older dervishes, “Go clean your room. I’ll look at it later.”
The older dervish moved to a quiet corner to meditate, while the new dervish went out to work. Much later, the new dervish returned to the room where he found the older man still sitting in the corner. With a very concerned expression he asked, “What are you doing? Aren’t you going to clean your room?”
The older dervish looked up at him and smiled. “The Master meant my heart.”

Here’s what I love about this story. Cleaning is about the permission to see and let go of the clutter and debris that hides or blocks our authentic and fully alive self. At home in our own skin, with no need to pretend to be something or someone we are not. Welcoming grace and renewal.

However, we do indeed live in a world where clutter can collect (or stockpile) to derail us, parch us, and take a toll.
So, let’s listen to (and find rest in) Henri Nouwen’s words (from the book, Making All Things New). “Today worrying means to be occupied and preoccupied with many things, while at the same time being bored, resentful, depressed, and very lonely. I am not trying to say that all of us are worried in such an extreme way all the time. Yet there is little doubt in my mind that the experience of being filled yet unfulfilled touches most of us to some degree at some time. In our highly technological and competitive world, it is hard to avoid completely the forces that fill up our inner and outer space and disconnect us from our innermost selves, our fellow human beings, and our God.
One of the most notable characteristics of worrying is that it fragments our lives. The many things to do, to think about, to plan for, the many people to remember to visit, or to talk with, the many causes to attack or defend, all these pull us apart and make us lose our center. Worrying causes us to be ‘all over the place,’ but seldom at home. One way to express the spiritual crisis of our time is to say that most of us have an address but cannot be found there.”

Jesus’ invitation, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Gospel of Matthew)


“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Jesus’ invitation in the Gospel of Matthew.
In my writing, I frequently use the phrases, the Power of Pause, and letting our souls catch up with our bodies. And there are two invitations here. One, the pause. Sitting still, embracing stillness. Finding refill and renewal.
Two, offering (and yes, creating) those spaces of pause and renewal for others around us. Because no one of us is on this journey alone.

Henri Nouwen and Fred Rogers were friends. They wrote to one another for some years. Both are, gratefully, heroes of mine. Learning about their friendship and correspondence was a true treat for me, particularly given my love and appreciation for the light they spill in our world.
There was one time when Fred sent Henri a particularly discouraging article that had been written about him, and his ministry (program). Words like these, attacking Fred’s character and questioning his intentions, were deeply wounding to him, and given the propensity of his friend, Henri, to speak openly of human pain, suffering, and healing, I can only imagine that it would be have been altogether natural to seek comfort from him.
This is a part of Henri’s reply. “I read the article you sent me and can very well understand how much that must have hurt you. It must be really painful to be confronted with a total misunderstanding of your mission and your spiritual intentions.
It is these little persecutions within the church that hurt the most. I simply hope that you are not too surprised by them. They come and will keep coming precisely when you do something significant for the Kingdom. It has always struck me that the real pain comes often from the people from whom we expected real support. It was Jesus’ experience and the experience of all the great visionaries in the Church, and it continues to be the experience of many who are committed to Jesus.
I don’t think it makes much sense to argue with the writer of this article. He speaks from a very different plane and will not be open to your explanations. Some of the criticisms we simply have to suffer and see as invitations to enter deeper into the heart of Jesus. I won’t send you some of the reviews I get of my books, but some are not very different from the tone of this piece. So, I certainly feel a unique solidarity with you.
Let us pray for each other, that we remain faithful and not become bitter and that we continue to return to the center, where we can find the joy and peace that is not of this world.”
The power of pause is a reset button. Let us be grounded in the soil of grace, gentleness, kindness, healing, restitution, renewal, replenishment.
And yes, to find rest in our soul.


In my early clergy years, I was wound a wee bit tight, moving fast, making things happen. You know, working on that long list we carried; what we hoped—no, planned—to accomplish. After all, “what would people think?”
I lived in Southern California and my friend from seminary, Paul Ford, introduced me to St. Andrew’s Abbey in Valyermo, a Benedictine monastery and retreat center in the high desert.
It became my “go-to” place for renewal, where I would spend three days a month on retreat.
But, let’s just say, unplugging and renewal—the Power of Pause—takes some rewiring.
On my first visit, I meet my spiritual director. At lunch we talked, and I told him I would be there for three days, on a “Sabbath Retreat”.
And then, outlined my plans. (You know, you can get a lot done in three days. I had sermons to write, editing on a book, and of course, books to read… I smile still remembering it all.)
We spoke again right after Vespers. And he asked, “How’s your Sabbath Retreat going?”
“I think I failed my Sabbath,” I told him.
He laughed and laughed. It’s what spiritual directors are good for, to remind us not to take ourselves too seriously.
“How did you fail?” he asked.
And I told him that after lunch I went back to my room and laid down, for “just a minute”, and the next thing I knew, it was five p.m.
He laughed, and said, “I’m so glad you slept. You rested. You needed that. And while you slept you’ll be glad to know you were held in the arms of God’s love.”
My Oh My.
We’ve missed the point if we don’t see that unplugging and refueling is a laboratory for forgiveness, which begins with self-forgiveness. An invitation to befriend your scattered and wounded self.
Grace, indeed, is WD40 for the soul.
And the permission to let go of the strange measurements we lug around for self-worth.
Bottom line: When I lose sight of who I am (or where I am grounded), I forget to be here now. The gift of enough in the sacrament of the present. As long as I’m preoccupied with apprehension of where I need to arrive, I’m unable to pause, or care, or give, or weep, or mourn, or savor.

Today, exquisite weather, and the view driving back home crossing the Hood Canal Bridge, replenishing. I wanted to stop the car, and say, “Loook. Everybody, look.” The Olympic Mountain range snow covered, as if chiseled against a flax-flower blue sky. The Hood Canal an Indigo Blue. And it did my heart good.

And, I hope Mother’s Day will be a good day for pausing. And a reminder that the truly lucky have been blessed with more than one mother. There are grandmothers and cool aunts, the elderly ladies and family friends, even mentors along the way, who loved us into shape. Here’s to all of you incredible women. Thank you. 

Prayer for our week…
I sometimes forget
that I was created for Joy.
My mind is too busy.
My heart is too heavy
for me to remember
that I have been
Called to dance
the sacred dance of life.
I was created to smile.
To Love.
To be lifted up
and lift up others.
O’ Sacred One
untangle my feet
from all that ensnares.
Free my soul
that we might
And that our dancing
might be contagious.

Photo… “Terry, My husband sent me this from Ghost Ranch, NM where he is with his son. The photo reminds me that there is beauty and hope even in some of life’s thorniest of places. Your words of inspiration and wisdom are a mainstay in my week. Thank You! Take good care,” Beth Hayward… Thank you Beth… And I’m so grateful for your photos, please send them to [email protected]

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