skip to Main Content

Daily Dose (Oct 24 – 27)

Tuesday —

“They serve one another. And they protect one another,” the little boy noticed on a world-hopping trip visiting “underprivileged” countries (where his father had the firm purpose of showing his son, how “poor people” live).
The father wasn’t imagining the eyes of his son being opened to a very different and life-giving internal wealth measurement and account.
So. We begin here: We are on this journey together.

The serve one another. And, we are invited to let our light spill, without asking, “Do I have what it takes?”
Or, “Is it enough?”
But… where do we begin in our broken world?
Let’s remember, they “serve one another” is the recognition that every one of us begins in the small world, the one right in front of us.
Rear Admiral Thornton Miller Chief was the Chaplain at Normandy in WWII. Someone asked him, “Up and down the beach, with the shells going everywhere, why did you do that?”
“Because I’m a minister.”
“But didn’t you ask if they were Catholic or Protestant or Jew?”
“If you’re a minister, the only question you ask is, ‘Can I help you?'”

Here’s the deal: We are all wounded healers (where our wounds cease to be a source of shame and become a source of healing). No, this is not a strategy. This is a fact. It spills from those parts of our life that have been broken open, from those parts of us flawed and imperfect. So. What if this is not about accepting imperfection as some kind of divine teaching moment? What if the gift is in the inimitability of our humanity? When we embrace what is already inside, we live from the power of sufficiency, and let it spill.

I am (quite literally) here today because of people who let light (kindness, compassion, healing) spill in my life, at times when bleakness was too much to carry.
And I continue to write Sabbath Moment because I want to live in our real world, with a soft heart. Where hope is still real. I want to create places for sanctuary, empathy, inclusion, compassion, kindness and healing… spaces where we are refueled to make a difference.

Wednesday —

In Luke’s Gospel, there is a story about a “bent woman.” We don’t know her name. Just the label that has been given to her. A label she has carried for 18 years. A woman imprisoned by her name.
Have you ever felt “bent,” bound or restricted in some way?
Have you ever felt weighted by a label (or shame, or doubt, or even despair?)
Have you ever felt invisible? To those around you? Or to God?
And have you ever seen how our world uses labels to restrict and diminish people?
This is an amazing story. Luke writes simply, “When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, ‘Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.'”
In other words…
I can see you.
I’ve got your back.
Your label does not belittle you, or tell you who you are.

Yes. Our theme this week… “They serve one another. And they protect one another,” the little boy noticed on a world-hopping trip visiting “underprivileged” countries (where his father had the firm purpose of showing his son how “poor people” live).
The father wasn’t imaging eyes being opened to a very different and new internal wealth measurement and account.

This story with the “bent woman” could have gone another way. Jesus could have finished his lesson, and moved on to the next town, and no one—literally, no one—would have known, or even given any thought to this woman. She was invisible.
But Jesus didn’t move on. He stopped.
Not because this woman asked him to.
Not because she offered a reward.
Not because she believed.
Not because he felt coerced or pressured or needed brownie points.
He stopped. Because he saw her.
Which meant that he saw more than a superficial, cruel, limiting label. Labels that make hate and animosity and hostility real.
Jesus saw, not just a “bent woman,” but a “daughter of Abraham, and an heir to the blessings of God.”
Which meant that he saw a woman now free to pass those blessings on to anyone she touches. It is no surprise that he said this on a Sabbath. He invited this woman, even bent, to rest. He said, in effect, “Now that I see you, you are safe.”

What did the bent woman do? She recognized that she was more than the label. And she began to do a boogie, right there in the street. (Okay, that may be a minor free translation.)
What I do know is that she ceased striving, and her light could spill.

Thursday —

I sat at my desk, intending to write my Sabbath Moment, but was (gratefully) sidetracked by a song. (It happens often. I love to follow the music.)
So. I sat, watching the video, spellbound, grateful for the tears, and the reminder of places where grace and beauty and gifts of gentleness and human connection are real.
Every Sabbath Moment we quote Ram Dass, “We’re all just walking each other home.”  And we say it, but then wonder, “Is it even possible?”
Our theme this week: “They serve one another. They protect one another.” And the song I watched, “I will fight for you,” by Andy Grammer, is just that invitation.
(Andy is singing with the PS22 Chorus, fifth-grade children’s choir of Staten Island, directed by Gregg Breinberg.)
Watch the video if you can. And savor the looks on the children’s faces as they sing.
When Grammer wrote the song, he looked back on past relationships, especially those when someone stuck by him in difficult times. “I have had many moments in my life where I wouldn’t give up on someone else, where I believed in them when they didn’t believe in themselves. Hell, I’ve had super intense moments where I wouldn’t give up on myself. But the most powerful memories from my personal vantage point are the ones when someone wouldn’t give up on me.”
Yes, and Amen. And I think of (and am so grateful for) the many, who wouldn’t give up on me, even when my light seemed to go out. 

Is this easy—“I will fight for you”? No. Do we hurt and wound? Yes. Do we give up? Sometimes. Do others wound and hurt us? Yes.
But with the reminders and tears and surprises that bring big smiles is born renewed hope. And best of all, courage, and the permission to care; to show up in a world that needs light.

Mechthild von Magdeburg (c. 1210 – c. 1290) one of many female mystics, talked unabashedly about such a love that will not give up, in her relationship with God. Please take this prayer (God’s voice to Mechthild) to heart.
“I who am Divine am truly in you. I can never be sundered from you:
However far we be parted, never can we be separated.
I am in you and you are in Me. We could not be any closer.
We two are fused into one, poured into a single mould.
Thus, unwearied, we shall remain forever.”

And we’ll give the lyrics to “I will fight for you” the last word…
I will fight
I will fight for you
I always do, until my heart
Is black and blue
And I will stay
I will stay with you
We’ll make it to the other side
Like lovers do
I’ll reach my hands out in the dark
And wait for yours to interlock
I’ll wait for you
‘Cause I’m not givin’ up
No not yet
Even when I’m down to my last breath
Even when they say there’s nothin’ left
So don’t give up on
I’m not givin’ up
No not me
Even when nobody else believes
I’m not goin’ down that easily
So don’t give up on me
And I will hold
I’ll hold onto you
No matter what this world’ll throw
It won’t shake me loose
I’ll reach my hands out in the dark
And wait for yours to interlock
I’ll wait for you
‘Cause I’m not givin’ up
No not yet
Even when I’m down to my last breath
Even when they say there’s nothin’ left
So don’t give up on
I’m not givin’ up
No not me
Even when nobody else believes
I’m not goin’ down that easily
So don’t give up on me

Friday —

“We’re all just walking each other home.” Thank you Ram Dass.
This week we’ve been reminding ourselves that we are—all of us—indeed, connected. It may not be easy to see, but it matters.
I smile, because it is always a knee-jerk to make walking each other home an assignment, as in, “okay, I’ll try harder.” Maybe, let us remember and hear the invitation to allow the connection–that is real at our core–to spill empathy and kindness, in a world that makes us forget.
So. Story time. I’ve seen this story shared in different venues, and sometimes with mother instead of father. Either way, the message strikes a chord. 

Recently overheard was a father and daughter in their last moments together at the airport. They had announced the departure.
Standing near the security gate, they hugged, and the father said, “I love you, and I wish you enough.”
The daughter replied, “Dad, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough, too, Dad.”
They kissed and the daughter left. The Father walked over to the window where I was seated. Standing there I could see he wanted and needed to cry. I tried not to intrude on his privacy, but he welcomed me in by asking, “Did you ever say good-bye to someone knowing it would be forever?”
“Yes, I have,” I replied. “Forgive me for asking, but why is this a forever good-bye?”
“I am old, and she lives so far away. I have challenges ahead and the reality is. the next trip back will be for my funeral,” he said.
“When you were saying good-bye, I heard you say, ‘I wish you enough.’ May I ask what that means?”
He began to smile. “That’s a wish that has been handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone.”
He paused a moment and looked up as if trying to remember it in detail, and he smiled even more. “When we said, ‘I wish you enough,’ we were wanting the other person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them.” Then turning toward me, he shared the following as if he were reciting it from memory.

I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright no matter how gray the day may appear.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun even more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive and everlasting.
I wish you enough pain so that even the smallest of joys in life may appear bigger.
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye.

He then began to cry, and walked away.
They say it takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to appreciate them, a day to love them; but then an entire life to forget them.
So. Let us take a moment today, or this weekend, to thank people in our life and world, to thank them for walking us home.
(And for the “I Wish You” poem, a gratitude shout out to poet, Bob Perks.)
Prayer for our week…
May this house shelter your life.
When you come in home here,
May all the weight of the world
Fall from your shoulders.
May your heart be tranquil here,
Blessed by peace the world cannot give.
May this home be a lucky place,
Where the graces your life desires
Always find the pathway to your door.
May nothing destructive
Ever cross your threshold.
May this be a safe place
Full of understanding and acceptance,
Where you can be as you are,
Without the need of any mask
Of pretense or image.
May this home be a place of discovery,
Where the possibilities that sleep
In the clay of your soul can emerge
To deepen and refine your vision
For all that is yet to come to birth.
John O’Donohue

Photo… “Dear Terry, Just wanted to share this amazing photo we took in Door County, Wisconsin. Nature reflects the Glory of the Lord. Creator of all things beautiful and awesome.” Pat Ensing… Thank you Pat… And I’m so grateful for your photos, please send them to [email protected]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This Post Has One Comment
Back To Top