What can come out of the dark?

John 20:11–14 The disciples then went back homebut Mary stood outside the tomb weeping.As she wept, she knelt to look into the tomband saw two angels sitting there…. They said to her, “Woman, why do you weep?” “They took my Master,” she said,“and I don’t know where they put him.” After she said this, she turned away and saw Jesus standing therebut she didn’t recognize him. I did a little bit of artwork related to this passage, which you can see by clicking here. A warm thanks to Designs in Light for the photography.

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To be found

Suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Won’t she light a lamp and sweep the entire house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she will call in her friends and neighbors and say, “Rejoice with me because I have found my lost coin.”
(Luke 15:8–9)

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Waves of sand

Luke 13:10–17 When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.”Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God. I had a dream a few weeks ago that has already served me a few times as a touchstone. In the dream, a young man is in a desert, and waves of sand are sweeping over him as if they were water. He has to stay upright and pay attention so he won’t be smothered. What are my waves? …. the thought of an overwhelming problem in the world or in the life of someone I love …. an impulsive idea that seems to need my immediate attention …. a tangled situation that I don’t know how to solve ….. In her sermon yesterday, our vicar pointed out that the bent-over woman doesn’t ask […]

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A maddeningly long wait

Luke 12:32–40 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the middle of the night or toward daybreak. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. Okay, so…Servant = meMy master = JesusHouse = the worldHouse’s owner = whatever’s calling the shots around here What does it look like to be ready? What helps me stay ready, even if it’s a maddeningly long wait? It helps me that Jesus predicts a maddeningly long wait. Thank you, Jesus, for being realistic. It’s not a surprise to you, I guess, that this world is a dark room in which people seem to be stumbling all over each other. But someday the door will open, and light will break in from the outside. That’s […]

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Staying with Jesus

John 19:38–42 [My paraphrase…] Two wealthy men who’ve been pretending not to be Jesus’ disciples come forward to claim his dead body, prepare it for burial, and lay it in a tomb. I’ve been working my way through the gospel of John, and for round about a year I’ve been mired in the crucifixion. Jesus’ willingness to suffer astonishes and puzzles me something awful, because the implications are really frightening. Back in March or April I wrote the following question on the bookmark that I keep in my breviary: Christ is not driven by a need to avoid suffering. What does life look like, knowing this? What did going forward with life look like for these two men who had just watched Jesus willingly endure suffering? For one thing, they stayed with him, tolerating the discomfort of a sight, sound, smell, and touch that just about everyone else wanted to […]

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My cupboard is bare

Luke 11:1–13 … Teach us to pray. Hmm. …one of [Jesus’] disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray…” …Then he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and she goes to that friend at midnight and says, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have nothing to set before him.’ “Then the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children are with me in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ I tell you, though he will not get up and give her the bread because she is his friend, yet because of the woman’s boldness he will get up and give her as much as she needs. I heard this, went home, and sat in my chair to reflect. Here’s what hit […]

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Who takes care of me?

Luke 10:25–37 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” That is, “Who must I love if I want to inherit eternal life?” And then Jesus hit him with the story of the good Samaritan: A man is robbed and beaten. A man just like the lawyer asking the question, perhaps? Two upstanding citizens walk past without helping, but a Samaritan (read: outcast) bandages his wounds, gets him a room at a hotel, and leaves a credit card in case the man needs more help. Jesus asks which of the three is a neighbor to the man who was robbed. The Samaritan, of course. Neighbor = the one you must love if you want eternal life. Neighbor = the amazingly generous outcast who isn’t too busy to help the story’s “me” (the man to whom Jesus is replying). Therefore, the one you must […]

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In my right mind

Luke 8:26–39 Jesus cast a squadron of demons out of a crazy guy. And then… …they found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting at Jesus’ feet, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. At the 8 a.m. contemplative mass at St. Cuthbert’s, a twenty-minute silence follows the reading of the gospel. I listened to the story about the lonely, unclothed, crazy man who had broken his own chains again and again, but still wasn’t free, and how it was only Jesus who could clean up the nasty mess of his life. And then I sat there for twenty minutes at Jesus’ feet thinking and feeling this: I am in my right mind. I haven’t always been and might not always be, but for now, I am in my right mind. And I am grateful. At 9 I headed off to visit a place […]

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Spiritual direction

A spiritual director is a compassionate, concerned observer whose task is to help people notice the ways in which Spirit is moving in their lives….

April 30, 2007

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How to find a spiritual director

Ask around at your place of worship, or check the Spiritual Directors International Seek and Find Guide. Spiritual direction is not a licensed profession in any state or country, as far as I know, so it’s up to you to ask questions and make sure that you feel comfortable with whomever you select as your spiritual director.

April 28, 2007

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