Broken Hearts and Hope

It is difficult to keep hope alive when the walls crumble down around us and our communities, and child-like innocence easily fades into adult cynicism and despair.

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Going Home

“More than anything else, we long for home. Our deep ache for intimacy, security, and comfort is, in the end, a longing for home, nothing more. We are forever restlessly searching for someone or something to take us home.”

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Stolen Cars

What does it mean to walk in faith when we have been violated by someone? Can I say the Lord’s Prayer, “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us”? Can I say this prayer with any authenticity if I don’t practice it?

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Take a Zero

“Our culture invariably supposes that action and accomplishment are better than rest, that doing something—anything—is better than doing nothing. Because we do not rest, we lose our way.”

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The Stormy Life

Jesus says, “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.” Don’t be afraid in the storms. They are part of life. I will be with you.

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H2 O

May the Spirit continue to flow through us as we let the holy water shape and form us, so we may be one.

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What Are We Hungry For?

Jesus says, “Come and eat breakfast.” You are welcome at my table. “Come and eat.” With the invitation, Peter and the disciples know the Living Christ accepts, forgives, loves, and restores them. Fish and bread have never tasted better.

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Tent Patience

Patience trusts that the Spirit is working through the world, the church, and us for peace and unity. And patience is active not passive. We become the change we want to see.

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Four White Doves

What unbinds us and helps us let go of our pain and sorrow? Does grace slowly mend our broken hearts through tears? Through time? Through a listening ear?

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Aroma Therapy

Jesus said, “I was hungry and you gave me food. I was thirsty and you gave me something to eat. I was a stranger and you welcomed me.”

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I Know that I Know?

With humility, we move from judging someone or a group to having empathy and compassion. We move from seeing in part to seeing more fully, the other person and ourselves.

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What Is Really Important?

Sadly, beliefs often exclude rather than include. Beliefs often make the circle smaller and smaller defining who is in and who is out, who is acceptable and who is not. Grounded in the love of Christ, may we make the circle wider and wider until no one is left standing outside it.

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The Church: Whole and Broken

The church is a dynamic family. If we are honest, all of us know how beautiful and how difficult family structures can be. Family can build us up, love us, and inspire us; and family can break us down and harm us deeply.

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Holding Hands

Christ calls us to make our circles wide and to stand in solidarity with all human beings. We have sacred moments where we stand as one in love and forgiveness.

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What God Has Made Clean

That is what God calls us to do—to see God’s creation and know that it is clean and beautiful—to see our fellow human beings and know that we are all created in God’s image.

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Mothers

We can have more empathy, compassion, and love for our mothers when we recognize the weight of life they had to shoulder.

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Breakfast Is Ready

At a sacred meal, we share our ideas, hopes and failures, new dreams and lost dreams at an inclusive table “flowing with milk and honey.”

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Life-Giving Breath

Jesus breathes on the disciples and says to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit” (John 20:22). The Spirit is breath. His breath is their breath. Our breath is Christ’s breath.

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Is It Easter, Good Friday, or Both?

Sometimes Easter Joy creeps into our Good Fridays. It is good that Good Friday and Easter have their own days, but we can’t really separate them. They are not mutually exclusive events because you can’t have one without the other.

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In the Garden

A small, nondescript wooden sign says in block letters, “Please Visit Our Healing Garden.” Who can resist such an invitation?

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Letting Go of Control

We are not in control, but we can trust “that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).

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Earthquakes, Truth, and Freedom

What is the Good News that we can lean into during our current instability and struggles? What can we lean into within our pain, our grief, our disbelief, our cracked foundations, and our shaky footing?

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Evening Glow

Have we ever feasted on the alpenglow? Have we seen the glory of light revealed? Have we had a “foretaste of glory divine”? Have we stood in the space between heaven and earth? Has light filled us with awe and wonder?

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The Gift of Tears

All of us will encounter grief and sorrow during our journey through life. Paradoxically, the more we love, the more we will grieve. We cannot avoid it or go around it though we try, but we must go through it.

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Seeing with New Eyes

Mature faith or contemplation “allows us to see the truth of things in their wholeness.” We see our own beauty and our flaws. We begin to recognize the complexity of the people and situations around us.

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Live in Love

When we fall in love, we walk lightly on the ground, and we hear the birds singing. We write poetry and sing songs. Falling in love is a Norman Rockwell painting in process. It is wonderful and so easy to fall into love, but it is quite another thing to stay in love. Can we stay in love with one another and God?

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Live in Joy

I imagine the shepherds soaked in the sudden, glorious starlight, and they knew that light was “good news of great joy for all people.” What is joy and can we live in joy?

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Live in Peace

Jesus, the child born in the manger, the Prince of Peace, grows up and embodies peace, creates peace, and shares peace. Blessed are the peacemakers he told us. Put your swords away.

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Live in Hope

We have moments when get frustrated, lose patience, and get irritated with one another. It’s part of life. But do we also experience moments that saturate us in the way of Christ’s peace and grace?

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Red Apples

The one God, creator of all, is not the God of one nation, one religion, one denomination, or one ethnicity. Christ is everywhere. This changes everything.

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Is Doing Nothing Enough Sometimes?

How often do we respond to anger with more anger? How often do we meet violence with more violence? Mary stands silently in love and compassion not resignation. How do we stand when we face sorrow, anger, or injustice?

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14 Medium Cokes Please

Do we practice giving thanks for things big and small? A blue sky, a golden leaf, the soft cool breeze, a friendly hello, our next breath, a hot meal, and a warm bed? A cold pop? Do we find hidden blessings in the struggles and difficulties in life? This is a challenge.

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Heart Matters

When our hearts are full, life is good and our “cup overflows.” Sometimes when sadness or grief overwhelm us, we might say, “My heart aches.” Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart” (Matthew 22:37). The heart is prevalent in all aspects of our lives.

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Is Love a Yes and a No?

We cannot fit one more thing into our schedule, but the requests for our time and energy do not stop. Can we say no? Did Jesus ever say no to requests for his time, his gifts, and his energy?

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A Humble Place

Let us give thanks for Christ’s grace and mercy. Let us move from self-righteous judgment to shared empathy. With humility, we are one.

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Being Home

How much time do we spend in Christ’s house of grace living in a spirit of compassion, understanding, acceptance, and reverence for ourselves and others?

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Exquisite Mutuality

When we start connecting our pain/grief to the larger world, our common humanity, then we become part of the grand restorative narrative: lost and found, exile and return, death and resurrection. We move from sorrow to joy.

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Stand Still

Jesus lived in solitude, and he lived in community. He began his ministry by spending forty days alone in the desert (Matthew 4:1-11). How do we begin our days? Before he chose the twelve disciples, he spent the entire night alone in the desert hills (Luke 6:12). Do we spend time in silence before we make decisions?

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Christ and Blizzards

Do we see our Creator in the stranger? Do we see Christ’s love and goodness in those who are different from us? Would we recognize Jesus if he walked into our church? What would He look like?

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Move Toward Forgiveness

Are we aware of our need to receive forgiveness and extend forgiveness daily? Or, do we say, “We’re just fine.” Is the practice of forgiveness a way of life for us?

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A Soft Heart

What has opened our hearts to a deeper understanding or more tenderness? Has anything closed or hardened our hearts? Can grace and intention transform our hearts?

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Transforming Pain

Mary lets her pain and grief transform her, so she embodies the peace, the gentleness, the forgiveness, and the light of Christ.

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Enough

What is enough? How do we know if we have it? How do we know if we have done enough work for one day?

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Lost in Wonder

To experience resurrection is to live with childlike wonder. And maybe, we will hear the Risen Christ say to us, “Do not be afraid. The world is full of wonder, beauty, and mystery. I will be with you always.”

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Elusive Unity

Unity is being together or at one with someone or something, being on the same page, being of one mind and heart. It is a rare, precious, and an invaluable, hard-earned gift.

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Living Resurrection

Like Mary, do we long to be known? To be held? To be the recipient of God’s love and adoration? Do we believe love is greater than death? Do we rise?

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Hosanna! (Save Now)

It is gut-wrenching, trying, and endearing to ride the roller-coaster of life, but we find lasting hope in knowing that Christ is with us and love perseveres through it all.

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The Desert

In the desert, no matter how arduous it might be, no matter how parched we may be for a drink of water, we discover angels are all around us.

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To Free Ourselves

Only forgiveness can break the cycle of resentment, pain, and blame. Forgiveness is unfair but it is the only thing that offers us a way out from the weight of resentment and anger.

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Celebration

When Jesus left the world, he gifted his peace and joy to us, “These things I have spoken to you that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete” (John 15:11).

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70 x 7

To live in a vibrant, life-giving community is to practice forgiveness. May we ask for the grace to let go so we can live in the present and not the past.

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Rattled and Grounded

In our life we will hear voices that will encourage us to hate, to destroy, and to vilify our neighbors. Loud charismatic voices will tell us that love and forgiveness are naïve, ridiculous, and foolish. Power, violence, and control rule the day, not love, some voices say. What voices do we listen to and what voices shape the way we live?

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A New Year?

It is a new year, and it can be a new beginning for us. Henri Nouwen writes, “So how can we be in touch with the Spirit, hear the voice of the Spirit, and allow ourselves to be guided by the Spirit?” Can we create some space for God to inform, guide, and shape our responses to all the interactions we have each day?

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Giving Birth to Love

A warm smile. A kind word. A heartfelt thank you. A hug. Forgiveness. A meal made with great care. A phone call from a long-ago friend. Flowers blooming in the spring. A dog’s joyful greeting. Prayer.

Do we see God’s love in the world, and do we give birth to Love?

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Do Some Pondering

When we are feeling anxious, overwhelmed, or stressed out, what do we do? Do we react in haste? Are we compulsive? Do we think things through? Do we have the faith of Mary to stop and ponder?

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Flashlights

We develop a deeper spirit of peace within us when we no longer have anything left to cling to. What are we hanging on to?

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Are We Headed Somewhere Good?

May we experience God’s intimate love and grace moving through us and through our world. May we find within our hearts “a place where the light shines with tender memories.” May we live with hope.

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Walk the Walk

Is love just sentimental or is love also the pain of healing, the exercise necessary to heal a broken body or spirit? A broken nation?

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How Do We Carry Our Keys?

Jesus set boundaries. He fed, healed, listened, and restored people and when Jesus got tired, He stopped and went to a quiet place to be still and restore His soul. Why would we be any different?

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What Do We Carry?

Jesus loved. He loved the children, the blind, the disabled, the lepers, prostitutes, the elderly, and the poor. He changed lives and the world by loving one person at a time.

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Love Who?

It’s not easy to love as Christ first loved us. Will we follow His example? Will we love our enemies?

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Specks and Logs

We have so many things on the table in our community and in our country. We are divided but the Good News is we can change.

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Expect Long Delays

It takes time for a new idea to take hold. It took time for people to realize that the earth is not the center of the universe. It takes time to see with new eyes. It takes time for humanity to realize how much we need each other and how sacred all of creation is. It takes time for justice to take root.

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Anam Cara

Good friends help us find our balance, our center, our way in life. They remind us of who we are.

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