Spiritual Drive By

Recite our memorized prayers

Kneel always on que

Hands lifted high in Praise

All for You, All for You

Driving out of church

I see her there again

Mom with kids and a sign

Help us if you can

People say they are  beggars

Not really much in need

I can’t make that judgement

As tomorrow is all they wish to see

 

During my talks with God this week, we have focused on those in need. It seems like our entire world is in need. The number of refugees is staggering in various countries and the number of homeless in our country is significantly high. What can we do? We could stop and give a dollar or two to each person we see on the street. We can pray. That dollar or two might be the same as twenty dollars for that person in need. Let us join communally in prayer for those in need…those seeking a new and safer home in a new country and those close to our homes who have so little.

Spiritual Bench Mark

Following the death of her husband, it seemed like someone would check on her a least a couple of times a week to see how she was doing. After six months or so, the calls and visits stopped.

One spring morning she decided to take a little box of snack out to the park to see if she could attract a few squirrels or birds. It was getting to be very lonely in her apartment.

As she sat down, she tossed a few peanuts on the sidewalk and under her bench. It didn’t take long for the first squirrel to show up…then another, then another. She tossed some snacks to the other side of the sidewalk and before two long, there was a pigeon, then another, then another.

One day she decided to sprinkle all of the treats through the cracks in the bench so they would  just fall around her feet. She soon decided on a new name for this new performance….introducing her whirling squirreleshis! It a matter of months, she had squirrels sitting with her on the bench.

She did this for so many years, she kept track of the generations that gathered and tried to identify them by their markings to give them names. The pigeons were more stand offish but some  were quite beautiful, especially the white ones.

Each work day, the commuters would take that sidewalk from the trains to their office building and return in the afternoon. She couldn’t help but notice how self-absorbed they seemed in their thoughts and how no one talked to one another. She also noticed not a single person said hello to her. In all those years.

One spring, the bench was empty. The squirrels did not dance and the pigeons did not parade. Seemingly knowing, they had lost their best friend.

 

During my prayer time this week, God and I talked about loneliness. My prayer is for us to talk with God to see if there is anyone he would like us to contact. A phone call? A hand written note? A personal visit? Allow God to guide our hearts to the person in need. To the person in need of knowing someone simply cares.

Spiritual Ingredients

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In my talks with God this week, we reviewed spiritual ingredients. Like any product on the grocery shelf, we have many spiritual ingredients. If we took the time to write them all down, our “label” would look pretty good.

God wanted me to take a look at my list and determine how many of the ingredients were actually being used….ah, now I am defined in a different way! We can go to work on those ingredients that are not being used and talk with God about their purpose and how they fit in with His Plan for  our total spiritual being.

One additional part of the conversation was to think about the multiplying effect this could have if we then combined our total spiritual being with the complete spiritual being of other people for God’s specific purpose. Who knows who much could be accomplished and what great plans God may have for us to work communally for him.

My prayer is for us to talk with God about our spiritual ingredients and making sure all of them are properly being used. Then, I pray for us to ask God about working with other people who have gone through the same process in order to accomplish His work. I ask that we also lift one another up in prayer so we may continue to learn about being a more effective gentle witness and for all of us to draw closer to God.

The Soul Releaser

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Never, in the history of the town, could anyone recall something like this happening. He just showed up one day, walking down the tracks and walked straight into the grocery. He asked for the manager and then he asked for a job. He said he would do any job and work any hours. The manager so happened to have a position open no one wanted so he hired him on the spot and told him he could start in the morning.

He left the grocery and walked down the tracks again before veering off to the woods. Sure enough, he was right on time. The grocery manager had to ask his age and before he said, “18”, the manager had a feeling he would stretch the truth a little. Not that it mattered. He needed a worker. Manager guessed him to be 15 at most and homeless.

On pay-day, the strangest thing happened. The boy went to the bank and cashed his check. That Sunday at church before service, he gave out all the money he made the previous week. Every cent.

He did this without stopping for five years and then began to take sick. The bought him to the house where the doctor lived where upon he immediately sent for her. She was a half a day away and the doctor knew she would be needed soon.

She was there by noon the next day. “Not yet” and slowly walked upstairs, holding the rail she had held hundreds of times before. All night from  the bedroom everyone could hear her pray, even though she had a soft voice.. They had no idea when  she would sleep.

The next day, she said, “the Lord is preparing his place.” They didn’t see her until the following morning. “Likely  tonight, but it ain’t up to us.” In the corner of his room, three women from the church sang hymns from memory, some of which we still sing today although not as beautiful.  Sang a beautiful gospel harmony which is alsmost lost save for a few remaining places in the south. She went to her bedroom and told everyone he would pass in the morning.

That morning, the doctor, the pastor, the women and the soul releaser gathered round his bed. He looked the same as the day he come into town. Rail thin, hollow eyes, and always so quiet. The elder said he would be buried in the potters field since he had nothing, however, the pastor stood up and said he has something to say about that.

When the church heard what was happening, they voted him to be buried in a fine casket near the entrance to the church so the bricks would go around him to the left or right. He would have a flat marble headstone with  reading about his life and his name.

The soul releaser drew her chair next to his bed, close to his face, so he could hear her whisper. She held one hand and put the other hand over his forehead covering his eyes which were closing. The singing notched down to a whisper. No one ever knew what the soul releaser said, but just like always, in a matter of minutes he had passed.

She went back upstairs and at sunlight, you could see her walking down the dirt road. Long dreadlocks, long skirt that stirred up the dust as it hadn’t rained in months. Workers began the burial site and for the first time, the women continued to sing  until this work was finished.

We know, there is a lot in the Bible about how to live. About how to give. About how to go about one’s life with respect and honor. You can read those verses on his headstone if you ever visit that church. Listen for the singers and perhaps you could leave all the money you had with you that day.

Alonement

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~ Never One For Him ~

 

Each morning before the opening of the store

Sidewalks not swept, drunks still dreaming

He arises early to see them, he lives alone

Silent, he writes to no one in particular

Each has a name, so he wants to arrive early

Hospital scared and scarred him just for talking to no one

He greets each with a pleasant “good morning” and

compliments them on the slightest change especially on days

when he is convinced they even changed their make up

Old theater, down the street, somehow still open

Since he knows their names, he asks them out on dates

one by one of course

Then, on every Friday night, he buys two tickets

but always sits alone while he imagines

how nice it would be

to have a real person in his life

Before the street cleaner arrives

He has talked with each of them

Compliments more than questions

since mannequins don’t murmur

Back to his apartment he waits

for the post man to arrive just before one

he hears letters slide into receptive slots

Never one for him

Not once

Never one for him

Joy To The World

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Don’t worry, this is not one my posts where I announce I spotted the first item out for Christmas. Although, it could happen….it is the middle February and our shopping days are dwindling!

Simple post. For what it means for you. For whom it reminds you of.

Joy To The World!

Joy

Joy

and a little more Joy!

In The Heart

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Thank you to everyone who has visited and commented and shared “our”  site as we continue to discover and share God’s love and grace. While at the same time, learning together, how to be a gentle witness.

God and I talked about my spiritual journey this week. I often write about our walk of faith and the importance of helping someone take those first, possibly hesitant, steps.

It is always springtime in the heart that loves God.”

– St. John Vianney

My prayer for us this week is to talk with God about the season of our heart. The above quote reminds us of how we can feel if our heart loves God. I pray we can also assist, as a gentle witness, in guiding a spiritually seeking person to this point. In addition to our individual prayers, I ask us to communally pray for this understanding. Not only an understanding but a wonderful goal on our walk of faith. Let us ask God where He would like us to be and Who we could be with. Let us talk with God about the level of love in our hearts….is springtime on the horizon?