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Only once

I expect to pass through life

but once.

If therefore, there be any

kindness I can show,

or any good thing I can do

to any fellow being,

let me do it now,

and not defer or neglect it,

as I shall not pass

this way

again.

— William Penn

Mother’s love

On the eve of my mother’s birthday,

six years after her death,

I rise in the deep of night.

On my way to the bathroom

a wide ray of moonlight

coming through the south window

stuns me with its brilliance.

I move toward its allurement

and stand with full attention

in the gaze

of the strong, full moon,

wondering why I feel blessed,

why this light coming from afar

has the touch of holiness,

why I want to gather it

around me like a sacred womb.

A quiet smile rests on my sleepy face

for I sense a mothering presence

vaster than my small awareness

can even begin to comprehend,

a mystery I step into

for a brief time

before slipping back into bed,

breathing dreams

I leave behind

when I awake to the forgetfulness

of another day.

— Joyce Rupp, “On the Eve of My Mother’s Birthday”, Fly While You Still Have Wings, p. 184

Easter joy

Joy,

come forth in us

like the Risen One

easily slipping

from the darkened tomb.

Come with Easter gladness,

robust power

easily pushing thick stone

from a tight enclosure.

Joy,

come dance in us

like the Risen One

showing up unexpectedly.

Stir deadened grief,

startle sad eyes

into hopeful ones,

lift heavy curtains

of depression.

Emblazon your eastering

on everyone.

Joy,

come go with us

like the Risen One

into everyday places.

Gladden hearts

that have given up.

Catapult the lonely

into communities of kinship

and lift the downcast

into summersaults of hope.

— Joyce Rupp, My Soul Feels Lean, p. 119-120

Sometimes our light goes out but is blown again into flame by an encounter with another human being. Each of us owes deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this inner light.

— Albert Schweitzer

United to God

What does it mean to be united to God?

There are plenty of days when a layer of something — lethargy, despair, stress — makes me feel distant from God. But just as spring always follows winter, I have found that if I give it time and pray, that barrier always melts away, like frost on a field when the sun comes up. There is a gradual thaw, and I am once again able to feel the warmth of the creator God, a presence that has been there all along.

— Ginny Kubitz Moyer, in Daily Inspiration for Women, p. 3

Come away

My beloved speaks and says to me,

“Arise, my love, my fair one,

and come away,

for now the winter is past,

the rain is over and gone.

The flowers appear on the earth,

the time of singing has come,

and the voice of the turtledove

is heard in our land.

The fig tree puts forth its figs,

and the vines are in blossom;

they give forth fragrance.

Arise, my love, my fair one,

and come away.”

— Song of Solomon 2:10-13

Nature

A spring rainbow stops me in my tracks. I always feel as though I’m witnessing a miracle. One recent morning, as I pulled into the parking lot at school I looked up to see a perfect rainbow spanning the campus. All around me, students were gazing up at the sky. In that moment, the routine sluggishness of morning was gone. Adults and teenagers alike were bowled over with wonder.

Technology has given us many shiny and brilliant things, but nature can always dazzle us more.

— Ginny Kubitz Moyer, in Daily Inspiration for Women, p. 14

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