Saturday, May 26, 2012

Fragile is a word that most of us only want to think about when considering crystal or pottery or antiques.
We CERTAINLY would NOT want to think of ourselves as fragile!
But why not?
A fragile crystal vase is something beautiful; created to be beautiful and useful as well.
How is that so different than you and I?
Why do we allow our society to dictate what it means to be strong....or fragile?  Why do we allow others to tell us how many hours we must work...or rest?
Why can't something or SOMEONE be both strong and fragile at the same time?
Why do we value "STUFF" and not each other?????  Or ourselves?????
If I sit and read a book or work on a piece of applique, am I a less valuable  person that when I work 60 hours a week?
If I start my morning by watching finches, cardinals, butterflies, hummingbirds and flowers, am I lazier than the one who gets up and vacuums and does 2 loads of laundry?  Really?  To WHOM??
God did not create us to be invincible, unbreakable, or in order to live up to anyone else's ideal than God's.
YES, God does want us to read and create and watch nature and listen to birds sing and be.
YES....Even Jesus did these things.......
Sure, we are created to be useful as well, BUT, we are also called to enjoy that which God creates.
We are STRONG.
And we are beautiful when we are both!

Saturday, May 12, 2012


Sorry it's been so long folks.....illness, work, work, work and ....well, anyway...I've missed this!

So here is the question:  What does it mean to be a friend?
What do you think of when you think of your friends?  Do you embody those same traits or characteristics?  Do you make friends with people who are like you or different than you?
I know, that's more than one question.  But, is it?  

Jesus calls us "friends" fact, he is very specific about telling the disciples that they are his friends.  And the fact that he does take the time to talk about this seems very profound and important to me.  
We sing the song, "What a friend we have in Jesus" but does that song really capture what it means for Jesus to be our friend?  Somehow--no disrespect here--the song has always seemed a little incomplete to me in its description of Jesus as our friend.

For me, a friend is someone who loves me when I am at my best and worst.  Someone who names the good stuff in me when I can't see it and calls me out [gently] when the bad stuff falls out.
A friend is someone who talks and listens; who makes me laugh and holds my hand when I cry.
In my own life, my friends have stood by me when I had cancer, when I made messes, when I triumphed and when I failed.
My friends are every color, shape, size, denomination, sexual orientation, in both political parties and in neither.  They don't think alike and some of them--if they were in the same room--would probably argue with each other!
They make me think, feel, change, stand my ground and, most of all, they make me better!
My friends let me do all the things I just described for them as well...and I am honored to do those things for them.
The above is not all that a friend is to me, but it is, for today, some of the most important qualities of a friend to me.

So what's missing here?  What's incomplete?
As I think more about this, perhaps it is that my own life as a friend does not live up to what Jesus would like me to be.  Oh, I know I'll always be somewhat "incomplete" simply because I'm human, but I also know that there is much room for improvement.  And, I don't think I am alone here.
And maybe, just maybe, the part about me being a friend in return is what I incorrectly think is missing in my friendship with Jesus.

Jesus is divine and whole and holy and so sometimes, I think we mistakenly believe that Jesus doesn't need us to be HIS friends, he just needs to be OURS.  
How WRONG that is!!!!
Jesus wants us--through our lives and our friendships to do all of these things and so very much more.  And Jesus---more than any other friend--knows we will have good and bad days being a friend and that's when we can count on him to fill in the gaps we leave.

That I have friends is amazing and wonderful and such a blessing!  And I thank each of you who are wonderful friends.
That I have a friend named Jesus Christ is a miracle.  And I will spend the rest of my life trying to show him how grateful I am!