Friday, October 23, 2020

Wanted

 

                                                                                                                                           Friday, October 23

‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.’ (John 8:12)

Kernels of whole wheat sweeten my morning toast, slathered, too, with peanut butter which is nature’s perfect food as far as I am concerned.

Each kernel, gathered from Earth’s goodness by some blessed soul, transports the heart to another time and place, Nebraska, at wheat harvest, and a river of kernels flowing between my fingers as I ran my hand through a hopper of harvested wheat.

And this moves the mind to yesterday; rounding a bend through a wood on Naper Blvd., thousands of trees surround and I see just one. Orange and gold, reds afire, autumnal splendor lit from within by a light that seems not of this earth.

But it is, as is my prayer. ‘ Thank you for letting me be alive, right here, right now, to see this light that ignites something warm and true in my heart,’ a heart sullen and heavy but a moment ago.

But not now.  Now I know a light from beyond that is within this heart of mine, utter gift of a Love who lights the earth and this soul with a love that goes where it wants … because for reasons beyond us … it wants us, and wants us to know.

Pr. David L. Miller

Monday, October 12, 2020

Peace awaits you

 

Monday, October 11

Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. (Philippians 4:5)

Stress is pandemic in this time of COVID-19. The bitterest election in recent U.S. history draws near. Various news outlets and websites are making millions marketing fear. Schools struggle to gather students … or not. Zoom meetings weary the heart.

Everything we do from getting groceries, doing our jobs and caring for our families seems to be harder … because it is harder than in those times we label ‘normal.’

Nothing new or insightful in any of these statements as much as we would like some insight or perspective that would make it all, well, easier.

Is there anything to heal, to comfort, to provide peace or at least balance amid the flood that, at least from time-to time, washes all peace and balance from our hearts, leaving a churning quagmire of mixed and anxious emotions impossible to sort out?

One thing helps … at least me, and it should surprise no one who is a person of faith. Abiding.

Peace is an inside job. Nothing from without can give it to you or restore your ability to live above the churning issues of the day that threaten to turn your heart into a restless sea.

Retreat into your soul and find love there. Recall moments of loving; relive them. Savor them. Feel the desire for this love to fill you … and to fill everything.

You were created in the image of Love. That is why love restores you, calms you, satisfies and completes you. The further you live from love the more anxious and troubled you will be.

The Lord who is Love is near. In fact, the Love the Lord is … lives in you. This is your deepest and truest self. Find silence under a golden tree or in a melody (or anything) that transports you to that inner room where you feel and know the love you are. And abide. Rest there.

The churning seas that threaten to throw us overboard will quiet and you will meet the One who is always there … waiting.

Pr. David L. Miller

 

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Food & drink

 Jesus said to them, ‘Very truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day; for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me. (John 6:53-57)


Eat my flesh? Drink my blood? Really? These are metaphors, of course. Flesh and blood are a way of saying the whole person, everything they are.

And we do, in fact, eat Jesus, so that everything he is may be ours—his life, his love, his strength, his suffering and especially the intimacy he shares with the “living Father.”

We were never intended to be outsiders, looking in at this mystery. Our fulfillment is to be inside, participating in the unfailing current of love that flows between the heart of God and Jesus’ own heart.

So we eat his words and savor his actions. We hold them in the inner eye of imagination and turn them over in our minds, not so much to understand things about him as to experience his presence awakening within us, illumining mind and heart.

Then, we can sink into our hearts and abide with him, resting in the love we share. Do this, and after a while, your life, too, becomes food and drink for a famished world.

Pr. David L. Miller

Friday, September 18, 2020

Let it flow

Jesus said to her, ‘Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.’ (John 4:13-14)

Jesus was tired when he got to the well at Sychar, but the woman he met there was in worse shape.

She lugged water from the well every day, week after week, a daily slog without end. But this barely scratches the depth of her fatigue. She was also on her fifth or sixth husband or boyfriend or whatever they were.

World-weary is a term that comes to mind for her; burnt out is another, and we’ve all felt it.

Whatever you call it, it is not living. Life, eternal life as Jesus calls it, is about connection with the Love from whom all things come, the Love who is source of your soul.

Living is the experience of divine love flowing like a fountain in your own heart, bubbling up, filling every cold and empty place and busting forth in your smile, your grace and in the beauty hidden within, waiting for you to cast aside your fears and let it shine.

That beauty, of course, is the presence of Christ, a living stream of love that never runs dry.

Pr. David L. Miller

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Always more

Which of you desires life,
   and covets many days to enjoy good?
Keep your tongue from evil,
   and your lips from speaking deceit.
(Psalm 34:12-13)


Scratch a typical human being and you quickly find a burning desire for life, a passion to feel the exhilaration of being fully alive. We hunger for more life and more moments when “it can’t get better than this.”

No matter our age, we want more years to have and hold our beloved. We want to watch the generations unfold and bless those who carry our blood for their journeys into years and adventures we will not see and cannot imagine. We long to be blessed by their smiles one more time … and to celebrate every success that awakens their joy.

Wanting this, how shall we live, except with gratitude for the gift of life and the privilege of loving and being loved?

So live with honest hearts, blessing as we have been blessed, thanking our amazing God, ever strong and ever true, who is the mysterious source of all that is good—our hope when threat is near and our joy when the sun shines warm on our shoulders.

And know, there is always more.

Pr. David L. Miller

 

Monday, September 14, 2020

Unnameable

 Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. (John 6: 35)

Understanding your own soul—let alone someone else’s—is a lifelong project. Even Jesus searched for words to name the Mystery in his soul.

I am the light. I am the gate. I am the good shepherd, the true vine, the resurrection, the way, the truth, the life. None of them says enough, and if you think long about anyone of them your head begins to spin until your mind collapses in an uncomprehending heap.

 At their root is something Moses heard when he took off his shoes and hid his eyes from a burning bush. “I AM,” the divine voice said from the fire. “I am who I am.” Moses pushed, but got no further explanation and there was none he likely would have understood anyway.

Jesus puts a face on this Mystery whom no eye has seen so that seeing him we might know there is nothing to fear, ever. Look at him long enough and you begin to see that the great I AM loves us beyond all reason for reasons we will never understand. This love is soul food, a taste of eternity that makes the heart bold.

The other words—vine, gate, shepherd, etc.—offer a few ideas that feed our illusion that we actually understand him. But ultimately, no name will do.

Pr. David L. Miller

Friday, September 11, 2020

Just listen

I hear a voice I had not known: ‘I relieved your shoulder of the burden ... .' (Psalm 81:6)


Stop. For one moment, just stop and listen. Listen to nature. Listen to your breath. Listen to the voices within you. Listen to the person who just happens by. Listen to the world as it stumbles through another day.

You may hear a voice you barely recognize … or one that is so familiar, so near and dear you cannot imagine a day without it.

God speaks in all things. There is no speech, no words, but the voice of Love speaks every moment, begging you to feel and know Love’s holy gift in your every breath.

The divine voice coaxes you to delight in every beauty and to relish every love, to savor every grace that frees and fills you with joy, and to give yourself to every situation that cries for your love.

God is always present, working, speaking in the depth and dynamics of every situation to heal and bless, to guide and give life, abundantly, to every soul and all creation.

Don’t believe the lie that God is far off or silent. Just listen.

Pr. David L. Miller