Friday, November 24, 2017

Friday, November 24, 2017

Revelation 21:6

Then he said to me, ‘It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give water as a gift from the spring of the water of life. 

Thanksgiving redux

More than the past, the future most moves me, hopes unrealized, joys yet to be, a me I know is there but is not yet despite 65 years.

I walk among the trees, drawn to water, a stream, as if to drink with the creatures who shyly emerge from the brush. This day the stream is high, the current swift. Rocks in its course divide it into three cold, silver currents that merge into one a few yards downstream.

The sun repeats itself in the silver flow as the stream continues south among the trees, disappearing from sight while the creatures and I refresh ourselves with living water.

Why is it that you speak to me in such places? I cannot make it happen.

There is a place in me to which only you have access. My boots made the bend toward the bridge, and hope, honest hope filled me, rising from a place deep within, beyond the reach of mind and will.

I felt a future I cannot see and tasted tears of a joy, knowing it will be fulfilled.

I know: The day will come when I will be more of what I am, that is … of what you are in me, this Love, this joy, this wonder that you and I are one and always have been.

This day is set aside for remembering and knowing the gratitude of love fulfilled, of promises realized, of graces given and received. There are and have been many.

But the silver current and a house full of laughing grandsons turn my mind from the past.

Joy is now, and this heart will yet find itself full and complete in the Love who finds me and speaks in living water that flows on.


Pr. David L. Miller

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Psalm 65:8

Those who live at earth’s farthest bounds are awed by your signs; you make the gateways of the morning and the evening shout for joy. 

Face the light

Give us songs of praise that speak what is in our hearts, Holy One. For only songs can say what our hearts know: The goodness of love, the beauty of earth, the joy of watching the curve of the sun appear, a sliver of light above the dark waters and purple horizon.

The reeds and bearded grass light gold in the early glow as the great circle of fire rises, half now above its eastern shore.

‘Ah,’ I say, ‘you let it out again.’ The sun that is.

Caged, it was in the darkness until you opened the gate sent it here to me, one more day, one more blessed day to know the blessing of life and love, of joy and hope, of work that lets my heart come from its hiding to be itself, the love you made me to be.

Two words: Thank you. Just, thank you.

Let the morning praise you. Let everything that has breath face the light and see its rising that every face may be warmed by the Love you are. Maybe then we can sing your praise … together … knowing no fear, only the truth of a Love that rises new … every day.


Pr. David L. Miller

Monday, November 13, 2017

Monday, November 13, 2017

Psalm 33:6

By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,
   and all their host by the breath of his mouth. 

Breathe

I come to this space to see the deer … and breathe. The deer refuse their Sunday afternoon appointment with me this rainy day, so I breathe the air, fragrant with fallen leaves I shuffle through just as when I was a child.

Leaves delight, rust and red, gold and yellow, green ones that fell before the Artist could paint them. But they, too, contribute to the kaleidoscope of color rustling around my boots scuffling on the cinder path.

The earth is covered, coated complete with leaves that once hid the sun in this place even on brightest days. Today is pale gray, inspiring no rapture. The low sky stretches beyond bare limbs to the far horizon, telling me that I enter a future I cannot see or even imagine.

I will leave that future to the One who knows and loves me better than I can possibly understand.

Today, it is the leaves that awaken the heart. Millions of them … billions … blanket the ground, covering everything, their glory fading in the drear drizzle.

But their fate brings little sadness. Creation’s Author breathes out color and light and draws it back in again, only to breathe life into all that is from what has fallen.

I stand here, hoping the deer might join me, yet with every breath receiving the gift no mortal can make.

I am here … breathing. I belong, part of the breathing of God who invites me here … to know … and breathe.

So just breathe … and know.

Pr. David L. Miller



Saturday, November 11, 2017

Saturday, November 12, 2017

Psalm 90:14

Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love,
   so that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.

November dawn

Cold November dawns deep blue and purple on Feather Sound. What yesterday glistened gold, the rapture of autumn reflecting on the water’s face, has become a harbinger of what is soon to come. One day, everything changes. The season of falling loses its luster as winter descends.

But even here is hope as clouds part, and a thin shaft of light pierces the low purple shrouding this stop on my morning journey. Then, another ray, narrower still, appears through a break in the gloom to light the glassy surface by reeds and cattails, coated with frost, rustling stiff in the breeze.

I stop to watch the play of water and light, expecting or at least hoping the light will excite a moment of joy and knowing ... and salve wounds the decades don’t heal.

The light is enough, just enough, to flicker warmth within and let me know that Love brought this into being and Love wants me even when I feel utterly lost and alone, wondering where I am going and what will be, having no clue, at least none I want to accept.

The two narrow streams of light flow from the heavens and transform the sound. The horizon disappears. My eyes cannot find where water ends and sky begins.

The pond, dark and smooth as glass, seamlessly reflects the purple and mottled blues of lumpy cumulus, pierced by November dawn. The water now an artist’s canvas catches every shade and hue, capturing each contour of cloud awakening an old hope.

Earth and sky are one. So maybe I, too, can know oneness with the One who makes such mornings and paints the day with the colors of love and hope. Maybe then my heart and life will be as seamlessly one as water and sky.

Maybe here the heart of Jesus reaches to heal what nothing else can. Maybe he has been waiting for me here all along, waiting to share November dawn. Maybe it is a voice more holy than my own that whispers, “Just stand here.”

Pr. David L. Miller




Monday, November 06, 2017

Monday, November 6, 2017

Revelation 7:9-10

 After this I looked, and there was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, robed in white, with palm branches in their hands. They cried out in a loud voice, saying, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb!’ 

Standing

I saw my father yesterday. It was remarkable since he died in late September 2003. But I saw him clearly and full of life.

He wore those rimless spectacles that were so common in the 1940s and a blue shirt open at the collar. A wave of his still-black hair curled and fell across his forehead as it did in the years before it thinned out.

He was no longer weak, in bed, his legs and body wasted from polio, calling for my mother because he was dying and couldn’t stand to be alone.

He was young. It was still those years before my sister and I were born, years I know only from weathered photos. But there he was … standing, among a great crowd, looking surprised at the commotion of ecstatic joy surrounding him.

He tried to join whatever it was they were singing, his soft bass voice stronger than in the years it was barely a whisper for the damage disease had done to his lungs. But now he sang, startled by the sound of his own voice, startled to be there ... free from everything that had bound him.

And I saw him, my All Saints gift, standing again as once he had, his sorrow long gone, the distance between us no longer great. Then I stood, with him, and sang of a Love that will not let us go.

Pr. David L. Miller



Saturday, November 04, 2017

November 4, 2017

Saturday, Matthew 25:6-10

But at midnight there was a shout, “Look! Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.” Then all those bridesmaids got up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish said to the wise, “Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.” But the wise replied, “No! there will not be enough for you and for us; you had better go to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.” And while they went to buy it, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went with him into the wedding banquet; and the door was shut. 

Heart light

Pink morning light illumines ripples on the stream as my boots thump on bridge boards above.

The shallow stream splits here. Side currents hurry around rocks, leaving a quiet pool in the middle where mallards will settle in when rays of the wan autumn sun warm the waters.

An oak leaf glides in the current inches below the surface, resting in the pool as bare November trees reflect black in the steel blue stream. The morning scene tinged gold and blush now as sunlight paints the far horizon, southeast now that winter is soon to come.

Sunrise is minutes away, and this painted moment will disappear in daylight. But not yet.

I am here, boots on the bridge, loving and knowing the love of the Love Beyond who paints moments with morning light.

I have this moment, and the Love who fills it … and me, grateful that I have enough heart to know the Heart who is eager to meet me in every moment.

For every moment bears opportunities, blessings and challenges. But only those whose hearts are ready receive the blessing each brings enters the joy of truly living. Only those whose who nurture the flame of love in their hearts are awake to the moments so kissed with the Love Who Is Beyond all telling. Their hearts know and shine with the healing light of love.

Keep your heart-light burning.

Pr. David L. Miller





Monday, October 30, 2017

October 30, 2017

1 John 1:5

This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all.

October light

Golden warmth embraces tree tops in the woods as the sun sinks low on a Sunday afternoon, painting yellow leaves deeper gold as tree trunks and low branches go dark in the fading day.

And I laugh in delight, chanting ‘thank you’ to the Beyond I come here to meet.

Laughter is sweet praise of nature’s artist, as light lifts my eyes to higher limbs of oak and maple still illumined as daylight marches steadily westward.

The day will soon be done. Forest stillness blankets the woods as human intruders flee the darkness, a quiet punctuated by a wedge of geese honking their way toward evening’s repose.

In gray-light shadows gentle fawns step warily onto the cinder path where bikes whizzed by minutes ago. I am a curiosity to them. They step toward my frozen form still in the road, likely wondering if I am friend or fear.

There is something I want them to know.

I want them to know what the Maker of the Light sings to me in October light, so I whisper to the deer as they watch and seem to hear: ‘Have no fear. I am no threat to you. You are beautiful to me. The world is so much more beautiful for your presence.’

‘Thank you,’ I say to the fawns and their Maker, the Light of October afternoons.


Pr. David L. Miller