Monday, November 11, 2019

Our deepest need

Jesus said to his disciples, 'Occasions for stumbling are bound to come, but woe to anyone by whom they come! It would be better for you if a millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea than for you to cause one of these little ones to stumble. (Luke 17:1-2)

Harsh as these words sound, listen closely and you will hear the voice of love speaking to the deep needs of our hearts to be together in a communion of blessing.

We are not made for ourselves but for each other. Independence, self-reliance, is a myth we engage when we feel the need to pretend we are or should be stronger than we can be.

But truth is written deep within and cries aloud from our first moments as we cry to be fed, to be held, to be comforted and warmed in arms that cradle our hearts as securely as our bodies. Failing this, we do not live and never thrive.

Our needs change through the years; nevertheless our lives are communal from start to our final breath. I need you, and you need me … and we each need to hold each other up lest we stumble and forget we are precious children of a Great Love.

Jesus draws us into a community, centered round the Love he is, where we each receive and share the warmth of grace which our hearts have craved since the moment of our birth.

Gathered around the warm sun of his heart, we welcome each other with open arms, honest joy and words of care.  We do not stumble but walk together in that communion of blessing, the crying need of every heart.

Pr. David L. Miller

Monday, November 04, 2019

The circle of your care

‘When you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.’ (Luke 12:13-14)

May your soul be large, spacious, with a place for every life you meet. Blessing lies hidden behind the eyes of every single soul you encounter. So welcome each one into the circle of your heart.

Isn’t this what you tell us, Jesus?

You invited the poor into your soul, the sick and broken, the fearful and those made lame, injured in heart and limb by the inevitable bruises that come to every life.

This is how you lived. Your soul was large, immense. There was and still is room for each of us. You welcomed the souls of those you met that each might commune with the wonder of your heart and mind.

You drew human hearts into the circle of your presence that they might shine in the warmth of divine love embracing them whole, no matter that they be poor, lame or broken by life.  

Enlarge the circle, this was your mission … and the charge you give to us. Make it bigger. Release the love in you. Let it flow and embrace the world. Look upon everything you see and everyone you meet and know it is there for you to love.

Sit in the circle of Jesus’ blessed presence until warmth stirs within and overflows the cup of your soul.

Your heart will grow large, spacious and free, and you will know … the Love he is.

Pr. David L. Miller

Monday, October 28, 2019

I choose you

Now during those days he went out to the mountain to pray; and he spent the night in prayer to God. And when day came, he called his disciples and chose twelve of them …. (Luke 6:12-13)

Slow down, you say, Jesus. Be still. Spend this time doing nothing but being here … with me. Breathe and know I am here with you.

You need this today. Your mind, anxious about many things, jumps here and there, finding nowhere to lay your heart and rest.

I offer you this gift. Sit on the mountainside with me in the darkness that is not dark at all, for I am here and wherever I am there is the light of a Presence that will fill you with the assurance that all is well and will be well.

But you will never know this, never feel it filling your soul unless you spend time with me sharing the darkness within you, the anxious thoughts that feed your insecurity and erode your peace.

So come and share this time. Do not rush off to whatever comes next. There is nothing you need more than to be here, releasing whatever burdens you bear as you sit beside me. For I come here to pray and know the Presence of the One who can never be named, except as the Love Who Is.

From this Love, I say what I say, do what I do and choose what I choose. And I choose you.

Do you not know this? If not, be here with me a little while longer. Sit in the silence with me. Name your darkness, your sin, your fear, your need, your hope … and listen.

Listen to the silence where I speak to your heart. You will hear my voice.

I choose you … and always will.

Pr. David L. Miller

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

The moment of enfolding

‘Be dressed for action and have your lamps lit; be like those who are waiting for their master to return from the wedding banquet, so that they may open the door for him as soon as he comes and knocks’  (Luke 12:35-36)

Joy is opening a door to that face you most want to see, the face whose smile is your smile, whose arms eagerly await the moment of enfolding you in an embrace that tells you everything your heart needs to know.

The One who is Love comes; every morning he comes and every evening he keeps silent watch over you, the beloved, whom he longs to wake to another day that you might know what is in his heart … for you.

Open the door. Open your heart. Open the protected portal of your being where you bury your wounds and hide in fear.

Pour out every need. Name every last way you have failed to live for others and betrayed your own soul because you were selfish or afraid. Release every self-judgement and the damning ways others named you that still sting.

The only one who knows you well enough to name you is this One, this blessed face who waits for you to open your deepest heart to the Love he is.

So open the door. Joy awaits you. The One who knows and loves you through and through is there, always, eager for the moment of enfolding.

He stands at the door, knocking, his great divine heart in his throat, wanting to love you with the love you have always wanted.

Open the door, a smile of holy welcome awaits you.

Pr. David L. Miller

Monday, October 21, 2019

This is life

And [Jesus] said to them, ‘Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.’ (Luke 12:15)

In the silence of my basement room, still I see the red-golden leaves, tinged brown on every edge, of the little tree on the southwest corner of the lot—and am moved.

Life is seeing, really seeing this tree in this one moment of eternity—its beauty unlike any tree that ever was or ever will be—on this October day when wind and rain threaten to rip away leaves it is not quite ready to surrender.

Hold on, little tree. Let me savor you just a little longer. True, you will be beautiful when the snows come to adorn your branches. But, for now, you witness to the Love who speaks to me in odd moments when, for reasons unknown, my soul opens to what is right in front of me.

And I know, yes, I know it is you. It is you whose smile shines from my little tree, you who are Creator of my beating heart that in more recent years has learned to love beyond what I had thought possible.

And today, I love you more … for this little tree, branches dancing in gusty-gray winds as it hangs onto the beauty it is, little knowing another beauty will surely come.

But I do. I know. The Love you most assuredly are, Holy One, will seek and delight my heart far beyond this October day, touching me on colder mornings until, ah, the wonder of another Spring I hope to see.

This, knowing you this way, dearest Friend, is life.

My joyful tears praise you in every season, knowing that little tree is my life.

Pr. David L. Miller

Thursday, October 17, 2019

The place of knowing

Thursday, October 17, 2019

“Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge; you did not enter yourselves, and you hindered those who were entering." (Luke 11:52) 

Grant, Holy One, that I should know you and share what little I am able to understand, which is very little indeed.

But this much I know: The soul’s knowledge of you is not a pedestal from which to look down upon others, imagining one is more advanced in some way.

That is the great sin of the proudly “religious,” anxiously imagining they are “right” or somehow better than those they critique.  

There is no such advancement in me. I remain forever a beginner in this life, so often falling back on myself, failing to live and love what you have been so willing to share with me of your own divine heart.

This is why I so desperately return to this, my holy space, where you seem so pleased to meet me, and I am so blessed to know that I am always welcome, I … such as I am.

So I return and ask: Tell me again. Speak to my heart once more. Give me that knowledge that is you, and I will struggle (it’s the best I can do) to share what this heart knows, if only I can find words and ways to express the mystery that inexplicably lives in my heart.

The ways and words of others who love you have been the door though which I entered the wonder of your loving presence.

May I, too, in this time of my life, be a door through which others may enter the place of knowing.

Pr. David L. Miller

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

To know and flow

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

“So give for alms those things that are within; and see, everything will be clean for you."    (Luke 11:41)

To know and flow

How many gifts remain ungiven because we hesitate? How many gracious words of blessing and thanks remain unspoken, hidden in our hearts because we did not take that next step to act or speak what our hearts knew and felt within?

The Spirit moves the heart, urging us beyond ourselves to turn holy intentions into gracious realities that we might move with the Spirit.

Our joy and purpose is to know and flow with the current of God’s love. The Love who is God’s Spirit within us awakens desires to bless and give, to care and encourage, to make our corner of the world more gracious, humane and beautiful.

The Spirit gives birth to such blessed newness in our hearts, eager for us to give what we have been given, to speak the blessing and joy that others need, to share the gifts that will relieve a burden and lift a heart.

Do not wait. Do not tell yourself that there will be time later. Do not let the pace of life drown out the Spirit’s voice, distracting you from the holy purpose and impulses the Spirit stirs in your heart.

Those stirrings are a gift, a reminder that the Holy One loves you and loves for you to be an expression of divine warmth in a world where so many feel the cold ache of loneliness.

The time is now. Today is the day of salvation. The Spirit stirs your heart. The Holy One waits with eager expectation for your response … that the Love beyond all naming may be known … through you.

Pr. David L. Miller