Thursday, January 31, 2013

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Today’s text

Psalm 27:7-10

Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud,
   be gracious to me and answer me!
‘Come,’ my heart says, ‘seek his face!’
   Your face, Lord, do I seek.
   Do not hide your face from me.
Do not turn your servant away in anger,
   you who have been my help.
Do not cast me off, do not forsake me,
   O God of my salvation!
If my father and mother forsake me,
   the Lord will take me up. 


I do not know if there is anything more powerful than a smile. A smile instantaneously assures the soul that all is well, and when all is not well we look to those faces of love in our lives seeking that smile, that sparkle of eye that lifts us back into ourselves, so that we know.

Our heart needs to know that there is a love that shines … and glows … with the light of love when it looks upon us, filling us with awareness of unconditional delight in our very existence.

Every child ever born turns again and again, looking for its mother’s delighted smile, seeking to live in the glow of love unearned and immeasurable. In hurt or joy, when they succeed or fall, little ones look again and again for this grace in the eyes of a love they cannot begin to understand.

But in those eyes they know what they need to know.

Our ever-so-human need to know, to feel this, speaks of the deepest need of our existence, a need built into us by the One who is the Source of our life.

We hunger to feel oneness, inseparable unity, with the Mystery who is the Unconditional Source of all life and of our breath and joy.

Feeling alone and separated, our hearts shrink and shrivel in sadness, longing for the smile of divine delight. Our hearts cry out to feel and know we are not alone … that the Presence of the One who is Love still shines for and on us.

Feeling this, knowing this, we are lifted into life even in the worst of times.

I open my e-mail and read of a beloved father for whom every day brings more threatening medical diagnoses. Each test performed brings news more dire than the previous.

Weariness descends on his heart and the hearts of all who love him.

What shall we do? Continue to treat? Give up? Can there be longer life? Will that life be worth living?

Amid the sorrow of the time, the heart cries out, “Do not turn away, O God. Do not hide your face from us. Do not cast us off. Do not forsake us.

Let us feel again the smile of your near nearness, and there will be life. There will be laughter and joy, gratitude and peace … even in the midst of dieing.

For your smile, the smile of your nearness is enough for us, every single day.

So, turn the beauty of your face toward us in graces of the day and every love we know … that we may know … and live this day from the heart of your nearness.

Pr. David L. Miller

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Today’s text

Psalm 27:4-6

One thing I asked of the Lord,
   that will I seek after:
to live in the house of the Lord
   all the days of my life,
to behold the beauty of the Lord,
   and to inquire in his temple.
For he will hide me in his shelter
   in the day of trouble;
he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;
   he will set me high on a rock.
Now my head is lifted up
   above my enemies all around me,
and I will offer in his tent
   sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make melody to the Lord.


There are places that awaken awareness of your Presence, Holy One. I have stepped into old churches and fell silent, eager to take off my shoes, bow and prostrate myself on the floor because I knew and felt you.

I felt the immensity and tenderness of your presence filling every corner of the place … and of me, and I knew this awareness was everything I needed in this life.

Silent reverence was the only suitable language to speak the quiet joy that filled me as your near beauty raised me beyond myself, beyond the day’s troubles, beyond my wounds and resentments, my sins and failures, beyond my work-a day existence.

In silent knowing, there was no doubt that we live in graced world, haunted in everyplace by your Spirit beckoning us home, if only we could hear.

Stepping into your dwelling, I knew … we each are surrounded and held in love as closely and gently as air touches the bare skin of our arms and caresses the curve of our cheeks.

Beholding your beauty, we know this love is all we need and all that really is, all else is illusion.

But where shall we go to enter the blessed place you dwell that our souls may fall silent while our hearts explode with love and wordless gratitude?

We hunger each day to know you this way, but you do not live in a home of bricks and mortar we can simply enter. You cannot be contained in any building or held within any space, although there are spaces you seem to inhabit.

You do not hide in barren winter trees stark against the morning sky, nor do you dwell in the profusion of spring for which we hope amid winter’s death, although nature itself whispers your name.

I have prayed at St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican and found it no more holy, no more moving that this basement place where I come seeking you each day, this place where you so regularly find me and lift me into yourself … so that I be myself.

I have found you dwelling in the eyes and beauty of faces who love more than I know how to love, and in music that transports me to spaces in my soul where you are more real and far more lovely than my gray face in the morning mirror.

But maybe I have it all wrong. Perhaps I do not find you at all. It is you who find me, for you dwell everywhere and in everything but most often I am too blind to see and too deaf to hear.

Still, I will seek you this day, listening and looking with greater care for the Presence of beauty and love, grace and hope, dignity and care that, with joy, I may see that creation itself is your dwelling and every place is holy.

Pr. David L. Miller

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Today’s text

Psalm 27:1-3

The Lord is my light and my salvation;
   whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life;
   of whom shall I be afraid?

When evildoers assail me
   to devour my flesh—
my adversaries and foes—
   they shall stumble and fall.

Though an army encamp against me,
   my heart shall not fear;
though war rise up against me,
   yet I will be confident


The new day comes, and your voice appears in the depth of my heart, inviting me to live, to throw myself into the day.

“Give yourself away," you tell me. “Hold nothing back. Pour out the strength of your heart, sharing what is in you with the people you meet and the challenges that come.

“Fear nothing, for I am your light and salvation. You dwell in the enclosure of my divine heart. I am strong walls of protection that will not let you be crushed.”

But I know so many are crushed. I see it in my office almost every day, souls bearing the wounds of living that they have carried for decades, scars for which full healing may never come.

Where was their protection? Where is their healing? Where were you when they were wounded? Where are you now to protect them and drive away their fears?

“I am ever here,” you say in my heart. “I am always here, the inner home of love where the deep of your soul touches the Source, the Eternal Soul that I am.

“Though my beloved suffer pains of living and come too soon to their end, there is no end to me, and I take them into myself even as they have always been in me, and I in them.

“You know this. You know you dwell in my love in those moments when you come once more to the end of your hope and strength and turn your eyes to skies … or to that still point within where the flame of love burns … and you know.

“You know I am that flame that warms you. You know nothing can extinguish it. You know no matter what comes, I am, love abides, always.

“There is no predicting all that may happen today or tomorrow. But fear has no place, for I am your today and your tomorrow.

“I do not flee or leave. I am the stronghold of love and life that surrounds and protects you. My walls enclose about you. I am present and near, working in ways you cannot see and will never know.

“Know this, though: I am, and there will never be a day I am not.

“I am, and you can throw your heart and mind, body and strength into whatever you face and do today. Let confidence be your face this day.

“And tomorrow, we will rise and do it all again, for I am your light and salvation. You have nothing to fear.”

Pr. David L. Miller