Friday, September 04, 2015
Then he returned from the region of Tyre, and went by way of Sidon towards the Sea of Galilee, in the region of the Decapolis. They brought to him a deaf man who had an impediment in his speech; and they begged him to lay his hand on him. He took him aside in private, away from the crowd, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spat and touched his tongue. Then looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him, ‘Ephphatha’, that is, ‘Be opened.’ And immediately his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly.
It’s morning, Holy One, and the first voice I want to hear is yours. Perhaps I am jealous of this man born deaf.
The first thing he heard, the first clear sound is your voice, the Voice of Love beyond all loves, the Voice of Eternity speaking the one truth needful for the day … every day.
Be open, you say, releasing his stopped ears to receive the sounds of each new day. But of course, this carries deeper meaning.
You speak to my heart … and every heart. “Be open. Hear my voice, the Voice of Love that must be heard that you may live. My voice penetrates to the core and opens your soul.
“When you hear the Voice of Love your soul will open and a stream of life and blessing will pour from your depths. Grace and peace will arise from places within you only I can touch, moving you to touch my broken world.
“When you hear my voice your heart will grow large with room for all you see. You will embrace all that is with the Love that I am … in you.”
I will hear many sounds this day, Holy One, sounds of need and care, sounds of discord and division, sounds that fall gently on the ear and perhaps sounds I would like never to hear.
But first let me hear your voice that my heart may be open to all the sounds of this day … that I again may know and speak the Love you are … one more time.
Thank you for this life, this Love, for your voice.
Pr. David L. Miller
Tuesday, September 01, 2015
1 Peter 2:10
Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
I had not thought of water balloons as a sacrament until Sunday when excited children chased me around the parking lot at the congregational picnic. Wielding their wet weapons, they squealed as their projectiles exploded against my back, their mission accomplished.
Somewhere in the chaos, sodden shirt sticking to my skin, each fresh explosion brought bracing awareness of something I have seldom felt: I belong.
I belong. I belong here, to this place and these people even though for a long time I never thought I would … or could … or even wanted to belong. But I do.
I always fancied myself different from others. My temperament was and is moody, given to wide swings from depression to elation. From childhood even small events brought intense emotion while others glided through them as if they were nothing much.
This difference sometimes caused pain because I wanted acceptance I seldom found. I was different and knew it. This difference later became the source of insight and depth and even pride as I fancied that I was unique … a more sensitive human being. Maybe that’s true, maybe not.
True or not, it magnified separation from others whose approval and companionship I wanted but seldom received because I was too different. I didn’t fit, and I knew it. So I built an identity around not fitting in.
But water balloons have the power to wash away the illusion of our facades.
Underneath it all, I am just a man, a human soul like any other, needier than some, a little strange, and yes, more emotional than most, most men at least. I make no apologies for that.
In fact, I am thankful for it, thankful to be able to feel the water balloons telling me I need be nothing but what I am, for I belong to a people and place where grace is real and Love squeals with delight.
Pr. David L. Miller