Thursday, May 17, 2018

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Matthew 13:24-30

“Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where, then, did these weeds come from?” He answered, “An enemy has done this.” The slaves said to him, “Then do you want us to go and gather them?” But he replied, “No; for in gathering the weeds you would uproot the wheat along with them. Let both of them grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, ‘Collect the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.”

Fields of gold

Watch the wheat. Keep your eyes on goodness and grace, beauty and care. You live amid fields of gold. Refuse to be distracted by the weeds within, and your soul will grow expansive and great ... like the heart of God.

In Nebraska, I lived on a knoll surrounded by broad where I witnessed the annual drama of planting, growth and harvest. Two moments of exquisite beauty never failed to move me.

In late winter, there always came a sunlit day when the warm rays reflected translucent green, the color of hope, as sun light illumined tender shoots, still encased in ice, as the wheat, long dormant, was raised to life.

Then came late June, when west winds stirred waves of wheat rolling like ocean swells across the fields. Golden stems, their heads heavy with grain, flowed like water, an unceasing tide of life across gentle slopes that stretched to the sunset.

There were weeds, of course, green and scraggly, that spoiled the perfection that moved my heart. But mostly, I looked beyond them to see the beauty of land and sky, the gratuitous bounty of the earth, eager I was to dig my hands into deep piles of harvested kernels and feel the life-sustaining kernels run through my fingers.  

This is how God sees the world and the weeds that spoil the beauty of life we each are. The Holy Love remains undistracted by the weeds, the problems, the evil that threaten the beauty and joy of this good creation.

God’s eyes and heart focus on growing wheat ... and will not risk losing one single plant, not one single grain. Not one.

We do well to imitate this, looking at the grain, the beauty, the hope, freeing our vision from fixation with what is wrong. For then the seeds of God’s life and love grow in us to greater harvest.

Pr. David L. Miller

Monday, May 14, 2018

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Acts 17: 28

He is not far from each one of us. For “In him we live and move and have our being”….

Cardinals, too

A cardinal lights on a low branch of the bushes in front of the breezeway, seeking shelter from the rain under the dense, green canopy. I didn’t recognize him at first, my glasses being off as I read the morning paper.  But the distinctive spike at the back of his head soon gave him away.

A happy, noisy, red bird came to visit me again. That’s been happening a lot lately. They seem more plentiful this spring, and they never fail to bring a smile.

Today, he was in no hurry to leave. The rain kept him near, five feet at the most, and no fear at my presence distressed him as he waited out the drops, occasionally calling out, ‘tuu, tuu, tuuuu." I echoed his call with a breathy whistle which likely confused him. What could he possibly make of a 187 pound cardinal whose call sounds, well, a little sick?

Then, silent as he came, he flew off, leaving me a few degrees happier to have been visited by a colorful guest who shared shelter from the rain with me.

Gratuitous is the word that comes to mind. It was a little moment that is a gift, free, gratis; it just came without any effort from me, waking my smile and reminding me that I share this earth with wondrous creatures that delight my eye and gladden my heart.

Why should something so small and inconsequential in the great sweep of time change my day, lighten my heart and lift my vision toward greater expectations of the goodness of what life brings?

Maybe it starts with a simple faith, a fundamental trust in two things: first, that the wondrous Source of this universe is beneficent, generous beyond any and all expectations; and second that this mysterious Love is somehow present and sharing Love’s own substance in every moment.

In him we live and move and have our being. The One who is Love surrounds and inhabits us. Love is the substance of our being, of cardinals, too. 

Lovely when you are awaken enough to see it.

Pr. David L. Miller