Tuesday, April 26, 2011

cherry blossoms and nesting pelicans and the permanent presence of Life

Spiritual resource to share: persistent, insistent and consistent Life

These two stories came into my newsfeed this morning. There was a story about cherry blossoms moving north into the Tohoku region of Japan – the region most affected by the earthquake and tsunami. And once relocated Gulf pelicans making their way back home to an area that was severely damaged by the oil spill of last year.

Psalms 104: 30 sings out: Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth.

What is this spirit, captured in the determined blossoms and insistent pelicans? What are the rules of Life that persist in the face of what can seem almost hopeless disaster? It is this: that Life is insistent and Life is God. Truth is always the victor and Love never fails.

What occurs to me is that these rules set down and practiced over thousands of years are not soothing words that sugar-coat the problems facing us, or catchy phrases that inspire us to ignore what most needs attention and healing. These rules are facts that define what is real. Our ability to wake up to these rules are what ushers in healing.

Healing is inevitable. We can learn grand lessons from the blossoms and nesting birds. Life lives. And this we will find restores each of us, and frees us from despair, hopelessness and allows us to do what we were created to do: to be loving, to do good works, and to heal.

Photo of Japan from

Monday, April 18, 2011

PLaYing -- revisited

Spiritual resource to share:  the spiritual root of play

some kid playing in puddles
I tell this story so much that my sons roll their eyes when I tell it to someone in their presence. Although they have heard it a gazillion times, it still holds fresh lessons for me. This is the story.

Gabe (at 4 years old) had a bad earache/infection. I was praying for healing, praying and affirming God's allness and the powerlessness of illness to harm Gabe, when Micah (at 6 years old) came to the door. I asked him to help me pray. He waited about two seconds, said okay and then said 'Gabe, let's go play!!' Gabe immediately woke, his ear totally cleared up. Both boys then ran into the next room where they proceeded to jump up and down on our guest bed.

After a while I joined them. I asked Gabe how his right ear was and he said fine. I asked him how his left ear was and he said fine, then went back to the business of jumping. When I asked Micah how he prayed he told me that "God gave me His playing thoughts."

Micah knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that God made us to play. Nothing could convince him otherwise. Nothing could stand in the way of that clear truth. Although my sons are much older now, I continue to draw lessons from this wonderful healing.

We are made to play. Our Father/Mother God did not make us to suffer, God made us to jump up and down. God made us in His image and likeness, perfect, whole and entire.

Play (in a very unplayful analysis) is about engagement, presentness and adventure. I once attended an educational conference on play. The speaker, Herb Brokering, started off with an umbrella, a brick and a plastic flower or some other obscure thing on the stage. It was a widely disjointed talk, at times even silly and I found myself getting irritated. But as his presentation went on, there was also something magic in what he was saying. He kept talking, weaving stories and anecdotes along the way. Toward the end, he got us all to sing a beautiful lilting tune.

He had invited us all to come to a place of playing.

There was this huge auditorium of students and professionals all singing. It was almost hushed and we were quietly happy. We were remembering what it was like to play. We were all made vulnerable a bit, being caught with one another playing. It was delightful!

Those experts of play - children - are showing us the way back to play. Mary Baker Eddy writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures:
Willingness to become as a little child and to leave the old for the new,
renders thought receptive of the advanced idea. Gladness to leave the false
landmarks and joy to see them disappear, - this disposition helps to
precipitate the ultimate harmony.
In the book of Matthew of the New Testament, Christ Jesus says,
Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is
greatest in the kingdom of heaven
So I think that playing is about dropping pretension. Play is selfless and is about the serious business of discovery. It's about being open to new possibilities, about connecting to very different things and laughing that things do connect in surprising ways. Play brings us home to who we really are. And in healing, who we really are is God's perfect and play-full child.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


Spiritual resource to share:  fresh starts

The Virtues Project was first introduced to me by one of my son's teachers.  It is a global project designed to encourage our practice of virtues, and everyday, you can have a new virtue pop up in your email. 

Today's virtue is purity.  Loving to play with synonyms of synonyms, I see that purity is also about truth, honesty, clarity.  The Virtues Project adds these characteristics to purity: keeping one's space orderly and cleaning up our mistakes, choosing responsibility over guilt.

There is something very empowering about taking responsibility for mistakes.  For instance, I was feeling badly for something I had forgotten to do for my son.  I spent some time grieving over it, feeling like a terrible mother and beating myself up with guilt.

But this aspect of purity - to take responsibility for my mistake - was a wake up call.  I immediately recognized that I made a mistake, forgave myself for it, and made the necessary changes to right the wrong.

There was a very clean feeling about it.  I felt no more guilt.  The mistake corrected, I could move on.

Purity gives us a clean slate, a fresh start.  And with that new promise, we are free to move forward.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Removing the mask and nailing the veil

Spiritual resource to share:  clarity

A song came into my head recently. One line is: "Thou Soul, inspiring - give us vision clear, break earthbound fetters, sweep away the veil....."  It got me thinking.....

A veil is a flimsy thing, easily swayed in any amount of breeze. And there are times when I feel I am seeing things through a veil. Thoughts are murky, prospects seem few, resources limited, or there seem to be too many human opinions splintering off into random directions. To this material sense of things, what is spiritually crisp and clear seems inaccessible until I can  lift this veil and see more of God's infinite design!

Fortunately, a veil has no substance. It is easy to remove. An object with a veil may have the form of that object, but the true outline and character is revealed once the veil is lifted.  Likewise with material sense – it has no substance, which means it has no ability to define us or confine us. It, too, can be easily removed and reveal the original. 

As we grow spiritually, we start seeing ourselves and others as God sees us – made in His/Her image and likeness. As we grow spiritually, we get good at nailing the veil.

veil is defined in Science and Health as a cover, concealment, hiding and hypocrisy. Here are some thoughts about what a veil is and what is revealed after the lifting of it. Feel free to add your ideas to this!
Lifting the veil of…. //To reveal God’s (and our)….
  • Frailty //Strength 
  • Decrepitude //Robust health
  • Awkwardness// Gracefulness
  • Limitation //Infinite possibilities
  • Incompleteness //Maturity
  • Fragmentation //Wholeness
  • Lack //Abundance
  • Bondage //Freedom
  • Division //United
  • Heaviness //Lightness
  • Sluggishness //Deftness
  • Drudgery //Buoyancy
  • Apathy //Empathy
  • Isolation //Interconnectedness
  • Fear //Love
  • Sadness //Spiritual identity
  • Discontent //Deep happiness, contentment