Friday, September 19, 2014

Put a Little Love in Your Heart

The Gift of Love

If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part; but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love. (I Corinthians, Chapter 13)

It is a funny thing the act of hearing. I have heard these words a multitude of many times that they simply skated across my mind as though being churned out on the front covers of a floridly cursive Hallmark card.

Until I read them the other day.

And each word, phrase, image walked with slow weighty confidence into my heart and stayed there...present, real, and stark with truth and experience.

These lines come afresh in the midst of a recurring challenge in my to love someone for whom I can do nothing that changes the circumstances of his life, how to love someone who has made choices informed by illness and seems to be living with less than the dignity I would wish for him.

There was no glittery penmanship this time...I heard it as a chapter of own and the freedom of those who occupy my heart and surround me.

Love is big...large...encompassing...and filled with truth...whatever that truth might be. Love is not surprised at any aspect of truth but blooms most fully in its honest company, enduring all things, bearing all things, and hoping...

And there is no one all-inclusive connection between Love and its manifestation...It does not insist on its own way except insofar as it meets the other descriptors Paul uses and Jesus lived...patient, kind, humble... The loving act might be letting someone go their own might be posing a might be asking a question or sitting in silence...making dessert or washing dishes...

For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face... I too am wounded and yet, I believe I am loved...that God bears with me and hopes, that God celebrates and challenges...that nothing can separate me from this encompassing love because I am known, I am accepted, and love never ends.

May this greatest gift be what inspires my words, my thoughts, my actions, my being...

Friday, September 5, 2014

Snapshots in Word

I have long thought of writing as another way of taking a picture...light and shadow portrayed via word choice...texture reflected in the syllables rubbing together...the invitation to enter offered in both the specificity and the expansiveness... I recently read a stunning example of this--the first section of Dylan Thomas' radio play, Under Milk Wood--and then I found this recent snapshot of thought and wanted to post it--something like a cerebral selfie in the moment?

17 August, 2014

9 East 13th Street at Joe the Art of Coffee for a cappuccino before Xavier. Had a small coffee earlier but that didn't quite cover the need for cobweb cleaning and clarity of thought.

As I rode down here on the M3, I read for a bit and also found myself simply looking out the window and breathing deeply, thinking--This is my City--City of my heart and familiar as the touch of someone who knows me well. There is room here. And, I fit. The ease of conversation with the woman getting her hair colored and set at Franco's, the exchange with the woman at Agata's when she heard me say "ciambella"-- "Oh...does it taste as beautiful as it sounded when you said that??" The side conversation with the woman at the bus stop--weather, temperature, jacket or no jacket?, what will it all mean for winter?

I keep saying 'Thank you' for knowing of a place like this--for an experience of home that IS connected firmly to a place. The Flatiron appeared in the front window of the bus and all I could do was smile and think--'There you are! It is good to see you..."

It does my being good to simply touch certain places here--as though reminding or reassuring myself of their presence, their steadfastness.



Thursday, September 4, 2014

What's in a name?

Vase of Irises against a Yellow Background by V. VanGogh

A blogging sister of mine who writes at All this Life and Heaven Too, posted the story of her blog's origin and posed the question to several of us--What's your story?

I am coming up on seven years worth of entries at Consider the Lilies...and if you would read one of the first couple of entries you'd find my own doubts as to whether I'd have enough to say to make a viable go of it! I guess time and paragraphs have answered that curiosity.

A friend of mine had a blog I admired and he had gently encouraged me to begin using this format as a way to put writing out there...I wrote anyway, I reflected anyway, I shared some of it anyway...and here was a format ready made! But, it made me nervous! Who would find it, let alone read it? Would it feel artificial? Those questions too have been kindly answered.

I chose the title because of my understanding of one word--Consider. It is a call, an invitation, a pause along the way, a thoughtful mulling, a mental and mystical picking up and turning over of a thing, a concept, an image, in order to see it from another angle and therefore come to know it more thoroughly, more intimately. I spend a lot of time doing it at the invitation of the wonder of what surrounds me and find it a fascinating path to meander.

That said, 'Consider' alone seemed it was perpetually in search of another word to accompany it on the island at the head of the screen. I do not have a special affinity for lilies...but the reference is already well known. Consider the Irises or Consider the Daffodils just didn't have the same cache, even though, florally speaking, I do favor those two.

Thus, "Consider the Lilies" came to be and has continued for these years of moves, adventures, travels, and changes in the company of God and creation.