Thursday, January 26, 2006

Faith in the Unknown

I have been asking questions since the day I could talk ... and I like answers to everything. My thought used to be, if I just keep asking, searching, reading ... someone, somewhere should somehow be able to answer all my questions. Lately I have been hearing another message from a few different sources. It is refreshing and helping me find a balance.

First: Audrey is a spiritual Mother to me ... she told me after the accident that she will walk with me and help me process this part of my journey. She graciously listens, she introduces me to great authors and she shares her life experience (both positive and negative) with me. Recently she has been talking about the 'mysteries' of life ... she said that there will always be mysteries, things that we will not understand or questions that we will not have answered.
Second: Out of the mouth of babes ... my big, strapping, handsome, thoughtful son. He recently shared some of his thoughts at an event with other teens. He is tired of people that feel as if they have to have an answer for everything, especially in the things that are not of this world. He feels there are some things we, as puny humans, will not have answers to. He said that believers are especially quilty of this ... talking about their 'faith' all the time and yet, wanting and/or acting as if they have all the answers. He concluded with this ... if all the answers were known, we would not need faith.

Okay, the same message from both generations around me ... now if I will listen and learn from those older and those younger. And also learn to be comfortable with "I don't know."

Sometimes it is still hard to get my mind around the fact and the ways of God. In my spirit ... yes He is real. But sometimes, He's not real in my head. Go through a typical day and life is tangible. It is real ... I see, smell, hear, feel and taste many things all day.
But there is another world that is not so tangible and not so clear ... I don't connect with it in the physical ways that I do this world. Instead it is a connection with my spirit ... a feeling within ... a sense that there is more than this ... a belief in the things not seen, heard, felt, smelled and tasted with my physical body. That belief or faith is what allows me to see God all around me, to see His fingerprints on my life, even in the mysteries.

Monday, January 23, 2006

'Fingerprints of God'

I am doing a study for 8 weeks called 'Fingerprints of God' by Jennifer Rothschild. This week is focused on God creating us as His Masterpiece and on the fact that he sees us, hears us and wants us to recognize His touch in our lives.

When God created the natural world and the animals, He spoke it all into being ... He said "Let it be" and it was. When He was ready to create mankind, He took dust from the ground and 'formed' man and then He breathed into his nostrils the 'breath or spirit' of life. With His voice, He created everything, except us ... for us, His masterpiece ... He 'touched' us. How neat is that? To think that the mighty creator of the world formed mankind into being with His hands! And now, our lives still have His fingerprints on them, we just need to recognize and receive them.

And everyone I meet is created by God's touch ... everyone has some of the 'image of God' in them. Even if they are actively denying Him, that doesn't change the fact that they were created by His touch. I need to honor everyone as a person because they are His creation, even if they don't recognize Him at this time.
Obviously, I will not agree with or like everything about everyone, so I need to learn how to disagree and yet honor at the same time ... help me, Lord.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Dripping like a Faucet

Today my limitations and pain are discouraging me. Damp, dreary weather is one factor ... the pain in my leg is more acute during such weather, but there was something else I could not quite put my finger on. Then I received an email from a dear friend and she included the following from a book she is reading ...

"Chronic illness or pain is not dramatic and some may not see it as life-threatening. Yet the very chronicity itself is like the slow dripping of a faucet. It takes joy from life, no matter if others see it as a minor irritant.
... A great loss feels as if there is a shift, like an earthquake, and you feel yourself staggering because everything is off center. Life is the same, but devastatingly not the same. Shadows are longer, people are more distant, and you can't see the sun some days. It feels as if everything is foreign. You grieve, feel sorry for self, and feel very isolated. Chronic illness or pain requires great courage." ...
'Not One Bird Stopped Singing' by JoAnn Miller

That is it ... that is what I am tired of today ... the continual dripping of the faucet of pain and limitations. I am still trying to come to terms with the fact that my physical limits and looks of my leg are here to stay. There are a part of me today and they will be a part of me tomorrow.
Lord, help me accept it all ... I need your love and strength to muffle the 'dripping.'

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

How we spend our days

How we spend our days is - of course - how we spend our lives. Annie Dillard

I guess that is true ... it is a dreary, cloudy day and when I am 95 and look back over my life I will be happy to remember that I spent as many of the dreary days as I could reading/writing with a strong cup of coffee nearby. Then ending the day with some good, hearty soup for dinner. (anyone cooking?)

I am happy to now be in my recliner with a blanket doing just that, as I spent the first half of the day helping my seventeen year old son buy his first car. He is now an official, bona-fide car owner ... he is the only one on the title and the insurance. It is a ten year old car, but he is happy with it and it is all paid with cash that he has earned over the past few years. It is an odd feeling being his mother today ... it should make him feel all mature and grown up and it is, but it is also making me feel all mature and grown up. I didn't expect that.