Lord of pots and pans

Lord of all pots and pans and things,

Since I’ve no time to be a saint by doing lovely things,

Or watching late with Thee,

Or dreaming in the dawn-light, or storming Heaven’s gates,

Make me a saint by getting meals

And washing up the plates.

Although I must have Martha’s hands, I have a Mary mind,

And when I black the boots and shoes,

Thy sandals, Lord, I find.

I think of how they trod the earth,

What time I scrub the floor:

Accept this meditation, Lord, I haven’t time for more.

Warm all the kitchen with Thy love,

And light it with Thy peace;

Forgive me all my worrying, and make my grumbling cease.

Thou who didst love to give men food,

In room or by the sea,

Accept this service that I do — I do it unto Thee.

–Cecily Halleck

Published in: on 11/21/2011 at 7:29  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,

Let’s get on with life

Some time ago, my friend Brenda flew to Chicago for a visit with her daughter’s family, and especially with her granddaughter, Charity. Charity is five years old—a plump, cute, highly verbal little girl. Charity’s paternal grandmother had been visiting the previous week. She is a devout woman who takes her spiritual grandmothering duties very seriously, and she had just left.

That morning after Brenda’s arrival, Charity came into her grandmother’s bedroom at five o’clock, crawled into bed, and said, “Grandmother, let’s not have any Godtalk, okay? I believe God is everywhere. Let’s just get on with life.”

I like Charity. I think she is on to something.

“Let’s get on with life” can serve as a kind of subtext for our pursuit of spiritual formation and how easily and frequently the spiritual gets disconnected from our actual daily lives, leaving us with empty Godtalk. It’s not that the Godtalk is untrue, but when it is disconnected from the ordinary behaviour and conversation that make up the fabric of our lives, the truth leaks out. A phrase from Psalm 116:9 “I walk before the Lord in the land of the living”—clears the ground and gives some perspective on Charity and “let’s just get on with life.”

–Eugene Peterson

Bringing every part of ourselves

The Psalms defy our notions of profane and sacred, proving that everything we feel, witness, do unto others, and have done to us is acceptable subject matter for conversing with the Divine. They invite us to bring every part of ourselves into our houses of worship. If we omit expressions of faith lost, of rage, of disdain, and of the desire for revenge, we leave parts of ourselves at the door.

–Kari Jo Verhulst

Published in: on 11/16/2011 at 8:38  Leave a Comment  

All of life is sacred

Must we then have strange music… unlike the world’s music, and a special language with an imagery that illuminates the minds only of the religious? Or dare we do what our Lord did, and see the Name hallowed in all life that is real and honest and good? Indeed, it was a scandal to the religious men of Jesus’ day when they saw what He did with sacred things. With Jesus all life was sacred and nothing was profane until sin entered in. And so it was that the word “common,” which used to mean profane and unclean, became the New-Testament word for the Communion of Saints and for the fellowship of the Holy Spirit.

–Howard Hewlett Clark 

The apparent dichotomy

Is God absent when I play Scrabble, get a haircut, toss a Frisbee, make love, vote, walk the dog, see a movie, make a living, wash the car, or bury my nose in a pint of Ben & Jerry’s? While baking a cake, do I have to listen to a tape of Gordon MacDonald to feel that I am pleasing God? The apparent dichotomy, engineered by the prince of darkness, between spiritual life and the quotidian, often mundane activities that consitute the woof and warp of life banish Jesus within us to the savannahs of heaven. The journey becomes prosaic rather than poetic, speech rather than song, and tangibles, visibles, and perishables become an adequate substitute for Paul’s ringing affirmation, “Life to me . . . is Christ” (Phillippians 1:21).

–Brennan Manning

%d bloggers like this: