Becoming Holy Ground

Barnstorming

It can happen like that:
meeting at the market,
buying tires amid the smell
of rubber, the grating sound
of jack hammers and drills,
anywhere we share stories,
and grace flows between us.

  
The tire center waiting room
becomes a healing place
as one speaks of her husband’s
heart valve replacement, bedsores
from complications. A man
speaks of multiple surgeries,
notes his false appearance
as strong and healthy.

 
I share my sister’s death
from breast cancer, her
youngest only seven.
A woman rises, gives
her name, Mrs. Henry,
then takes my hand.
Suddenly an ordinary day
becomes holy ground.
~ Stella Nesanovich, “Everyday Grace,” from Third Wednesday

The only use of a knowledge of the past is to equip us for the present. The present contains all that there is. It is holy ground; for it is the past, and it is the future.
~Alfred North Whitehead

It matters…

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We Are No Longer Alone: The Wild Hope

Barnstorming

What keeps the wild hope of Christmas alive year after year in a world notorious for dashing all hopes is the haunting dream that the child who was born that day may yet be born again even in us and our own snowbound, snowblind longing for him.
~Frederick Buechner from Secrets in the Dark

With the turn toward winter
is the disappearance of the familiar world,
of all that grows and thrives,
of color and freshness,
of hope in survival.
Then there comes a moment of softness amid the bleak,
a gift of grace and beauty,
a glance of sunlight on a snowy hillside,
a covering of low cloud puffs in the valley,
a moon lit landscape,
and I know the known world is still within my grasp
because you have hold of me.

Heaven could not hold God. It is beyond my wildest hope He chose to dwell here…

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Hope means hoping when things are hopeless

Witnesses to Hope

Advent and the little girl, Hope

Hope means hoping when things are hopeless, or it is no virtue at all.”

– G.K. Chesterton

It looked unquestionably bleak.

In a matter of two weeks, the Nazis had roared through Luxembourg, crushed the Netherlands, marauded through Belgium and blitzed deeply into France. The French Army and British Expeditionary Force found themselves pressed onto the beaches of Dunkirk with their backs to the unforgiving waters of the English Channel. The Americans across the Atlantic made it very clear that they wouldn’t send their boys to any foreign wars. And Great Britain looked increasingly alone.

But as the grim events inexorably unfolded, the bulldogish Prime Minister Winston Churchill made it clear to his Cabinet: There would be no surrender. In the darkness of those days – days which anticipated the Blitz of screaming bomber attacks on…

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For those who are grieving or suffering loss during Advent

Witnesses to Hope

Today’s post is a reflection on today’s first reading from the book of Judges.  It is the story of Manoah and his wife who was barren.  By the message of an angel and the grace of God, they became the parents of Samson.  This story is obviously a foreshadowing of the Gospel story that follows of Zechariah and Elizabeth.  Listen to what Kathleen Norris has to say:

Today our readings ask us to reflect on a mystery:when our lives are most barren, when possibilities are cruelly limited, and despair takes hold, when we feel most keenly the emptiness of life–it is then that God comes close to us.  This is a day for those who are grieving or suffering loss during Advent, lamenting that just as we are suffering, and need to weep, the world force-feeds us merriment and cheer.  But we are not without hope, for it is…

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“Mary-darkness, faith’s walled place”

Witnesses to Hope

This Sunday’s poem is one by Jessica Powers, written in 1948:

Advent

I live my Advent in the womb of Mary.
And on one night when a great star swings free
from its high mooring and walks down the sky
to be the dot above the Christus i,
I shall be born of her by blessed grace.
I wait in Mary-darkness, faith’s walled place,
with hope’s expectance of nativity.

I knew for long she carried me and fed me,
guarded and loved me, though I could not see.
But only now, with inward jubilee,
I come upon earth’s most amazing knowledge:
someone is hidden in this dark with me.

               ~Jessica Powers, The Selected Poetry of Jessica Powers, p. 81.

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