A conversation about paying attention:
“Where shall I look for Enlightenment?” the disciple asked.
“Here,” the elder said.
“When will it happen?” the disciple asked.
“It is happening right now,” the elder answered.
“Then why don’t I experience it?” the disciple persisted.
“Because you do not look,” the elder said.
“But what should I look for?” the disciple continued.
“Nothing. Just look,” the elder said.
“But at what?” the disciple asked again.
“At anything your eyes alight upon,” the elder answered.
“But must I look in a special kind of way?” the disciple went on.
“No. The ordinary way will do,” the elder said.
“But don’t I always look the ordinary way?” the disciple said.
“No, you don’t,” the elder said.
“But why ever not?” the disciple asked.
“Because to look you must be here. You are mostly somewhere else.”
in There Is A Season by Joan Chittister
The Church Mouse has blogged that this Easter we could have a Christian No.1 – History Maker by Delirious! All we have to do now is vote for it – like we did for rage against the machine. It seems that there are two Facebook pages:
I came across this prayer for Lent on Godspace…
We have chosen to fast
Not with ashes but with actions
Not with sackcloth but in sharing
Not in thoughts but in deeds
We will give up our abundance
To share our food with the hungry
We will give up our comfort
To provide homes for the destitute
We will give up our fashions
To see the naked clothed
We will share where others hoard
We will free where others oppress
We will heal where others harm
Then God’s light will break out on us
God’s healing will quickly appear
God will guide us always
God’s righteousness will go before us
We will find our joy in the Lord
We will be like a well watered garden
We will be called repairers of broken walls
Together we will feast at God’s banquet table
by Christine Sine
If you like Science Fiction, Harry Potter, Star Wars and film you’ll love this Lent course by Richard Burridge. It came out in 2000 but it is still one of the best Lent courses I have followed and meditated upon. The back cover has:
‘To boldly go where no Lent book has gone before…Faith Odyssey takes us on a journey from the ashes and sorrows to shouts of gladness, from slavery to freedom, from being lost to coming home.’
The bit I love best are the sections and they start in ‘The Mess.’ It’s brilliant and worth a try.
Ash Wednesday finished with the words from the Liturgy…
Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return.
Turn away from sin and be faithful to Christ.
This is quite true and also very funny and I’m very sorry to the author as I can’t remember where I found it…
So far today I have done all right.
I haven’t gossiped.
I haven’t lost my temper.
I haven’t been greedy, grumpy,
nasty, selfish or overindulgent.
I am very thankful for that!
But in a few minutes, Lord,
I am going to get out of this bed,
And from then on,
I’m probably going to need a lot more help.
Another poem I found along with the last one which also makes you stop and think about how you treat people….
Every time my bum gets warm
they expose it to the cold.
and when I’m slipping into sleep,
they throw me in a mould.
Sometimes my head is in the air,
sometimes it’s on the floor;
and where they put my hands and feet
I’m really not quite sure!
I love the one who picks me up
and whispers in my ear;
but all the others seem to think I’m deaf,
or just not here.
They blot me out with blackness,
and stun me with bright white.
They stick my hands in soothing slime,
then stab them so I fight.
When my body shakes and shivers,
I giggle till I cry;
But I don’t know how it happens,
and no one tells me –
by Christina Kirkman Ross.
My mother brought this poem home from work years ago. It was written by a disabled person expressing how what we do and say impacts on them. This really impacted on me many years ago that we make people feel they are unheard, not complete and second rate. How judgemental! Who are we to make another person, any human being feel this way. I couldn’t resist sharing this poem as it still has a strong message for today…
I live in a body labelled: ‘handicapped’
Stunted legs and arms askew
I live in a body I wouldn’t have chosen
But then few of us do.
People say I’m brave
As though bravery were a choice
I learned early not to scream
For mine is an unheard voice
The world is competitive
And I’m ill-equipped to compete
But I’m no less a person
Because I’m not complete
I live in a body labelled: ‘second rate’
But I feel second to none
When society knows the difference
Then my battle is won.
I’ve just reread this book and really enjoyed it – a great book of comic fiction.