Mystery, Wonder, Joy, Awe — Peace!

We need to keep paying attention! Mystery abounds — if only we look for it!

Moments like this happen — and they can be a jolt to remind us that Beauty and Awe and Wonder and Joy are alive and well in this world. And where they are, there can Peace be also.

But we have to notice and take the time to experience the Mysterious and the Beautiful. And then we have to use that glory to work for Peace.

The world offers us so many reasons and so much encouragement. Why not use them for good? Let’s Peace, for all the right reasons!

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Serendipitous Peace, llvl

What makes these things possible? Presence? Discipline? Sheer, unadulterated Luck? All of these? I don’t know.

I know I am humbled and grateful.

I would love to believe it’s my little village, but it’s not. Villages and Cities are filled with wonderful interesting people everywhere. It may be true that it’s easier to see one another in small towns… I can believe that. And I don’t know that it matters.

I’m here and for whatever reasons, I’m connected to amazing people. People who when we notice that children are hungry step up. I’m grateful every day for the team I get to work with. Caring people and very, very smart. And not just smart, but  ingenious. There we are… making things happen. Things that need to happen. Things that matter. You don’t have to be the best at what you are, what you dream… you do need to be disciplined and consistent. You do need to be, dare I say it, earnest about your dreams and your determination. Earnestness translates; it sells. And selling is what we’re doing.

No one is going to feed hungry children unless you offer them the opportunity and give them a place to pay. It’s that simple… I didn’t always understand that, but there it is.

I believe fervently that we can do work that makes our hearts explode in our chests wherever we are. Yes, sometimes it’s that overwhelming. Yesterday was one of them. I adore this artist. If you’ve followed my work, you’ve adored her as well… She’s the woman who did the Peace mandalas for last year’s musings. A wonderful artist. She lives here. We show up at the same events — last night at Steve’s Musical Mash-up. She’d been there last week and we’d talked about mandalas, about the LOVE project, about doing a project together. We brainstormed words and phrases (while listening to our neighbors play astonishing music).

And then this week she came back. She’d played with words and found three that work. She taught me how to look into her designs and then she told me how her designs move. In and out; around. The designs are gorgeous and her explanations completely germane to the work we are doing. And so we will go to work… And this will be one more way to step up, to be socially active, to feed children… and one more way to think about what matters. And for us, it will be one more way to use our arts… to explore them… to apply them… to collaborate… for good, for community, for Peace.

Oh may your lives be this joyous and filled with magic! I am awed and grateful that mine is.

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Sacred Acts of Peace, LLVL

I sometimes need reminders that Life is a sacred endeavor. I’ve chosen to use capitals to help me remember things I might pay attention to and in the paying of attention, cherish.

If I hold my Work as sacred, not just routine, I pay attention and I do it. People might say, well, sure, you’re a minister, when you stand by a deathbed, that’s sacred. And that’s so true. but sometimes you’re frightened or tired or… and you need to remember…

But ministry is not made up of only sublime moments. There are the things that need slogging through as in any job.

And ministers lead very mundane lives as well. Someone has got to go to the store, wash the dishes, order the fuel oil. And as long as I’ve been doing it, I’ve noticed that the wash never gets done on its own, darnit.

All of those things can be done with reverence. I’m lucky enough to be able to buy fuel, the dishes I use are family heirlooms and I love fabric and clothes, so doing the wash helps me remember all the wonderful clothes I get to choose from when I go to the closet. (I’d say colors, but you know me, I only wear red and black! but hey, some of my red is wine colored!)

Today, I’ll trudge carefully through my snowy neighborhood to meet my friend at our local coffee house and we’ll work together on our separate jobs. Communion on a Monday morning.

By noticing life’s sweetness and allowing it to be important, I pay attention. And you may wonder, indeed I do, who am I to natter on about Peace, but if we don’t talk about it, don’t hold it as sacred, we don’t do the little things that begin to pile up into a sizable mound of acts that move us down the Peace Road.

So Peace, my friends. Consider which words and actions are sacred in your life. Consider elevating them in importance. See if you pay attention differently. Honor Peace. make it central in your life and begin to examine what isn’t leading toward that exalted end. Celebrate the Awe. It makes life so much more exciting.

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Share the Joy for Advent Peace

Sharing the Joy… and most specifically my joy in you and all you can do.

When I stop and think about my life, I’m astonished to realize how many wonderful people I know and encounter. Sure there are those, who, shall we say, fail to live up to their potential. But then, if I look in the other direction, there are hosts of people who are quite lovely and filled with talents and gifts that they’re quietly realizing.

It’s a lot about where we put our energy and our focus isn’t it?

And if I’m looking at you with awe and wonder, why would I fail to share that with the world? Because if I can help them take a wonder-filled work, and they can help others, pretty soon Peace will begin to break out.

So try it — notice how grand a couple people are and then share that with them and with the world. Fill up with joy and let it bubble over. Share the Joy. Live for Peace. The holidays are hard enough with all the frenzy. Give your self a chance to count some blessings and get centered in how abundant your life — and the world — really is, and, then, celebrate!

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Handwashing Peace

With all the cavalier decisions being made by politicians recently, all the violence in public and private, I’ve been feeling we’ve really missed the point. Life is sacred. and we’re treating it as if it were nothing. We’ve forgotten the awe. We’ve forgotten our responsibility to that awe.

Life is brief and beautiful. And when we touch it, we should do so with reverence. Creation is an astonishing gift, however you believe it came about and whatever/whoever you believe was the genesis of that beauty. It too needs our care and respect.

And if our world-weary hands are soiled with greed and anger and disdain, we must wash them… and begin again. I’ve always believed the notion of baptism had it backward. Babies, new things are precious and sweet… it is we who must get busy with the soap and water before taking life into our embrace.

We’d all like to point at the other and relieve ourselves of responsibility by proclaiming it is they who besmirch Life and Creation. But, if we’re honest, we all have responsibilities we’ve been shirking. All have satisfactions we’ve been harboring about our righteousness. But if people are without what they need; if Creation is being despoiled…  we cannot point fingers. We must roll up our sleeves, pour living water from the ewer into the basin, wash our hands (and cleanse our hearts) and set to work with a will. Because, whether you believe this quote is by the Hopi Elders or June Jordan, we are the ones we have been waiting for. Others are waiting for us as well. So, lets get busy.

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