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Apr 15 21

Darkness now, then light

by davesandel

Thursday, April 15, 2021       (today’s lectionary)

Darkness now, then light

­­­­The Father loves the Son and has given everything over to him. He does not ration his gift of the Spirit.

Deep in the Frio Canyon, in the center of the HEB Foundation Camp, I found a plaque:

There shall be the Church and the World

And the heart of Man shivering and fluttering between them,

Choosing and chosen.

Valiant, ignoble, dark and full of light

Swinging between Hell Gate and Heaven Gate

And the Gates of Hell shall not prevail.

Darkness now, then light.

– Thomas Stearns Eliot

Look up from the depths down by the riverside, look right up at the big wonderful, at the blue blue sky. Down in the valley, when the sun rises and sets, shadows fall long and hard across our paths, but then … just look up!

The one who comes from above is above all. The one who comes from heaven is above all. The one whom God sent speaks the words of God.

Peter and John have been in trouble for several lectionary days now.

We gave you strict orders, did we not, to stop teaching in that name. Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching! Peter answered, “We must obey God rather than men.”

Those high priests can’t keep their grubby hands off our heroes. In jail, out of jail, in court, out of court, but Peter’s story stays the same. Nothing gets him off message.

The God of our ancestors raised Jesus, though you had him killed by hanging him on a tree. Then God exalted him at his right hand as leader and savior.

“There shall be the church and the world,” T. S. Eliot wrote. And how should we then live? “The heart of man shivering and fluttering between them.” Can I trust you God to care for me, can I believe you will not leave me hanging? I am afraid of you, and I am afraid of the future, but truth be told, I am most afraid of myself.

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted. Many are the troubles of the just man, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.

But I am not just. I am no more “just” than anybody else. But even if we are not just, we all need you, Lord. We are all of us, as time passes, brokenhearted. “Valiant, ignoble, dark” we are. I do not trust my heart or my mind or my will to approach you and pretend to be something I am not.

“Choosing and chosen.” Again, I feel so small, incomplete, inadequate. My choosing lasts but a moment, but the fact of your choosing me lasts a lifetime. I am “valiant,” you say? Will you hold me up, stand me up against the forces of evil in this dark world? Then I will truly be “full of light.”

The gates of heaven draw me like a moth to light. But the gates of hell call out like black birds screeching in the wind, “You are not worthy. You must pay the price of your disobedience. You must be punished. You deserve to be condemned. And you are.”

Oh, yes, I say. All of this is true. Except … that last little bit. Because I am not condemned. God is good all the time, even and especially when I am not. There is no getting around the love of God.

Darkness now, then light.

(Acts 5, Psalm 34, John 20, John 3)

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Apr 14 21

Tell all the truth but tell it slant

by davesandel

Wednesday, April 14, 2021    (today’s lectionary)

Tell all the truth but tell it slant

Light came into the world, but people preferred darkness to light, because their works were evil. Everyone who does wicked things hates the light.

I imagine J. K. Rowling, who wrote the Harry Potter books, writing the stories of Jesus. She knows life is full of unfair suffering, and she wrote this truth into her stories of boys and girls growing up into that life. She could also have written those things about Jesus.

During the night the angel of the Lord opened the doors of the prison, led Peter and John out and said, “Go and tell the people everything.”

In her fourth Potter book, Goblet of Fire, Harry rescues some of his classmates from death, but then is forced to watch one of them being killed. He stands up to Voldemort, the evil wizard who killed him. As the stories move along, Harry reminds me more of Jesus. His headmaster Dumbledore speaks to him after the awful events when his classmate Cedric is killed:

“Harry, if I thought I could help you by putting you into an enchanted sleep and allowing you to postpone the moment when you would have to think about what has happened tonight, I would do it. But I know better. Numbing the pain for a while will make it worse when you finally feel it. You have shown bravery beyond anything I could have expected of you. I ask you to demonstrate your courage one more time. I ask you to tell us what happened.”

And Harry told his story. He demonstrated his courage “one more time.” I imagine Abba Father asking Jesus to tell his story in those three days after his crucifixion.

I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall be ever in my mouth. Look to him that you may be radiant with joy.

My friend Dan, who creates “legacy videos” of the lives of men and women, says the best videos are laced with tangled, dark threads. Nobody’s life is a rose garden. Why we pretend to others that thing are perfect all the time remains to me a sad mystery. Denial and pride carry us quickly away from truth. We need not avoid the mysteries of suffering.

Colonel Jessup, in A Few Good Men, looked ugly and insane when he told Tom Hanks, “You can’t handle the truth!” Saliva dripped from his mouth. His eyes were wild.

And he was wrong.

The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them. O taste and see that the Lord is good.

There is no hurry, and of course hard stories need not be told abruptly or indelicately. But we can handle anything, just not all at once. Emily Dickinson is right when she says, “Tell all the truth but tell it slant … too bright for our infirm Delight … the Truth must dazzle gradually or every man be blind.” God’s truth comes out in the telling.

(Acts 5, Psalm 34, John 3)

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Apr 13 21

Haiku for every day of March 2021

by davesandel

Haiku for every day of March 2021

Monday, March 1

Our water is turned on!

Do I dare to eat a peach?

Shower? Dishes? Clothes?

March 2

Houseboat: cigars, beer

Sausage, talk, prayers together

Just boys … wild at heart

March 3

Wild happy Jasper

Flying hair, flying body

Down the curling slide

March 4

Love em and leave em

But we miss you when you’re gone!

Grandparents learning

March 5

Installed 6 way plug

Some confusion with our tools

Partly worked it out

 March 6

Blanton with Andi

P Terry burgers, fries, shakes

Gorgeous sunny day

Sunday, March 7

Solomon’s wisdom

When life turns ugly, do good

Live my “lot” in life

March 8

Google maps and earth

Miles flies to Marc’s then to Chris

Illinois heaven

March 9

Leaving Austin spring

For cold March in Illinois

What are we thinking?

 March 10

Covid letting up?

We plan to see so many

Friends on this short trip

 March 11

Murray friends, Calls’ bed

Bill, Larry, Sherry and us

Around the table

 March 12

Pam came to see us

Evansville, Dorothy, Kay

Packed lots in one day

 March 13

Dewig butcher’s beef

Fill the car, 300 pounds

On this fine spring day

Sunday, March 14

Corned beef and cabbage

With Mom, St. Patrick’s Day

Facetime with Elim (Christian & Adrienne Sandel’s almost 6 month old)

March 15

Sweet time, Jack, Aly

Playing spades, take turns driving

Try to catch the wave

March 16

Back in the saddle

Urbana welcomes us home

House, warm and cozy

March 17

Covid shot today

Walgreens, second in four weeks

Thank you, Illinois

March 18

Ultra-sounds, cat scan

Circulation in my legs

But everything’s fine

March 19

Island Number 10

New Madrid’s short Civil War

River runs so wide

March 20

Early morning hike

Through Hot Springs National Park

Blue skies shine on me

Sunday, March 21

With grandkids, just me

Miles, Jasper want to play

That’s OK with me!

 March 22

Steep mountain lane – honk!

Church camp lodge, down river road

Laity Lodge peace

March 23

My border crossing

Frightened me, I felt so watched

Can I close my eyes?

March 24

Desert Air Motel

Ranch House, Z-Bar Trading Co.

Sanderson, Texas

March 25

Sleeping, hatchback floor

Almost trapped by child locks

Twenty-eight degrees

March 26

New friend – Sonora

Afternoon conversation

Shake off road silence

March 27

West Texas, last day

Today, Marg is flying home

Meeting for a kiss

Sunday, March 28

Construction with Miles

Margaret has a fever

Waiting till morning

March 29

Junior rangers

Eat Mexican tortillas

Blow bubbles all day

March 30

lunch with Houseboat friend

P Terry’s, Tanglewood Park

Such sweet fellowship

March 31

Screaming tornadoes

Tumble down inside the box

Pillows everywhere!

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Apr 12 21

Canyon whispers

by davesandel

Monday, April 12, 2021         (today’s lectionary)

Canyon whispers

The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.

Jesus’ words to Nicodemus in the dead of night lifted the old Pharisee’s spirit and fed his soul. They feed mine today. Yesterday, before I head off to Illinois again, I read Echoes, the H E Butts Foundation newsletter, and remembered my trip down the mountain into Frio Canyon and the HEB Foundation’s Laity Lodge near Kerrville, Texas.

Like many Christian camps, they closed up last year because of the pandemic. They are opening again this year, but just as in the rest of Texas, a Valentine’s Day ice storm slowed things down. In his fifteen years as senior director of canyon operations, Carlos Navarro had only seen a light dusting of snow, until 2021’s foot of snow and several inches of ice.

The ice was melted when I visited in March. I wasn’t allowed to stay long, since I hadn’t worked through any of their pandemic protocols, but in just an hour I found a couple of new friends and felt the draw into what campers call The Canyon. Rudy in his big hat and high pickup truck told me to turn left and drive on down the river in my Prius. “Just stay on this side of the river markers, and you’ll be fine.”

No one can do these signs that you are doing unless God is with him.

Closed minds, callous indifference to others, and stubborn egotistic self-righteousness fill books about Texan history, American history, my history … and I’ve been reading too much.

Why do the nations rage and the people utter folly? The kings of the earth rise up, and the princes conspire together against the Lord.

But in the Canyon I forgot to be angry and forgot to grieve. I was at home. A teacher at one of the countless programs at the camp said, “Nature is not retaliatory. If I spit on the ground, the ground doesn’t say, ‘Hey, don’t do that!’ It just continues to be a place where things grow.”

Now, Lord, enable your servants to speak your word with all boldness as you stretch forth your hand to heal in the name of your holy servant Jesus.”

Headlines in the Foundation’s newsletter quiet my emotions now, as I remember the sound of my tires rolling across the rocks. “The Canyon is Calling.” “Little Tweaks, Big Impact.” And especially the story about Crystal Tamez, a San Antonio muralist who “preserves history and community on the walls of San Antonio’s West Side.”

After a young man was killed, the community was up in arms, caught in one of the endless wars of retribution that mark racial conflict everywhere. “So we decided to do a mural that was calling for peace.” Crystal was 13 years old then, in 2001. When the mural needed updating last year, she found several 13 year olds (or so) to refresh the mural, called “Peace and Remembrance.”

In 2012 Margaret and I visited the San Antonio missions, and drove by a mural celebrating a century of Hispanic culture. It was painted on the back wall of a Best Mart. We got lucky, nobody was parked in front of the mural at the time. We had just left Mission Espada, where jugs of dust reminded us in four languages of our source.

So beautiful, this music of peace and remembrance, mixed with the music of the Canyon. Lord, make me a place where things grow, make me an instrument of thy peace. It’s from your dust I came, and to your dust I will return.

(Acts 4, Psalm 2, Colossians 3, John 3)

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Apr 11 21

Following Thomas

by davesandel

Second Sunday of Easter, April 11, 2021      (today’s lectionary)

Sunday of Divine Mercy

Following Thomas

I was hard pressed and was falling, but the Lord helped me. He has been my savior. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.

What was Thomas doing while the other disciples huddled together? Did he have a second job? Was his family in need? Or maybe he was just out for a walk when Jesus appeared the first time. None of those reasons make much sense.

But he was gone. And so Thomas was set up perfectly to disbelieve. None of the other disciples believed any of the stories they had heard, at least not out loud. Late at night, sleeping into the dawn, I think their imaginations would have been more alive, and at least until they gathered together again, they would wait with baited breath to see their risen Master. Alone late at night they could believe in spite of themselves.

By the Lord has this been done. This is the day the Lord has made.

Thomas believed that Jesus would die, and he was loyal to his friend. “Let us also go to Jerusalem, that we may die with him” (John 11:16) But he couldn’t believe that he was alive again, not just raised from the dead and not just reborn spiritually, but reborn physically. Who could believe that?

Whoever is begotten by God conquers the world, and the victory that conquers the world is our faith.

All the disciples went into all the world, but Thomas went further than any of them, to India and perhaps China.  Twenty years after Jesus’ resurrection, Thomas labored day after day up roads from the western coast in southern India, founding churches. Twenty years more and there are testimonies of his death by martyrdom. He would always remember the words of Jesus.

Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe.

Jesus looked Thomas right in the eye.

Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.

Jesus showed his disappointment, yes, but nothing would get in the way of his encouragement. His disciples left for the corners of the globe knowing the mercy and grace of their leader, poured out on them through the Holy Spirit. Each of them lost track of his own ego, each of them began living his own life of mercy and grace. God so loved the world.

The community of believers was of one heart and mind. No one claimed any possessions for their own but they kept everything in common. There were no needy persons among them, and great power and great favor was poured upon them all.

(Acts 4, Psalm 118, 1 John 5, John 20)

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Apr 10 21

Tangled threads

by davesandel

Saturday in the Octave of Easter, April 10, 2021                  (today’s lectionary)

Tangled threads

The leaders recognized Peter and John. They knew they were uneducated, ordinary men, and they were the companions of Jesus.

I am caught, on this beautiful spring morning in central Texas, reading compelling stories about life in the face of death. John Prine wrote songs that more than pushed up against poetry –  they were poetry. The Felician sisters in Livonia, Michigan lived their lives far beyond those last moments when they were laid down on their convent’s bedroom floors, unable to breathe. The sadness and questions in those left, along with their occasional relapses into strange, punitive theologies, are all overcome by life.

My strength and my courage is the Lord, and he has been my savior. I hear the joyful shout of victory in the tents. I will give thanks to you, for you have answered me.

There are always memories, of course. This morning’s news stories are laced with beautiful reflections of “back then.” But today, in this moment of Now, I have not just memories but inspiration. As I think back, I know that so often I do what I do now because of what my Aunt Mary, or my mom, or my dad or grandpa, or my mentor Al did … then.

I’ve been down this road before

I remember every tree

Every single blade of grass

Holds a special place for me

And I remember every town

And every hotel room

Every song I ever sang

On a guitar out of tune

 – from John Prine’s last recorded song, “I Remember Everything”

On days when Miles and Jasper walk in our front door my quiet reflections fade, carried off by their shouts of exultation and joy. “Here we are! We’re so happy to be with you! Let’s set up the tent! Let’s make strawberry shortcake!”

After they settle a little, we “circle” (or try to) and sing today’s favorite song. We clap our hands through the calendar days until we get to today. Jasper puts a sticker on this day’s calendar square. Margaret gives us a choice: we can talk about one of God’s names, or do a calisthenic.

Then the fun begins. There’s never any hurry, exactly, although Miles wants to do everything right now. Usually, we turn the corner every few minutes to head down another road into yet another intersection. Which way should we go? See the smiles on their faces and the sparkling eyes? It doesn’t matter! Let’s just pick one!

Yesterday the kiddos didn’t come, and Margaret and I made a short pilgrimage to the Texas State Cemetery. Central in the cemetery is a statue of Stephen F. Austin, standing high in the air, his right arm raised to the east in blessing. On the way to the cemetery we stopped at Treaty Oak Square on Baylor Street, where under a 500 year old live oak tree, Mr. Austin signed a treaty with local Native Americans, hoping to stop the conflicts between his settlers and the tribes who had lived here for a very long time.

Arborists estimate the tree was already 100 years old when Columbus found Caribbean land in 1492. But in 1989, the tree was deliberately poisoned by a vandal. The amount of Velpar he poured on its roots should have killed 100 trees, but this one didn’t die. It clung to life then and continues to grow. It has begun to produce acorns again.

No longer majestic, the Treaty Oak’s beauty is deeper now. City construction noises surrounded us, but I knew I could also hear history, distant music from peace pipes and fiddles, sounds of men and women slowly learning to live fairly together.

You know that old trees just grow stronger

And old rivers grow wilder every day

Old people just grow lonesome

Waiting for someone to say, “Hello in there, hello” (John Prine)

 After leaving the cemetery we found a new food truck named “Distant Relatives,” chef Damien Brockley’s labor of love. After leaving his mark on fine restaurants in Boston, San Francisco and Austin, Damien now chooses to spends his time smoking meat and creating sides like sweet potato mousse and green papaya slaw in a trailer next to Leal’s Tire Shop, honoring his heritage.

Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene and she told his companions. They did not believe. Jesus walked with two of his disciples along their way to the country. They told the others, and they did not believe. Then Jesus appeared to the eleven at dinner and rebuked them for their unbelief. Then he told them, “Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.”

Damien’s food was incredible. We took our time eating, listening for Paradise, savoring the tangle of our own life’s threads with so many others, now and then.

(Acts 4, Psalm 118, John 21)

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Apr 9 21

Coming to the light

by davesandel

Friday in the Octave of Easter, April 9, 2021                        (today’s lectionary)

Coming to the light

After they healed the crippled man, the Sadducees confronted Peter and John, disturbed. They laid hands on them and arrested them. But many of those who heard Peter came to believe.

What does the old guard do when young people and new ideas confront them? Bob Dylan sang “The Times They Are A-Changin.” Established citizens resist the influence of the less-established. Equality is sacrificed for the sake of freedom, or perhaps just the protection of the already free, already successful.

Henrik Ibsen wrote “Ghosts” in 1882 when he 54, a de facto member himself of the Norwegian old guard. In Act 2 he wrote:

I almost think we’re all of us Ghosts … It’s not only what we have invited from our father and mother that walks in us. It’s all sorts of dead ideas, and lifeless old beliefs, and so forth. They have no vitality, but they cling to us all the same, and we can’t get rid of them. Whenever I take up a newspaper, I seem to see Ghosts gliding between the lines. There must be Ghosts all the country over, as thick as the sand of the sea. And then we are, one and all, so pitifully afraid of the light.

Pitifully afraid of the light. Ibsen knew he was not much different than those he wrote about. We are, all of us, pitifully afraid of the light. But some voices break through, or need to break through.

Peter said to the court, “There is no salvation through anyone but Jesus, nor is there any other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved.”

This was revolutionary language in the first century, and Peter’s listeners were definitely not interested in revolution. They had settled in to their comfortable seats and, like all of us, expected to be there forever. Who dies? Surely not me. Everyone else might die, but if I just close my eyes, I can sit here forever.

The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. By the Lord has this been done. And THIS is the day that Lord has made.

Thank God he opens my eyes. I close them again, but he opens them again. My myopia is of no concern to my Father, my Mother, who opens my eyes again and again, gently but firmly helping me see that I am a child, not a god. God made me to be creative, but not to recreate myself in images alien to his. Can dust be creative? Yes, but it will always be dust.

Jesus revealed himself again.

I never get this story at the end of John’s gospel out of my head. It is vivid, and I hear it personally. Peter, perhaps depressed and despairing after his betrayals of Jesus, went fishing, but his friends refused to let him fish alone. Then all night they caught nothing. Approaching the shore a stranger unexpectedly shouted out to them, “Throw your net over the other side of the boat!” Resisting his know-it-allness, Peter did just that, and immediately fish were jumping everywhere. The net was too full to retrieve into the boat.

Even then, Peter didn’t recognize Jesus. But John did, and in a release of pent-up anxiety Peter ran up through the surf to where Jesus stood. No more walking on water for Peter. His humility was growing new layers every day.

Simon Peter dragged the net ashore full of 153 large fish. “Come and have breakfast,” Jesus said.

Previously Jesus asked them, “Do you have any fish?” They gave him some. Now he returned the favor. And in the next scene, he restores Peter’s confidence and inspires his loyalty forever.

Ibsen said of his play, “It seemed to me that the time had come for moving some boundary posts.” When is it NOT time, actually? You could say boundaries are always intended to be temporary, erased every 49 years during the year of Jubilee. What should be left after those erasures should always be what Peter experienced that day sitting beside the fire with Jesus – purified heart, cleansed conscience, humble obedience, joy in Jesus and never myself, and deep, everlasting peace.

(Acts 4, Psalm 118, John 21)

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Apr 8 21

Mortar and pestle

by davesandel

Thursday in the Octave of Easter, April 8, 2021       (today’s lectionary)

Mortar and pestle

The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus, whom you handed over and denied in Pilate’s presence, when he had decided to release him. You put to death the author of life.

On my desk in front of me is a mortar and pestle. It’s black, and as yet unused. The stories of Holy Week, that week of passion, fear and grief, grind themselves into me. They have ground themselves into the skin and the souls of Christ-followers for centuries. We want to be there, so we travel to Jerusalem and walk the Via Dolorosa. We kneel before the Stations of the Cross in Catholic, Episcopal, Anglican and Orthodox churches around the world. We pray before each station, and imagine ourselves into the story.

While they were still speaking of his appearance on the road to Emmaus, Jesus stood in their midst. He said, “Peace be with you,” but they thought they were seeing a ghost.

As the service at St. Vincent’s neared midnight, my friend, whose feet were washed on Thursday night and who sang the sixth psalm during Saturday’s Easter Vigil, closed her eyes, rocked back and forth, and felt just like she was there. Jesus, will you wash my feet? Can we sing and sing and wait until the moment when the rock will be rolled away? Of course we can, and Jesus will be singing with us, Jesus will be waiting with us.

Why are you troubled? Why do questions arise in your hearts? It is I, myself. Touch me and see.

Even now, a few days into the Octave of Easter, I feel no hurry to leave the gardens, or the secret rooms, or even the tomb itself. We can read the psalms and the prophecies of Isaiah and the other prophets, and know that this very day, Our Day, is the day that the Lord has made. Time changes its tone, the “fullness of time” completes its work, as we close our eyes, rock back and forth, and whisper to our Lord Jesus Christ.

Jesus opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day. You are witnesses of these things.

I have been reading about the desert, and its effect on spiritual travelers. The sand dunes are often anchored only by bare scrub sagebrush, and the winds blow the dunes into shape after shape. There is nothing to hold onto here. In the wind-blown sand you can only be still, breathe as best you can through your mask, and watch for Jesus.

Have you anything here to eat? Then his disciples gave Jesus a piece of baked fish, which he took and ate in front of them.

The hot winds grind me into the side of a dune. But as the sun begins to set, I know the wind will die and in the black dark sky the stars will burst and sing. The air will cool and finally become cold.

And then God made the stars. He set them in the dome of the sky, to shed light upon the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. God saw how good it was. And so it happened. Evening came, and morning followed.

I rustle among the burning branches of my tiny fire. Its exquisite coals glow red and yellow-orange in the dark. In an hour I’ll be able to see my breath.

But in a moment of deciding, I do not wait. I open the door of my tent, crawl inside, and rock back and forth, back and forth. Grateful, I close my eyes. How close, how close you are right now, dear Jesus.

O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth. But what is man, that you should be mindful of him, or the son of man, that you should care for him?

(Acts 3, Psalm 8, Psalm 118, Luke 24)

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Apr 7 21

Blowing in the wind

by davesandel

Wednesday in the Octave of Easter, April 7, 2021               (today’s lectionary)

Blowing in the wind

Some days, and yesterday was one of them, I feel like a curmudgeon. Like a sloth rising slowly from the sand beside its lake. Like an aging fern, brown around the edges and getting softer in the middle by the day.

A man crippled from birth was carried and placed at the gate of the temple to beg for alms. He asked Peter and John for alms, but they said to him, “Look at us.”

On those restless days I’m impatient with my body, with its aches and physical complaints that I think any day could turn into a serious calamity. I’m impatient with my grandkids, with the mud they stir up, with their laughter which is too loud, with their insistence that I be my normal, adventurous self. But I guess I can’t expect them to see inside my soul.

The crippled man did pay attention to them and Peter said, “Silver and gold have I none, but such as I have, I give you. In the name of Jesus, rise up and walk!” Then Peter took him by the right hand and raised him up.

I don’t expect, on those days, to feel at home anywhere I go, and therefore I don’t. And in fact, whatever counts as “home” is less a place to play than a place to rest, and even more a place to pray. My mind spins me around with possible scenarios of catastrophe. I wonder if anything that happens in our counseling sessions has value to anyone. The words that come to me feel soft and soggy, my ears feel plugged so I listen but hear little, my prayers are the same every time. What am I even doing, I wonder? On those days.

Look to the Lord in his strength, and seek to serve him constantly. He does not forget his covenant.

I ask Margaret about her conversations, and if her friends and family do much complaining. I complain about everyone else’s complaining, of course. On those particular days I don’t do much else. I would like to close my eyes and sleep, but I worry that everything will be the same when I wake up. Solomon’s resignation rests heavy upon me, and I think it would be good for me to read those last few chapters of Ecclesiastes soon … and very soon.

They urged Jesus, “Stay with us, for the day is nearly over.” And while he was with them eating, he took bread and blessed it, and with that their eyes were opened.”

As Easter continues into its “octave” and I fall out upon the road to Emmaus, I sorely need a meal with Jesus. The emotions and peace I felt last week as Easter approached have blown away and been replaced with dust and wind. In fact Del Rio, the lovely south Texas town I visited two weeks ago, is baking today at 103 degrees. My soul is burning in the sun.

Were not our hearts burning within us while Jesus spoke on the road to us and opened the Scriptures?

In my box of Table Topic cards there’s one that asks, “What experience in your life has helped you most to grow?” Strange but true that I would always say, “The times when I felt despair, the times when I felt old and nearly dead, the times when I had nowhere else to turn.” God, you are my only hope. God, you are never the one who leaves. God, you wait to welcome me to your table in the presence of my enemies. Every time. Every time. And I will dwell in that house, the home you make for me in your house, my Father, forever.

(Acts 3, Psalm 105, Psalm 118, Luke 24)

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Apr 6 21

Complete list of March 2021 Daily Devotions with links (www.davesandel.net)

by davesandel

Complete list of March 2021 Daily Devotions with links (www.davesandel.net)

 

March 1          If not love persevering

March 2          What have you ever lost by dying? 

March 3          You seduced me, Lord

March 4          A vanishing trail

March 5          Follow your dreams

March 6          Lean on me

                        Complete list of February 2021 Daily Devotions with links

March 7          God’s ten words

March 8          Sit before the Mystery

March 9          Space to live again

March 10         Six steps of forgiveness

March 11         Listening in on a stirring conversation with General Jesus

March 12         Haiku for every day of February 2021

March 13         And on into eternity

March 14         We are all leaving now!

March 15         God is alive, magic is afoot

March 16         The best miracles

March 17         St. Patrick’s Day in the morning

March 18         Thinking about forever

March 19         Joy unspeakable

March 20         Guarding Jesus

March 21         Hot Springs past and present

March 22         O, what fools these mortals be!

March 23         Pizza under the trees

March 24         Riverrun, flow and flow, then pour into the sea

March 25         Worshipping in the Hill Country

March 26         Crazy cowboy country

March 27         Alone no longer

March 28         Dead man’s walk

March 29         Take and eat
March 30        
Track the story with your nose

March 31         Track the story with your tongue

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