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From Texas to Alaska, and back again

by davesandel on October 26th, 2021

Tuesday, October 26, 2021                             (today’s lectionary)

From Texas to Alaska, and back again

Restore our fortunes, O Lord, like the torrents in the southern desert. Those that sow in tears shall reap rejoicing.

Clarence Heller’s poem “Stingy” builds through its verses to a surprising, silent crescendo …

Our God is not a stingy God, waiting, resisting and doling out graces

Only if we pray hard enough, long enough, use the right words

Or spill enough of our hearts, souls and tears.

Our God is not like this at all.

God only seems stingy when we see her as we see ourselves: self-protective, trapped by unmanageable desires. Not so.

No, our God is wooing us, seeking persistently, patiently, lovingly

Our consent that grace becomes efficacious,

That we might give permission for the miracles large and small to become real.

Doesn’t God’s miracle manifest everywhere, at all times, in every breath? Call it what you want, we only receive what we are given. And if we open our hambone fists, we receive all.

The Kingdom of God is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of wheat flour until the whole batch of dough was leavened.

And that changes everything. How I see the world, how I see myself, how I see God, and talk to her. Late at night, early in the morning, alone, in the congregation of fellow souls …

Such a delusion to imagine that we could ever pray to God,

A being somehow separate, even distant, from us?

When actually all prayer originates in God, God’s Spirit prays in us always

And separation from God is, well … nonsense.

Still, there are words that settle me and give me pause, raise my eyes to see the sky, stop considering my own sorry self. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end, amen.

The Kingdom of God is like a mustard seed that a man took and planted in the garden. When it was fully grown it became a large bush, and the birds of the sky dwelt in its branches.

I am a small bird, feathers red in spring. With my friends I fly to and fro, up and down to catch a breeze, fly from Texas to Alaska, back again, and I will always land, unerringly, in the branches of heaven.

Creation awaits with eager expectation for the revelation of the children of God. All creation groans in labor pains even until now.

The tiny bird, a Carolina wren, waits quietly in Chet Garner’s hand. His wife Laura and the host of Daytripper named their daughter Wren four years ago. Chet opens his hand, and the bird flies away, headed north. So tiny, so delicate, so strong.

And so my prayer has become silent,

listening to the unformed words God speaks through my spirit,

and my response Is to say yes,

give consent, to love.

Made in the Image, we are born with joy. In spite of doubt and hesitation, we bear our own children and our dreams, then watch them grow and let them go. Blessed be the way of the Lord.

And we too, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, we groan within our own selves as we wait for our adoption, and the redemption of our bodies. For it is in hope that we were saved, and we wait with endurance.

(Romans 8, Psalm 126, Matthew 11, Luke 13)

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