I am especially glad of the divine gift of laughter; it has made the world human and lovable, despite all its pain and wrong.
Laughter can renew like a short nap in the afternoon or a refreshing journey outside after a long day.
My mother and I have always had a way of sharing a burst of laughter that might touch us so deeply it can bring soul-washing tears. Under stress, feeling pain or the burden of grief, we can find ourselves noticing something silly one of us may have said. In a snap, we are moved into Grace-filled and stress-releasing laughter. And in those moments, we know laughter’s divine gift.
No one can plan this type of laughter. It is spontaneous and comes from a deep place in each of us. It is healing and brings people together.
At this time in our world, I pray we share much of this type of laughter- amongst ourselves and beyond our neighborhoods.
We are in need of its healing and its ability to unite.
To have lived through the day of silent waiting. No way to tend to their beloved- no work to be done on the Sabbath. The minutes felt like hours, the hours days.
As soon as the sun’s light crested over the horizon these women set out to cleanse his body with fragrant oils and their tears. Mary Magdalene arrived ahead of the others… imagine her surprise to find the tomb was empty.
I wake this morning with few words and an aching heart.
I share this image as an icon of comfort and compassion – a human response at any age.
I share this prayer as a way to express the thoughts I carry deep within.
For Nice, France
“God have mercy on all those who have lost their lives without reason. Lift them up in your strong arms and hold them close. Receive them into a place where there is no more terror or sorrow. Help the injured to recover. Guard them from further pain. Comfort the families with deep compassion. Give them a sense of your presence as they search for a way to bear their grief. And pour your Spirit into this broken world. Let your love run like waters of life into every mind and heart. Show us how to confront what we cannot comprehend and stop the sacrifice of so many innocent lives.”
quote: Bishop Steven Charleston image: Vietnamese siblings, taken by Na Son Nguyen, 2007
Hold a true friend with both hands. (Nigerian Proverb)
True friends are small in number. For good reason — to nurture these relationships we have to build on life-stories shared and experienced together. Small in number, maybe, but these friends shine with the brightest light. By their side, we celebrate joyful moments of our lives. Times filled with promise, hope and celebration. With the strength of their support, we move through difficult of times of our lives. Times blanketed with the darkness of trust broken and the sadness of letting go of the most precious dreams. Whether the times are filled with joy or sadness, we are shield and comforted with a true friend by our side. No need for words just presence – when moments are shared and saved like notes in a diary.
Interesting – this Nigerian proverb does not say how to hold these friends. No description of a tight grip or straightened elbows – just to hold with both hands. Yet certainly, true friends are to be held with intent. Fully aware of the treasure before you, cradling it with the strength of gratitude.