the Spirit’s walk…

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These days and nights are extremely cold. Not something that even people who have lived in these North Carolina mountains a long time are accustomed to. This has been my home now for three years. I am beginning to remember the art of layering clothes to stay warm from my years in Colorado – just in time!!

Some of the nights have stirred with bitter winds bringing the temp to -17 and below. My assistant stayed with me overnight on one of the coldest nights last week. Worried that the power might go out or the roads could be too icy for my morning assistant to travel, she gave extra time to her job with concern and compassion. She knew if there was a problem I would not be left alone. Her offer came without request.  I was and am grateful. My home is warmed with shelter and heat. There are people who check to see if I need anything. I do feel the cold but not alone.

Not true for everyone. There are many who meet these cold nights without shelter and warmth. Businesses throughout town talk about finding people asleep up against their front doors when they arrive to work each day. Not everyone has a home and shelters throughout the city fill quickly. So there are homeless people who huddle against the walls of office doorways finding some protection from wind and feeling some warmth from the building’s heat. My heart knows compassion for people homeless and lost. Like so many other things — I know I may not be able to change this but I must be aware – awareness is a part of life’s sacred journey.

I share the reflection below. May it offer a way to pray for protection, comfort and hope for those seeking shelter and those who are lost.

On cold winter nights, when Mother Earth sleeps soundly beneath her blankets of snow, the Spirit walks in silence, seeking any who have become lost on their way home. There is no life left unnoticed by God. There is no child forgotten, no elder dismissed, no prisoner unworthy of recognition, no addict left alone, no lonely soul abandoned. Even the hidden ones among us, the silent ones who try to bear their burdens unspeaking, are under the watchful eye of their Maker. On even the coldest nights, the Spirit walks the back roads and the city streets, holding the light of love just a little higher, for those who expect to see only shadow.
Bp. Steven Charleston.

In your peace…

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Some days my faith feels smaller than a mustard seed. I know that seed to be very, very small. And yet I am reminded – the small mustard seed produces an amazing tree – present for shelter and spice.
Whether the mustard seed grew into a sheltering tree or a small plant, our Creator could use it to spread peace and healing. How – I cannot say. It is a mystery or maybe better explained as a miracle. What I do believe – the smallest of faith, as is shown in the mustard seed, can be used for the greatest of gifts.
With this miracle in mind, I share the prayer below. May it offer renewal and inspiration.

By your Grace
we are forgiven,
in your peace
our lives are lived.
By your touch
we know healing,
in your strength
are we made whole.
When this is forgotten,
our focus on self,
your face obscured,
forgive and restore.
Take our mustard seed of faith
and let it grow,
take root
and blossom
in our hearts and lives.
Through your beloved –
Jesus Christ.
Amen.

(adapted from prayer found on website Faith and Worship)

Under Creative Commons License: Attribution

To Share Thanksgiving…

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A day to be grateful for our abundance.
May our blessings strengthen us to reach out and support those in need. It doesn’t have to be complicated, We all have that is needed to offer care and shelter to a world seeking peace, shelter and sustenance.

Make me a tree, Lord
Sturdy
Deep rooted
Useful
Support
to those in need
Shelter
to those who are weary
Fruit
for those who hunger
Make me a tree, Lord
Sturdy
Deep rooted
Useful
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