I AM NOT AFRAID!

Sun Through Smoke on Church Window:”The Love In The Air Is Thicker Than The Smoke On The Ground!”

Psalm 23 — The Message

GOD, my shepherd!
I don’t need a thing.
You have bedded me down in lush meadows,
you find me quiet pools to drink from.
True to your word,
you let me catch my breath
and send me in the right direction.
Even when the way goes through
Death Valley,
I’m not afraid
when you walk at my side.
Your trusty shepherd’s crook
makes me feel secure.
You serve me a six-course dinner
right in front of my enemies.
You revive my drooping head;
my cup brims with blessing.
Your beauty and love chase after me
every day of my life.
I’m back home in the house of GOD
for the rest of my life.

# # #

I am writing this
as the fires
burn Sonoma County in California
taking lives
homes,
treasures and keepsakes—
leaving us with a strong sense
that we can no longer be safe.
We have been afraid.
We have cried,
I packed twice
For imminent evacuation.
One friend was forced to evacuate
only to be forced to evacuate
from a second sanctuary.
No safe place.
Trauma.
One friend was up late,
Smelled smoke,
Grabbed his wife,
cat and computer,
And fled.
Two minutes later his house was gone.
My reflection this week
was a checking in.
Triage.
Pulse taking.
A naming of our terrors
and joys
in order to gain
a semblance of
order and
power-over our circumstance.
We sang comfort songs
to remind us
of hope.
We read Psalm 23
To remind us
Of hope and companioning.
We broke bread and poured cup
to remind us that
hope is possible,
joy exists,
brokenness can be put back together,
and that our spirits can be refilled.

# # #

How are things going
for you this week?
What’s happening on the front lines of your lives?
Do you,
like me,
flinch everytime you hear your
Nixle alert?
I don’t know about you,
But
I am so relieved
to hear the helicopters and planes
in the sky,
and yet my stomach rolls a little,
just a little,
when they fly over.
There is a T-shirt that reads:
“32/8
11/8
These are Difficult Times,”
and they are,
but these times are more than
a time signature joke
on a T-shirt.
These are truly difficult times,
in many ways,
on so many levels.
There are wildfires
burning in our hills and towns.
There is insanity
and bedlam in the halls of
Congress
and the White House.
Besides all that,
we have lives
we are trying to live
the best we can,
and for some,
that may not seem like our best
is enough.
What I’d like to do in this room,
at this time,
this morning,
is to just share,
vent,
cry,
pray,
with each other and
try to cope a little.
We all have fears,
joys,
hopes,
triumphs,
courage to share with each other
and I propose that we do that
at this time.
# # #

I know that there are a few folk out there who read this blog, and I thank you for your loyalty. I challenge you to also find a trusted someone with whom you can share your moments of dark valleys and fear and hopelessness. I promise that there is hope and triumph in the sharing. Blessings and as the mime on Facebook has so eloquently presented, “THE LOVE IN THE AIR IS THICKER THN THE SMOKE.” And the smoke is pretty doggone thick!

The Time Has Come For Love —

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