Tag Archives: fragile

Peace, Feathers, and the Library

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Friday, June 10, 2016

Peace, Feathers, and the Library

Peace is - feathers, MG library

The Peace Vigil was a wonderful experience.

I remember the Morton Grove Community Peace Vigil on June 1st with great appreciation. I am so pleased it worked out so well. The way Janine, Dilnaz and I conceived of it, we made it a simple event. We provided an opportunity for people in our community to come together, think about peace and harmony, and seek to continue the conversation of peace.

As I reflect back, I almost pinch myself. (Did it really happen? I mean, really?)

It almost seems like one of those made-for-tv movies, the warm-and-fuzzy kind. The kind where diverse folks gather together at a community event, and everything ends up happily-ever-after.

Except, this time, it really happened.

One of the personal definitions of peace that came from the Morton Grove library reminded me of just this kind of feeling—the made-for-tv kind of feeling, I mean. Did the Peace Vigil really happen?

Almost all of the personal definitions of peace I gathered had some kind of story behind them. There was some meaning, some point of view from almost every individual. Except—not from the library, and not from the Peace Vigil. I did not gather them, did not talk to each and every person from the library, nor from the Peace Vigil.

This is a bit different for me. I need to reflect on the meaning of those definitions in a different kind of way. Sort of the way I reflect on this particular image: a page with the words “Peace is … “ and a bunch of feathers glued, scattered over the page.

This could mean that peace is—ephemeral. Able to be blown away like feathers. Or, it could mean that peace is—light, airy. Not heavy! Not ponderous! Instead, something light and positive. Or, it might mean that peace is—fragile. Easily broken, and easily disrupted.

A fourth possibility? This picture could mean all of the definitions I just mentioned. All of them, at once. I especially am attracted to the last definition I thought of. Fragile, easily broken, and easily disrupted.

God willing, may I hold peace lightly, but at the same time, with hope and expectancy. Just as I would hold a page full of pretty feathers.


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Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza  And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

Gentle Whisper? Or Something Stronger?

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Wednesday, September 9, 2015

whispers of God

Gentle Whisper? Or Something Stronger?

Sometimes God is a Gentle Whisper. And, sometimes God is much stronger; much more powerful.

My word of the day for Centering Prayer? My word—Name of God for today is Gentle Whisper. This Name of God comes from 1 Kings. But, I’m getting ahead of myself here.

As I prayed and meditated and centered using this soft and gentle Name, I had the sudden impression that sometimes I can’t even hear the Gentle Whisper of God. Sometimes, I need a two by four to the head to even get my attention. (Metaphorical two by four, of course.)

Currently, I am considering and talking to people about depression, anxiety, and suicide. I have a friend who is affiliated with NAMI (the National Alliance on Mental Illness), and yesterday I attended a luncheon where she was the featured speaker. Her brief presentation was a great beginning step for some faith-based organizations to get involved.

But, because of this focus and because of my earnest support and encouragement, I am feeling a bit fragile myself. As I prayed with this Name, I could feel the Gentle-part of this Name penetrate my being. Yes. I needed that, Lord.

I looked at 1 Kings 19:12 after I prayed, and I was reminded that Elijah probably had difficulties with mental issues. (A former colleague of mine, a psychologist known for his work with suicide and mental illness, has published articles and book chapters on this very subject.) I suspect that God knew exactly what Elijah needed at this fragile time in his life, too.

I have problems hearing Your Whisper. Sometimes. And, I still willingly say that I do react more quickly to a two by four to the head, sometimes. Even though it isn’t at all pleasant, sometimes I do require that kind of wake-up call. However You communicate with me, Lord, You know the best way to reach me. Thank You especially for Your Gentle Whisper.


Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

Cracked Pots and Prayer

matterofprayer blog post for Thursday, July 31, 2014

Tea bowl fixed  in the Kintsugi method

Tea bowl fixed
in the Kintsugi method

Cracked Pots and Prayer

Ever feel fragile? The pressure, difficulty or challenge coming down on you is too much? Like you were going to crack, or break? Sometimes I feel fragile. Yes, I freely admit it.

The Bible talks about earthen vessels, in several places. 2 Corinthians 4:7 speaks of common clay pots, in the Good News Translation. Clay pots and other earthenware are pretty easy to break. It’s a common, everyday sort of serving and eating utensil. What is also common is a well-known fact: clay pots and earthenware sometimes break.

I know very well that I’m imperfect. Sometimes I think I can’t serve God efficiently enough. Or communicate well enough. Or teach effectively enough. The good news for me, right now, is that God can use me—even when I am broken. Or imperfect. Or even fragile and ready to crack.

A fascinating way of repairing cracked pottery and other dishes comes from Japan, called Kintsugi. I was stunned to find out that the Japanese mix resin with powdered gold or silver, and then the broken pieces of pottery are attached or repaired. This precious metal mixture repairs the break. Moreover, there is no attempt made to hide either the cracks or the repairs. The precious metal becomes an intrinsic part of the repaired, renewed pottery.

What an image—what a hopeful turn of events for me. So, God can use me, even when I am broken. And God can take those breaks, those fault lines, those cracks, and repair them with God’s own precious metal mixture—God’s own grace and mercy. Leaving me ready to serve, to pray, to be kind to others. Praise the Lord.

Let’s pray and thank God! Dear Lord, gracious God, thank You for this wonderful image of Kintsugi. Thank You for Your goodness and grace extended to me, and to many others, even when we feel fragile. Even when we know we are imperfect and broken. Help us to serve You in spirit and in truth, knowing that we carry Your treasure within us, shining out like those precious metal repairs of Kintsugi. Thank You, so much. We pray in Your precious name, Amen.


(also published at www.matterofprayer.net