Tag Archives: insightful

Reflecting Further on the River. Bittersweet.

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Monday, May 11, 2015

Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon, Iceland  credit - I Love Nature

Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon, Iceland
credit – I Love Nature

Reflecting Further on the River. Bittersweet.

I didn’t want to leave the metaphor of the river yet. I know, there’s a great deal of the book ahead, and I am only in the second chapter. But . . . the river seems to me to be a telling, insightful way of describing my journey. My life.

The path of my particular river has not always been even and smooth. No, there have been rough patches. I have even lost my way, following beside the river, since it has gone underground or through brambles and thorns on the way.

I appreciated several of the questions Margaret Silf posed, as she gave suggestions for those reading her book. Among those questions, the first significant one was: “What kind of obstructions or hazards has [your river] had to negotiate?” [1]

Ah, this brought back memories. And, very few were pleasant. For example, when I was in school as a tween and teen, I was a lonely child. Extremely isolated and awkward. I don’t often wish to go back there in my memories.

The second question had a more positive spin to it. “As you let your mind wander back along the riverbanks you have known, what landmarks make you feel glad and grateful? Perhaps particular people or experiences? Have you ever told those concerned what a difference they made to your journey?” [2]

Yes, I have let several people know how much they have meant to me, over the years. I am so glad I did. They supported me and encouraged me when very few people did. However, there were those who I never had a chance to thank. I feel so badly. Especially for two seniors, Miss Rose and Grandpa Ray. God rest their souls. They were always so encouraging and supportive to me. I thank God for them, whenever I remember them. Wonderful people.

And, yet. Thinking back on my life—tracing back the riverbanks—I find I am torn. Yes, there have been good times. But, a goodly portion of my life has been negative, for several decades. And, yet. One particularly positive thing I can say is that there are more good things going on now than bad. I am jumping for joy over that. (Modified rapture.) You can be sure.


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 sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er .

[1] Silf, Margaret, Inner Compass: Introduction to Ignatian Spirituality (Chicago: Loyola Press, 1999), 16-17.

[2] Ibid.

Day #29 – Bless My Boss? Pray for Him, Too!

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, March 21, 2015

THANK God every time I remember you

Day #29 – Bless My Boss? Pray for Him, Too!

Ever have a wonderful boss? I have! Several, in fact. (Then, too, I’ve had several who were not particularly wonderful. But I am not going to even think about them, today.)

Today’s suggestion from #40acts is to be a blessing to your bosses. Or, church leaders, or authority figures. So many people act or speak in a negative way, even about their bosses or supervisors, or leaders. Why not speak positively? Compliment them? Give them “a heavy dose of blessing” right back. (As Ewen McAlpine mentions in today’s 40acts blog post.)

I have two bosses in mind today. Neither of them is my boss any longer. However, while I was under their supervision, I considered myself fortunate to have them in authority over me.

The first is the Rev. Dr. Frank Baldwin, Director of Chaplaincy at the Presbyterian Homes. Frank was awesome! He retired from his long-time position as Director of Chaplaincy for all the sites in the Pres Homes network late last year.  I consider myself blessed to have had him as a supervisor some years ago while I spent a year at the Pres Homes as a chaplain intern.

Frank is kind, intuitive, clear-headed, marvelous at administration, and caring and insightful as a chaplain and pastor. He has such a head for details, and for names! One of the best at remembering facts about people—and their loved ones—that I have ever seen. He is a careful communicator, insightful and patient with me as an intern, and encouraging to me when I had questions and could have done better. When I grow up, I want to be like Frank!

The second boss is Rev. Gordon Smith. I worked with Gordon at two locations. In any situation where I saw him operate, Gordon made use of his superb communication abilities. His interpersonal and preaching skills are phenomenal!

While at our first site together, Gordon showed how competent and innovative he could be. He has spent most of the past ten years in interim church work in the Chicago area, serving as interim pastor until the churches could call a permanent pastor. He is wonderful at this specialized work. And—at supervising his co-workers. Always collegial, encouraging, affirming, and positive, he also is wonderful at painting a vision of where churches and congregations would like to go, and how they might best get there. A wonderful interim minister! And an awesome colleague, as well.

Thank you, thank you, to both Frank and Gordon. You helped me to do my job more fully, more richly than I ever thought I could. I always wanted to do my very best for you, in these positions. I pray for you both, and your families. May God richly bless you, and give you enjoyable and interesting things to do in the future. God’s peace be yours in abundance, too!


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

(Check out #40acts; doing Lent generously at www.40acts.org.uk )

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And read #40acts sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er .