Tag Archives: interconnected

God’s Fingerprints on the World

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Wednesday, June 3, 2015

bluebird and lilacs

God’s Fingerprints on the World

Today was Wednesday. The day I meet together with a group for bible study. While we were talking in the study, lots of questions came up, including how God made the world. And, I loved each and every question!

I told them I could get all theological and explain different views of different deep thinkers over the centuries to them. Or, I could give them a brief explanation, and we could go back to the topic of the day (the first part of the Lord’s Prayer). The consensus was for the short explanation, then back on topic. As I explained yet again, once we open up the Bible, its various topics are incredibly interconnected!

When I read today’s chapter from Handbook for the Soul, I was reminded so strongly of this explanation. Today’s chapter was written by Rabbi Harold Kirschner on nurturing the soul in the everyday. Yet—what happens when the everyday is normal? Or, so-so? Or, God forbid, less than good? Let’s see what Rabbi Kirschner says:

“We must remember that everything in this world has God’s fingerprints on it—and that alone makes it special. Our inability to see beauty doesn’t suggest in the slightest that beauty is not there. Rather, it suggests that we are not looking carefully enough or with broad enough perspective to see the beauty.” [1]

I need to reflect on the Rabbi’s wise words. God’s fingerprints alone make things special, or of wonderful beauty. Even when God’s creation does not have particular exterior beauty, God still made it. And, that ought to be reason enough for me to marvel in it.

As Rabbi Kirschner said further: “Can you see the holiness in those things you take for granted—a paved road or a washing machine? If you concentrate on finding what is good in every situation, you will discover that your life will suddenly be filled with gratitude, a feeling that nurtures the soul.” [2]

I can strive to see the wonder in God’s creation. I can choose to marvel at God’s intricate handiwork. God willing, may I be blessed with the ability to see all the wonder in the everyday.

@chaplaineliza

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 .

[1] Handbook for the Soul, Richard Carlson and Benjamin Shield, editors. (Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1995), 19.

[2] Ibid.

 

 

First Sunday in Lent – Reflection on Fr. Nouwen and Prayer

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

Prayer-faith-God-stones

First Sunday in Lent – Reflection on Fr. Nouwen and Prayer

As my title says, today is the first Sunday in Lent. As such, I had a day of rest from the 40acts of generosity. (However, I did preach on generosity! See my tweet: Generous With Our Purpose – sermon for 1st Sunday of Lent http://wp.me/p5Nfg4-7  #40acts @StLukesChurch2 )

Instead of meditating and praying on the daily generosity challenge from 40acts, I had the opportunity to pray with one of my several helpful prayer guides. The one I am going to be using during the Sundays in Lent is A Guide to Prayer for Ministers and Other Servants. (an Upper Room publication)

Accordingly, I read through the prayer, psalm and several scripture readings for the day. Plus, I read the first Reading for Reflection. Wouldn’t you know that it was by Fr. Henri Nouwen. On prayer. Well, much more than prayer, but focusing on prayer as a centerpiece of our service to God.

Fr. Nouwen’s words are always thought-provoking. I can never read anything by him and come away unmoved. I always have some thing or some thought from his writing that just will not go away. Just so with this brief, two paragraph reading, too. (from The Living Reminder) The crux of what he said: “We have fallen into the temptation of separating ministry from spirituality, service from prayer.”

How often do I find that to be the case, in many people’s minds? Service for God is not meant to be totally separated from prayer, and vice versa. Service . . . ministry . . . prayer . . . spirituality. All interconnected, and all part of each other. God probably planned them to be seamless parts of a whole. Sadly, I do not (cannot?) make all these pieces of my spiritual life fit together so well as Fr. Nouwen suggests.

I am afraid I will never be an “isolated hermit,” but that is all for the good. I would be hard-pressed to be such, as a contemplative. I don’t think God intended that life for me. However, I can rest in God, have devotions with God, even go on the occasional retreat with God.

Yes, I don’t think I belong up on that mountaintop with God, all the time. I need to be down in the trenches, walking with the members in my congregation, praying with the bible studies and in worship services. And meditating. And in contemplation. That reminds me of one of my favorite phrases: both/and! Both service/and prayer. Both ministry/and meditation. What a wonderful reminder to me that I am absolutely doing something right—engaging in multi-faceted ministry for God.

Thanks for the affirmation, Fr. Nouwen!

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

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

Why not visit my sister blog, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza