- The Empty Bowl (What does it mean to truly depend on God? Thought provoking post for those of us who have never really wondered if there would be a "next meal" or if, instead, we might wrestle with hunger.)
"...I watch respectfully from my window in the early morning light, and I witness the curbside ceremony of giving, recieving, and blessing from a religion so new to my observation. And I am handed a beautiful picture of practical trust and simple dependence, played out by shorn-headed men and pajama-clad women.
But I wonder about another scenario, too – one I’ve never witnessed by these monastic men on Sunday mornings, but one I’ve seen played out a million times and lived a million more. What if the monk were to walk down the street pushing a cart-full? Of grocery bags stuffed with food, bank account statements with positive balances, extra pairs of shoes, wallets crammed with cash? What if he carried all of that and the empty bowl, held up to the Universe. What if the mass of all he already possessed made it physically difficult to hold up the bowl in the first place, and harder-still to wait with baited-breath expectancy for it to be filled?
The monk would then be meeting the world with competency, not dependence.
Enough-already, not desperate-for-just-enough....
And a religion of luck and flower-offerings on altars, teaches me leagues about a Relationship of redemption and life-offerings on crosses."
- "Intention" (The author says that intention described her dad... I'm so thankful that intention, not random, describes our God.)
"It was a perfect July day at a lake in Minnesota. Out on a boat, smooth water and soft breeze was made better only by the company. A spouse, siblings, in-laws – best friends all of them – laughing and having deep conversations and just enough fun to not tell the kids about.
The only thing that marred the day in any way was a simple bee sting on his toe. And that random act is the thing that killed my Dad. A farmer, who was never allergic to any sting before, randomly died of anaphylactic shock.
That one word haunted me then and has been haunting me again.
- "When you're finding it hard to be patient" (I probably need to read, reread and rereread every day for the next 20 years at least...)
When I am not patient? My failure to love is first a failure to be grateful for who people are right now.
And my impatience is a result of my unthankfulness..."
- "7 things beginning photographers need to know" (Just discovered this blog/web site... photography is amazing and not so artsy I can't relate... and I've also enjoyed reading through several of her posts.)
..."Remember that the camera is just a machine, and you are in charge of it. The real fun is discovering the world you see through the viewfinder. Sometimes it’s a heart-breaking privilege, what we see through that window in the machine when we really look. I can’t give my students that experience tonight, but really hope my students find it for themselves."
- "Read only 5 books to call yourself an expert" (Even as I read, hoping to learn some things/get some ideas to help me with my photography efforts... I stumbled across a few lines... and the Holy Spirit promptly pointed out a spiritual application. Do you see it, too?)
"...Don’t get me wrong: reading those five books about goats was a good start. But ground-truthing written words transforms information into knowledge. And having someone who has actually done the job is even more valuable. Making friends and collecting mentors who can show me how and answer questions about what to do next is going to help more than reading another book."