Archive for the ‘Ponderings’ Category

Marjorie Holmes on Creation

“How can we worship without being grateful? Giving thanks in all our beings for the sheer privilege of being here to witness the marvels of creation–from the magnificence of stars and mountains to the frailest blue harebell or humblest mouse. How can we worship God without rejoicing and being grateful for the greatest marvel of all–self? One’s own precious, sentient self, and every circumstance of its life experience.

Gratefulness! Just being grateful–that, too, flings open even wider the door to God. One thing is sure, I can never hang on to God if I keep right on whining and complaining, blaming other people, the world, and sometimes even the weather, for what seems my dismal lot. In essence, blaming God! No, no, such ingratitude is an insult to my Creator. It’s like slamming the door on God.” – Marjorie Holmes

We can’t be grateful unless we notice. Unless we see reasons to be grateful. Unless our eyes are open. In the beginning of a romance, it’s easy to notice things. The lilt of a voice or the cute accent. The fine features or the curly hair. It’s easy to be grateful for every moment shared. It’s natural to show gratitude to the loved one, in thoughts and words and deeds, because that person is all we’re thinking about.

But time passes and the beauty seems to fade. Our eyes grow dull … or did we never see clearly in the first place? They say that love grows cold; passion and romance related to fire, and apathy to frigidity. Must love always fade into coldness, something wintry and worn instead of springlike and new? Must our love for God do the same?

God forbid. Help us to open our eyes. Because the wonder and the newness, the gratitude and the receiving of every perfect and beautiful gift, comes with seeing eyes.

So much love is sprinkled throughout the world. Awash in the light of every day are gifts bestowed from a God of perfect love. A goal or purpose to pursue. A sight that brings laughter or belonging. A worthwhile cause to promote. A son or daughter or husband or wife to love and with whom to rejoice. A friend or a book that puts in words something you’ve always felt so you know you’re not alone. A crystal sky, a placid lake. A puddle reflecting pristine blue.

It is all love. We see it and know it if we will only take the time to look. A writer, an artist, a lover, tries to take that time. It might come more natural for certain people. But there are moments for every one of us that it takes effort. Because our hours are brimming with timely tasks and overdue projects.

Today, perhaps this moment, stop. Take that time. Make that time. Look. Listen. Let your heart and mind fill with wonder. Then write … or live … from a heart of gratitude.


God, it is a challenge, my days filled with so much to do and try to be. Help me to make the effort to stop, fill my heart and life with gratitude … so that I may truly see the wonder of all You are and all that You have done.

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Saturated by Grace - Brennan Manning

“Our world is saturated with grace, and the lurking presence of God is revealed not only in spirit but in matter – in a deer leaping across a meadow, in the flight of an eagle, in fire and water, in a rainbow after a summer storm, in a gentle doe streaking through a forest, in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, in a child licking a chocolate ice cream cone, in a woman with windblown hair. God intended for us to discover His loving presence in the world around us.” – Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel

The act of writing is a certain grace, and it begins – in many ways – with a sense of wonder. A writer takes in the sweetness of the world and its pain, the joy and the sorrow, the windblown moments of awe and the heart-catching times of silence. The task and the privilege of a writer is to see it all. To look upon the beauty and the shame of the world and of us who live within it, and write with wonder and fearlessness for the sake of that world. For the sake of us who live within it.

Writing, and those words written, are a dispensation of wonder … or they can be. When the words are riveted with grace, fastened with that ever-deepening sense of awe and gratitude, the result is beauty for the world. A ray of light. Of truth. But it begins with eyes open, and a heart seeking the sweet exchange of God and nature. Seeing His fingerprint, ever so lightly, tracing all things within the world. The opening and closing of a blue butterfly’s wings as it rests upon a butter-colored flower. A stone beneath the ripples of a stream, its colors brought to life by those waters. A child’s trusting smile at the promise of his parent.

A writer is beckoned to move slowly enough through the world to see these things, to reflect on the story whispering beneath the sight, and to write of them.

A New Year begins. I feel as if the past year has charged past without me having taken stock of it. But it is gone. So many moments of raw beauty and wordless wonder passed by. How many did I miss with my eyes closed, or my gaze fastened upon the weight of my daily tasks and concerns? Too many. Too many for a writer who feels the beckoning of truth and light and wonder and grace … but only when I stop and take the time to truly look and listen and see.

A New Year begins, and it begins with the desire to see the world with wonder anew. For my sake and for the sake of my family and those I love. For the sake of a God of love, who dispenses cupfuls of color and joy and laughter at every step of nature and asks us to behold His glory. And to measure it out freely to the world.


God, this year, let my words, my thoughts, my writings and my deeds, whisper the weight of Your glory and love, and bring glory to You. It begins with a sense of wonder at all You do and all You are. Let me move slowly, breathlessly enough to see Your works with eyes of awe and gratefulness for all that You are. Amen.

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Forgotten Joy

Fragments of forgotten joy

sped like sparrows to the ground

Beneath a sky of spreading ink

forlorn, undreaming in a shroud


Where peace was found in eras gone

now oceans claim its passing

Lashed by surges, frigid grey

to taunt all thoughts of lasting

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Our Finest GiftsWhose are the finest gifts this year,

At such a time of festive cheer?

Are shopping lists finally completed?

Are pocketbooks once more depleted?

As shops all vie for lowest prices,

Sleep deficit and blood pressure rises;

Where are the gifts we said we’d bring,

To lay at the feet of a newborn King?

Wrapped against the winter’s chill,

Hoping for some warmth to feel;

It is not there within the soul,

Still incomplete and never full.

What is the finest gift but to know,

What a newborn King lived and died to show.

The path to love, the path to living,

Is this the gift that we are giving?

It can’t be wrapped, for it is free;

Knowing this Love for eternity,

Is the finest gift that one could bring—

Showing the way to the newborn King.

Finding peace and warmth within this light,

Flooding the soul with a love so bright,

Sorrow of seasons is washed away,

With the Love that came down on Christmas Day.

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They began where I planted them
but refused to stay there
Spreading chrysanthemums
Some thought they were weeds
Ready to pull them out
by the roots
I promised, I pled, they will bloom one day
Maybe not this year. They didn’t.
Maybe the next.
They did.
Is it so hard to believe
That they might yet be flowers

Perennial. Precious.

When the bloom is long in coming
can they not have space to look like weeds
a season?

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black raven silhouette

How could it be

That, at the head of all times

We, who see the past

and shake our heads

or nod knowingly

asking of them, how could they?

Could be at that point

That point of which we fear

Where we said we’d never go

We, who know better

We, who have seen the past

And vowed not to repeat


Allow anger



to take us right back

Will they look back at us

one hundred years from now

And ask

How could we?

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Sweeping, spinning

The desolate

Into a mottled expanse

Like hope


Unto the design

A cycle unique

Yet not unlike

The pieces of September

Spinning mobile

Harsh, yet defined

Entering focus with a familiar tune

Subterranean and sweet

This chosen vessel

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