Smooth Stones

This morning I heard the story of David and Goliath on the wonderful app Pray as You Go

It seems obvious that the corona virus is the Goliath we need to slay.  We have been using our best weapons against it. But what has been happening in the ranks? Argument over strategy. Polarization. Broken trust.

I am reminded of the Scripture that tells us not to fear what can kill the body but what threatens the soul (Mt 10.28). Community based on deep mutual trust is the locus of our collective soul.  Erosion of that is the greatest threat.

We need to pick up our stones smoothed by time, readied by ancient forces. We need to heed Jesus’ teaching that small things make a big difference (seeds, yeast). Tiny weapons made of love and compassion, used extravagantly because the supply is abundant. Practiced daily, in all situations. Aimed strategically at the brow of the monster, claiming our power as sons and daughters of God.

We are called not to give up. “Strengthen your weak knees” and “pursue peace with everyone” (Heb 12. 12, 14). Claim the power of love that could not be erased by a cross, the resurrection power (Eph 1.19-20) that is ours to wield not with argument and force but with mercy and patience, forgiveness and encouragement.

We are in a battle, but it is not one whose victory is in conquering one another. In this battle of kinship vs. animosity we will find ourselves drawn together, galvanized by divine love that flows through us to manifest the ways of God that the world will one day recognize to be its native self.

Lay down your sword. Pick up the smooth stones of love: compassion, listening, helping, giving. Aim them at the enemy: the foolish giant that cannot destroy our care for one another. Humble instruments that neutralize the insidious forces of discord. Their power is limited. Our supply of hope is inexhaustible, our love unstoppable, grounded in the One who holds us all. 

A quick note: If you enjoy my blog, would you consider sharing it? My intention is to write and post more this year, and I hope my words can reach those to whom they may be of help.

Stars

This week we celebrate Epiphany, when the magi were drawn to the house where the child Jesus could be found. I truly doubt that they knew why they were kneeling by those little feet and giving precious gifts to someone so small, but I like to think their hearts were softened by the trip and the unexplainable longing that drove them there, and they could do nothing else in the moment.

Epiphany is a reminder to look up more often, above the fray and the routine. Take a break from your thoughts and ambitions, away from your worries and fears, above the noise of your life’s background music, and look up at the stars. We live in an unimaginably huge universe that is held together by Great Love that sees us and invites us to dream what is possible with that Love as our driving force and deep comfort.

Abraham
The stars were his promise 
to carry him on his sojourn 
past the skeptical glances 
and his own fear 
through the waiting 
despite domestic squabbles 
to a son and 
a bloody altar and 
a legacy of trust.

Magi
The star was their invitation 
to a new way of seeing 
beyond their charts 
and ancient incantations 
to a child who held the key 
to a new way of being 
at home in this world.

Harriett
The North Star was God’s eye 
seeing her to freedom 
steeling her resolve 
the fire of courage required 
to forge safe passage 
out of hell.

Twinkle, twinkle heaven’s stars 
calling me to stand in awe 
of creation’s endless scope 
seeds of wonder 
coins of hope.