Spirituality

Prayers of a (Sometimes) Insomniac

Dear Lord, sometimes this job is too much for me. Listening to the pain and heartache of your children leaves me sobered and sad. And sometimes unable to sleep. As the stories play out in my head I ride the turbulent waves of their distress as in a small boat. The sea of emotions is wild and the winds of uncertainty strong. But then you are there, and you say: “Peace be still!” and the wind and waves subside and calm returns. And I sleep; my heavy head resting on your lap. Thank you, Lord.

*****

Revolutionizing Camp Meeting

Camp meeting! Summer in my house begins with the annual trek to the Kentucky-Tennessee Conference camp meeting at Highland Academy. Tents, bugs, and this year, a snake, all add to the memory book of adventures.

Only 36, I often feel out of place amongst the rocking chairs piled high with pillows for the ever-aging set of devotees. Yet, even while multi-tasking on classwork, texting my husband, and reconnecting with friends, I gain spiritually from the lessons presented. 

Here: Poems on Place

For Father’s Day, a little poem about my dad who taught me much about how to be present in time and place. And another poem-sketch of a favorite “here,” the place where my soul feels most at home on earth.

***

Here

“Are we there yet?”
I asked my dad on the 
long road between school days
and summer at Grandma’s house.

“We’re here!”
he always retorted,
regardless the location.

I am here now.
I am here.
I am now.
I am.

 

***

Charlotte's Web: What a Friend We Have

“I’m less than two months old and I’m tired of living.” How weary life can seem sometimes! Even for a young pig lying in a manure pile, with fresh slops to eat and a warm barn to call home, life seemed almost unbearable for Wilbur.

The Little Prince and the Silly Kingdoms of Grown-ups

“Why do you sell these pills?” asked the little prince.

The clerk said to save time. Experts had calculated that a pill to quench thirst would save you 53 minutes a week.

“If I had fifty-three minutes to spend as I liked,” the little prince said to himself, “I’d walk very slowly toward a water fountain….”

A Wrinkle in Time: Learning to Love

I don’t remember my own context—age, place, circumstance—when I first read Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time. I was completely engrossed in the story, and the outside world slipped into periphery. Meg Murry, the main character, seemed closer than my own skin. I do remember that at family worship I asked in all sincerity to pray for Mr. Murry who was in trouble, and then I realized he didn’t need my prayers.

The Chronicles of Narnia: Truth in Fiction

This is the first article in a short series on spirituality in children and young adults' literature. This Mother's Day I fondly recall the many, many times my own mother read aloud to us as youngsters. From My Bible Friends to Sam Campbell's tales of wild critters to The Chronicles of Narnia we encountered truths and wonders that opened our eyes to the presence of God in reality. Thanks to all moms (and dads and grandparents and older siblings and babysitters) who opened new worlds to us by sharing good stories! - Joelle Chase, Spirituality Editor

A Death Worth Pondering

I stand with my hand poised over the door handle of my car, not remembering exactly how I got here. The last thing I remember is grabbing my keys and sunglasses from the cluttered shelf above my desk. After that, everything is a blur. I don’t recall the last minute of my life.

Continuing a Fictitious Conversation: Lectio Divina

Read the first article in this two-part series by Ken Curtis here.

Gladness

Easter Sunday, April 20

This day, “this most amazing/day” with the “leaping greenly spirits of trees” as e.e. cummings sings and I echo … this day is like any other day and yet it, more than any other day, for me is full of deep, shattering joy. The closure and finality of the period has been replaced with parentheses. Not—He came to earth and died. But—He came to earth and (dying) lived. Cummings again:

(i who have died am alive again today,

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