Rosalinda’s windows to Spirit

Rosalinda, the sweetheart of my Meals on Wheels route, offers limitless examples of windows to Spirit.

Rosalinda's Window: Windows to Spirit
Rosalinda’s windows:
Windows to Spirit

Rosalinda suffers rheumatoid arthritis in the most severe form I can imagine. She lives in a small house with a very tiny front room. Almost all her time is in a bed against the front wall of that room. The bed is her operations base.

Unable to sit without support, Rosalinda lies and lives on that bed. She surrounds herself with everything she ever needs: remote controls, wireless phone, back scratcher, extendable claw to reach what’s out of reach, packages of plastic ware, bottled water, her Bible. She is so tiny there is room for all of that, and more.

Rosalinda requires assistance to leave the bed, to sit in her motorized scooter, and to return to the bed. Her hands can barely grasp a plastic fork. Simple acts like placing the phone in its charger stand or plugging in her scooter’s motor are beyond her ability.

This week when I knocked on her door and loudly announced, “Meals on Wheels!”, her voice doubled mine in cheerfulness. “I’m so glad you’re here! Come right in!”

As I entered, she was smiling and jumped into conversation about her favorite team losing its game the day before, being eliminated from the playoffs. With unabashed optimism on so many levels, she claimed, “No problem! There’s always next year!”

After I put parts of her meal in the refrigerator, swapped the phone on her bed for one fully charged, and plugged in her scooter, she asked if it was sunny outside. Her front room has one window beside her bed and one in the wall behind her. The drapes are heavy, and the room is often in shadow that is heavy, too.

I told her it was. Rosalinda asked me to part the curtains. “…but just a little near the top. It’s so nice to watch the sunlight march across the room. It makes a fine line of gold from that side of my room, all the way across until it shines off the doorknob.” Her tiny hand waved an arc to signify the sun ray’s path. Her smile was sunshine-filled even before I carefully opened the curtains.

As I opened them, I felt Spirit flow through Rosalinda’s windows. They were true windows to Spirit. I felt it fill her and radiate back to everything, everyone she encountered. I felt such a tremendous blessing.

Prayers to open our windows to Spirit

Sweet Spirit,
thank you that I know to open the window,
the window through which you flow
and through which all Love and Peace and Joy flow.
I gladly forgive myself
for too often closing that window
by thinking and focusing and engaging too much
in what I create in my human mind.
In my mind I build obstacles,
I dig potholes, and I create hurdles that I think I need
to get around, wade through, or climb over.
In truth, there is not even a window between us.
There is nothing between us, neither window nor wall.
Spirit, my heart is my window to you, to Spirit.
I thank you that it is always open, always filled by you.
And so it is. And so I celebrate the Christ Spirit in me.
Amen.

Love and blessings,

Tim

18 January 2019

Posted on January 18, 2019 at 5:00 am by Tim · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: Authenticity, Faith, Grace, Prayer, Spirituality

Come together with forgiveness

His family experienced what he called a “come together Christmas.”

Come Together for Forgiveness
Come together for forgiveness
Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

He flew to Chicago four days before Christmas to see his mom and dad. Mom has an increasingly difficult fight with cancer. Her 88 years of memory are more and more spotty. Dad is stalwart and holds the fort admirably. It is beginning to show, however. He owns 100% of the do, go, shop, buy, prepare and repair. The visit was busy. Tiring. The days went by fast, as their minutes dragged.

Christmas Eve he flew from O’Hare to Denver International. His wife and daughters had started the Texas-to-Denver drive several hours before. They would all come together at his in-laws’.

That half of the clan has its own history. His father-in-law is not without a cocktail from mid-morning til bedtime. Mother-in-law proudly proclaims her 20-year denial. Laughing she punch-lines that she means denial of sobriety. Sister-in-law gave up smoking cannabis as soon as Colorado legalized its sale. That’s when she merely switched preferred consumption to chewing, like cowboys chewed tobacco in Colorado’s prairie.

The three days in the in-laws’ home were not what he is used to. The conversations rarely stayed on course, unless they were simultaneous monologues on diverse topics. There was often disagreement. Loud disagreement.

Recounting the week surrounding Christmas Day, he never lost his smile. He spoke with the post-holiday enthusiasm of shared love and happiness. He sounded sincere. I asked him what made it a good Christmas.

“We were with family!”

I love the explicit forgiveness–absolute and unconditional–in what he said and how he said it. The behaviors and the disease and the emotional suitcases were no matter.

What matters is the spiritual oneness of our human families and our Family of God.

Prayer of Thanks for Forgiveness

Sweet Source of All That Is,
Giving forgiveness frees me from the burden
of “wrong” consciousness.
That I forgive lets me, causes me
to look beyond my human view
that something is wrong.
When I forgive I let go of what I see as wrong
and I embrace the truth that all is Spirit.
Spirit is good so all is good.
I love when that letting go and that embrace
come together.
And so it is. And so I let it be.
Amen.


Love and blessings,
Tim

12 January 2019

Posted on January 12, 2019 at 12:30 pm by Tim · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: Forgiveness, Happiness, Prayer · Tagged with: 

Wake up and get up

Wake Up and Get Up. Photo by Becca Schultz on Unsplash

Do you ever wake up and not want to get up?

As Kay and I exchanged good mornings before the Sunday service, she asked me: “Do you ever wake up and not want to? I mean, not want to get up, not want to do anything?”

I think I was about to shake my head. Kay continued, “My friend asked me just those questions. Those questions got me thinking”

They certainly did. I watched Kay’s lively face become more so. Her voice increased its emphasis. “When I wake up, I breathe. Consciously. Then I breathe again And my friend’s question makes me consciously thankful that I can breathe. It also reminds me how good it feels when I can concentrate on my breathing.”

I just smiled at Kay. She said, “And that, too! Smiling. Smiling is another reason I am glad to wake up and to get up from bed! It feels good to smile and it feels good to receive a smile from someone else. I’ll remember to smile a lot the next time I see my friend.”

For the next wonderful five minutes, Kay shared perfectly simple completely outstanding reasons to wake up and to get up. Kay’s list included cooking breakfast, sitting on her deck, walking, talking, and cherishing memories. About the only thing I would add to Kay’s list is the chance to hear someone (like Kay!) excitedly sharing their wonderful realizations.

Maybe nothing is a tragedy, but I think we can say that to live without appreciating this life is at least a shame. Everyday Zen, Charlotte Joko Beck

Thank you, Kay.

Breathe for a moment. Let your face smile. Take a step and another. Say a word. Be aware of the little things that are big reasons to enjoy your life every day.

Wake up and get up prayer

Sweet Spirit, thank you for the power of every morning’s wake up.
Thank you for all the reasons we have to then get up.
The power of breath, of face-washing, the joy of breakfast,
the energy of morning tasks are everyday joys,
everyday gifts for which we are thankful!
Thank you that the life we experience
and the life we enjoy give us
–thanks to your presence and your power–
unlimited reasons not only to wake up
but also to get out of bed, to salute the day,
to look forward to the everyday chores
and the once in a lifetime experiences the beautiful day holds.
With joy and love we are glad that we can get up and wake up.
And so it is. And so we thank you, Spirit.
Amen.

Love and Blessings,

Tim
04 January 2019

Posted on January 4, 2019 at 4:08 am by Tim · Permalink · Comments Closed
In: Authenticity, Breath, Gratitude, Grounded, Prayer · Tagged with: , ,

When paths cross, what are we to do?

When paths cross

When paths cross, what are we to do?

A morning walk in Fayetteville, AR, showed me amusing, enlightening intersections of paths.

The path of deciding

Sun was not yet visible yet the sky had opened to soft uncolor before bright yellow against calm blue. As I walked from residential streets into downtown, a crow perched on the curb’s edge twenty feet ahead. Its blackness had a deep purple-navy sheen. Its green-yellow eyes focused on an earthworm making its wiggly way from the street to the curb, oblivious to what awaited.

My conscience wrestled over whether to interrupt their drama, to save one’s life and extend the other’s hunger. At that moment the crow saw my approach, made four hops backward across the sidewalk. Its eye bounced from me to worm to me to worm. The crow was intent on staying safe and not missing a meal. The worm was intent on making it to the curb and the grass beyond.

Crow cocked its head, maybe confused, as I walked by and said, “Good morning! This is between you two.”

The path of admiring

Three blocks later I was at the city square: once Town Hall, still surrounded by beautiful shrubs and flowers. A man my age (I guess) rode by on his 10-speed. His hair and beard were matching gray, as if the faded blend of his white tee shirt and his black nylon shorts. His helmet, too, was black and white.

He pedaled steadily around the square, not fast. Into each corner he leaned carefully and kept his eyes ever on the road 20 yards ahead. He lapped the square four times as I walked along but one side. As we passed each other the fourth time, he lifted his gaze and smiled. I said, “Good morning! Good riding!”

I wonder how many more square laps he rode.

The path of gratitude

Some steps later, I was almost “home”. A cricket no bigger than my fingernail moved across the walk ahead of me. I paused to decide whether to wait and let it cross or to step ahead and remove its worry. I stepped ahead. As I had done for the crow and the rider, I smiled. And said, “Thank you for signing my morning walk!”

When paths cross: a prayer

Preparer of our Paths, we really are blessed
when another’s path crosses ours.
Need not be a human being and it is special
when it is.
The opportunity to share a greeting
or a smile or merely a nod of the head that recognizes
their existence and that it makes us glad and truly blesses us.
And lets us remember the beauty of our being,
of our existence, of our prosperity that this life is.
And when our path crosses that of some creature,
we get to acknowledge that the beauty of life
is not ours alone, is not for us only.
Thank you, Giver of this life, for the network of paths
we get to walk and follow and cross throughout our time.
And so it is. And so we choose to let it be. Amen

Love and blessings,
Tim

 

 

11 October 2018

 

Posted on October 11, 2018 at 5:13 am by Tim · Permalink · Comments Closed
In: Prayer · Tagged with: ,