Tag Archives: Reflections

“being” not “doing”

Late last night, I couldn’t sleep. As I was processing some of what was going on in my life, I thought about the conversation Jesus had with a rich young man. At midnight I got up and started reading Matthew 19:16-28. I realized the young man wanted Jesus to tell him what “to do,” but Jesus was, in fact, inviting the young man into a whole new way of “being” not “doing”.

I find myself missing motherhood. In this role, I knew what I had to do…laundry, baking, making dinner at lunchtime because there would be no other time after school and even planning birthday parties. (Did you notice the list did not include cleaning?) Now, I am simply being a mother but from afar.

By one o’clock, I realized I was struggling with the fear of leaving the familiar. It seemed to me the rich young man knew how to be rich but wasn’t sure how to follow Jesus. I have to confess, I am more familiar with how “to mother” than how to be a mother. And if I am honest with myself, like the rich young man, I am more familiar with how to do the right and good things rather than how to be a true follower of Jesus.

Before I finally went to bed, I prayed…
Lord, thank you for graciously inviting me into a whole new way of “being.” Amen and amen.

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Through the years, I have heard pastors describe believers as “Easter-People.” I have read devotions in which I am described as an “Easter-person.” But what exactly does that mean? In terms of the Church calendar Easter is not just a day; Eastertide is the fifty days between Easter Sunday to Pentecost Sunday. So am I now an Easter-person who will become Pentecost-person soon? Labels can be tricky.

Today as I was reading in the Psalms, I stopped when I came these words: “The Lord lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be God my Savior!” These are Easter words! King David wasn’t an “Easter-person” as we are. He lived before the time of Christ…before Easter! But Easter words were part of his prayer life and I would guess part of his vocabulary.

Being labeled an “Easter-person” isn’t a bad thing; I know I am in good company. But more than anything I want to be a person who uses Easter words regularly and prayerfully. No matter when they lived or will live, Easter-people believe in their hearts and proclaim with the mouths as King David did:

“The Lord lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be God my Savior!”
~Psalm 18:4

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Holy Week

On Palm Sunday we begin our journey with the one who comes in the name of the Lord; and his steadfast love guides us into a deeper understanding of what it means to not be given over to death we deserve. By marvelous grace, we enter the gates of righteousness because the stone the builders rejected becomes the chief cornerstone of our lives. It is marvelous in our eyes, a day to rejoice and be glad in. Easter Sunday invites our hearts to give thanks to The Lord for he is good and his steadfast love endures forever.
~reflections from Psalm 118

Blessings on your journey to Easter…


A Sojourner

Recently, I was at the San Francisco airport waiting for a friend returning from a trip to Bali. After confirming the China Airlines flight from Taipei had landed and was in customs, I stood in the international terminal loitering with lots of other people for a long time. There was no mass exodus of sojourners coming through customs. One by one, weary travelers arrived at the gate excited to soon depart again, with people delighted to see them.

Watching all these comings and goings, made me think of this verse:

Hear my prayer, O Lord,
and give ear to my cry
hold not your peace at my tears!
For I am a sojourner with you,
a guest like all my fathers.
~Psalm 39:12

There is a loneliness that settles into the soul. It comes not from simply standing all alone, but from stopping long enough to realize that our lives are filled with dear ones making arrivals and departures all the time. We weep for them. And if we’re truly attentive to our grief, we ask The Lord to bring us the peace we so desire.

For me that peace comes when I wait like I did at Gate A. As I finally give voice to the cries of my heart and surrender my soul to the comings and goings of joy and sorrow, I recognize that I am a sojourner also. Each day I am invited to be God’s guest on this spiritual journey. I must confess I am not always thrilled with the destinations, but I am grateful that God is with me every step of the way. I am not traveling alone. Neither are you!

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