Easter


I have grown up in a tradition that tends to be skeptical of “pre-formed” prayers.  On a good side, I think they just don’t want prayer to be rote and something we do without really engaging our being in.  On the ugly side, our prayers tend toward narcissism and an inordinate fascination with ourselves.   I love to talk to God, but find sometimes I just don’t have the words and one of the saints who have gone before me does.

Today I borrow a prayer from one of them.

We, without a future,

Safe, defined, delivered

Now salute you, God.

Knowing that nothing is safe,

Secure, inviolable here.

Except you,

And even that eludes our minds at times.

We did not want it easy, God

But we did not contemplate

That it would be quite this hard

This long, this lonely.

So, if we are to be turned inside out,

And upside down,

With even our pockets shaken

Just to check what’s rattling

And left behind,

We pray that you will keep faith with us,

And be with us,

holding our hands as we weep,

Giving us strength to continue,

And showing us beacons

Along the way

to becoming new.

~ Anna McKenzie

The Genesis stories of creation begin with “heaven and earth”, but that turns out to be merely a warm-up exercise for the main event, the creation of human life, man and woman, designated “image of God”.  Man and woman are alive with the very breath of God.  If you want to look at creation full, creation at its highest, you look at a person – a man, a woman, a child.  The faddish preference for appreciating creation in a bouquet of flowers over a squalling baby, for a day on the beach rather than rubbing shoulders with uncongenial neighbors – creation with the inconvenience of persons excised – in understandable, but it is also decidedly not creation in the terms it has been revealed to us.  (Eugene Peterson)

Lord, though I see You in a wildflower and feel You in the warmth of the sunshine…let me enter fully into Your creation (and thus You) through the eyes and limbs of others.  O help me to learn (and eventually love) to practice the presence of other people!

As I look about me for evidence of Christ playing in ten thousand places, today it came in the form of a Skype call and our cats….

My little niece who was adopted from China 5 years ago is struggling with what many abandoned children struggle with – a gap in their story.  She has no history prior to being adopted at 10 months (save a few little snippets from the orphanage), and her amazing parents are struggling alongside her with what to say.  As her mom put it, “when she comes to me to ask these hard, hard questions, I can only give her empty hands…but I can also offer open arms.”  It is a time of confusion and frustration for everyone involved.  (And my little niece is only 6!)

However, today she called us via Skype to wish my daughter a happy birthday.  As they were talking, she and her sisters noticed our cats running around in the background.  One of her sisters asked, “Which one is the daddy?”  I had to explain to her that the cats were brothers and that we had adopted them into our family after someone else had taken care of them for a little while.

A few moments later our little niece whispered something in her mom’s ear.  Later I came to find out that she had told her mom that she thought maybe the cats understood her and what she is going through.  After all they were adopted from an orphanage…just like her!

(I love how the Lord sends us tender mercies in whatever form He wishes…even cats.)

As Easter people, we now see with a new set of eyes.  We know that He is risen…we know we will see Him…we live in deep wonder and joy…and run to tell others what we have seen.

Lord, help me see You more and more.  And let my voice and life proclaim that You are risen.

(It is funny because on Sunday we were reading the Easter story around our Sabbath breakfast and I put down my glasses in this spot.  It seems that even on Sunday, Christ was at play with me!)

She is 13 today.  And in those thirteen years I know I have seen Christ playing in at least ten times ten thousand places.

Thank you, Lord for the the gift of my children…and how I get to see You in them, around them and through them!!!

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.

Worship the Lord with gladness;

come before Him with joyful songs.

Psalm 100:1-2

Christ plays in ten thousand places

lovely in limbs and lovely in eyes not His….

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