Category Archives: good

Restoration

Dear God,

I’m on an airplane right now on the way to Sydney, Australia.

I am so grateful to and for Rachel, my champion and cheerleader, my second mother and favorite sister, my warrior and worrier. She’s worried about me and all that’s gone on in this past year of my life. She’s spent only You know how much to make this trip happen, this childhood dream and sister adventure come to be. I don’t know how to thank her and you enough. She is good, generous, protective, under-appreciated, and she deserves to have a good time, too. Help her to relax, not to stress about pleasing me, not to worry too much about her beautiful babies at home and Richie, too. Please take care of them and mom who is helping take care of them, too. 

Thank you for times of rest. And for restoration. And for the things that come next for which our rest prepares us. There are big things I want to get moving at the church in Edinburg, and it’s hard to let go to enter this time. It’s hard to let go of those ideas I believe you e given to me. I want to restore a fire and passion for your will and your people –all your people– but I also know it’s not always our work to do. Help me to accept the role you are giving me. Help to accept the rest you are giving me. 

May your will for creation and your people be restored. 

Amen. 

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Butterfly Mass

Dear God,

Lately there’s been a mass of butterflies migrating south. First there was the mass of yellow butterflies with wings that are mostly rounded. They practically blend in with the esperanza bushes they love so much down here except that they are a softer yellow. I swear I could look out the office window and see at least 15 at a time flying through the parking lot, as though still on their morning commute. Then came the mass of brown and red butterflies–the ones speckled with white spots. They’re not the color of monarchs but a similar shape. They seem more determined and less happy-go-lucky than the yellow butterflies. And then came the mass of monarchs, though they came in fewest numbers. Did you feel each flutter? What about our heartbeats?

It’s incredible to witness each mass of butterflies and incredibly sad. I drive to work, I drive to hospitals, I drive to lunch, I drive to the beach, I drive home, and everywhere I go butterflies are flitting across the road. And getting hit by cars, getting hit by my car. It’s beautiful and horrifying when I stop to watch the butterflies. Which, of course, is dangerous because I’m usually driving as I watch. I find myself not quite slamming on my brakes but slowing down significantly, only to slam into a butterfly or three anyway. It’s unavoidable.

And yet, it makes me wonder. What pain or destruction do I cause to your Creation that is avoidable? What am I not paying attention to because it isn’t pretty enough or gentle enough to draw my eye and pull my heartstrings? Who or what do I careen toward, petal to the metal, because I’ve decided they deserve to be destroyed in some way or some part?

Do the butterflies en masse mean to you the same as a Sunday Mass? Do they weigh on your heart more? Do you feel their wings, thinner than tissue paper, crushed under tires? Do you blow the wind up under their wings to lift them up above the windshields like children play with bubbles? What delicate, gentle, beautiful, harmless, and helpless creations are you grieving the destruction of today?

I know that before resurrection comes death. Help me, God, not to get in the way of or speed past or destroy the work of resurrection you are bringing into the world.

Amen.

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Overwhelmed

Dear God,

I know I gripe a lot.  You’re probably really tired of hearing me tell work stories lately, especially since I’m supposedly doing “your work”.  I feel like you must be pretty tired of hearing people call so much pithy and relatively pointless stuff your work and your will.

You’re probably going to roll your eyes at this one, but I was watching a movie tonight.  Alone.  At my house which is a mess (though the floors are really clean).  Sitting on my butt.  Doing nothing to help people have a better life and know your love.

And for some strange reason, while reading facebook status updates about General Conference and people making decisions about “your church” hundreds of miles away, I got really overwhelmed.  With life.  Even though nothing has really happened yet at GC and probably very little will happen that can truly count as your will being done (I have a feeling you don’t really give a crap about Robert’s Rules of Order when there are children dying everywhere tonight).

I don’t know.  That dumb movie.  It’s not the first time, you know that.  I pretty much decided to study history in college because of a fictional movie about a piece of WWII that I knew nothing about prior to watching.  It was a love story, and I felt a shift in my heart and mind about the world for some reason.  And I got a degree.

But tonight, I don’t know.  That dumb movie.  It wasn’t as good as the book (I’m sure you know that and you sort of think that on a macrocosmic level all the time).  But I’m sitting on my bed crying.  I’m thinking about how this world is full of so much good.  And I just wish with all my heart tonight that I could make more good for you.  I don’t know that I can ever really stop the bad, the hurt, the sorrow, the alone, the really really really unfair.  But I want to make more good, more love, more warm, more sweet, more peace.  For you.

In The Secret Life of Bees, May is overwhelmed with her empathy for the sad things of the world, and she ends up drowning herself.  I don’t know how it happened tonight, in my dumb, empty house, on a dumb, lonely Tuesday… but I feel overwhelmed with my empathy, and with my gratefulness for the good things.  That all come from you.  And I feel overwhelmed for your sake, with just a small imagining of what you might think or feel or want.  And I don’t want to drown, I want to live.  For you.

Thank you for holy moments on dumb Tuesday nights.  Please don’t judge me for finding my breath during dumb movies.  Help me to make more good for your world.  To not get overwhelmed by the bad.  To love.  Endlessly.

Amen.