Whether you turn to the right or to the left,

your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying,

“This is the way; walk in it.”

Isaiah 30:21

Of The Empire ...

At times, poetry speaks more eloquently than any other form of speech.

Mary Oliver's poem - Of The Empire - is an example:

"We will be known as a culture that feared death

and adored power, that tried to vanquish insecurity

for the few and cared little for the penury of the

many. We will be known as a culture that taught

and rewarded the amassing of things, that spoke

little if at all about the quality of life for

people (other people), for dogs, for rivers. All

the world, in our eyes, they will say, was a

commodity. And they will say that this structure

was held together politically, which it was, and

they will say also that our politics was no more

than an apparatus to accomodate the feelings of

the heart, and that the heart, in those days,

was small, and hard, and full of meanness."

My fellow Christians, please remember that throughout history when we proclaim "Jesus is Lord!"

we are, at the same time, proclaiming that the Empire is not.

Amen.

Sometimes we fall ...

I want to give you a glimpse into my life. 

For those who know me this story will not surprise.

For those who think you know me this story will help you know me better.

I was shopping for groceries earlier this week.

Just minding my business getting some produce on a steamy summer Monday morning.

Whilst reaching for some avocados my flip-flop got stuck under my shopping cart and I fell backwards onto my posterior while flinging my arms around wildly into a big stack of tomatillos in an attempt to catch myself.

I failed to catch myself.

And in a flurry of tomatillos I landed hard on my butt in the produce aisle.

I believe I even grunted in a lady-like manner as I landed.

To the unassuming guy stocking tomatoes, it must have appeared I fell out of thin air.

He looked over at me in amazement and I was so shocked that I just stared right back.

An elderly woman glanced at me for a couple seconds and said under her breath:

"Been there. Done that," and walked away.

So I did what you do when you make yourself fall down in public.

I got up.

Put the tomatillos back in their little messy pile and walked away.

A little bruised.

A lot humbled.

Gently reminded by God: Sometimes we fall.

 

The art of the shim ...

We recently sent an old bookshelf from our house to our daughter's new apartment.

It was an old bookshelf I bought used at a thrift store.

It is rich with history, dings, and uneven footing.

There was concern it might not even stay upright when placed on conrete floors.

My husband said, "Well, all it needs is a shim."

A shim is a small piece of wood that all carpenters know about ... because more often than not doors don't hang evenly, windows don't fit perfectly, something always needs a little shim; a little assist.

After he taught my daughter how to use the shim for the bookshelf, my wise husband said:

"You know, there is something beautiful in the shim. Nothing in life is perfect. If we are hoping for perfect, we will always be disappointed. Thus, the art of the shim. When something is wobbly or doesn't fit quite right, don't be distressed, just shim it."

He broke into a huge grin ...

We have been quoting "the art of the shim" for these last few weeks.

Nothing's perfect.

Just shim it.

Life's too short to be ruminate over imperfections.

Learn the art of the shim, friends ...