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I am Sandra - faithful steward. listener. shepherd. dream believer. hard worker. collects brass bells, boots. Jesus follower. contented. star gazer. homemaker. farmer. prayer warrior. country woman. reader. traveler. writer. homebody. living life large.

Monday, April 16, 2007

In the Midst of Life

On eleven April I celebrated my 54th birthday. That doesn't seem so old but as I draw nearer to sixty I find myself thinking "old" and not "older". Wonder why that is? We find some birthdays dramatic and even crisis mode and others clear sailing. Thus far, no birthday has been anything other than gratefully appreciated. After all, consider the alternative to waking up above ground. Doesn't bear much thinking, eh?

A little while ago, flowers arrived from Anne and Ken. What a thoughtful and kind Grandmother Bennett hung a little plaque on her living room wall that said, "give me my flowers while I live". What a wonderful sentiment! What a big difference the small things make in our lives. How many would still be with us today had a kind word, pat on the back or small gesture been extended toward them? What a difference we can make in the lives of family, friends and strangers when we look beyond ourselves. It's not enough to pray, in secret, for others. We need to pray, in public, for them as well. We need to let them know they are loved, needed and wanted; no one can fill another's place. Each of us are unique, created in the Creators' image to be loved by Him; to be sought by the Hound of Heaven with a love so great He felt it was worth His life.
Has anyones' life been enhanced because you passed their way today? Sometimes it's us who needs the embrace or to be reminded of a bit of warmth in a frosty world. When we strive to reach out in kindness to others, we're casting our bread upon the waters, ensuring good karma, making sure what goes around is good so that good comes back around.
I'm a firm believer in reaching out to others because others will be there when I reach out in need.
Dave and I have been watching the CNN broadcast about the VA Tech shootings. As of right now the death count is thirty-one and climbing; some of the wounded have been taken to the Roanoke trauma center. I've made telephone calls to check on loved ones who work and go to school at VT; so far everyone is accounted for and safe in body if not spirit.
What's the meaning of violence or hate or ill-will in life and in our lives? I'm certain only that I don't know. On my best days I barely comprehend the love, grace, peace and mercy of God and loved ones. To attempt to comprehend the mind of madmen is more than I can bring to the I don't. I pray and when I don't know what to pray, I cry and allow the Holy Spirit of God to intercede on behalf of my heart.
I do know that with each passing year, with each birthday, I find it more and more difficult to hear, much less see, the ugliness of mankind. I wonder how the great heart of the Most High bears it and He's had since time's beginning to look upon our sin.
On a list recently, someone asked what words do we use when words are needed. I responded that words are, for me, not as worthy as action. When someone is in need of comfort, I show up with food or a hand knitted shawl and then do that person's chores or house cleaning...some thing of action to show them what I can't tell them. I don't trust myself nor my words for fear I'll get in the way of the words and not be a comfort.
Then, I find something like the following by Julian of Norwich and find much comfort in her words. A balm in Gilead for those times when I feel like a great dumb beast simply bearing up under yet more madness.
Like today.

Julian of Norwich ~

"All things shall be well
You shall see for yourself that
All manner of things shall be well

For as the body is clad in the cloth,
And the flesh in the skin,
And the bones in the flesh
And the heart in the trunk
So are soul, and body, clad and enclosed in the goodness of God
As truly as God is our Father, so truly is God our mother
And he revealed that in everything and especially in these sweet words where he says,

"I am the power and goodness of fatherhood,
I am the wisdom and lovingness of motherhood.
I am the light and grace which is all blessed love."

I looked at the hazel nut with the eye of my understanding and thought, what can this be?
I was amazed that it could last for I thought that because of its littleness it would suddenly have fallen into nothing.

And I was answered in my understanding.
It lasts and always will, because God loves it, and thus everything has being through the love of God.

You will not be overcome.
God did not say you will not be troubled,
You will not be belaboured,
You will not be disquieted;
But God said, You will not be overcome.

What, do you wish to know your Lord’s meaning in this thing?
Know it well, love was his meaning.
Who reveals it to you? Love
What did he reveal to you? Love
Why does he reveal it to you? For Love
Remain in this. And you will know more of the same."

Blessings ~

~the love of God
~the love of family
~the love of friends
~the comfort we are not alone when God holds us in His love and loved ones hold us in their hearts


  1. Happy (very belated) birthday!

  2. Happy Birthday! Lovely post, such comforting thoughts for when the world does not make sense...

  3. Happy Belated Birthday! You are my elder by just a bit. :-)

  4. Thank you for such lovely words from Julian of Norwich. I will print this so I can have it in front of me every day.
    Enjoying your blog, and hope you had a nice birthday. I am one year behind you.


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