Saturday, November 22, 2008

blessings passed down

Dear ones,

We survived the Treasure Hunt that we did for the twins birthday. My thoughts turn to another time when 11 years ago I was holding two new babies in my arms. I recall that wonderful newborn smell and the softness of their skin as if it just happened. There was an older woman at my church who was a twin and had been looking forward to the birth of my twins, but she had been battling cancer and was near death. It seemed like the only thing keeping her alive was meeting Robert and Maria (we called them Click and Clack then - we didn't know that we had a boy and girl until they were born). Her doctor kept calling me and asking when I was going to go into labor. He said that this woman, Zelda, was ready to die but refused to do so until she met my babies! Finally they came - and when we left the hospital our first stop, even before we went home, was to visit Zelda. Her twin sister came down from Reno for the occasion. They were 95 years old. In preparation to greet these new twins Zelda got out of bed and put on makeup so she could  look her best, and I have to say, she looked stunning. She shone with joy that day. I will never forget the image I have of Zelda and her sister holding these babies who had just come into the world. When Zelda held each one, she leaned over and whispered into their ears. She told me that she had to wait for their birth because  they needed to have the blessing of elder twins to welcome them into this world. I don't know what she whispered but I know that she passed on to them a powerful blessing for their lives.

Enjoy the readings. Take time to reflect on the questions that the poem asks. Peace. Debra+

Malachi. 3:13-4:6 (NRSV)

13 You have spoken harsh words against me, says the LORD. Yet you say, "How have we spoken against you?" You have said, "It is vain to serve God. What do we profit by keeping his command or by going about as mourners before the LORD of hosts? Now we count the arrogant happy; evildoers not only prosper, but when they put God to the test they escape." 16Then those who revered the LORD spoke with one another. The LORD took note and listened, and a book of remembrance was written before him of those who revered the
LORD and thought on his name. 17They shall be mine, says the LORD of hosts, my special possession on the day when I act, and I will spare them as parents spare their children who serve them. 18Then once more you shall see the difference between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve him.

See, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble; the day that comes shall burn them up, says the LORD of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch. But for you who revere my name the sun of righteousness shall rise, with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall. 3And you shall tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet, on the day when I act, says the LORD of hosts. Remember the teaching of my servant Moses, the statutes and ordinances that I commanded him at Horeb for all Israel. 5Lo, I will send you the prophet Elijah before the great and terrible day of the LORD comes. 6He will turn the hearts of parents to their children and the hearts of children to their parents, so that I will not come and strike the land with a curse. "

What's In The Temple?
In the quiet spaces of my mind a thought lies still, but ready to spring. 
It begs me to open the door so it can walk about. 
The poets speak in obscure terms pointing madly at the unsayable. 
The sages say nothing, but walk ahead patting their thigh calling for us to follow. 
The monk sits pen in hand poised to explain the cloud of unknowing. 
The seeker seeks, just around the corner from the truth. 
If she stands still it will catch up with her. 
Pause with us here a while. 
Put your ear to the wall of your heart. 
Listen for the whisper of knowing there. 
Love will touch you if you are very still.
If I say the word God, people run away. 
They've been frightened--sat on 'till the spirit cried "uncle." 
Now they play hide and seek with somebody they can't name. 
They know he's out there looking for them, and they want to be found, 
But there is all this stuff in the way.
I can't talk about God and make any sense, 
And I can't not talk about God and make any sense. 
So we talk about the weather, and we are talking about God.
I miss the old temples where you could hang out with God. 
Still, we have pet pounds where you can feel love draped in warm fur, 
And sense the whole tragedy of life and death. 
You see there the consequences of carelessness, 
And you feel there the yapping urgency of life that wants to be lived. 
The only things lacking are the frankincense and myrrh.
We don't build many temples anymore. 
Maybe we learned that the sacred can't be contained. 
Or maybe it can't be sustained inside a building. 
Buildings crumble. 
It's the spirit that lives on.
If you had a temple in the secret spaces of your heart, 
What would you worship there? 
What would you bring to sacrifice? 
What would be behind the curtain in the holy of holies?
Go there now.
~ Tom Barrett ~
(Keeping in Touch)

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