Friday, October 30, 2009

Discernment


From a dream:


The objects fit into the uniquely shaped case with no space left. Everything had its place and did not have to be squeezed in, yet there was no room either for things to rattle around. It was a perfect piece of packing.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Make the Shoe Fit


I had a thought provoking dream in the night. Many dreams are worthless, sometimes imparting to one a sense of worthlessness or anger, or other destructive message, but this one had something interesting to look at.

In the dream there was a man with authority that was showing me some shoes. The person in the dream that he was speaking to was me, but not me. (an abstract me)... I felt that I was being shown a universal truth, as well as a personal one.

He pointed out some shoes, a certain style though the same brand that I wear, that x wore, who was no longer here. The shoes that x wore had certain virtues associated with them and not everyone was comfortable in them. He said that even though one could not become x, as x was uniquely him or herself, or even take x's place, there were qualities that x manifested, that were worth emulating. The shoes that x wore in this case represented x's Christ-Like qualities. This was not about power or a worldly quality, but this was about sweetness of soul, generosity of spirit and a loving understanding of others.

A caution here: Philipians 2:20-21 ie: Looking for someone likeminded- "For all seek their own, not the things of Christ Jesus."

There are some things that I have read in the past day that linger and somehow inhance this in my heart.

Yesterday was one of the commemoration days of St. John of Kronstadt, his death day. He was a truly great saint of this time. In his biography it says, "-John thought about the importance of forgiveness, meekness, and love, and came to believe that these were the very center and power of Christianity, and that only one path - the path of humble love - leads to God and the triumph of His righteousness." www.oca.org- under Feasts and Saints.




Another strong and most important idea from a book that I am reading has been circulating in my mind. When Jesus was in the garden of Gethsemane with His apostles, He knew that His arrest was immanent and He asked His apostles to wait with Him, to sit with Him. They couldn't do it, they kept falling asleep. He was clearly in a state of agitation, but they were not, and they could not share or understand His knowledge of what was ahead, and so abandoned Him to aloneness. The book that I am reading (which I would highly recommend, The Power of the Name, The History and Practices of the Jesus Prayer by Alphonse and Rachel Goetmann), points out that after the death and crucifixion of Jesus... He for whom his apostles could not wait, now waits with us and is present for us at our call. (The power of the Resurrection!) And indeed sticks to us like glue, as a Companion in our need. The call is the operative here, the heartfelt call to Him who is the Companion of all companions.

Remembering the beauty of the person who is gone,
Remembering meekness, forgiveness, and love,
Remembering Christ who is with us as a Companion, to help us grow and flourish in the best of ways if we ask for that direction;
...being mindful of those thoughts....it seems that the message of that dream is to practice the beauty of the loved one by holding it and cherishing it in the heart. That is the most fitting memorial to someone of great worth. To put on the shoes that represent the glory of that soul that God placed in human form, and wear that beauty as something seen and acknowledged.
Perhaps that is the way of keeping and cherishing that person who is alive in our hearts.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Quote for the Day



Moses and the Burning Bush

“O, Moses, because you are straining with so great a desire for that which is before you and there is no weariness in your progress, know that the spaces around you are so vast you will never reach the end of your journey. Here there is only motionlessness. I set you on the rock; and now there occurs the most astonishing thing of all: for here to be in motion, and to be unmoving, are the same thing. Here he who advances stops, and he who stops advances, and he advances by the very fact that he is motionless.

De Vita Moyisi, 405 AD
Gregory of Nyssa

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Pouring in Buckets



This morning a thunder storm was brewing and rumbling in the mountain valleys and down the slopes. The dogs were worried and burrowed down under the covers with me and lay next to me in the darkness. The cat started meowing as well and so the better part of valor was to leap up and get on with the day. It was literally calling to us in a fine deep voice.

I have begun a painting for a fundraising event, a small retablo. This amounts to a board, that has been sanded...I coated it with many coats of gesso and am working on an image which pictures golden aspens in the top corner, with land falling away into deep mountain valley with a stream at the bottom. It is remembered from our trip into the mountains the other day, and actually many trips to places like this. There is one incredible view near Heron Lake south of Chama...the cliffs drop away like this, but it is a much rockier drop.

Always spectacular is that spectacle of land soaring above us or dropping to a depth below us.
I think perhaps because it is a surprise. One expects things to go on at the same level, in the same tone. I think people either seek out surprises, or they like to live where things remain flat and predictable. One faction has trouble understanding the other.
Now I can't tell you where this is going, but this is something to think about.


I for one love the unpredictable. I love to watch God work in it. My trouble comes when things are the same. I want to jump in the car and go somewhere else where the views wake me up out of what seems to be a sameness. Yet I know that every day has its variety. There will never be day that is the same. Perhaps the challenge comes in really seeing the day.


Here is a saint for you. Blind Matrona of Moscow. She was blind but was a great seer.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

On Judgement


If your Father in Heaven knew something negative about someone, true or not, would he repeat it to someone else, acknowledging that sinfulness and making it yet more real? God forbid!
Would He repeat it in His mind and turn it over, examining it in His mind, dwelling on it??? God Forbid!
A Loving God forgives. Ask forgiveness for the sin for your brother/sister and be finished with your thought of it.

Lord save us from judgement of our friends and neighbors and all we come in contact with.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Surprising Grace

It is a beautiful cool dawn here. Silver light is shining through the Russian Olives outside my studio window. The frosts have come and nipped the growing things so the fields are golden. It is a nice thought that all the things that we grew in the garden are in the house and mostly dealt with in some form or another. Below is a photo of some plums our neighbor brought that made the most wonderful plum jam. Delicious!


I roasted tomatoes and onion with Italian herbs and garlic in a big turkey roaster day before yesterday, using a recipe from my daughter-in-law, Ayesha. It makes a wonderful pizza topper or spaghetti sauce.

Simply wash the tomatoes and add as much bay leaf, parsley, oregano, basil, onion and garlic (and whatever else sounds good) as you want, placing all in a roasting pan and roast in a 300 degree oven for as long as it takes to evaporate most of the liquid. Ours were particularly juicy tomatoes and so it took an afternoon and there was still to much liquid and so left them all night at 200 degrees, and then the next morning at 300 until noon. It was a very full roaster. I meant to take a picture of the pan full as it was so beautiful but...

I had to clean the oven, but it created the most wonderful toasty tomato sauce!

There are more ripening on the table, a bumper crop. We planted Early Girl which we have always had wonderful success with. There is also a good cherry tomato that is part of the mix. My husband says that compost mixed in with the soil when he plants is the secret of their success.

We had some surprise pumpkins that came up in the compost bin. I dug one up and planted it next to the irrigation ditch thinking that it was a winter squash, lo and behold it turned out to be pumpkin. I had the two that it produced in the house and found a third one that was still green before the hard frost.

I am always amazed at the surprises that gardening produces. One expects a certain outcome more or less, but there are always those remarkable surprises that show themselves and leave one somehow awed at the small unimaginable gift that comes or the abundance of the crop. What Grace! What delight!