Monthly Archives: July 2014

Searching

Pearl of Great Price

An etching by Jan Luyken illustrating Matthew 13:45-46 in the Bowyer Bible, Bolton, England
By Phillip Medhurst (Photo by Harry Kossuth) [FAL], via Wikimedia Commons

[Jesus said to his disciples,] “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls. When he finds a pearl of great price, he goes and sells all that he has and buys it.” Matthew 13:45-46

That which we long to find is what prompts us to search: God’s love deep in our hearts, the pearl that has no price because it is beyond our ability to value.

The finding is in the searching and the searching is in the finding. And so we give up selfishness and self-pity, greed and resentment, fear and prejudice—and we find Love.

 

Love yeast

 

Parable of the Mustard Seed An etching by Jan Luyken in the Bowyer Bible, Bolton, England By Phillip Medhurst (Photo by Harry Kossuth) [FAL], via Wikimedia Commons

Parable of the Mustard Seed
An etching by Jan Luyken in the Bowyer Bible, Bolton, England
By Phillip Medhurst (Photo by Harry Kossuth) [FAL], via Wikimedia Commons

[Jesus] spoke to them another parable. “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed with three measures of wheat flour until the whole batch was leavened.” Matthew 13:33

We take just a tiny bit of love and mix it with our families, friends, neighbors, strangers, our workplaces, our communities, our homes – and we watch it grow.

That is the kingdom of heaven: our tiny bit of love moving freely to grow encouragement, kindness, respect, courtesy, and compassion in our tiny bit of the world.

One Word

Millet, Jean François, 1814-1875  ca. 1865-1866 black conté crayon and pastel on paper   Clark Art Institute Williamstown, MA

Millet, Jean François, 1814-1875
The Sower, ca. 1865-1866
black conté crayon and pastel on paper
Clark Art Institute Williamstown, MA

[And he spoke to them at length in parables, saying:] “But the seed sown on rich soil is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.” Matthew 13:23

Today is a bad pain day. It is taking most of my energy to breathe. The soil I have to offer the Lord feels stony, weed-infested, and prickly with thorns. How can I hope to bear any fruit at all?

By letting go of self-pity, self-judgment, self-loathing and opening my mouth to say the one Word that heals: Jesus.

Time to rest

I will give you rest

James Tissot (1836-1902)
Jésus engage les apôtres à se reposer (Jesus Commands the Apostles to Rest)
between 1886 and 1894
opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper
Brooklyn Musuem

[Jesus said,] “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

I know some days I am heavy with pain, fatigue, and discouragement. I know others carry heavy responsibilities, grief, and stress. I know the world is heavy with violence, racism, and injustice.

I don’t know how to heal the heaviness. But Jesus does. I will practice turning my attention to Jesus. I will trust him with my burdens, the burdens of others, and the world’s burdens. I will rest from my tendency to do-it-myself and let Jesus help me through the day.