Monthly Archives: July 2017

In the net

William H. Rau (1855-1920)
Fishermen by the Sea of Galilee, Palestine
stereograph, gelatin silver, ca.29 December 1903

Today’s net holds a variety of interesting “fish.” I find joy in the beautiful morning. Pain deep in my bones. Ease for the pain in the sun’s warmth. Anxiety about returning to work tomorrow. Comfort in the cat’s purr. Annoyance in the in-and-out demands of another cat. An opportunity to be in touch with my elderly aunt. A message from a friend.

To be in the kingdom of heaven is to choose the fish that feed me and others. It is to make a deliberate effort to discard the fish that weaken my ability to love.

Today I choose to let go of anxiety and annoyance. I choose to be gentle with the pain. I choose to give thanks for the beauty of the world and the people I encounter.

[Jesus said to his disciples,] “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net thrown into the sea, which collects fish of every kind. When it is full they haul it ashore and sit down to put what is good into buckets. What is bad they throw away.” Matthew 13:47-48

In God’s care

James Tissot (1836-1902)
Le semeur
opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper, between 1886 and 1894
Brooklyn Museum

All people, including me, no matter what’s going on in the world, are in the tender, compassionate, comforting care of God.

Today I thank God for taking care of me.

There is no god besides you who have the care of all. Wisdom 12:13

 

By the sea

Sea of Galilee
Photochrom print (color photo lithograph), between 1890 and 1905

Sound travels further over water. When the crowd gathers around him, Jesus gets in the boat to make it easier for everyone to hear his teaching.

How blessed are we that our Lord is eager to speak to us and make sure we hear his voice. Today I will take time to listen.

On that day, Jesus went out of the house and sat down by the sea. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat down, and the whole crowd stood along the shore. Matthew 13:1-2

Rest

Charles Cousen (1819-1889)
Engraving after R. Beavis

The heaviest part of today’s burden is not the migraine. It is the negative self-judgment. I am disappointed in my physical frailty and inability to do all that needs to be done.

But I can handle my most pressing need: to take time to partner with the One who is eager to give me rest. It is enough, it is more than enough, it is my calling to let the Lord teach me God’s care and compassion.

[Jesus said,] “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

 

One step at a time

The cross is here every day. Sometimes it feels like pain, fatigue, swollen feet. Sometimes it acts like crankiness, indifference, fear. Sometimes it attacks like shame, resentment, despair.

To carry the cross is one thing. To practice trust, love, compassion, peace, forgiveness, and nonviolence despite its weight is another. But this is the way of Jesus that I am called to follow.

[Jesus said to his apostles,] “…and whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me.” Matthew 10:38