Paths

Learning to Listening

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How well am I listening to the voice of my Shepherd?

Have I been searching his Word for his words to me?

Have I been watching his every move to move with him when he moves?

Am I slowing down when he does,

to stop and play with a child or

listen to another who needs my ears and comfort?

Have I stretched out my hand in healing as he does?

Am I studying his ways to match my ways with his?

Forgiving as he forgave me?

Forsaking condemnation and judgement,

while learning the art of love and compassion?

How well do I know his voice?

Enough that I do not follow the thousand voices

leading me down other paths far away from his?

How well am I listening to the voice of my Beloved?

Categories: Faith, God, Lent, Life, Love, Paths, Poetry | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Booties on the Ground

Reading to us

Booties on the Ground! My daughter shouted up the stairs as I was looking for my grandbabies little shoes before we headed out on an outing in some wet, cold weather. I found the little booties on the ground as she had instructed, but all the while thinking of the other phrase: “Boots on the Ground!” The meaning of going to war sending our young people in the path of bombs and bullets to send out their own bombs and bullets on “the enemy”.

 

The world  continues to ignite in firestorm after firestorm. Horrific acts of terrorism and war.  Violence in our streets and in our schools.  Natural disasters leaving misery and grief in their wake. It would be easy to lose hope, but that is one thing we cannot afford to lose.  We could do with losing some anger, hate, bitterness, revenge, fear and the like.  Those really need to go, because if we continue to feed them they grow and we suddenly become the very thing we hate or fear. There is a spiritual law that is not unlike the natural law of sowing and reaping.  You plant an apple seed you get an apple tree.  You plant the seed of hate, that is what grows.  I do not think we can stop the wars and violence in our societies with more violence. It is not working!

We continue to have more war and violence instead of less.  I heard a short clip by  Nobel Laureate

Shirin Ebadi. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-sZIl_R_BE

 

She said if we would have thrown books instead of bombs we would not be in this place we are now with ISIS.  Well we didn’t throw books we threw bombs on Iraq and Afghanistan.  Is it too late to undo this?  What can we do to stop this violence?  

 

Back to the Booties.  Are any of us adults considering what we are doing to the children of this world?  What if those in Booties could vote?  Make war or make peace? Have you seen these compelling photos of where Syrian children sleep?

 

http://www.buzzfeed.com/lynzybilling/where-syrian-children-sleep#.saOnqG2Y7q

 

Please take some time to look at these photos.  What would their vote be?  Make war or make peace?

 

Making peace is not easy.  It is easier to flow on tides of hate and revenge. It takes great effort and humility to make peace.  It takes searching of our own hearts.  Where have I errored? Where have I disregarded another people different from my own?  It takes great courage to walk towards our enemy unarmed.

 

The bravest man I know did not arm himself to the teeth with weapons, or call in a numberless army to surround him on his assault against evil.  Instead, he picked up his cross and headed toward a hill.  He did the hardest work of sacrificing himself to make peace for his enemies to know God’s love. In doing so he stopped the spiritual forces of darkness arrayed to destroy mankind.  He was the same wiseman who said, “If we live by the sword we will die by the sword.” At another time he put a little child in the middle of his followers and asked: “Do you want to be great?  Then become like this little child.”  

 

This is my call today.  “Booties on the Ground!” Let us become like children and choose what is best for them.  I think we all can agree that peace rather than war is best for our little ones.

 

Categories: borderlands, Faith, God, Hope, Life, Paths, Peace and Reconciliation | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Remember Me (Communion Song)

Sunset After the Rain

This is my body – broken for you

I gave it freely – for you

Remember Me

This my blood – poured out for you

I gave it freely – for you

Remember Me

As the Father sent me – so send I you

As I laid down my life – lay yours down too

Remember Me

Freely you have received – freely give

I am Emanuel – always with you

On your journey towards Home

Remember Me

In your struggle to make sense – In your struggle to make peace

Remember the poor, the sick, the imprisoned

In all that you do – in the work I have given you

Remember Me

Categories: Faith, God, Hope, Love, Paths, Peace and Reconciliation, Poetry | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Greenlake

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Greenlake

Rain washing our faces

as we curve around the lake

A favorite city walk

for man and beast

Algae blooms

in the water,

so beautiful to see, yet

toxic

keeping swimmers

at bay

Not that many are interested

this time of year

The trees are

really turning now

in full fall gala

Nothing can stop them

(only a lightning bolt or

a person

with an ax who hates beauty,

driven to stamp out glory

wherever it is found)

Are there such people?

Yes, but they are few

in the minority –

don’t vote for them!

or sell them a gun!

Pray for them instead,

help them up

out of despair

Then tend to the remnants

of the garden we have left

Gently coax it back to life

The meek will, someday,

inherit the earth, after all.

© 2015 Julie Clark

Categories: beauty, Faith, Hope, Life, Paths, Poetry, Prayer, Seasons, Trees | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fireflies

More roses

Where I come from, west of the Rockies all the way in the LA basin, fireflies were part of the magical world of Disneyland. Some mythical land, somewhere was alive with them, but I was only able to see them in the caverns of “The Pirates of the Caribbean” ride.

This summer’s visit to Omaha awakens that magic again, sitting on the front porch with my merry daughter.  Those  creatures are real, towing their flickering lanterns as they dart in and out of the Magnolia Tree.

Stories I have heard about or read about in books of faraway mystical lands bring the same feeling of enchantment that these little bugs are stirring in me. “It’s true! It’s true! There really are fireflies in the world!”

Traversing parts of our world, especially far-off Central Asia and India, exploring ancient ruins in bone dry deserts and strolling through colorful bazaars in bustling towns with exotic names awakened similar feelings.  The bazaars were real, with all the dazzling colors and variety of goods I had read about. The magic wore off as I shopped regularly for fruits and vegetables, haggling over prices with the stall keepers.  There never was any magic in the meat and fish section with the pungent smells, in fact I had to avoid them in Taiwan when I was pregnant with my firstborn.  Leave that kind of shopping to my strong stomached husband!

The magic of a volcano became real to me when my family was able to spend three months on the big island of Hawaii.  Kilauea produced a different kind of awe in me than these fireflies.  Something like, Wow! Maybe we shouldn’t be so close to these fissures in the ground, and I definitely want you kids to stop jumping over them, even if your father is leading the charge!

My most vivid experience of this kind of awe happened when I was seventeen.  I went to a concert put on by some Jesus People in my home town. I had never been to such a concert, but was so curious about these people.   Little did I know this one small  event would lead to a major shift in my life that continues to this day.  I remember awakening the next morning with this powerful sense of God’s love for me, just as I had the night before.  The same sense of wonder, that something I longed for was true, strongly surrounded me. “Jesus loves me this I know…”

Categories: beauty, borderlands, Faith, God, Hope, Life, Love, Paths, Prayer, Seasons, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Summer Chimes

Poplar

 

Along ancient paths

newly surfaced again and again

poplars, descendants of

the Aged Ones,

are whispering

in the warm summer breeze

 

Will i stop and listen?

Autumn will come

soon enough

and lash these chimes,

winter will find them gone

 

Now in this warmth only

is their message heard

for this season,

later the falling leaves

and bleak branches

will have another message

 

Life presses in

with it’s pressures

do this, do that

and hurry up

you are late again,

fill every moment

with a call or a text

until the pulse races

and the poplars

playful message of

peace and joy

cannot be heard

for another year

 

© 2015 Julie Clark

Categories: beauty, Faith, Life, Paths, Poetry, Seasons, Trees | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Growing Pains

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This chaos

on the edge of growth

painful

unnerving

face to face

with my lack or gap

hang on

rather

be hung on to

this is

the knife edge

to the other side

of this messy process

of becoming

more of who

I am destined to be

(c) 2015 Julie Clark

Categories: Faith, God, Hope, Life, Paths, Poetry, Seasons | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Wilderness

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Natural or made by man

lost, lonely, wild

road’s end

path unseen by

naked eye to

naked I

 

Forgotten, desolate

dangerous place

to be

 

Another purpose

unseen by me

greater use

of sanding, refining

turning

my waste places

into potential

gardens

where seeds of

patience, kindness,

love and joy

have room to grow

without my

interference

 

© 2015 Julie Clark

Categories: Faith, Hope, Life, Love, Paths, Poetry, Seasons | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Simplicity

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Could it be

as simple as

paying attention

to the messages

God sends me

every day

and

loving

those put in

my path?

 

The messages

(love notes really)

delight me

and call forth

gratitude and

praise.

 

The loving part

stretches me

to become

more of the person

I am meant to be

and strengthens

the other

on their

journey.

 

Strengthened bonds

build communities

and the world

becomes a better

place

for all to live.

 

© 2015 Julie Clark

Categories: Faith, God, Life, Love, Paths, Poetry | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Contemplative Cat

The Contemplative Cat

Categories: beauty, Faith, Paths, Photography, Prayer | Tags: , | 2 Comments

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