Primitive religion is not believed, it is danced!

Arthur Darby Nock

Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
And only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.

Elizabeth Browning

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Who Am I?

Who am I?
Often I frankly have no idea!
It would take more than a map (is there such as thing as a spiritual GPS?)
To help me find my way
Someplace close to the truth

There is the self I present to the world
A relatively acceptable self
There is the self I see in my minds eye
What I brazenly think of as my "true" self

And there is little semblance between the two
confident, unsure
knowledgeable, confused
righteous, well lets just say I don't always like myself a lot
Paul and I have a lot in common here,
"wretched man that I am"

and in that abyss, 
that cavernous dark space between what I hope to be 
and what I fear I am

is the real me
I catch glimpses
once in a blue moon
(does the moon every really turn blue?)
But most of the time
I am simply trying to prop myself up
I try to help others
but I become so attached to my need to be needed, 
I try to be a person people like
but I try too hard
and everything turns
and tumbles into the abyss
what should have been healthy and good becomes unhealthy
I do things I do not want to do
I lose control
and then I slink
fearful through the day
fearing that someone might see
the one I so wish to hide
Why do I make it so hard God?
You would love me
and you would define me
if only I would let you
I am in there 
 Rom 7:21-25
So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God — through Jesus Christ our Lord!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Its all about me, not!

It was an amazing morning the other day
the clouds broke
the sun filters through
dappling the forest floor with gold
a treasure scattered across the earth
It was all about me, such generosity from God!
A blessing due, I am sure

It is a miserable morning this day
gray meets gray
and heaven weeps
and all is heavy 
Why me?  What have I done to 
deserve such a
hollow day?

At times I catch myself
like a child with his hand in a cookie jar
holding fast to this 
odd and troublesome belief
that it is all about me

People seem to get better
Someone smiles
faith grows
It is all about me

A tortured mind continues to spew
its wounding thoughts
a person I cared for disappears
a note goes unanswered
the pews are empty
a suicide attempts occurs
it is all about me

Its all arrogance Lord
thinking that the blessings of life are somehow linked
to my presence, my words, my work
But so is thinking that all the things that haunt me
and cause me to believe
that I personally am responsible for all that happens around me

I talk about low self esteem.  But believing it is "all my fault" is an odd sort of arrogance
 Lord, you and I both know it is not all about me
I will do some things right
I will make mistakes
I have strengths
and God, you know, I have my weaknesses

But in the end
all I can do is take one step at a time
do the best that I can do

The rest is really really out of my hands
The rest is really up to you
and grace
and love

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Lost in the Desert

In our spiritual lives we are often seeking,
We are searching to get -  someplace
To a place that is richer, more meaningful, than what we have now
To find a connection with God that is somehow deeper, more powerful.

And that is why I like the book of Exodus.  Because I think the Exodus, the journey of the people of God from captivity in Egypt, to that land “flowing with milk and honey”, the promised land, is our story.  It reflects, it mirrors, our spiritual journeys, our journeys through life, in so many ways.

Often the first movement in this journey starts with moment of great turmoil.

Indeed very often the biggest movements in our spiritual lives begin with trauma, with really tough moments.
A tragedy
A failure
An illness
Something happens that shakes our complacency, makes us uncomfortable
We stumble, we fall, we go down… and paradoxically this movement down becomes the key to the way up…

And here is the thing that strikes me.
These moments of falling do something very necessary
They shake our world

And what they do is they force us out of the place where we have come to rest,
And onto the trail, the road
Of if you want to think about it in terms of the Exodus, out of Egypt and into the desert

To put it another way, these moments force us to leave home.

These moments help us realize that what we have, where we are, who we are needs to change.
Why?  It depends I suppose.  Because it is a place that is too limited, or narrow, or rigid?  Because it is not a good place for us?  It could be for many reasons.  Bottom line? The place we are just isn’t where we need to be…

So these moments come that force us to realize that we have to let go of what is and let God move us into the mystery, the unknown….Into the desert.

And this is difficult.  Because many of us are pretty settled.
We are in a place, that spiritually, morally, feels pretty comfortable.  Homey. 
But the problem is that even though the place we are, is not great.  We are comfortable there. 
It has become our place, just as Egypt had become the place of the people of Israel.

And so we are willing to just sit in this place.  And make do.  And frankly, it takes a lot to get us to move from this place of comfort.  We are, all too often, quite stuck.

And therein lies the problem.  Why?  Because God is always calling us to a new thing
One of my favorite passages is Isaiah 43:19:  See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?  I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.

Bottom line.  God wants us to go.  We are rooted.  And this doesn’t work when it comes to God’s ‘new thing.  This of these words from Christ.  "No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse. 17 Neither do men pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved."   Matt 9:16-17

To go with God sometime we have to let go
Pack up
Move out
Change skins
However you want to think about it.

And we not only have a lot of trouble getting going, we have a lot of trouble continuing to move away from the old place.  I keep thinking about the people of God in the desert

There they are, God has been amazing!!  So many incredible things have happened.
There have been the plagues, and then the Passover
The God took the people through the Red Sea.
Split the waters, and then closed them again

God has acted. 

But it took almost no time at all until the people wanted to do one thing
Go back to Eygpt.  ‘If only we had died by the Lord’s hand in Egypt”
Does that sound right?  Is that what we would expect from people who have experienced the power of God the people of Israel have?  And yet there they are. 

It is hard for us isn’t it, to let go of our constructs
Our dreams
Our agendas… priorities
Our fears, our hatreds
Our ideas of morality

But this is what the journey demands.
Jesus calls this losing our life….

To get back to the Exodus story.  Are we willing to leave home, to get home?
Which brings me to the word,  ‘homesick’

In a sense, we are like the Israelites, caught between two homes.  The old place, Egypt, and the new place, the Promised Land.  We are homesick for both.

We are homesick, drawn toward what was (the old legal system of black and white.. The old morality)
We are homesick, drawn toward what can be, will be (where God wants to take us, the promised land)
There we are, wanting to go back, afraid to go forward
Caught in the middle
What are we to do?

So there we are, wanting to go back, afraid to go forward
A little lost and confused….

But we are not left alone in that state.

Enter God.  In the story, in the Exodus, God is represented by the pillar of fire and the pillar of cloud.
When we are on the journey, when we have let go of what has been, the safe, the easy, the comfortable…

we are out on a limb
lost in the desert
and at that point all we have left is God…

And that is exactly the point.
We are in a place where we need God, and God is there.
In the Exodus story, we have the cloud, the fire
However we think of it, we have the presence of the sacred.

A presence, that pulls us along… that makes us “soul drawn”

We dare not try to find our own way, and make our way on our own power.  We can’t use external things (drugs , success)  We can’t stay surface, not even on the surface of holy things like the Bible.  We have to go deep.  We have to go into the mystery, into the wilderness….

And be a little lost.  And a little scared.  And very very dependent
And we will wander at times.  And at times feel like we are going in circles.  And at times go in circles.
But if we leave Egypt, and go with God…

If we are soul drawn….
We will see that new thing.  Find that new place.  Allow God’s amazing spirit to be poured into new wineskins…. And life will never be the same.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

The dualistic mind

I was thinking this morning Lord,
about "them"
those people i really don't like
those people who do not believe the way I do
think the way I do
act the way I do

I struggle with those who are different Lord
I like to think I am open and generous
but then my world turns to black and white
right and wrong
good or bad,

Like it or not, I have a dualistic mind
"it compares, it competes, it conflicts, it conspires, it cancels out any contrary evidence,
it crucifies with impunity". (Rohr)

I don't think Jesus had a dualistic mind.
while I see things as I am, Jesus saw things as they are
That is why he didn't bother with adjectives
Conservative?  Liberal
Bad? Good?
Gay! Straight?

Jesus didn't see conservative or liberal people
(and yes, they were fighting that battle in Jesus' time)
he saw people.
He saw a person not a tax collector
A person, not a prostitute
A person not a robber
A person not a Roman

There is a lesson for me here Lord
even as I get angry at those I think guilty of rigid and hateful thinking
I am guilty of rigid and hateful thinking my self

help me Lord to see all I meet
all I disagree with
all whom I agree with
as simply "people
children of God
those created in the image of God
and in whom the spark of the divine 
is alive and well

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Gaze of God

Those eyes
that stare at me so balefully
what do they see?
they are eyes that
see me through the lens
of every fear, every failure
every expectation and hope
they look at me and see me 
not as I am
but as less
and perhaps, at times
as more than I am
they see every flaw
and wrinkle
those eyes in the mirror 
can haunt me sometimes
And what about those other eyes?
The eyes that see me each day
as boss
or pastor
or friend
what do they see
do they mirror me as I am
or is that image too distorted
by their fears, or hopes or expectations?
does anyone see the real me?
 Ah yes!
there are those eyes
that see me perfectly

it is in the gaze of God
that I can find
The gaze of God receives us exactly as we are, without judgment or
distortion, subtraction or addition. Such perfect receiving is what
transforms us. Being totally received as we truly are is what we wait
and long for all of all our lives. All we can do is receive and return
the loving gaze of God every day, and afterwards we will be internally
free and deeply happy at the same time. 
                                                                          Richard Rohr

Sunday, May 20, 2012

God works in mysterious ways

The Exodus is truly a journey, and there are some basic things about this journey that can’t be avoided

A first lesson is this.
The way up is often the way down

Think about the first thing that happens when Moses finally gets back to Egypt
Moses and Aaron talk to the people, and they get everyone on the Exodus agenda.
They have the people of Israel behind them,
And then….

He and Aaron go to Pharaoh and say, "This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: 'Let my people go, so that they may hold a festival to me in the desert.'"   And the Pharaoh says, “well if that is that God want, far be it from me to get in the way…. You’d better get going!!”
Right?  Wrong!

Pharaoh said, "Who is this God, that I should obey him and let Israel go? I do not know the Lord and I will not let Israel go."   Moses and Aaron don’t give up, they make a further plea.  In fact they make threats.  “Let us take a three-day journey into the desert to offer sacrifices to the Lord our God, or he may strike us with plagues or with the sword."

But still Pharaoh is not impressed.  In fact he is so unimpressed that he makes the life of the people of Israel worse, much worse.   He gave an order to the slave drivers and foremen in charge of the people:  "You are no longer to supply the people with straw for making bricks; let them go and gather their own straw. But require them to make the same number of bricks as before; don't reduce the quota. They are lazy; that is why they are crying out, 'Let us go and sacrifice to our God.' Make the work harder for the men so that they keep working and pay no attention to lies."

Have you ever seen a brick, made the way they made them in Egypt?  Well let me tell what a key ingredient is, what kind of holds the brick together and gives it substance.  Straw. You take away straw, and it is way more work.  You have to have more clay, and the clay cracks.  Frankly it just doesn’t work.

So here we have the great start to the process
The beginning of the Exodus
And it is marked, by failure!
And the people are not happy.  They blame Moses.  They attack him.

Not a good start!

Isn’t it interesting, how often in the Scripture God hints at the fact that movement, growth, change, restoration, so many good things, involve a journey through struggle.  Even failure?

So often what we see in the Bible is not a straight line toward renewal, but a crooked line, often involving loss, that leads to renewal.

It is almost as if we have to lose something, something important, profound, before we can move further in our spiritual lives. 

A job, a fortune, a reputation has to be lost
A death has to be suffered
A disease has to be endured

They may sound weird, but I think the “always blessed” are at a disadvantage.
Because it looks to me as though some kind of falling, what Rohr calls necessary suffering is programmed into the spiritual journey we see presented in the Bible.

Think about Moses, and Aaron.
Would they have been the same leaders?
Would they ultimately have had the same relationship with God,
The same trust in God, and what God could do
A trust they would definitely need, time and time again in the desert,
If they had not had this first moment of loss?

Where they lost their voice?  Lost their influence? When Pharaoh made them look like abject failures?

But we are scared to death of these moments.  We think they are bad.  We think they are evidence that God is not with us, or that we don’t have enough faith.

We work so hard to avoid them.  In fact the spirituality of far too many people is essentially made up of a journey where the main task is to avoid bad things, avoid sin, avoid mistakes at any cost

How far do we get… tip toeing through life, scared to death, looking over our shoulders, spiritually speaking?  If the Israelites had done this, they would never have gotten out of Egypt, and in fact they barely did… for that very reason….It was more comfortable to stay safe, and stuck…

It was clear from the beginning that they, the people, would not be in charge of this journey
They were not going to be able to plan the itinerary
Oh no…. They had no control, they could not engineer their own safe passage…

They fact is, they learned more from the initial failure of Moses and Aaron
Then they would have learned if things had gone well.  If Pharaoh had just let them go.
Moses, when he essentially tried to do it his own way….”all we want to do Pharaoh is just go out for a little 3 day retreat” thought small.  How far a 3 day retreat gotten them?
Learning to trust God and depend on God, they learned to go all the way, to freedom.

They learned more, and grew more, by doing it wrong, than by doing it right
Rohr notes that some people have called this principle of going down to go up a “spirituality of imperfection” or the “way of the wound”.

I like that.  And where it takes me is to those words of Jesus we heard earlier.  Matt 10:34-39
"Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law— a man's enemies will be the members of his own household. Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”

Here-in is the mystery of the Christian faith.
When we fall, we are raised
When we die to the old, we find a glorious new
When we fail we discover forgiveness
When we are lost in the dark, the light shines.

Rohr calls this “falling upward.”

What happens is we learn that the path is crooked
And we learn that bad things happen
And we learn we can fail
And we learn that God, in grace and love can turn everything around.

Salvation, being raised to new life, is not sin, or failure perfectly avoided (this is where we with our spiritual egos would like to go)

No salvation is sin and failure turned on its head and used in our favor.
God used the failure of Moses and Aaron
He used the stubbornness of Pharaoh
We would use the whining immaturity of the people of God

All, to get them wonderfully, beautifully, to the Promised Land
To keep them moving
To turn sin and failure on its head

There is only one constant in all of this
Present and acting
Through it all, the people of God are never alone.
And God’s primary job description, Jesus’ too, is one of constant renewal of bad deals.

This past week this all kind of hit me, so I wrote this little piece for my blog
I’d like to end with sharing it with you now.

The way up is the way down
It really bugs me God
that life doesn't come with a handbook

I always thought it would have been nice
if you would have given me a little tome

Tips for the Road

I spent so much time trying to do it right
I was taught
by well meaning parents
and well meaning pastors
that this was the way to go

do it right
follow the rules
I learned a spirituality of perfection
and I was miserable
and frankly....

well frankly I became spiritually challenged

But you taught me a big lesson God
somewhere along the way

You taught me that it is OK to strive
and work to do and be my best
but you taught me it is also OK to fail
and forgive
and include imperfection
For God it has been from the depths
that I have been able to reach feebly for the heights
Thank you God for the spirituality of imperfection
For teaching me that I grow spiritually much more
by doing it wrong than by doing it right (thank you Richard Rohr)
it is when I fall apart
and my carefully engineered life collapses

it is in losing, failing, falling, in sin
that I find the mystery of grace
and you

the way down
my God
is often the way up
to grace

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


I met a woman once
I thought she was kind of crazy
she took a picture of your "aura"
and then offered to tell you about yourself

It turns out that my profile could be summed up in one word


or to put it another way, 
I feel like I am never "at home"

what an awkward place to be
since i have always believed that the goal of any sacred story
is to come back home

is "home" the place I have constructed?
or is "home" something else

perhaps it is becoming what I always dreamed of being
perhaps it is returning to my original myth
but in a deeper day
maybe coming home
is doing it right this time

yet this call
which is both backwards and forwards at the same time
is puzzling to me

perhaps i am called to leave this place
this place I am
which is now home
to find a place that is more real

perhaps I am called to leave this self
that I have so carefully constructed
to "lose my life" as Jesus puts it,
to leave my "false self" in order to find my true self?
But how will I know my 'home' when I find it
and how will i know my true self?
Perhaps all I can say is that I seek
to be the one, who, from the beginning
I was
in the mind and heart of God

Sunday, May 13, 2012

We Melt a little

We melt a little each day.
The candle burns down.
And it may wonder at times, it may wonder:
What will become of me?  What will happen to my precious flame?
Life is a paradox O God
I wish it were not so
For life in the eye of a paradox is a puzzling thing
It is a life of tension
Law and freedom
Light and Dark
Giving and receiving
Good and Bad
New and Old
always that tension
that "both and"
and rarely an "either or"
And yet in that beautiful tension
is growth and life
for as we give we receive
and as we learn how to receive we find
a new ability to give

In sinning we learn about forgiveness
In our awareness of our weakness, we also learn of strength
In failure we learn of hope
Life is a paradox oh God, 
thank you that it is so!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The way up is the way down

It really bugs me God
that life doesn't come with a handbook

I always thought it would have been nice
if you would have given me a little tome

Tips for the Road

I spent so much time trying to do it right
I was taught
by well meaning parents
and well meaning pastors
that this was the way to go

do it right
follow the rules
I learned a spirituality of perfection
and I was miserable
and frankly....

well frankly I became spiritually challenged

But you taught me a big lesson God
somewhere along the way

You taught me that it is OK to strive
and work to do and be my best
but you taught me it is also OK to fail
and forgive
and include imperfection
For God it has been from the depths
that I have been able to reach feebly for the heights
Thank you God for the spirituality of imperfection
For teaching me that I grow spiritually much more
by doing it wrong than by doing it right (thank you Richard Rohr)
it is when I fall apart
and my carefully engineered life collapses

it is in losing, failing, falling, in sin
that I find the mystery of grace
and you
the way down
my God
is often the way up
to grace
and to You.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Stop it!

Stephen, stop it!
my mind is in full rebellion

"Frankly" it says,
"I am tired!  Enough all ready!

Have you never heard of mental vacations!?
Of time spent 
Simply being in the moment

Observing your mental navel?"

The rest of me chimes in
My body, mind and soul

telling me
that the most urgent thing I can do
is rest

time to lie on the grass
and watch the clouds float by.....

Look, that cloud looks like

Monday, May 7, 2012

God is bigger

The story of Moses and God meeting at the burning bush is, to me, amazing.  It is amazing mostly because of the way God was present for Moses.  And for the way in which Moses couldn’t see past his own nose.  And in the end seemed to think what God was asking of him was all about him.

Think about this… Moses has been wandering around the Sinai herding sheep for a long time.   Anyone want to guess how long?  Jewish tradition says 40 years.  Biblically it was long enough that the original Pharoh who”knew not Joseph” has died.  So Moses is wandering around and suddenly, the burning bush.  Or rather, a bush out of which fire came (it was not consumed)

What happens here is that God broke into Moses’ mundane existence with something more, something amazing.  Something that announced the presence of the divine in an unmistakable way…

And this amazingly, for the moment obvious God, calls Moses by name, and gives him a job.  The job of bringing the Hebrews out of Egypt and leading them to “a land flowing with milk and honey.”

And Moses says!  “Yes, right on God!  Here I am!”  Right?
Wrong.  Instead Moses says “Who am I that I should go”

And God says, (being a rather patient God), “Look Moses, I will be with you.  I am here!  I am present.  You see my reality and my power.  And I will be with you.” 
And Moses says, “OK God, I get it now, let’s go!”  Right?
Wrong.  Instead he says… But God,
they will challenge me,
they will question me,
they will won’t know who it is who has sent me.

Moses, instead of just going with God, keeps asking for more.
Next Moses asks God for a name. 
Names are power. “Hey you” is not as powerful as…. Scott!  Jan!  Dan!  Etc.
If God doesn’t have a name… how can Moses call on God?

So Moses wants a name.
Bottom line, Moses wants a handle on God

That's what's going on here. Moses is trying to wile the name out of this divine being because to know God’s name is to have a certain power over it. Which is what makes God's answer so perfect: "I AM WHO I AM!"   Not exactly what Moses was expecting.  And as middle eastern God names go, not very exotic… Ishtar is a lot more fun!

But the fact is, God gives Moses a name, a name that is still powerful, even if more a description than a name. 

So we have the bush, and we have the name.
And we have the call…..
So now, finally, Moses is ready to go, right?
No!  Moses keeps hesitating

So God, with amazing patience keeps giving him more to go on… it is an amazing story.
In verse 16 God reminds Moses that God is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  God reminds Moses that he not just any God, but the God who has worked in the lives of this people over and over and over again.  This is a known God.  This God has worked in history.  This God has led, and rescued the people.  This God has proven trust worthy.  Still not enough for Moses

So God does some magic.  God turns Moses staff into a serpent, not enough.
God turns Moses hand into a leprous one, and then makes it well again, not enough.

Still Moses challenges the call.  Excuse after excuse.  They won’t believe me.
I’m not a good speaker.

Eventually even God gets mad.  And eventually God has to go with a compromise, and add in Aaron, Moses’ brother as a spokesperson.

Of course we know how the story ends.  Moses does go.  God is with him.  And God’s work gets done…

But what happened here?
What happened is that Moses kept looking at himself.
He looked at himself, and measured what could be done by the measure of what he perceived to be his own skills, gifts, strengths.
Suppose they won’t listen to me
I’m not good at speaking
Send someone else!

Here he was…. In front of the burning bush, talking to God, and seeing miracles!
And he was totally stuck. 

I said a while back that the power of these stories lies in part in the fact that they are also our stories.
And this story is no exception
We do this, don’t we….?  We can put ourselves in this story.

God has work in mind for us.  God calls us to be a part of his healing ministry in this world
God calls us to be part of bringing the kingdom into reality, NOW

And what do we do? 
Well I know what I do.  All too often I look at myself, and I think…. Not much I can do.
Any of you feel that way?

How many of us, when being tugged by God into doing something
Use ourselves as the measure of what can happen?

But the message of this story is that we are not the measure of what can happen.
Think about Moses.  God had been using Moses’ history to prepare him
Time as a prince, then time as a Bedouin.  God had been giving Moses the tools

And then God gave him more.  That staff, that as the Exodus unfolded would part seas and bring forth water.  God gave Moses yet another tool, his brother Aaron.  But the biggest thing was God’s presence.
That powerful presence that we see in the plagues, and in the pillar of fire that leads the people of Israel through the desert.  Moses was not the measure of what could happen, because Moses was not alone, God was there, and active!!!

And in the end God was able to work through Moses, in spite of his limitations, AND, importantly,  in spite of his reluctance.  God’s pretty amazing.

And the reality is that God wasn’t asking Moses to do much of anything
Just asking Moses to point to the God who was there….Just asking Moses to let the power of the Almighty flow through him.

When God calls us to ministry… it is not really about us.   It is about the God who is with us.

So when I look at this story, I try to put myself in Moses’ sandals
I try to stand on that holy ground
And hear God call to me
God’s plan for me…..

As I stand there I might well be a little intimidated at the idea that my work,
Here in the church, and with the people I counsel, might be holy work
I might wonder, I often do wonder if I am enough

But when I wonder, God simply reminds me, through this story
That it is not all about me.  And when God calls you, it is not all about you.

My job, your job, all our jobs, is simply to point to the God who is there
Simply to be people through whom the power of God flows
That is not so hard is it?

But we don’t think this way.  For example, I hear people talk about taking God, or Jesus to, like China.  Or “to’ people who don’t have him.  When I hear that my thought is this… carrying God can be exhausting - God is really heavy…

Do you see the implication in that language, that I am going to take God someplace..??
If we think it is about us in that way, we have it all wrong
We are simply asked to be in the world
And in that world to
Let God be in us
And we are to point to that God
And let God be manifested through us…

Rob Bell tells of story of being in Rwanda…
He was with a woman named Pauline, who works among people affected with HIV
She was on a visit to a friend who only had hours to live, and agreed to let Rob go along.

“Eventually” Rob writes, “we ended up in a dirt floored one room shack about 6X6 feet.  A woman was lying under so many blankets that all we could see was her mouth and eyes.  Her name was Jaqueline.  Pauline had become her friend and had been visiting her consistently.  As I knelt down beside her on the floor I watched Pauline standing in the corner, weeping.  Her friend was going to die soon.  What overwhelmed me wasn’t the death or despair or poverty.  What overwhelmed me was the compassion.  In this dark place Pauline’s love and compassion were simply………..bigger.  The God in her was simply, bigger.

When we take God into the dark places
God is simply bigger
When we take God into the world
God, and God’s love is simply bigger than whatever forces we face
Whatever task we face.

That is the point of the story
Moses was not big enough, but God was

We are not big enough, but God is