back to the daily grind



The bright aura fades
But the angel's words echo.
My God is with me. 

Thinking of Mary this year. And God pulling. (Previous years' Christmas haikus start here.)


o come

My favorite version of my favorite advent song, from Heather's celtic Christmas album:

O come, O come, Emmanuel



going lower

Recent experiences brought to mind this old favorite, from the Tao Te Ching:

The best of man is like water,
Which benefits all things, and does not contend with them,
Which flows in places that others disdain,
Where it is in harmony with the Way.




in this moment

Continuing "God Pulls"...

This is the good that we desire but cannot see, the pure good that we cannot imagine or reach for, though we long for it helplessly. To be with God. It seems impossibly far from us, and yet it is incredibly close. In this very moment. God is in this moment, touching us, ready to pull us and move us with his love, to change how we relate to others, how we work, how we receive all we need, to share with us the truly good life that we long for.

It is by God's power that this can become real for us. It doesn't matter that we don't even know what goodness looks like. It doesn't matter that our past has proven that we are weak and confused and selfish, that it is beyond our power to change. It is not by our power that this gift will be given to us. It is God who will make the unimaginable a reality.

This gift is close, in this very moment. Not at the end of a long, difficult struggle or journey, but now. God is pulling us to himself now. Only our resistance separates us. What God asks of us is neither patience nor struggle, but rather to stop struggling, to let ourselves be pulled in by his powerful love.

This happens in this moment, and in each moment of our lives. To surrender to God's love right now does not mean we will always live in that love. But God wants us to. That alone makes it possible for us. We must not be overwhelmed by the terrible failures behind us or the terrifying challenges ahead of us. God is here, in this moment. And it is in this moment that we must let God pull.


we are the end

Continuing "God Pulls"...

The power of God will produce the results God wants to see. The results are not in our hands. God sometimes works through our hands, but he does not need our power or hard work. God calls us, draws us in, but God does not desire us for the work we can do for him. What God desires is not our labor, but us. For God, we are not a tool, a means to an end. We are the end. We are what God wants.

Recognizing this, we can understand that there is no shame in being poor or weak. And whatever part we might play in God's work in the world, it is nothing to be proud about. As Paul wrote, "No human being can boast in the presence of God. Let him to boasts, boast of the Lord." The work of God is God's. It is not our accomplishment, no matter what we do. So our boast can only be in the greatness of God, and our joy can only be in the wonder of what God has done. This is our worship of God. We recognize the accomplishments of God and appreciate the beauty and goodness of it all. This also is surrendering to God's pull.

And this is what God wants from us. To be with him. Not to manage the world, or save it, but to surrender our power and be pulled in by God's love. All God's work is for this, and nothing else: to draw each of us in, to himself.