Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sunflowers

My goodness! I can't leave May with only one lonely blog entry! So here's another one to keep the first one company.

Some years ago, I wrote quite a bit of poetry. I was even a member of a monthly poetry group. Lots of painful stuff happened then, and pain can be quite the muse for poetry, and writing in general.

Today, I felt inspired to write a poem. Nothing particularly painful happened, rather, more of a wistful wondering, based on a chance encounter with a neighbor. It's a first draft, so likely it'll go through a few revisions before I feel like it's done. But here goes:

"Sunflowers"

Looking over the fence today,
A neighbor was working in his yard.
Not much different from my own
Tending the lawn,
Separating the despised weeds
From the soft, green grass.

As I watered my grass,
I noticed a tall bunch of sunflowers
Growing in the corner of my neighbor's yard.
Lovely plants -- they reminded me of the blooms
I once received as a gift.
So, so tall --
The bright flowers rose higher than the fence.

Then I realized what my neighbor was doing.
The flowers disappeared, a few at a time.
I heard the sound of cutting,
And I knew that these were not to be kept.
They were counted among the weeds,
A nuisance, something to be rid of.

I wondered why he would choose to dispose of them.
They chose his yard to grow in --
So fortunate -- to have such pretty flowers
Without even trying.
Was there something in their beautiful wildness
That he was afraid to keep?

It was a shame to waste something so lovely.
I thought I should ask for a few cuttings to keep in my yard.
But good manners averted such presumption.

So sadly I spied the corner again.
No longer did the yellow blossoms smile upon me.
I wondered why I spent so much time caring for something that didn't belong
When God's beautiful provision was cast aside.

(end of poem -- for now)

Just wondering...you know?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Eastertide! Happy Mothers' Day! And Some Random Thoughts

Lots of hanging with the family, but I thought I'd check in here while I have the chance.

I hope you are all having a most blessed Eastertide, and to the moms (in whatever form that takes): Happy Mothers' Day!

To celebrate, we're going out to dinner at a local Brazilian steakhouse. Gaucho waiters with spears of delectable meats. Can you say, "Mmmm! Mmmm!"?

Now for the random musing: If you've read the previous entries, you know that I had a tumultuous leave-taking from my old church. Thankfully, things have settled down and life has been relatively drama-free for almost a year now.

Today I met with Fr. Y and another parishioner regarding the leadership of a lay ministry. One thing that struck me was Fr. Y's expectation that participants in this ministry be regular attenders of our church. That is, attending on the days other than the ones in which they would serve. That sounded quite reasonable, and I said so in our conversation.

Now, the reason this stood out for me is that in the midst of my discernment (which, in hindsight, was what was happening), I had stopped being a regular attender of my old church. Granted, I didn't miss many Sundays, but even the ones in which I was physically present, my heart was no longer there.

I said that to say this: Perhaps Fr. X at my old church was not so out of line to remove me from certain ministries. However -- and this is a big however -- it could have been handled so much more sensitively at a pastoral level. It was such an emotionally charged situation -- with not only a pastoral relationship, but a personal friendship at stake. Things were said that never should have been said, and unfortunately, neither relationship was strong enough to weather the crisis.

These thoughts come up because of the scars that are still present from the experience. But it's not a consuming thing, and the quiet I now have in my life is so very welcome.

This verse from the Bible speaks to me:
I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter, my great army, which I sent among you. Joel 2:25 ESV
God is restoring so much in my life in the Church. Over the past several years, He has restored much in my personal life. God is so good. I give thanks to Him.

Alleluia! Alleluia!