Enemy Within

After making a committment to write more, I found a lot of ways to avoid doing so.  This morning, everyone is still asleep, the house is quiet and my time is my own.  Instead of sitting down at the computer with a nice hot cup of coffee and a head full of ideas, I putter.  I move the clutter from point A to point B.  I start a load of laundry.  I put last night’s clean dishes away.  I think about the menu for next week.

I am keenly aware of the fact that I am my own worst enemy.  How other people get in their own way is often painfully obvious to me but being able to clearly see that I’m getting in my own way has been more of a challenge, until recently.  A smarter me has been working overtime.   The enemy within has made herself known.  Instead of fighting her, I wish her well as a smarter me takes over.  Smarter me knows that:

Everything begins and ends in our thoughts and perceptions.

For example:  Near morning, I awake and think it’s Friday.

My mind says, “I’ve got a weekend to look forward to.”

Then, I realize that it’s Sunday morning.

Moaning inside my head, the feeling changes.  “Darn it, half the weekend is gone!”

Fortunately, the newer, smarter me says, “Wait just a minute, young lady.  (Smart me knows how to talk to not-as-smart me.)  You have this day, this wonderful, beautiful day.  It is pure gift.  You never know what you’re going to find in it but whatever it is, you can handle it.  Get up, you have things to do, people to meet, a world to appreciate and you have gifts to give, things to share that are uniquely yours.  Today is a great day.  You, smart you, and God, we’ve all got this.  You’re going to be just fine.   It’s going to be a great day.”

And, so it is.  The enemy within and I are learning how to become friends.  It is a beautiful day.

The Gatherer

For years, I have operated under the delusion that my husband is the pack rat of this pairing.  Apparently, my capacity for denial is extremely well developed.  This past week, we have made 6 trips to donate “stuff”.  We’ve only begun to de-clutter.  I am the source of the acquisition of most of this “stuff.”  I am an amazing gatherer.

All this stuff has been making me a bit crazy.  The clutter tugs at my mind with confusion.  What to focus on?  What is important?   What to keep?  What to give away?  These are important questions that have often been lost in the”stuff” that floats around me like a Sargasso Sea.  I am the center of this stagnant spot.  With admission, comes a wee bit of shame, but mostly relief.  When I begin to see clearly, I will make better choices.  Delusion:  it’s time for you to go.

While I am an amazing gatherer and I’ve learned how to gather on a dime and make a profit on this flotsam, it’s not helping me any more.  It became an insulation against the world.  Building a fortress of others’ cast offs has been a simple way of protecting myself.  This stuff insulated me from feelings of loss, disparity, injustice, rejection, poverty.  It’s time to look this stuff in the eye and see it for what it is.  It’s looking back at me and helping me see that feelings of loss, disparity, injustice. . . are not ends in themselves, they are steps along the path.  There is a light at the end of the tunnel.  By giving things away, I’m clearing what has blocked the light.

“Light!  I’m so happy to see you.”

“I thought I’d find you by holding on.  I was wrong.  It’s all about letting go.”

Sanity is Over Rated

I am forgetful.  I am not as patient as I once was.  The other day, I screamed at a driver to get off her cell phone.  Fortunately, she didn’t see me.  I was shocked and ashamed of myself.  I wanted to pull over and cry.  I’ve had a few people call me nuts.  Ouch.  What happened to tact?  Wait, I don’t have a lot of that either.  Maybe I am a bit nuts.

Recently, I read about the prefrontal cortex (part of the brain).  It’s got an amazing job.  It regulates decision making.  It’s the seat of abstract thought.  It allows people to plan ahead and make strategies.  It controls emotions. It makes good judgments. . . all when working well, of course.  The prefrontal cortex is slow to develop and given as one of the chief reasons why smart teens may make such poor decisions.  It has limits.  In my case, it’s been overloaded trying to cope with the day-to-day that is my life.  My prefrontal cortex is having a bit of a crisis.

On top of circumstances beyond my control, I’ve got a decrease in estrogen.  Researchers used to believe that it affected the menopausal woman’s hippocampus.  Now they find:

“The prefrontal cortex is critical for intact working memory and estrogen enhances performance on working memory tasks. In conclusion, this study provides preliminary evidence for executive dysfunction in untreated menopausal women as women with HRT outperformed women without HRT on tests requiring directed attention, inhibition of inappropriate responses, and cognitive set switching.”  [Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11403979]

Which in lay person’s terms means, I am so screwed.

I didn’t plan on this.  “Lord, what are you thinking?”

“Lord, this is about faith, surrender, acceptance, isn’t it?”  The answer is a peaceful silence.

My God’s not much of a talker but then again, getting a word in edgewise with me, is no easy feat.   So, I try listening.  The clocks ticks off the seconds. I hear the soft rise and fall of my family’s voices as they enjoy a cooking show.  I can’t hear their words but the tone is sweet.  Soon their talk turns to the worm in Mescal.  Funny how quickly their voices rise.  I hear “Uuuuuuh,” then laughter.

Again, the ticking of the clock forces its way to the center of my awareness.  “Lord, are you telling me to heed the passage of time?” In between ticks, I realize that even in these challenging times, my life can be full and sweet.  Blessings are as abundant as sorrows.  One highlights and illuminates the other and I see with fresh eyes, not confined by logic or reason.   Mine is an exquisite kind of crazy.  I’m one lucky woman.  Sanity, is highly overrated.  I’m sure of it.

Write Me Beautiful

My soul has been weary.  I dream about being someone else, having a new identity,  going into witness protection.  What I’ve been witnessing isn’t pretty.  I need protection.

Decisions should never be made when life is too heavy.  Such decisions arise out of panic, not reason.  A knee jerk reaction to life can end up kicking one’s own behind.  Staying calm in a world full of crazy is more than a challenge.   Last night, in my sleep, both knees and legs start dancing like fleas in a hot skillet.  Poor husband, who is awake staring at the cracks in the ceiling and pondering their significance, witnesses his wife appear to run while laying down.  Sleeping with me is never boring.

The timing of this activity is everything.

Just the other day, I was demonstrating to my husband what HIS jimmy leg is like.  When he is overly tired, he has a leg that jerks in a pattern that eludes my capture.  Fortunately, it doesn’t happen often.  If I’m not asleep when it starts, I have to move to the couch to get some shut eye.  Now in addition to hitting him in the head, sitting up and giving commands, raising my hand and talking about absolutely anything in my sleep, I can add running…sleep running.  I’m way ahead in this insane contest of who can be the most active bed partner.

My husband has my deep and sincere sympathy.  I’d have a hard time sleeping with me.

Notice how I went from soul weary to challenges with self-acceptance.  I’ve been miserable struggling with both and seeing little if any progress, until today.

Today, I had met 3 strangers who gave me messages of hope and one hug.   In those brief meetings, all excess fell away, all the struggle began to have a meaning, even if I can’t see it yet.  While I’ve felt like I’ve been sleep walking through a nightmare, I have been busy.  I have been making a positive difference in ways that I failed to understand.  And the world, that I often find so inadequate has been busy showing me the things that I need to see, even when I didn’t want to see them.

For days, I refrain from writing because, the words aren’t beautiful or inspiring.  They are heavy and full of whining.  I want to write more.  I want to give some thing beautiful, some thing precious and hopeful in my words and when I can’t I feel frustrated and empty inside.    At the same time, it is important to me to be REAL.  No sugar coated platitudes, or simple-minded denial for this gal.

As my evening begins I find these words on Pinterest:

“So build yourself as beautiful as you want your world to be. Wrap yourself in light and give yourself away with your heart, your brush, your march, your art, your poetry, your play. And for every day your paint the war, take a week and paint the beauty, the color, the shape of the landscape you’re marching towards.  Everyone knows what you’re against.  Show them what you are for.”   — Andrea Gibson, Evolution

God’s timing is perfect.  I’m going to write my world beautiful!    It’s time to remind myself what I’m for.

The Mud and the Stars

The Mud and the Stars

Once a year, at Christmas time, I hear from a dear friend. This year, when I first got her letter, I waited to open it. I knew it would be full of good news and I didn’t want to envy her. I wanted to be happy for her with a heart that was full of pure intention

This morning, I read and responded to her with a happy and open heart. I’m convinced that it required a grace that I don’t posses on my own.

I found myself taking a clearer look at the circumstances of my life as I wrote the letter. I am sharing some parts of the letter here because I feel it is important.

This isn’t about me, although it seem it is.   I know how hard it is to find the good in others or in bad situations and I’m sharing why and how I struggle with this to encourage others.   If I can manage this, I’m pretty sure most people can. I’m not all that strong, or kind.

So often I hear people complain about money and all that they don’t have. All of them have a lot more security than we do. Poor people don’t usually complain a lot. They are too busy getting through the day.   Many people have sat in judgment of me, or us. Andy and I are often blamed for our own bad situation.   While I know that our choices or lack of effort is our responsibility and that it can have a negative impact and that it has a negative impact, we are human and we are struggling with challenges that threaten to crush us and to especially crush our spirits. Given this, I think it very important to appeal to hope, to faith and to our capacity to love. Life isn’t a dry run. It is the run. It’s the test. All this practice is part of the test.   Find joy where it is given. It can be hidden. Find it.

I had to find my joy before I could respond. At first, I felt small and jealous. I was missing the point. In time, I grew beyond my small edges. This is what I share today. It’s raw and honest and I am grossly uncomfortable sharing it. Here goes:

 

Dear ……….,

You’re letters help make the season bright! So happy to hear how well life is going and that you await the joy of more grandchildren.

We soldier on. Most days it feels more like battle than a joy but I’m beginning to believe that God gave me what I could handle and that there are lessons here that I need to learn.

Foreclosure is a long and painful process. As of yet, I have not solved the problem of future shelter. Hoping to be able to get through the winter and the worst of the weather before contemplating a tent in a nearby wood.  

Dear God, please send me some options. I’m taking a beating down here and am starting to lose it. Yesterday, I had several moments when I acted from my broken pieces, I didn’t rise above the fray but contributed to it. I’m sorry. I want to be so much better than I am.

I frequently label the fray, the mongrel hoard. Usually, this is done in the caverns in my head.   It’s those petty moments of retaliatory thinking that make me shed a light on the depth of my resentment. Wow, is that an ugly thing!

How I prefer cooperation over conflict, kindness over cruelty, generosity over selfishness.   How I long for unicorns, pink castles, lottery winnings, pigs that fly, an end to all war and the whole world singing as one. “I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony.”

Real is often dirty, rude, messy, some times heartless and cruel. I can be all of those things.

I sit in the mud puddle of life and I look up at the sky and the stars. Their beauty makes me cry. It also helps me get out of bed in the morning. It boosts my spirits and drives me to paint a smile on my face and create fun morning songs for my children. 

Yet, there are days or moments when I forget about the sky and the stars. All I see is the mud and the other people sitting beside me and I hate all of us. I question the whole Christian premise that “Christ died for our sins.” Really? Honestly? What was God thinking? We’re not worth it. We’re a disaster 

It’s a really good thing I’m not in charge. It’s time to leave philosophical/theological questions to greater and better-paid minds. My energy needs be applied elsewhere.

In this darkness, my children are another very bright spot in my life. ….

And my dear husband, Andy…this last year we’ve watched as numerous couples in our circles have split. It frightens both of us. We know how stressful troubles can be, how easy it is to blame the other, to not work together, to grow apart.   We don’t always like each other. Our communication is less than perfect. Single life can beckon like a beautiful yet deadly siren. Together, we are better than when we are alone. I said, “for better and for worse, for richer for poorer, for sickness and in health.” I have a commitment to honor.   He is also one of my best friends. That is another blessing.

While I can’t judge the relationships that split, I still feel shaken and sad. They may have the best reasons for parting.   It isn’t the path I want to travel. Life in the mud puddle is hard enough without losing my partner and a dear friend. This can be easy to forget.

From my mud puddle, I see the sky and the stars. My life is a mess. That sky and those stars remind me that it is also beautiful and that there are blessings right beside me in the muck and mire. The beauty overhead gives me hope and something to reach for. This is a good life. There is much be to learned and much to do.

At the end, I can say, “I did what I could. I didn’t give up without a fight. I fought to find the good in others and in myself and in situations that looked like hell.”

God must love this broken person very much to give her so much. I am blessed.

It just doesn’t look like much from the outside. 

I love you. Your letter forced me to sit down and write out my heart and soul and I’m so grateful for what you inspired in me. You are a treasure. Your letters are a treasure. Enjoy those wonderful children and grandchildren. I am so happy to hear from you and to know that you are doing so well  

Take care!

Have the Merriest Christmas and a New Year full of miracles!

 

 

 

Fear

The urge to put words to paper often overcomes me.  Then, I remember how uncomfortable I became, how opening oneself up and putting it out there for the world to see put me at risk and contributed to what was to follow.

Not everyone liked what I wrote.  Writing and sharing made my world less friendly, more hostile.  Yet, I opened myself up to it knowing what was likely and was still surprised when the inevitable happened.  Maybe, I was looking for a reason to stop.  I had begun to feel as if I had nothing to say, nothing of value to suggest.  If I made others responsible for not writing, I didn’t have to face what I felt about what I was producing.  Writing had become a way of making myself feel better at a time in my life when so many things were falling apart.

At this extremely challenging time in my life, I have learned a great deal about human nature.  People who I expected to be loving and supportive are not.  I had to process the hurt, the grief and find hope.

I, who can easily sit in judgment of others found myself at the end of others poor opinion.  I was blamed for my own problems, given loads of advice and experienced rejection and anger when I wouldn’t do what others thought I should.  Since, I’m not exactly new to this earth, you would think I’d have been better prepared.

I am the first to admit that yes, humans, me included, often create problems for ourselves and then invest lots of energy into maintaining them.  Problems become a mantel we don’t break through.  We allow problems to define us.  They give us reasons to stop striving, to stop reaching beyond ourselves, to stop growing.

For a long time, I’ve been stuck in trying to figure out why others outside the problem have such an emotional investment in it.  As interesting as the answer may be, it really isn’t important.  Their reactions are their responsibility.  I have enough on my plate.  I allowed my problems to become excuses.  Problems can be reasons but when they become excuses something is wrong.

My limited readership is most engrossed in what I write when I write honestly about the nuts and bolts of my life.  While I prefer distant, philosophical fluff, it isn’t nearly as interesting.  I’m afraid to write about the real and maybe that is the only reason that I should.

My writing is imperfect.  I am often embarrassed by it but I can write moderately well and I feel drawn to do so.  I know what it’s like to be me.  I spend a lot of time thinking.  I spend a lot of time finding ways to cope.   This is something I know a lot about.  This is what I will try to share in the days and weeks ahead.  The world is often a cold and hostile place.  Some times that hostility and indifference comes from those close to you.  As painful as this can be, it provides an opportunity for growth, a chance to rise above.  It can open a pathway to being a more loving presence in a world desperately in need of redemption and love.

Violence begets violence.

Hate fuels hate.

Negative talk creates negative thoughts and feelings.

Love is the only force that can heal.

Love can be tough.  It may not look like love.  Love may create boundaries and say “no.”  People may accuse you of being unloving, of not doing the right thing.  They may tell you that you’re wrong or selfish.   They can be wrong.  Dead wrong.

It’s time to face my fear and begin again.

(Now, to tackle my fear of falling through the sub roofing and get up there with Andy to see if we can get some tarp to cover the roof where the rain is pouring in.  Welcome to my world.  There is rarely a dull moment.)

 

An Accounting

So much of my life has been based in want, lack of abundance, need.

This last week in an overwhelming moment of need and anxiety, I knelt along side my bed and prayed the simplest of prayers,

“God help me.  God help us.”

It felt a little dramatic.  My knees ached.  I got up slowly.  My body hasn’t been a temple.  Its been more of a dump.   Immediate feedback from the Almighty was a deafening silence.  I crawled into bed and fell into an exhausted sleep.

A few days forward and I awake before all others.  There are a hundred different tasks that await me but the call to sit and open myself up to listen to the Divine are too great.  I’ll feel guilty if I don’t comply.  This feeling opens into an abyss of obligation and responsibility.  Its weight presses on the top of my head.  My head throbs in reply.  My body isn’t a temple.  I am guilty.  Mea culpa.  Mea maxima culpa.

The memory of my recent knee-position plea to God for help surfaces with an unusual strength.  I felt a little silly then and I feel more silly now.  My noisy mind resists these moments of quiet.  It raises up an annoying static of negative self talk and recriminations.  Some times, my mind is a real drag.

Suddenly, one thought becomes crystal clear.  All this mind noise has been a huge distraction.  It creates a poverty within.  It fills me with unfulfilled desire, inadequacy and pain.  They are illusions.  The shift in my life that I’ve been praying and longing for isn’t something external.  It is a change in being.  The circumstances and events that have felt like burdens, like punishments, are vehicles of growth and change.  My life isn’t flawed.  I am not tragically flawed.   My perceptions have created limits, walls of misery.  My perception has been limited.  My life is filled with opportunity.

Desperately, I want to avoid the reality of this last sentence.  I squirm under the responsibility until I suddenly realize that this too is the product of faulty perception.  The ledger of my life won’t be filled with monetary entries outlining my lack and how I overspent.  No, my ledger will detail the economy of being.  What did I become when life provided me the opportunity for growth and development.  How did I deal with the challenges I encountered?  Did I expand or contract?

The barrier between me and who I want to be is largely illusion.  I keep showing up for this party in a tattered costume with a mask covering who I am.  No wonder I’m not having any fun.

On a sunny Sunday morning, in a sleepy peaceful silence, I receive a pure gift, a splinter of enlightenment.   I am enough.  Life awaits.

Choices

“Humility is recognition of truth. Your worldly accomplishments are a gift bestowed upon you by the Uni-verse, nothing is possible without the support of the invisible realm of the Infinite Mystery. When you know that you actually do nothing and are simply a channel for the Good, Abundance, Joy and Peace that already existed before your birth to be rearranged to your preference you will be in harmony with Life. The minute you buy into being the doer of anything you have taken yourself out of the flow and stepped back into Ego thinking.

 

All things have been created by the Joyful will of the Infinite Mystery, Life is an experience of making choices about how you want to arrange things in your life. You can choose to arrange things in a Fearful, Egoic way, or you can choose to arrange things in a Loving and Joyful way. When you choose Love and Joy you align with the greatest and highest Good and begin to express your unique creative perspective while at the same time feeling a oneness with everyone else. This will leave you with a feeling of wholeness, joy, peace and gratitude.” 

– Jackson Kiddard

Lack of money limits choices.  It’s so easy to focus on what I can’t do or afford that I often forget that I still have a choice as to how I chose to act.

Lately, I’ve been a grump.  I felt sorry for myself, frustrated, limited, lacking.

When reality would come knocking and life was showing me that compassion with myself and others would be the better choice, I tried my best to ignore it.  Wearing misery like an ugly old sweater pulled up against a hostile world got to be a real drag.  So when I found an ugly sweater that I loved, I “decided to rock the ugly!”

Now, I lost track of “rocking the ugly” between then and now about half a dozen times but “rockin’ the ugly” is a choice and it sure beats letting life weigh too heavily.  I’m old enough now to know “that this too shall pass.”  No one can take their money or possessions with them when they die and as much as I’d like to leave a physical legacy for my children, they aren’t going to be taking it with them when they go either.  In the end, all the money and stuff in the world won’t matter.  What matters is how I chose to live my life and how I made the best with what I was given.

I’m going with the flow.  Here’s to “rockin’ the ugly!

 

 

racooncoat

Choose the Light

Choices.  There are too many of them.

Overwhelmed, I avoid making any.  I try and fool myself into thinking that I don’t have many choices but that isn’t true.  The smart part of me knows it.

Lately, I avoid writing to avoid understanding.  Confusion feels familiar, almost necessary.  The idea of lifting the veil and seeing what is behind the curtain is too much.

Yesterday, in Fred Meyer’s an elderly woman on the toilet paper aisle needs to talk.  I see it in her eyes, in her posture.  She is lonely.  Naturally outgoing, she seems lost in a sea of strangers and reaches out to me to make a connection.  I listen and smile politely aware of her great need, happy to fulfill some function, to be that friendly face in the crowd.

Suddenly, everyone in the store decides they must come down this same aisle.  The elderly woman isn’t finished talking.  She is unaware of the crowd pressing against our space, a space that isn’t ours, one that we must share.  I try to steer her to safety but she blocks my path eager to talk, needing me to listen.  Impatience pushes in behind me.  A woman gently nudges me with her cart.  I am annoyed and understanding all in the same moment.  Like her, I would feel impatient if someone was blocking my path.  I would not bump my cart into them.  This level of rudeness bothers me.

Worse yet, my elderly woman is telling me of an old trauma.  The woman used to work in a grocery store, actually owned one with her husband until the big corporations forced them out of business.  She continued working as a clerk until she was 75.  She stands before me with more energy and vigor than I.  She must be hugging 80.  Over 20 years ago, an unpleasant encounter with a person of a different ethnic group, impacted her so strongly that she still needs to talk about it.  I’m torn.  I hope no one will hear.  I understand how she feels.  I also know that the nationality or race or religion doesn’t matter, rude people come in every shape, size and flavor i.e. like the woman using her cart as a battering ram.  I want to be any where but there trapped by the toilet paper, kleenex,adult diapers and limited humans.

For a split second, I consider gently telling my elderly acquaintance, I’m not comfortable with what could be perceived as bigotry.  It might be the right thing to do.  It may not be.  It won’t change her view.   She’s invested years in harboring the injury, in blaming a nationality for the transgressions of the few.  Injustice was done years ago and it continues to be done by the victim who has unfairly judged others from that day forward.

The woman behind effectively pushes me aside with her cart.  Her sigh is almost a snort.

“PLEASE, get out of my way,” she huffs.

I apologize, automatically.  I don’t like the fact that I am blocking others.  My intention wasn’t to block or delay.  I, also, don’t like being rammed by the cart and for a split second I consider telling her so but why cause a scene?  I wanted to listen to a woman who needed someone to validate her, to accept her and all her biases.  It was what I was called to do.  The woman behind me had no idea what was in my heart and that I was blocked by women of limited awareness on all sides.  The more impatient one did not comprehend or perceive anything in me other than a road block.  I was unruly furniture, a problem to be forced out of the way.

My discomfort rose when I finally parted from this tangle.  The incident haunted me. At times, I am both of these women.  Bias often limits my perception.  I can be impatient with strangers.  What can seem justifiable and right might often be only a reflection of my limitations, my limited perspective.  My head spins.  I long for peace in a world that struggles against it.  I long for peace and my own soul often fights against it.  Opposition, conflict is easy.  Fairness, compassion, love are not.

We live in a horrible paradise.  Beautiful roses have thorns.  Wind and rain can destroy or save.  Work is hard.  We envy.  Our lack, our limitations can make us mean, thoughtless, brutal and harsh.  Facing our limitations can open a vault of despair.  Acts of kindness can get us in trouble.  Progress can run us over.   Worldly success can pass us by.  We ache, we cry for all that we are not and blame others outside ourselves for the darkness that lives inside each of us.

We forget who we really are.  We forget that in a paradise lost, there is also a paradise regained.  We fail to understand the wisdom of opposites.  We try to harvest them from our minds and hearts so that we can indulge in the illusion that we know better.  We reap what we sew.  We lose contact with the Divine Spark, with Love, with God.  We want to understand something we can not and make ourselves miserable in the process.   We convince ourselves that we are victims of the darkness.  We fail to choose the light.

From the Ragamuffin Gospel

Some time this last year I read a book by David Timm entitled The Power of Blessing.  In that book, Timm references a quote from Brennan Manning’s Ragamuffin Gospel.  Manning was a priest, author and wrote candidly about his struggles with alcoholism.  Manning’s humble realism and poetic soul appeals to me.  I copied the following down from Timm’s book which quotes Manning on page 19.  The piece of paper on which I wrote these words is passed around from pile to pile.  The edges are starting to wear down.  I reread it often because I can’t help myself.  I especially love the line, “unsteady disciples whose cheese is falling off their cracker.”

I know exactly what that means.

Lately, it’s been hard to write.  I’m afraid too.  Opposition, criticism can really eat away at one’s self esteem, one’s courage.

Life is also crazy busy.  I am drug behind the freight train of life struggling to climb aboard.  This isn’t the way I imagined it would be.  There are lots of moments of joy in between moments of grave disappointment.  The cheese on my cracker is Swiss.  Joy is the cheese.  Disappointment are the holes.  Manning reminds me that this is as it should be.  He gives me hope that even though I’m a scalawag with slipping cheese, I am loved beyond imagining.

This is the essence of the Christmas message.  The Nativity Story is the story of simple people, a simple God, and the most humble of beginnings. Love was born into this world in a barn. Imagine the smell of the animals, the flies, the little rodents who love to share spaces like these.  Imagine no snow in the Middle East.  Imagine hot manure.  Imagine a helpless new born baby beside it.

This Good News is the Ragamuffin Gospel.

“The Ragamuffin Gospel was written for the bedraggled, beat-up, burnt-out.

It is for the sorely burdened who are still shifting the heavy suitcase from one hand to the other.

It is for the wobbly and weak-kneed who know they don’t have it all together and are too proud to accept the handout of amazing grace.

It is for the inconsistent, unsteady disciples whose cheese is falling off their cracker.

It is for the poor, weak, sinful men and women with hereditary faults and limited talents.

It is for the earthen vessels who shuffle along on feet of clay.

It is for the bent and the bruised who feel that their lives are a grave disappointment.

It is for the smart people who know they are stupid and honest disciples who admit they are scalawags.”

 

I can recycle that scrap of paper.  I write the Ragamuffin Gospel on my soul.

Thanks, Fr. Manning.  I’m beginning to understand the true joy of Christmas.

I am the person behind the words printed here. I write because my heart will not allow me the option of NOT writing. It has taken me half a life time to discover this basic truth, but now that I have, writing is as natural as breathing. This is where my breath takes the form of words.

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The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM)
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