House of words

The words you speak become the house you live in. (Hafiz)

I came across this quote yesterday morning. It stayed in my thoughts as I moved through the day. By the time evening was night these words rested in my heart.

Words matter! My head swirls in the confusion of our time. As a writer and a priest, words are extremely important to me. As a listener, words take on nuance that make the difference between hearing and understanding.

Last night’s news from Manchester England is heartbreaking. I know many, many children have died in the throes of war and anger. Yet watching the chaos through the lens of a cell phone brought rise to emotion I could not contain.

Several of my friends have spoken about their tears in recent days. We live in time that feels so unsettling, so disturbing. I have spent much time in thought. Trying to make sense out something that seems nonsensical or unbelievable.

This week began with Mr. President on his first international trip. Landing in Saudi Arabia for his initial visit in the Middle East, I watched – what would I hear, what would I see. Beyond all of the pomp and circumstance I listened to President Trump’s speech. It was confident and instructive. It was filled with detail and imagery. And then words came that took my breath:

“A better future is only possible if your nations drive out the terrorists and extremists. Drive. Them. Out.
DRIVE THEM OUT of your places of worship.
DRIVE THEM OUT of your communities.
DRIVE THEM OUT of your holy land, and
DRIVE THEM OUT OF THIS EARTH.”

Words meant to challenge – sounding like a call to battle.

I left that speech with a sense of dread as if reality had been set before me – again. I could not help but wonder what kind of response might incur from those words. It is easy to be overwhelmed by the responses that have already been provoked through all that has been said – on one side or another.

Words matter! I can not know what motivated a 22-year-old male to load a backpack heavy with explosives and walk into an arena filled with youth and children with the intent to create death and chaos. Logic tells me his training and support came from places filled with words of anger and malice. A group will claim responsibility with pride and a threat to continue – always a threat.

But logic did not win last night. I cried as I watched the news unfold. Before us were children scrambling for safety. Scared for their lives.

“The words you speak become the house you live in.” Hafiz sends this wisdom from across the ages.

There are words spoken in this world crafted to instill confusion and fear. 

These are not the words I will speak, this is not the house I will live in. I will try to choose my words carefully that they may be filled with honesty, compassion and care. This does not mean hiding in the comfort of what I wish could be. No, I will speak from an open door  created to welcome others and host the wounded and afraid.

God have mercy.

For the children…


Quote and image: Facebook

Quote: President Donald Trump on Sunday, May 21, 2017, at the Arab Islamic American Summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

forgetting the words

 

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A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart,
and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words.


Quote: Donna Roberts
PHOTO: Tensin Choejor: taken of the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu gathered to celebrate the Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday

Kindness 

Kindness does wonderful things to a face.
DIXIE DOYLE

To exercise kindness in this time and place is so important. Don’t hesitate. If we reach out with good intentions and compassion seeds are planted. Seeds necessary for survival. 

Prayers for peace… Monday’s Door

Holy Week is filled with stories. How easy it can be to think these are stories from long ago.
The olive tree, the olive branch… symbols of peace – then and now.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, pray for the peace of Syria… pray for peace.

 


Door of the day… (Old City, Jerusalem Olive Tree, Pinterest)

Live in the present…

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Live in the present.
Do the things that need to be done.
Do all the good you can each day.
The future will unfold.
PEACE PILGRIM

 In the midst of chaos there is a common cry… what can we do? Over the last few weeks an energy has stirred. An energy of shared inspiration and a vision for action. I am reminded of my college years when we were vocal about reducing nuclear arms – vocal and active. We knew the danger  and we marched to make a difference.

Today we know so much more. We can get information anytime, anywhere. Scary things are surfacing. Things that  we suspected back in the 80s but only now see their truth before us. While living through this unsettling change, seeds of distrust are being planted to separate us.

And so, what must we do to believe in one another and believe we can make a difference? Action is called for. In the public square and our neighborhoods. No answer will come to us with ease. As the work is demanding how do we gather energy and find Peace?

One idea- balance the hard work with kindness and acts of compassion.

‘Do all the good you can each day. For the future will unfold.’


Quote – Peace Pilgrim
Image – unknown

Sunday’s door


For over a year I have posted doors on my Facebook page – a different door each day. That’s 365+. Each has offered a way for the viewer to reflect.

Such as this…

Door of the day… (Cyprus entrance Kykkos monastery -Pinterest) A peaceful entrance into sacred space- may we find our own entrance into a place of peace. Our concerns are always near – let us take this time to renew our faith and commitment to compassion and justice.

Be kind…


Life is so hard, how can we be anything but kind?
JACK KORNFIELD

 


The Network for Grateful Living– Facebook page