Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transparent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world. ~ Sara Ban Breathnach

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Week IV - Integration/Review

Great...except it won't turn on!
My day is beginning well.  My Blackberry won't turn on, my dog recognizes she has been crated a lot lately, and...I'm out of hazelnut creamer!  ~~sigh~~

Breathing in: I am...
Breathing out: ...a love song

This morning I am once again listening to Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah. The last verse resonated with me as I work through these challenges this morning and I remembered this quote from Cohen:
"Hallelujah is a Hebrew word which means "Glory to the Lord." The song explains that many kinds of Hallelujahs do exist. I say : "All the perfect and broken Hallelujahs have an equal value ." It's, as I say, a desire to affirm my faith in life, not in some formal religious way but with enthusiasm, with emotion....It's a rather joyous song. I like very much the last verse. I remember singin' it to Bob Dylan after his last concert in Paris. The morning after, I was having coffee with him and we traded lyrics. Dylan especially liked this last verse, "And even though it all went wrong, I stand before the Lord of song with nothing on my lips but Hallelujah." ~ L.C. 1985
Yesterday, during the Wednesday Lunch Bunch, I referred to Amy Grant's song  Better than a Hallelujah. I shared that some found the lyrics difficult to accept, "'''We pour out our miseries, God just hears a melody, Better, the mess we are, the honest cry of breaking hearts, Are better than a Hallelujah sometimes..." As I continue to work through The Cup of Life, I am gaining a renewed appreciation for this song.

1. When have you felt like a broken cup?

Life is a series of choosing which path...
I think there have been times in my life that I have been a broken cup, yet either I could not articulate or I refused to acknowledge my brokenness.  Either way, at some point, the unacknowledged brokenness finally grew to the point I had no choice but to face it.  It was like that fork in the road.  I had to choose to walk down a path toward wholeness or a path that would hopefully keep the pain deadened...where growth could not occur.

There have been so many times I have made choices that have not led toward wholeness, yet, I am a child of a God who offers second chances.  Another fork appears and I can make a different choice.

When have I felt like a broken cup?

When I am living under the illusion of control.  When I forget God did not send me here to save the world. When I don't listen to my body and I push it past its limits. When I compare myself to others.

Becoming a master of The Excuse Game.
2. What form have some of your resistances to God taken?

I responded to that with my analogy of The Excuse Game a few days ago.

3. Describe a time when you were healed of an inner wound.

It was S-L-O-W and sometimes painful.  There were times that the wound seemed to open up again and become reinfected.  One of the Lunch Bunch Women pointed out yesterday, while studying her band-aid, that healing occurs and we can't always "see" the healing until....suddenly we realize the wound is not as painful.  (This woman holds much more wisdom than she realizes.)

Happy is the man that finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who embrace her; those who lay hold of her will be blessed.  Proverbs  3:13-18
4. Do you think there is such a thing as an "unmendable cup?"

We talked about this quite a bit yesterday and thoughts were divided. Maybe it is because I am an idealist, maybe it is because I am often naive, but, "No." I do not think there is such a thing as an unmendable cup.  Yes, there might be pieces of the cup that are missing because there is no longer an opportunity to physically be present with... But, I believe there are ways to work around this and to lift up the woundedness...and become mended.

5. What form of prayer is most helpful for you when you are feeling wounded?

Ann Weems
Again, we spent a lot of time talking about the psalms and how they contain great lament...AND end in a prayer of trust and confidence in God. The psalms have at times been difficult for me to "get into", I am praying that will change.  However, in the meantime, Ann Weems offers me a resource with her Psalms of Lament. 

Joyce offers several verses from Psalms as a way to close Week IV.  My prayer is that as I and others continue to reflect on these review questions and on these psalms...we continue to journey toward wholeness and hope.

Psalm 32:7 : You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with glad cries of deliverance.

Sheltered under His wings...
Psalm 57:1 : Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, until the destroying storms pass by.

Psalm 59:9, 17 : O my strength, I will watch for you, O my strength, I will sing praises to you, for you, O God, are my fortress, the God who shows me steadfast love. 

Psalm 61:4 : Let me abide in your tent forever, find refuge under the shelter of your wings.

Psalm 70:5-6 : For you, O God, are my hope, my trust, O God, from my youth. Upon you I have leaned from my youth.

God, my fortress, my high tower...
Psalm 81:16 : I would feed you with the finest of wheat, and with  honey from the rock I would satisfy you.

Psalm 91:1-2 : You who live in the shelter of the Most High, who abide in the shadow of the Almighty, will say to God: "My refuge, my fortress; my God in whom I trust."

Psalm 121:5, 8 : God is your keeper; God is your shade at your right hand. God will keep your going out and your coming in from this time and forevermore.

Psalm 125:2 : As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so God surrounds the people, from this time on and forevermore.

Psalm 147:3 : God heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

If you would like a few more moments of worship. .Second Chapter of Acts - A Mighty Fortress is Our God.
 Yes, I enjoy an eclectic selection of music
Many Blessings ~ Sandi

1 comment:

  1. Maybe the broken Blackberry is really a blessing of less demand for immediate feedback. I enjoyed the introduction to the 2nd Chapter of Acts.
    I am grateful that God hears all of my cries, not just my hallelujahs. I am working on praising in the moment, even if it is sacrificial praise. I know my cries have been more of the lamenting psalms. Even the boys are praying for me to have a better day - of course, it is always in the midst of praise..."thanks for the fish sticks for dinner, the new jump rope, playing outside, getting to go to swim lessons".

    How blessed I am.