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

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Gather Up the Crumbs - V - Examples of Crumbs

Jesse Colin Young
The sunrises and sunsets have been spectacular lately! This morning, watching the sun rise, I thought of this video... Let Your Light Shine by Jesse Colin Young.

I have been hearing again, "Sandi, this book is hard and I'm not getting it!" or "Sandi, I'm just about ready to give up on this book." or...

Finding a Good Summer Read....
I cannot deny that this book is more difficult than I had anticipated.  And, I will admit, I've had moments that I've thought about giving up.  This morning, however, after working outside all day yesterday and getting more than 20, yes 20!, hours of sleep the past two nights, I am ready to stay with the book for a few more least for this week.  Then....I may reevaluate.  If anyone has suggestions for a good read....PLEASE send me some ideas!

Last week, I said that Macrina was going to share some of her crumbs that have brought her to the heart of God.
"Gathering them as crumbs means I do not receive them lightly. I do not treat them as leftovers, but as part of the whole loaf of God's plan for me." (Macrina Wiederkehr, A Tree Full of Angels, p 28)
 Macrina's "crumbs":

  • Love of trees.
  • Beautiful hard Maples...
    • A life symbol with its roots thrust deeply down into the nurturing earth, its trunk growing up to the heights, and its branches reaching out in all directions.
    • If I am truly awake when I meet a tree, I stand in awe and listen to its voice, a silent sermon moving me to the depths, touching my heart, stirring up within my soul a yearning to give my all.
    • Molly the Maple, a tree from Macrina's childhood was her "first chapel". A sanctuary that supported and protected her as she struggled with hurt feelings, misunderstandings, doubts, angers, growing up...
    • Trees are still sanctuaries for me, holy places where I can rest.
  • Moments of beauty.
    • What is unique about a moment that has the power to bless us and the potential to feed us is not so much the power of the moment itself, but rather the quality of the presence we bring to that moment.
    • Moments of beauty are every where in every day. They are only crumbs, pieces of the whole loaf.
      • snowflakes falling so fast that the sky was suddenly full of angels
      • a physical therapist working reverently with a person who is learning to walk again after a car accident
      • a bud on a Christmas cactus that you thought was dead
      • a sunset that is so breathtakingly beautiful you stop the car to just be with it
      • the steam from your early morning coffee or tea slowly ascending, meeting the first rays of dawn
      • an old face aglow because of your unexpected visit
    • If you walk back through your day each evening, you may be close enough to some of those missed moments that you can still capture a bit of the blessing that was meant to be yours.
  • Sin and weakness in my life.
    • There is nothing like felt inadequacy to help me depend solely on God. What is sin but not living up to your potential, not being all that God calls you to be?
    • When you embrace emptiness, God can begin to fill you. (Oh....remember the lesson about emptying my cup so that God can fill me:)
    • Sin is:
    • "Sin" has a "big" connotation, things I see on TV.
      Yet, it can be small things that separate me from God.
      • living according to my own plan
      • trying to fill up my own life rather than allowing God to fill me
      • being willing to stay where I am rather than going through the pain and joy of being in process.
      • St. Basil the Great said, "Sin is not using the power for good that God placed within you."

  • Being able to recognize and admit that I am wrong. (ouch.....)
  • Mistakes roughen up my smooth edges...
    • It is such a burden to always need to be right. (this one is good! : ) )
    • Needing to be right all the time comes out of my insecurity. As I mature, that need to be right diminishes.
    • Mistakes can be such friends. They roughen up my smooth edges, convincing me that I don't have to be perfect to be loved.
    • What a freedom to be able to say, "I was wrong!"
Macrina gives me examples of 13 crumbs that have blessed her and have drawn her closer to God.  Today, I have written about four of the thirteen and I think that is enough for one morning.

I can appreciate everything she is saying within these four, I have often felt and experienced similar moments of ah-ha.  I will most likely continue to reflect on her definition of "sin" throughout this day.  

There is a practice of doing an Examen at the end of one's day.  It comes from the Jesuit tradition and offers me an opportunity to look back on my discover the blessings and the learning I might have missed in the moment. A really really really good explanation of this Spiritual Discipline can be found at...

God, thank you for all the opportunities you have put along my path to help me grow be more watchful for your presence in my life.  Help me to incorporate these thoughts and learning as I continue walking along this path.  AMEN!!!

Yesterday, I preached on John 14:1-14.  As I prepared my sermon, a song by Audio Adrenalin filled my heart and mind. As much as I enjoy this song, there was NO WAY I could use it within worship at BPC! So, on this day after Memorial Day, I will include it in my journal for today as a reminder that even though I make mistakes...God still loves me and is preparing a place for me.

Many Blessings ~ Sandi

1 comment:

  1. I need to think about incorporating some type of evening reflection with the boys. I think they do it in their evening prayers without evening knowing it. I often wonder if I will ever be as reflective and aware as they are when they start thanking God for all the things in their day that I might have taken for granted. Thanks for the reminder that reflection, gratitude, and being present in every moment can change us to be more like Christ.
    PS - Your Audio Adrenaline clip was awesome. We sing the Veggie Tale version quite often in the car.