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, June 30, 2011

I become free...

One thing that has always struck me is how Jesus sent disciples out two by two. In the book of Acts, we hear  that same principle going on, normally there is someone traveling or working alongside another.  Well, PC(USA) is bringing the denomination together under one roof this weekend in Indianapolis.  It's called The Big Tent Event. I'm going up to volunteer as soon as I finish another appointment at 8:00. But, since we are called to work build one another up, I wanted to share a devotion by Sarah Young from Jesus is Calling.
Sarah Young - Missionary
"I am the Truth: the One who came to set you free. As the Holy Spirit controls your mind and actions more fully, you become free in Me. You are increasingly released to become the one I created you to be. This is a work that I do in you as you yield to My Spirit. I can do My best handiwork when you sit in the stillness of My Presence, focusing your entire being on Me. 

"Let My thoughts burst freely upon your consciousness, stimulating abundant Life. 'I am the Way and the Truth and the Life.' As you follow Me, I lead you along paths of newness: ways you have never imagined. Don't worry about what is on the road up ahead. I want you to find your security in knowing Me, the One who died to set you free." ~ John 8:32; Philippians 2:13; John 14:6
I've so many thoughts...Thinking in terms of Lectio Divina, I will carry the words "As the Holy Spirit controls your mind and actions more fully, you become free in Me." with me into this day.  As I drive, I will say the words over again.  Although, already I feel the key words will be those I've underlined.

Many Blessings ~ Sandi

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Making a Judgement

Charlotte Bronte
Men judge us by the success of our efforts. God looks at the efforts themselves. ~ Charlotte Bronte

Sadly, I am at times too quick to pass a judgement on someone or something.

"He's most likely running a scam, I've seen people like him on the news. If I give him money, he'll probably head to the nearest liquor store."

"How could she let her child come to school looking like that! He's probably not had a bath all week."

Fictitious, but you get the idea...

One of my favorite stories from scripture comes from both Matthew and John...

John 8 : 1-2 Jesus went across to Mount Olives, but he was soon back in the Temple again. Swarms of people came to him. He sat down and taught them. 3-6The religion scholars and Pharisees led in a woman who had been caught in an act of adultery. They stood her in plain sight of everyone and said, "Teacher, this woman was caught red-handed in the act of adultery. Moses, in the Law, gives orders to stone such persons. What do you say?" They were trying to trap him into saying something incriminating so they could bring charges against him.
 6-8Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger in the dirt. They kept at him, badgering him. He straightened up and said, "The sinless one among you, go first: Throw the stone." Bending down again, he wrote some more in the dirt.
 9-10Hearing that, they walked away, one after another, beginning with the oldest. The woman was left alone. Jesus stood up and spoke to her. "Woman, where are they? Does no one condemn you?"
 11"No one, Master."
   "Neither do I," said Jesus. "Go on your way. From now on, don't sin."

Like I just admitted, I can be a judgmental person. Case in point...The group Mettalica? I don't think I've ever thought a kind word about this group. They are "HEAVY METAL"! I won't get into the negative thoughts that have gone through my head! But, reading with a heart ready to hear something new, I just discovered this group may have been used by God to reach an audience that would not be interested in hearing me talk. It is difficult to consider Metallica has been preaching "truth" to a group of people...who hear truth in a different way than I! Listen and Read...

The crap rolls out your mouth again
Haven't changed, your brain is still gelatin
Little whispers circle around your head
Why don't you worry about yourself INSTEAD!!!

Who are you? where ya been? where ya from?
Gossip burning on the tip of your tongue
You lie so much you believe yourself
Judge not l'est ye be judged yourself

Holier than thou
You are
Holier than thou
You are

You know not

Before you judge me take a look at you
Can't you find something better to do
Point the finger, slow to understand
Arrogance and ignorance go hand in hand

It's not you are it's who you know
Others lives are the basis of your own
Burn your bridges and build them back with wealth
Judge not l'est ye be judged yourself

Holier than thou
You are
Holier than thou
You are

You know not

Yeah who the hell are you?
Hey you

Holier than thou
You are
Holier than thou
You are

You know not


This is a huge lesson for me! Seriously, this song, if you want to call it that, contains truth.  Over and again I have said, "God uses all kind of media to get his message across."  I will admit, I never thought of God using Metallica. Yet, who am I to say he could not, if he so chose?

I wonder if the notion of God using Metallica is as difficult for me to swallow as Jesus not throwing a stone at the prostitute was for those who worked to "keep the Law"?

Another question of judgement to ponder...Do you know what this flower comes from? 

I will give you a hint...It has a wonderful fragrance!

Many Blessings ~ Sandi

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Handful of Flour, a Little Oil...

See.....Journaling Through My Latest Book
It is one thing to be empty, but when you are asked to feed someone out of your emptiness it can be terrifying...

It's the little things...

Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things. ~ Robert Brault

What exactly are "little things"?

"Little things" were the words that caught my attention in Brault's quote this morning and I realized that in some strange way I was using Lectio Divina on a quote!  AND, I had not even thought of Macrina's book, The Tree Full of Angels and her notion of crumbs and littleness yet this morning.

Sitting on my patio, sipping on a cup of hazelnut coffee...both "little" things I thought more.  Possibly, a little thing would be to simply enjoy the view from my chair...

After all, it is a wonderful way to begin a new day! The sound of birds, the different colors and textures of my flowers.  Oh, the wheat field that looks almost golden in the background.  And then of course, all those rocks I have brought in from the fields, they add another interesting depth to my scene.

But, what would I see if I looked "smaller"?  If I looked for "little" crumbs?

I noticed how the sunlight bounced through the hummingbird feeder.  I noticed all the different colors between the bright yellow and the bright red.  My little camera does not begin to pick up the shades of orange and pink.

This is a little thing that I can appreciate could be a big thing if I could not see, or if I was stuck in a hospital bed, or...

You know...I've forgotten the name of this plant, perhaps someone can help me.  I was noticing the colors of the plant from my chair on the patio, but when I got up close...Look at the fineness, the littleness of this plant that makes up the whole.

It is easy to miss the "little things".  Sitting in my chair, looking out over my flower bed, I thought I was taking in the little things of my morning... Until...

Until, I got up and moved in order to see better.

Sometimes I get to comfortable and can only see things that don't require me to put much effort into seeing!  I would have missed the sunlight from the hummingbird feeder if I had stayed in my chair this morning.  I would have missed the tiny "feathery spikes"that were a part of a much larger plant.

I visited with a woman in the hospital this past Sunday.  Pat has always been an active and take charge lady.  Now she is dependent on others and she "...have missed the Spring and now I am missing seeing the Summer..." For Pat, the little things have become big.

Lord, help me to notice the crumbs you put before me...I mean the little crumbs!  Because I can appreciate there is a wonderful feast that awaits me if I am willing to move just a bit and open my eyes a little wider.  AMEN.

Many Blessings ~ Sandi

Monday, June 27, 2011

Journaling Through My Latest Book...

I have finally gotten back on track after losing my postings and then having all my family around for the weekend!

Thanking God for the Miracles

May Sarton 1912-1995
May Sarton used to say that she spent the first 20 minutes of every day wandering the garden looking for miracles. Not a bad way to begin one's day. 

If there are not flowers, just watching the way the morning light bounces and reflects off the grass or off the leaves of trees. Once, I expressed anxiety that some would think I was wasting precious moments when I could be exercising, working, pulling weeds...  A wise friend, who is familiar with Sarton's work suggested, "Tell them you are watching for miracles." 

I was surrounded by miracles this past weekend. Both my daughters who live away, came home.  Friday evening, my parents and three of my four girls and grandkids enjoyed a cookout.  Saturday morning we had a brunch to end all brunches!  Every dish was a new recipe and everything was so good! You know its good when even the cook can't find anything wrong. Saturday evening was pizza and wine.  This morning, my husband treated them all to breakfast as I was beginning worship 50 miles away. : (

I grew up as the only girl with two younger brothers.  Having four daughters within 5.5 years was a life lesson in crazy love, and the lesson continues today even though the youngest just turned 30.  I'm sure sisters understand what I am saying.

Take the crazy love of my four daughters and add the craziness of grandkids, husbands, and grandparents and you have a weekend of laughter, quiet conversation, good food, playing, grumbling... Crazy Love.

The miracle of my garden is pausing to see, to notice, the beauty of God within the colors, scents, leaves, plants, insects, birds....

The miracle of my family is seeing the beauty of God within their differences and their similarities, their laughter and their bickering...within the Crazy Love that is simply being family. Just like my flower beds, I all to often take the miracle of the presence of God for granted within, between, and among those I love the most. I am so blessed.


Many Blessings ~ Sandi

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Thank You!

Will Rogers 1879-1935
Will Rogers once said, "The farmer has to be an optimist, or he wouldn't still be a farmer."

Christian Nute defines optimism as:Optimism is the ability to see the positive side of things rather than the negative. Optimistic thinkers are usually positive people because they approach life with the expectation that a happy outcome is both desirable and possible. True optimism doesn't mean being unaware of problems; it means actively looking for the positive factors in a situation. 

Optimism gives strength to cope with all life troubles. It gives you hope for the best in any situation. This is the feeling that gives you a freedom from depression, jealousy and indifference. Besides, it helps to receive a huge experience in any life situation. I think optimism gives you a happiness, a true happiness in your life.

More than once, optimism has saved my life. Several times since I broke my neck and had the spinal cord injury in 1998, optimism has kicked in and has not let me sulk away into some hole to let the world continue without me. Many times these past few years, I have offered a prayer of thanksgiving for the optimism that seems to control my soul, and at times I have wondered where it has come from?

I could, and would say, it comes from my faith in God.  Yet, I continue to think...and besides my deep faith I think I have a sense of optimism because I have been raised as a corn-fed country girl with deep roots in farming that go back many generations.

Several months ago I stumbled onto a wonderful little book, simply titled The Farmer by Mark Ludy. I loved this book and decided I wanted to purchase a copy for every family in my congregation with a young child. I finally managed to purchase fourteen books and gave them to the kids a few weeks ago during the children's sermon. The Farmer has one disaster after another, yet he always prays and thanks God, and he is always optimistic with each new spring.

Yesterday, I drove down to Shelby Co. My heart was heavy as I drove past tomato fields with plants, covered with mud and standing in water.

Yes, this is a field planted in beans.
A few miles down the road, there was a bean field that looked as though it was really a small lake.

Big Sugar Creek
Crossing the bridge I paused to look out over Big Sugar, which is normally not all that "big", and marveled again at the power of water.

Today, as I listen to more reports of the Missouri River floods...I just wanted to take a moment and say, "Thank You" to all the men and women who get the needed financing to plant seeds into the earth hoping the sun shines and the rain falls in just the right amounts. Those farmers who raise livestock. I managed our hog operation for several years.  I know the heart that goes into raising strong and healthy animals.  Those farmers who are tied...and yes they are dairies.  Farmers who raise fruit and vegetables...

Watching my husband get the combine out today, preparing for wheat harvest, even though we still have beans to plant, knowing the worry and concern of this spring, I whispered, Thank You. Looking out over our crop I thought of my late father-in-law and uncles, I thought of my Dad/Mom, my daughter and my "sons", my brothers, my cousins, and I whispered a Thank You. Looking back over these pictures taken in Shelby Co I want to say a Thank You to the agribusiness people in that area.

My days often seem to blur from one to another and sadly, I forget and take things and people for granted.  For all the men and women who put food on my table, fuel in my car, and even some clothing on my back...I just want to say, thank you.  BUT, not only do you provide so many things that keep my stomach full, and my car running...You put out a sense of hope and optimism into the universe and that is a good thing to offer to the people of this world.  THANK YOU!  You are an example for all of us to model, I know for many of you, your hope and faith come from above.

The Prayer...Celine Dion and Josh Grobin

Many Blessings ~ Sandi 

Happy Birth Day

"Your birthday is a special time to celebrate the gift of 'you' to the world." ~ Unknown

A fun Happy Birthday! song...

Rebecca 5.5 years, Debra 4 years
and Laura 3.5 years
Thirty years ago yesterday was Fathers' Day Sunday.  It had been another LONG spring and my husband was doing his best to get the last field of soybeans planted and I was pregnant with daughter # 4.'ve got to understand, even though I had my nursing degree from Purdue University AND had given birth three times, each of those births were different and nothing like I was taught in college.  So, while my husband worked in the fields...I was unknowingly beginning labor 6 weeks early.

Long story short, Nancy, aka Daughter # 4, arrived thirty years ago today! It was a day of miracles. My husband got the beans planted and daughter # 4 beat all the odds and survived several complications.

Some wondered if we were trying to have a boy, but no...we kept having accidents and with each one...a beautiful little girl appeared! However, beautiful babies or not, I will have to admit that I was tired of being pregnant by the time Nancy came along and for the first time, I was less than excited.  Still, even though I complained at times, God richly blessed me with a wonderful little girl who has grown into a beautiful young woman..inside and out!

Nancy and Cooper - 10/2010
Happy Birthday, Nance!

A perfect song for this 30th birthday...God Gave Me You.

I'm having trouble downloading images and songs today. Maybe that is my signal to take the day off and spend time with my youngest and her family!

Many Blessings ~ Sandi

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Farming - Flooding - Illusion of Control - Everything is Holy Now

NWS issues flash flood warning for Johnson, Marion, Hancock and Shelby Counties
Picture of one of the many creeks and rivers in the area.
Yesterday the community where my congregation is located received 3-5 inches of rain.  I spoke with the secretary after lunch and learned she had canceled plans to meet with friends because of flooding across many of the roads.  She also shared that she had seen fields, belonging to members in the congregation, under water.

I watched the news, trying to learn more about the area, only to learn that the National Weather Service in Indianapolis had declared a flash flood warning until 3:00 p.m. for several counties in Central Indiana.

If you hold on to the handle, she said, its easier to
maintain the illusion of control. But its more fun if
you just let the wind carry you. 
Sounds like so many of the other stories that have filled the news this spring.  We were lucky here, we didn't receive nearly as much rain.  I walked along my yard, looking out in all directions. I wondered what we are suppose to do?  Farmers are totally dependent upon the laws of nature. Our livelihood, in so many ways is out of our control.

"Hummm, isn't that what all of life is basically about, San? Perhaps, as an agribusiness person AND as a pastor, you can appreciate that more than others?"

I found this print by Story People about that thing called Illusion of Control. They say it is "more fun"...I'm not there yet in all aspects of my life.  Farming is one, yet...farming is anything but control!

Thing is, God isn't asking for me to "let go" in just certain areas of my life, to trust him with "this"...but not "that".

Peter Mayer
Peter Mayer a folk singer from Minnesota often speaks to my heart when I'm carrying questions in my heart and mind.

Everything is Holy Now

Lord, help me to see the holy when my heart is fearful and anxious. Help me to remember when my heart is fearful and anxious...that's my Demon speaking and I am CHOOSING to listen to him rather than You! Oh...I'm so glad you are patient with me, God! AMEN.

Many Blessings ~ Sandi

Lectio Divina - ...Then Give Yourself Up to Love

Last night I was restless.  To tired to read or journal, I began flipping through TV shows...finding nothing.  But, even though it was really a "nothing" I settled on The Bachelorette. more in... Journaling Through My Latest Book.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Taking One Step at a Time With the Holy Spirit

Watch "Journaling Through My Latest Book" for, hopefully daily, updates. 

"When we are sure that we are on the right road there is no need to plan our journey too far ahead. No need to burden ourselves with doubts and fears as to the obstacles that may bar our progress. We cannot take more than one step at a time." ~ Orison Swett Marden

Because of the VBS Program last week, BPC celebrated Pentecost yesterday morning.

Yes, we celebrated the birthday of the church one week late, and when I left, the ceiling was still intact!

Having a sense of
self confidence, in the correct
amount is not a bad thing!
As we approached the Prayer of Confession, a part of reformed worship, I said that sometimes we pat ourselves on the back for planning and implementing a great Vacation Bible School, Children's Program, Turkey Dinner, Mission Endeavor...and we forget that it is the Holy Spirit, working within, between, and through us that is actually the reason for an accomplishment.  We forget that it is the Holy Spirit who gives us vision and dreams.  We forget it is the Holy Spirit who walks alongside us.

I was speaking from experience. There have been times in my own life that I felt prideful of the way I organized and created events, managed a large hog operation, raised money for a local charity... Often, I was working on several projects at a time and as soon as one was finished, I was on to something else.  And then....I was brought to my knees following a horrific car accident. In my "littleness", as Macrina writes, I found the true source of my strength.  I found the source of my perseverance that saw me through months of rehab.  I found the source of my inner spirit as I began working to create a new me.

One thing I have begun to appreciate is that the Holy Spirit works through all kind of media! I have discovered the Good News of the Gospel within movies, comics, stories, and videos.  Because, you know what! Not everyone listens to Christian radio, goes to church, or tunes in for a weekly sermon by a TV pastor! Actually, Spirit is pretty sneaky how and where she shows up!

Earlier last week, sitting in a local restaurant, I heard this song coming from a young woman's iPod.  I couldn't make out all the words, but I witnessed her smile. In a daring moment, that is VERY uncharacteristic of me, I asked her about the song and I was introduced to Jordin Sparks. The young woman, Jennifer, explained how she had gone through a difficult time and listening to this song had helped her to focus on one day at a time, and to have faith in a being other than herself.

Isn't it wonderful how the amazing Spirit of God works in this world!

This doesn't really show how big
a mound of 15 yds of mulch is!
I began thinking about this "one step at a time" thing this past weekend.  I decided to post this picture and ask..."Do you know how to move 15 yards of mulch?"

My answer, "One Gator load at a time."

I worked all Saturday afternoon, with a pitch fork moving mulch from the pile, to the Gator, from the Gator to my flower beds, and then smoothing it out around my plants...only to begin again.  I filled that old Gator nine times. Working by myself, with only the sounds of nature to interrupt my thoughts, I thought a lot.  Besides thinking how hot, tired, and sweaty I was, I thought how overwhelming 15 yards of mulch can appear when I focused on the whole pile of mulch.  But, focusing on only one pitch fork swing and one Gator load at a time...little by little I managed to move about 5 yards of mulch!

As I moved that mulch, I thought how it is a lot like life. We don't expect a baby to take off running, knowing and doing all he/she needs to know and do. We nurture that baby. We celebrate each accomplishment, no matter how small.  I wondered when we begin thinking we need to move faster, know more, multi task, .... When do we lose sight of celebrating the little things? When do we lose sight of the  gift of Spirit that is born within us?

I'm glad BPC celebrated Pentecost a week late! Because we were not on the "right" schedule, and Pentecost was on my mind, I was able to reflect, dream, vision...the gift of God's Spirit and to pause and say, "ThankYou!"

Because we were not on the "right" schedule I wondered what it was like to be in that receive the Spirit and to be sent out...I spent time wondering about my own faith journey. The quote by Marden reminds me to stay present, in the NOW. ["When we are sure that we are on the right road there is no need to plan our journey too far ahead. No need to burden ourselves with doubts and fears as to the obstacles that may bar our progress. We cannot take more than one step at a time."] 

While I don't know where this journey of faith may take me, I cannot do more than one pitchfork...or one step at a time.  When I focus on those steps in front of me, the ones I cannot see, will take care of themselves.

We had a guest organist yesterday morning for worship.  A woman, who grew up in the church, but now lives in Tennessee.  As we prepared for worship, Gaye played a wonderful old hymn, To God Be the Glory.  Listening, I thought back to the lessons of the past week and my heart cried out a silent, "AMEN!"

Andrae Crouch does a wonderful job sharing this hymn written by Fanny Crosby.

Spirit, thank you for all you do to encourage me, to empower me, to sustain me! Forgive me when I overlook your presence in my life, when I become so wrapped up in myself and my own agenda.  Spirit, all that I am....I owe to you.  I thank you and I praise you! Spirit, I ask that you help me to focus on my  Help me to celebrate the small moments when I recognize your presence within me and around me.  AMEN.

Many Blessings ~ Sandi

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Offering Up a Peaceful Heart

Mary Oliver, winner of the Pulitzer Prize
 and the National Book Award
Today is a day of
dark clouds and slow rain.
The little blades of corn
are so happy.  ~ Mary Oliver

We still have soybeans to plant, yet I am thankful for this gentle rain this morning.  Thankful, and totally unprepared for surprising blessings that have come from these moments of sitting, because of the rain!  I went to Youtube for one song and discovered this.  I shook my head, "Pavarotti and Jon Bon Jovie???"


Ahhh, nothing is impossible when God works among us! I had never heard this song before, but the lyrics are wonderful.  Since I was able to insert the video, I can put it on Youtube and follow along with the lyrics that I cut and paste.

Last night I had a dream; that there would be a morning after.Long days, sunshine and peace;
Long nights of love, forgiveness, and laughter.
Maybe it was just a dream, but it could be reality.
Children are like planting seeds, you’ve got to let their flowers grow
no, no...oooh.

Fà che piova,
(Let it rain)
Fà che il cielo mi lavi il dolore (Let heaven wash away my pain)
Fà che piova (Let it rain)
che sia la pace il nome d'amore (That peace would be the name of love)

Today I saw a child just like my child
Someone’s son or daughter
I watched as they played for a while
I wanted to cry, those babies just smiled.
oh, Maybe it was just a dream, but it should be reality
A child is just God’s sign that peace and love are seeds to make
tomorrow grow

Fà che piova, (Let it rain)
Fà che il cielo mi lavi il dolore (Let heaven wash away my pain)
Fà che piova (Let it rain)
che sia la pace il nome d'amore (That peace would be the name of love)

Go on, we’ve tried war
No one wants peace more
Than the children who ask their dads why

Fa che piova, (Let it rain)
Fa che il cielo mi lavi il dolore (Let heaven wash away my pain)
Fa che piova (Let it rain)
che sia la pace il nome d'amore (That peace would be the name of love)

peace. it does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work, it means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart. ~ unknown

Being reshaped and transformed
daily...again and again.
This is what all my reading, reflection, writing, listening...this is the goal of all these practices, all these moments spent. Inner peace....calm in my heart. Because when I am at peace, I notice the crumbs of blessing that are scattered along my path.  When I am at peace, I am pliable and can be molded and used by my Creator.

Sometimes, I struggle between journaling about my learning and my growing while moving forward in a book. When I began this blog, with The Cup of Life, I was able to do both. With A Tree Full of Angels, it has become difficult and I at times I have just been all over the place!

Because...this blog is my journal just as it is also a place to share the wisdom of spiritual teachers, I'm thinking I may need to adjust. Since I have learned how to create pages, (THANK YOU, Jennifer!) I'm thinking I may create a page for the book study AND have a page for my own journaling. 

Anyone know where I might
find this figure????? 
...I'm thinking...

In the meantime, I am going to listen to the rain against my windows this morning...and enjoying the sense of peace that rests within my heart even though there is noise, pain, the world.  For this morning, I am going to offer up a peaceful heart, because there cannot be peace within the world until their is peace within individual hearts.

There are many wonderful videos of this song, but this morning, I am going with my Purdue Pride. It isn't the greatest quality but...Go Boiler Glee Club!

All it takes is one voice....

Holy God, may I be one voice that sings of hope and dreams...let peace begin with me....  AMEN.

Many Blessings ~ Sandi

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Reading under the Eye of God - Lectio Divina

“Reading is the careful study of the Scriptures, concentrations of one’s powers on it..."  Guigo II

Lord, as I begin learning more about Lectio Divina, let your word be a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. AMEN.

There are four parts of Lectio Divina and this morning, I am focused on the first Reading.  Using Guigo's words, "Reading under the eye of God."

First, I want to think how this kind of reading is different than the reading I do daily.  Reading under the eye of God would suggest: 

I will read......

  1. I will read slower.  I'm not on a race or a contest here.
  2. I will read reflectively. I'm not just reading words to read words.  I will reflect on those words.
  3. I will read with an openness or a longing to be touched...
  4. be healed...
  5. ...and to be transformed.
My dad is trying to get used to a new diet after his stay in the hospital last week.  This past Sunday he was faced with a cook out at his church.  I suggested that he put the right foods on his plate and then to sit down and eat s-l-o-w-l-y.  This would be the same advice I would give myself in reading scripture chew on it slowly.  Just as I would not sit down and gulp my food at the dinner table, I want to come to the table the Lord has set before me with the same attitude and demeanor.
"To be fully nourished by the richness hidden in these words you must hover over them slowly and reverently as one who is certain of finding a search calmly and with assurance.  You will find the treasure. You will be fed. You will be transformed." (Macrina Wiederkehr, A Tree Full of Angels, p 52)
We live...distracted! Doing many things
at once and doing none of them well!
"Remembering that we are reading under the eye of God is an immense help for our distracted hearts. We are naturally distracted creatures. We do not yet own the undivided hearts we yearn for.  Remembering that we are reading under the eye of God can help us remain open to the possibility of that divine eye guiding us in our reading." (Ibid)  

Actually, I think some were not only perplexed but worried
about what they had gotten themselves into!
Reading all this, I smile.  A few years ago I gathered with a small group of women.  Our goal was to journey together through the Companions in Christ book from Upper Room.  Now, some had gone through the several year study of BSF and the others had read and led Bible studies.  They knew how to read and find the right answer.  Imagine how perplexed they were when I told them there was no right or wrong answer!  Imagine how confused they were when I told them we would read to find ourselves within scripture AND that we might not all land in the same place with the same idea.

I did not realize what a radical approach that would be for this group and was surprised when anxiety surfaced...almost immediately.  Looking back, I appreciate they were accustomed to "gathering information" when reading scripture and that the suggestion of being formed and transformed was off their screen.
"We are information seekers. We love to cover territory. It is not easy for us to stop reading when the heart is touched; we are people who like to get finished. Lectio offers us a new way to read. Read with a vulnerable heart. Expect to be blessed in the reading. Read as one awake, one waiting for the beloved. Read with reverence." (Wiederkehr, p 53)
If the Companions in Christ group reads these words today, they will understand and will be ready to move on, however, I have not forgotten their initial resistance and confusion.  Thus, there is a very good chance that there are others who read Macrina's words and scratch their head, trying to figure out what she means!
"We are naturally reverent beings, but much of your natural reverence has been torn away from us because we have been born into a world that hurries. There is no time to be reverent with the earth or with each other. We are all hurrying into progress. And for all our hurrying we lose sight of our true nature a little more each day. This is precisely why we need to believe in the eye of God hovering over us. We are not alone. There is One with us who wants to give us back our reverence. There is One with us who wants to give us back the gift of time." (Ibid)
I want to read the Scripture "giving up the lie that I don't have time".  I want to read with the awareness of God watching over me, sitting next to me....guiding my heart and my mind.

Macrina offers a prayer that I can pray before I begin:
"All-Seeing One,
above me, around me, within me.
Be my seeing as I read these sacred words.
Look down upon me
Look out from within me
Look all around me
See through my eyes
Hear through my ears
Feel through my heart
Touch me where I need to be touched;
and when my heart is touched,
give me the grace to lay down this Holy Book
and ask significant questions:
Why has my heart been touched?
How am I to be changed through this touch?
All-Seeing One,
I need to change
I need to look a little more like You
May these sacred words change and transform me,
Then I can meet You face to face
without dying
because I've finally died enough.
To die is to be healed a little more each death,
until that final death
when I'll be healed forever.
It will be a healing that will last.
Your Words are healing
although they bring about my death.
O, Eye of God, look not away.  AMEN.  

Many Blessings ~ Sandi