I did not go to church today.
I drove around taking pictures of church steeples.
I walked up the steps of a big old church to get an artsy shot and there sat a young man who looked like he’d had a rough night, a real rough life. He was waiting for a bus.
He didn’t give me any eye contact. I stood right next to him as I took steeple shots. I was in his space now so I said to him, “I’m taking pictures of steeples today.” He looked at me like ‘ok whatever crazy lady, who I don’t know who just got out of her car while I sit here and wait for a bus.’
Then a few moments later he spoke up,”Any reason why?” I answered,” Yep, sometimes I pick a theme and just go with it. I recently did old steps that lead to nowhere, also shadows, stuff like that.” He didn’t say anything as I snapped a few more pictures. I was sure he’d lost interest in our conversation. Then as I was leaving he said,” You could do waterfalls.” I turned around and said, “That’s a good idea!” Then he added in an upbeat tone in his voice, “..or tree stumps!” “I hadn’t thought of that one.” I answered, “Thanks for the good ideas.”
He gave me a nice smile and sat up a bit straighter. You know, I think I did go to church today.
I write this on a quiet Christmas.
My loved ones are far away, yet I still find myself almost giddy with joy. I do feel blessed to have the love of family and friends. I have a home, a job, and all my needs are taken care of. All this makes me happy. But I feel such an overwhelmingly deep joy that can’t compare to anything else in life, that I’d be a fool not to share it with others and let you know how to have it too. Christmas is a great reminder of the source of my joy.
This apple has come a long way.
This morning it glowed in the sunshine like a giant ruby. My husband brought it home after he’d been to visit his mom. She lives with his sister in the old house that has been in the family for five generations.
…that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith;
that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
may have power to comprehend…the breadth and length and height and depth,
and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge,
that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Ephesians 3:17-19, RSV
You are all around me on every side; you protect me with your power. Your knowledge of me is too deep; it is beyond my understanding. You created every part of me; The days allotted to me had all been recorded in your book, before any of them ever began…guide me in the everlasting way.
Today’s English Version
Every day I will thank you.
Psalms 145 2a
Today’s English Version
Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Never rely on what you think you know. Remember the Lord in everything you do, and he will show you the right way. We may make our plans, but God has the last word. Ask the Lord to bless your plans, and you will be successful in carrying them out.
Proverbs 3:5 & 6, 16:1 & 3 Today’s English Version
Some people brought children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples scolded the people. When Jesus noticed this, he was angry and said to his disciples, “Let the children come to me and do not stop them, because the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I assure you that whoever does not receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.”
Mark 10:13-15 Today’s English Version
Before the world was created, the Word already existed; he was with God, and he was the same as God. From the very beginning the Word was with God. Through him God made all things; not one thing in all creation was made without him. The Word was the source of life, and this life brought light to mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has never put it out.
The Word became a human being and, full of grace and truth, lived among us. We saw his glory, the glory which he received as the Father’s only Son.
Out of the fullness of his grace he has blessed us all, giving us one blessing after another.
John 1:1-5,14,16 Today’s English Version