Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘compassion’

Called Toward Wholeness


Heart made of sand

Heart made of sand

Reflecting on the rejuvenation of Lazarus.
Bemoaning the death of a dear friend this week:

Jesus, the Healer, reached out.
He felt the pain of parting.
He would gift wholeness and healing.
But first, sorrowful tears were starting.

Like Jesus, our tears fall
When we lose a loved one.
We pray for health and healing,
But it doesn’t always come.

Not the way we expect.
God’s healing takes many forms.
Peace, His shalom, may come
In ways outside our worldly norms.

Totality, completeness, God’s Will
May come with blessings and harmony,
But sometimes wholeness may not be
Available to you and me.

We all suffer from heart’s scars.
We experience hurt often times.
Blemishes, like scratched diamonds,
Can be transformed: Beauty from crimes.

Yes, God’s grace can transform us.
God values us, scratches and all.
In gratitude, we respond
Hearing and answering His healing call.

We engage in the ministry
Of extending compassionate hands.
Our lives are God’s instruments.
Hear His call. Obey His commands.

Reach out in love.

Outsiders


Jesus on the Cross

Jesus – simple, yet complex

Outsiders

A prophet is known
by the company he keeps.
If Jesus were a true prophet,
the right people would be His sheep.

But baaaaad people hung out
with Jesus – sinners of the worst sort.
Jesus scandalously kept company
with tax collectors, folks report.

His circle included prostitutes.
He dined with people of ill repute.
How did He respond to complainers?
Did He have a good word of refute?

No, He told the story of the lost –
Lost coins, lost sheep, lost kids.
Find the coin, search for lambs,
Be relentless finding others, Jesus bids.

But, though we’re concerned,
We have our limits, right?
Do we seek unending until we find?
No, it’s not about us and our plight.

It’s about God who searches.
It’s about our Lord who actively calls.
He needs us all …  you and me.
Invite the outsiders. Break down walls.

Amen?

Life & Death/Health & Healing


love hearts

Love poured out from all sides
After toxins poured out from my insides.
My appendix burst while (what gives?)
I treated the pain with laxatives.

Pretty stupid, I agree, but you see
I’d suffered a month of pain at high degree
Related to pneumonia and all the side
Effects of antibiotics and meds I tried.

So when my tummy ached real bad,
I thought it was from bowel restrictions I had.
Massage with essential oils and a heating pad
Didn’t ease – just aggravated – Eeee Gad!

Time to go to the emergency room,
My husband admonished my stubborn gloom.
The doc sent me to the MRI machine –
With the pain so bad I wanted to scream.

Diverticulitis was his best educated guess,
But he sent the tests to an expert – good progress –
Who looked them over and sent back the news:
“Burst appendix! Not a guess – just look at the clues!

Put her in an ambulance with IVs in place.
Antibiotics will kill the toxins in her space.
Get her to the surgery center, lickety-split,
Not a moment to lose – good thing she is fit.”

Taking care of your health at any age
Is crucial to fighting an appendix rage.
You don’t know when that cornichon pickle
Will decide to act up. It’s not like a tickle!

The pain of appendix is like child birth.
When it bursts, it is worse. Hold your girth!
But don’t try massage or heating pads, nope –
They make it worse. Take it from this ole dope!

We texted our family and many a good friend
To tell them the news and ask them to send
Prayers to our Maker to spare this fine life
And help heal the insides of Bob’s wife.

Not only did God listen and heal her he did,
But He offered compassion and love with no lid.
The sympathy poured in. The help overflowed.
The doc laparoscopically flushed til it glowed!

A week in a bed in a hospital room was a lot,
But the doc said at my age, the poison is fought
With less sure success than with the typically younger,
So be patience and heal while you regain your hunger.

The appetite’s small and the patience is short
When you’re strapped to a bed, I can report;
And a good RN is worth her weight in gold.
That was revealed clearly as the week did unfold.

The story below is a vivid description
Of one of the incidents that left its inscription
Indelibly stamped on my mind and my heart –
A sure-fire way to tell those nurses apart!

 

“What are you doing?” I asked the stranger who was busy hooking up some red glowing gadget to a finger on my right hand.

“Checking your blood pressure,” she responded as she hooked up a gadget to the index finger on my left hand. “Lean forward!” the bossy lady in white commanded.

A shrill sound like a wailing fire alarm went off as she pushed some kind of gizmo under the cushion of the chair where I was sitting in room 203 at Bozeman Deaconess Hospital. The old sourpuss pushed a button and stopped the alarm, but the right hand continued to glow and the left hand gadget beeped on a machine standing at my left ear.

“How do I stop that blasted thing?” I asked as she headed toward the door.

“Breathe more deeply;” she walked out and shut the door as she finished her sentence, “your oxygen level is too low. It’ll stop when…”

She was gone and I was sitting on a fire alarm, hooked to an incessant beeper, glowing with a red sparkler. I breathed deeply. The beeping continued. The fourth of July was still two weeks away. I was not ready for fireworks and sparklers! I was ready to kill the person who suddenly appeared out of nowhere, altering my world with no apparent authority to do so, and who left me – a sitting time bomb!

I had been in the hospital for about three days – maybe only two, I don’t know. Time flies when you’re having fun, right? I wasn’t! On the Saturday before, sometime while I was still at home in Ennis, suffering from what I thought was constipation, barely enduring a miserable stomach-ache, taking laxatives to try and get the bowels moving, my appendix burst. I had no way of knowing that’s what it was. By the time my husband took me to the Madison Valley Medical Center ER around 7:00 PM, I was in such pain, it resembled childbirth.

The PA on duty thought the MRI results indicated diverticulitis. He started me on antibiotics and pain killers. The test results were sent to an expert in Bozeman. That doctor sent back test results and instructions, “It’s a burst appendix. Be sure she has an IV with antibiotics and hydrocodone. Put her in an ambulance, and get her to our surgery center immediately!” The antibiotics probably saved my life. The toxins had exploded throughout my abdominal cavity. The surgeon said it looked like a cannon had gone off in there.

I sat on the chair, the beeper driving me crazy, the sparkler glowing and the call button over on the bed, just out of my reach. Nurse Ratched, the tyrant, had left it there when she exited my room. I could feel my blood pressure rising by the minute. I could stand it no longer! I stood up, the fire alarm under my butt sounded. My REAL nurse came running in.

“What’s up?”

“Who was that person who came and took over my world and hooked me up to all these things and left me stranded? Who gave her authority to do these things? Why are they necessary?”

As calmly as she could, my assigned RN said, “I don’t know. Let me find out.” She left without turning off the alarm or the beeper.

I was about to go crazy when she returned and silently began removing all the appendages.

“What gives?”

“Oh, not to worry,” my RN responded calmly. “She was in the wrong room!”

 

Ah, good health renewed – I’m on my way –
I can look back at all that drama someday
And smile as I thank God for answered prayer,
For help and healing and all that love to spare.

Writers’ Workshop


I am excited to be taking an eight week writers’ workshop. It started last week with five of us ladies signed up to work with an amazing young woman named Allyson Adams. My friend, Lexi Sundell and I are trading off the driving responsibility. It’s about fifteen miles up the hill to Virginia City from where we live here in Ennis, Montana. A lovely drive, usually, but it snowed big time last week when it was Lexi’s turn to drive. I lucked out and had a gorgeous spring day yesterday when it was my turn to drive. Sharing the driving has the added bonus of quality one-on-one sharing with a fellow writer as we traverse the mountain and exchange ideas on what we’ve been writing or what we just learned and intend to do with it. Lexi is writing her memoirs. I am writing a book to honor my seven grandchildren (and ultimately their parents, too, I hope) and to share the wisdom my grandchildren are helping me gain on this amazing path called LIFE. Our goal is to start and finish this project in the eight-weeks of the workshop. Ambitious? Maybe. Lexi had a head start. She began her memoirs some time ago. My book is evolving as the class progresses.

The working title of my book is “Lessons My Grandchildren Are Teaching Me.” It started out in the past tense… Lessons I Have Learned… and has changed to the present as it dawned on me that the learning is an on-going, life-long process. The grandchildren, who all are now between the ages of 20 and 24, live in California and Switzerland, except for one. One is right here in Ennis. She moved here a year ago, coming to live with Grammy and Grampy for a much needed “fresh start.” Her name is Hope, and she has been the initial inspiration for this book project that is now consuming me. She also is one of the reasons that I stopped blogging about a year ago. Life got in the way! Something had to give as we focused our energies on being sorta parents again at the ripe, rich age of mid-seventies! So, I set aside WordPress and dug into helping a grandchild grow from 21 going on 12 to a bonafide young adult, capable of wise decision making, independent living, and being the responsible citizen she is becoming. We all are a work in progress. I am no exception!

It’s been a challenging year. Sharing the love of family, the joy of giving, the recognition and development of our spiritual gifts, and the confidence to grow from our mistakes and go on to make new ones and learn from them, too, has been an amazing experience. Our Hope has evolved from a beat down, introverted, jobless and homeless child to a confident, outgoing, employed and independent young woman. Her 22nd birthday is Mother’s Day. We’re going to celebrate with her and we’re here to continue the love and support and watch as she continues to make great strides. Hers will be the last chapter in my book. Hope for Hope! Stay tuned!

 

(Here is Hope – in yellow –  at about age 17 – with her siblings – before she decided she was tired of family rules and decided to go it on her own. Two years later, she was ready for her “Fresh Start.” And the story continues… My book is about these four PLUS my three grandsons who live in Switzerland. I’ll tell you more about my project in my next entry. Thanks for visiting.)

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Hands On


hands-circle (1)

 

Today I am headed to provide respite for a wonderful daughter and her dad who are caregivers for their mom and wife. They make it possible for this lovely lady to be in her home. She is a sweetheart, but Alzheimer’s is robbing her slowly, day by day, of her ability to function independently. Hands on care is such a gift! Whatever we can do to take care of our caregivers, we should do as often as possible. Give them a respite occasionally. Who knows, I may be that person tomorrow – that person who needs 24/7 care in order to remain in my home. God bless you, dear readers. Reach out to someone today!

Ask and You Will Receive


Sermon notes – July 28, 2013

Yes, Pastor Jean Johnson got my attention with the first sentence here:

Do you whore yourself out?
Do you worship false and tempting gods?
In Hosea, the people turned their backs.
God named them “Not My People” and “No Mercy.”

(This part of the message was based on the scripture, Hosea 1:2-10)

God scattered His people, punishing Israel
For turning their back on Him.
In our baptism, we return to God.
He renews His covenant with us.

(Next we had beautiful music by Andrew Scruggs on his cello
      – Amazing Grace –
while we reflected on the message and prepared for the next
scripture – Col. 1:1-14)

We wrestle with questions and struggle to find
Assurance in God’s Word.
We sometimes create God in our own image.
But God created us in His image; He is our Father.

God is a better parent than we’d ever hope to be.
He gives us the Holy Spirit.
All we need to do is ASK.
Ask in Faith and God will allow us to see and use His gifts.

(Andrew played “Blessed Assurance” on his cello
while we thought about the message – and reflected on
the Good News that spread all over the world with great success.)

God gives us life, love, friendship, companionship.
God gives us the Holy Spirit – His presence to guide us.
God gives us faith, light, hope, inspiration, transformation.
Take courage and comfort in God’s steadfast compassion.

(Luke 11:1-13, which includes the passage
“Ask and you will receive,
Search and you will find,
Knock and the door will be opened for you”
was read by Liturgist Judy Bleu.
Andrew’s cello sang “Great is Thy Faithfulness.”
We marveled at God’s grace, assurance,
and faithfulness. And all God’s people said,
“Amen!”)

God is good.

All the time!

Amen!

 

Celebrating the Kindness of Strangers


Celebrating the Kindness of Strangers. This video and song sums up the whole “Love One Another” message so poignantly. Thank you, Gina (at Professions for Peace) for posting this and including the words to the song.

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