It was a fun week. And profoundly moving, especially watching Roger spend precious time with kids at his new school and playground built by the foundation and led by his mother - a true inspiration.
Huge smiles. He skipped and hopped with them, sat alongside and read to them. Such rapt attention, such lit eyes, it caused me to reflect on LOVE and LANGUAGE.
LANGUAGE - that universe between our ears - its supreme power; its unending impact on every life; its profound affect on individual growth and development - on imagination, on curiosity, on belief. Yes, LANGUAGE!
It got me to reflecting on a half truth - a vicious lie, really - 'sticks and stones' - which, like so many of its ilk, shapes a cruel universe beside, a dry crop of lands, an unnecessary reality destroying a vast populace, yet out of the struggle of which and against all odds when LOVE reaches down beauty streams through its cracks like beams of light from the heart of our Generous God. See.
GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION TO FULFILL YOUR HIGHEST POTENTIAL
EXPLPORE BEYOND THE BOUNDARIES OF OPPRESSION & DECEIT Be assured LOVE in any language pulls us together never apart.
It samples the truth of ILICET - A Time To Begin Again. It is the story of humanity. It is the experience of one boy, yet not only one. As it unfolds we become privy to the everlasting grip of language. It is the unfolding of the reach of LOVE.
Ah, love, in any language, is fluently spoken here. From where I stand the sun is shining all around. Such were the quality of the lad's steps, as he trotted through scattered raindrops to meet Eagle. The Master Of Ceremonies had already left on a crucial mission. Volunteers were in the kitchen. The lad trotted with the confidence that comes with knowing his answer to that pesky little question - Why am I here? Why am I here in this moment? - equalled as it is to the thrill, the excitement, of exploring for an answer when it isn't known. Don't panic; don't be anxious; God is not playing hide-and-seek nor peek-a-boo with you; Eagle had convinced him. This was the lad's third asignment. So eager he was to discover what it is, he sang through the rain. Along the way, he recalled what Senior Asaestuya had taught him, that is, how and when to face the NOWCOW question: "IS 'IT' WORKING FOR ME?" Whatever IT is! Ask it often. Ask it each morning or each evening, if need be. Ask it squarely. Be bold and honest with yourself. When the answer is 'no' make the decision to do something about IT, or to do something else. When the answer is 'yes' carry on smartly. But never shy away (under any guise, no matter how noble it might seem) from facing this mirror squarely nor from demanding of yourself an answer. Look in the mirror. Look a little closer. Stare a little longer. Ask: "Is it working? Is it working for me?" Answer honestly. Then carry on smartly. The lad grasped that part joyfully, but he was still wrestling with that other element El Senior had explained: look at the clouds; let these remind you that beauty and joy, growth and change, are fertilized in fields of ambiguity, and that in a world of certainty there is no need for faith. Have faith. Then carry on smartly.
You were born with potential in a shared world. You were born with trust in a shared world. You were born with greatness in a shared world. You were NOT created to be abandoned nor to abandon the call of your life - the dream. You are meant for this season. In a shared world!
Reclaim your awesomeness. DANCE THROUGH THE RAIN! I'll show you how.
First, put a smile on your face. Come on. SMILE. Now let me share something very important about rain (I mean brain) and about rainstorms (I mean brainstorms). Actually, there are a few sweet similarities. Nevertheless, you might recall that it was that dancer, the singer and psalmist Kind David, who said in praise of the One who created him in the image of Almighty, "I am fearfullly and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, I know that full well." Awesome. To this day we are discoverering ever more of the wonder of our being, individually and collectively, how wonderfully made we are. You too! Let's meet neuroscientist Dr. Miguel Nicolelis and his monkey. Pay close attention while I dance. The sun is shining here. See you in a breeze.
GOD IS AWESOME. NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE
Are You Ready? Let's dance.
embrace the challenge
hear the music
lift your leg and shake your booty
Ai-yai-yai. You can dance. Dance any style you like. Clap and tap. Prefer a partner? Requires incredible strength and balance, though. And flair. Let's dance!
Now That Takes Practice
And FREEDOM, so WHY ARE YOU HERE? The MASTER understood full well on whose account he embarked on The Great Adventure, a journey down a road he chose to walk out of love for me - a new road. By this time his fame had spread across land and sea. Thousands remained amazed at his marvelous deeds. But not all, you might recall. He and The Restwere not welcome everywhere.
Traditionalists confronted him. They accused him and his band of buddies of trampling on their tradition: on their holy tradition, their healthy tradition, their valued traditions. "You are unclean."
Jesus responded. Aye! How shall I put this to you delicately! Why do you, by your traditions, trample on God's tradition? Jesus listed a set of their hypocrisy; their lying actions. Oh-dear-oh-dear! "Well did Esias say, 'You draw near to me with your mouth, and honor me with your lips, but your heart is far from me. In vain you worship, teaching for doctrines the orders of men. How dare you decide for God what God should want and what God shouldn't want or when or where or why or with whom!'" Then Jesus spoke to the thousands around him. He said, "Listen to me and understand this: it is not that which goes into your mouth that defiles you; it is that which comes out of you that defiles you."
Later, The Rest rushed over to Jesus to inform him that the Pharisees are deeply offended by what he is saying.
Jesus responded. "Every plant the Creator did not plant will be uprooted. So, never mind them. Leave them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. If the blind leads the blind, they both will fall into the ditch."
The mandingo, Peter, did not understand this parable - a lack of understanding that will be more dramatically revealed later along his journey - so Peter asks the Master what this parable means.
My dear man, Peter, don't you understand that whatever you eat will enter your belly and come out as crap? You'll flush that. But whatever crap is in your heart and in your mind, that crap, those thoughts, will come out of your mouth and through your actions; that's what will diminishyou.
The lad was not that far from the home of Eagle, his heart palpitating, when he caught sight of a lively woman. "I find it amazing," the woman was saying, "at times frightfully amazing, how alive the Scribes and Pharisees are; some doing quite well, if you ask me. It's most frightening in the light of the record of this incredible Journey Of Jesus and of the revealed presence of the Holy Spirit," she said. "These wonderful people - marvelously made in every manner as each of us - continue to over-write Jesus. They use scripture to overwrite Jesus. They overwrite Jesus in the name of Jesus. They hear voices telling them what to write over Jesus. They have anointed themselves the fix-doctors of Jesus. I find it amazing. Truly amazing." The woman lifted her voice. "The tragedy is: while many of these modern Scribes and Pharisees do it viciously and knowingly, while many of them do it full well aware of their hatred, the violence of their intentions, their desire to promote divisions in the name of God, pompously, and out of their own self-apportioned righteousness, many of their acolytes do it out of a genuine desire to be right with God. These do it because they are blinded by this awkward deception, unaware that God's love is total and free. So these alcolytes also overwrite Jesus then forge his name. That's the tragedy. And yet I need not worry. My Jesus covered it all. He changed the game. He transformed it all. Carry on whatever traditions you please, by all means, if it is working well with your soul. I say this, and I say it out of my own heart and with no scripture to back me up: if you feel the need to lie for God, if it is your lie that makes God God, well, my God is an amazing God. God is awesome. Total and complete. Everywhere. And where there is truth there is beauty, and beauty truth. Let love be love; let it blossom and grow in all of its array. Let go and allow this evolution of love within you. Let me love you." The lad saw who she was speaking to and smiled. Then he trotted on, happily, through the rain. Dancing.
THEY WERE WRONG!
"Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these." ~ Jesus
"Is it working ... for YOU?" This is your life; only YOU can live it.
THEY WERE WRONG
YOU ARE HERE
You Made It
May I see that again? Quite a revealing intro, fascinating on a number of intriguing levels:
In the beginning
was the Word
and the Word was withGod
and the Word was God
was in the beginning with God.
Wow! You should see me now. I can barely contain my excitement. Such potency! Whooh! Nine out of ten people, if you were to randomly tap them and ask, will confidently tell you that Eve - that's Eve of the Garden Of Eden - ate an apple and whatever and whatever and whatever, quite convinced they are accurate about what Eve ate in the bible and whatever and whatever. No different here: nine and a half will stare WORD right in its face and tell you whatever and whatever, and bzzzzt, again. But, of course you wouldn't, would you, when you have the option and freedom to discover with your eyes and ears and heart and mind this word . . . then thinkon it, lestyou miss completely life's most incredible transformation and find yourself unwittingly guilty of telling God that God doesn't do God's business in the right and proper way.
There is no misinterpreting
The language of The Heart
LOVE IN ANY LANGUAGE
PULLS US TOGETHER
RIP VAN WINKLE IS ALIVE
One of the joys of my early boyhood is sitting on the steps beneath the moonlight listening to my mom tell one of her classic stories.
She shared these, not only under the moonlight, nor always on the steps, and it was one of her marvelous ploys, I now know, to distract me from some of the tragedies of life. Such is the onerous task of some moms and dads and all guardian angels. So it was that my mom was the book I loved to read; her lips the turn of every phrase, its rhythm her very breath.
But these readings did not always turn out well.
First, I must tell you I vehemently disagree. Regardless, my mom was irreparably convinced that I had a propensity for idleness. Ahem! You say po-teh-to. I say po-tah-to. Nevertheless, I loved my mom beyond repair. She was the queen of my universe.
Besides, she either had the eyes of an eagle or was in constant cahoots with the All-seeing God, or both.
I still don't know.
Whatever the reason, in broad daylight on this particular day she called me up to tell me the story of Rip Van Winkle.
Had I understood the story, I might have gotten her message. Mothers are like emails: they are always delivering messages.
Rip Van Winkle is an old classic by Washington Irving. And so she told me the story. But I didn't get it. And she knew I didn't get it, because, as was always, she asked me what the story was about.
Not only did my unusual lack of enthusiasm for this story betray me and I failed her end-of-story test, I got stuck somewhere between trying to figure out the poor man's name and wondering why his wife was such a nagger. So, she told me the story again. Trust me, I listened, yet still I remained clueless.
Three times she told me the story!
The third time was no charm! Rip Van who?
So she got me the book, which I was assigned to read in her presence. Uh!
All I needed to do to get out of this vicious loop was retell the story then tell her what it is about.
It was a slow read.
Somewhere along, I kinda got the hang of the name. Rip Van Winkle. Has to be a name for all times! It had a certain kind of cache, allbeit, a strange one, and a certain special ring to it - Rip Van Winkle - which in and of itself created its own storyline in my imagination.
Of course, there was Dame Van Winkle, the nagging, cantankerous wife. There was, too, Rip Van Winkle Jr. Cute. And what was up with everyone being named Van?
I figured there was a trick in that - a parable - a puzzle that needed to be figured out by the end of my reading for therein must lay the secret to mom's question: what's this story about?
There was the pipe-smoking small man, Derrick Van Bummel, the headmaster. No boy would miss sight of such a man, Bummel: he who knew all the big words there are, and so on.
There was the landlord, whatever his name was.
Three of my favorite characters were: Mr. Doolittle - hahahahahaha; Wolf the dog - hahahahaha - poor animal; and the ghosts of Henry Hudson and his crew, ghosts with magic liquor, ghosts who knew how to play a game of ninepins - whatever that is.
There was nagging and nagging and nagging and a war. I discovered many new words and took a special liking to obsequious and malleable.
Then came the end.
"Now, do you know what the story is about?"
Er, uh, ahem. Nope!
I gave it every shot I could, hoping to hit on the right answer. She asked me a thousand and one questions, which I figured one way or another to answer or finagle, but that thousand and twoth question?
"Okay," she said, "you'll just have to read it all over again."
Needless to say this was not going to ever be my favorite story!
One day, a long, long, long, long time later, after I reached puberty, and long after the troubles of this world relieved me of the requirement to keep reading this story in order to answer my mom's sticky question, something happened. And mom was not even around to experience this extraordinary happening. Out of the clear blue, as if someone shouted in my ear this name which I had not heard in eons - Rip Van Winkle - I, there upon, heard my mouth shouting back: I know him; that's the guy who slept through the revolution!
OMG. That's the answer.
A man slept through the revolution.
Such a nice and wonderful man he was, so kind and sweet, enduring the long-sufferings of endless naggings - oh, the poor man - but he slept through a most incredible transformation. He awoke in a new world, a world that made no sense to him, a world he was unprepared for, a world in which there was no more nagging, no more ghosts, a world incomprehsible to him, because he slept through the revolution.
His name is Rip Van Winkle.
I think he is still alive.
LOVED NO QUESTIONS ASKED
I cherish the moments
Every Moment Is Precious
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