Finding God's Goodness

Joy: Looking for God’s Goodness and Weekly Reflection Summary

Looking for God’s Goodness in contemplation and prayer.

Barbara Holmes begins her book Joy Unspeakable with this evocative poem, tracing the thread of creative expression from the birth of the universe through the Christian Desert Mothers and Fathers (who were dark-skinned, though they’re often portrayed as white), through slavery and the continued oppression of people of color. I invite you to read the poem aloud, perhaps a couple times, searching for and finding your own unspeakable joy.

Joy Unspeakable
is not silent,
it moans, hums, and bends
to the rhythm of a dancing universe.
It is a fractal of transcendent hope,
a hologram of God’s heart,
a black hole of unknowing.

For our free African ancestors,
joy unspeakable is drum talk
that invites the spirits
to dance with us,
and tell tall tales by the fire.

For the desert Mothers and Fathers,
joy unspeakable is respite
from the maddening crowds,
And freedom from
“church” as usual.

For enslaved Africans during the
Middle Passage,
joy unspeakable is the surprise
of living one more day,
and the freeing embrace of death
chosen and imposed.

For Africans in bondage
in the Americas,
joy unspeakable is that moment of
mystical encounter
when God tiptoes into the hush arbor,
testifies about Divine suffering,
and whispers in our ears,
“Don’t forget,
I taught you how to fly
on a wing and a prayer,
when you’re ready
let’s go!”

Joy Unspeakable is humming
“how I got over”
after swimming safely
to the other shore of a swollen Ohio river
when you know that you can’t swim.
It is the blessed assurance
that Canada is far,
but not that far.

For Africana members of the
“invisible institution,” the
emerging black church,
joy unspeakable is
practicing freedom
while chains still chafe,
singing deliverance
while Jim Crow stalks,
trusting God’s healing
and home remedies,
prayers, kerosene,
and cow patty tea.

For the tap dancing, boogie woogie,
rap/rock/blues griots
who also hear God,
joy unspeakable is
that space/time/joy continuum thing
that dares us to play and pray
in the interstices of life,
it is the belief that the phrase
“the art of living”
means exactly what it says.

Joy:  Weekly Reflection Summary

Sunday – Dead or Alive. Have you ever thought about if you are living dead or alive?

Monday – All I Need. How often do I look at the changing world around me, allowing it to create dis-ease in my mind or stir up fear in my heart?

Tuesday – Awesomeness. How awesome God is it that Your reign and glory trump everything here in this crazy chaotic world.

Wednesday – Safe and secure. “My soul shall be filled as with a banquet; with joyful lips, my mouth shall praise you. For you have been my strength, in the shadow of your wings I rejoice. My soul clings fast to you; your right hand upholds me”.  Psalm 63 Antiphonal

Thursday – Solid Foundation. How do I live in the solid foundation of joy?

Friday – Presence. And a voice came from heaven said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.”  Matthew 3:17

Inspiring Goodness

Shining a Light on Goodness: A Pattern We Can Trust, A Richard Rohr Meditation

All will be well, and all will be well, and every kind of thing will be well.
Julian of Norwich, Showings, chapter 27

Today we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, which allows faithful Christians to trust that, indeed, all will be well. I like to think of the resurrection as God’s way of telling us that God can take the worst thing in the world—the killing of the God-Human Jesus—and change it into the best thing: the redemption of the world.

Continue reading “Shining a Light on Goodness: A Pattern We Can Trust, A Richard Rohr Meditation”
Guide to Goodness

Prayer is Allowing God to Love You

In last week’s blog, I talked about growing in good works through prayer, fasting and service and how they unite us to Christ.  These are the three tools we have in our spiritual toolbox to resist sin and follow the path of true love.  I find Lent is a perfect time to examine my choices and search the desert within me to evaluate my motivations.  I can learn, with God’s grace, where I am flirting with darkness and then make a conscious decision to snuggle up with my Creator instead of turning to the fleeting relief the world provides.  Prayer helps me see my life as God sees it and assures me I am loved.

Continue reading “Prayer is Allowing God to Love You”