Saturday, January 26, 2013


We bless what we touch. Think of that when you hug a child, complete a project, or place one palm against the other in prayer and thanksgiving. We bless our hopes, intentions, responsibilities, and souls. I’m really cognizant of this lately, especially as I get to this existential freefall of middle age. I'm worrying less about this vanity as I realize that time simultaneously does and does not matter--we need cherish it and let it go at the same time.

Even though daily living can be a trudge and even horror for some, and a joy for others, every soul finds a need for touch, be it physical, mental, or emotional. That should be enough incentive to reach for each other, or to take great pride and care with our daily work, with what gives us purpose and lifts others up. That touch can make or break, create anew or even destroy. It’s our intentions that make the difference.

Where our hearts find purpose is where the Creator deconstructs us and creates anew. If you can imagine it, that’s where God meets us, in that infinite touch. It is my hope that in some way, regardless of whether you believe as I do about anything--but most certainly about matters of faith--that I have touched you, that I have been some kind of instrument for good in your life. And that you are the same for others.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

To the barricades!

The prayer I have often cited as my best one goes like this: God, help me to see things as they really are (and not the way I want to see them). I’ve often turned to it when I know I’m getting in my own way, tripping and fumbling over life’s challenges. What's left out of the prayer, however, is something I didn't realize could or would be a problem until recently: what do I do with those realities once I "see" them? What if I don't know what to do? The patterns of life and human frailty have me considering sometimes unaccountable realities: specific neuroses, family tragedies, habitual behaviors. Human beings are such flawed creatures who paradoxically can be strongest when weakest, but it’s one thing to deal with your own shortcomings--quite another to deal with someone else’s.

If I cannot "do" anything more than be patient about these, work through them, knowing these are long haul problems and not quick fixes, then what can I do when I am weary or wary of the snarls in my life, ever watchful and suspicious that their ugliness will rear its head in fear and anger and trepidation?

Seems a hopeless cause sometimes, especially when I am caught in the middle of someone else's dark hole, or stymied by my own. When it seems hopeless is when I pray, because I know I cannot do it by myself. There isn’t always an answer or remedy, and sometimes what I have to see with the eye of my soul is acceptance, or humility. The acceptance might be status quo, and I may not like that, but I find myself called upon to be humble in the face of a long-term solution. The hope for a solution, even. It’s hard in a world of immediacy (I want my facebook, iPad, instant download, yadda yadda) to understand or even accept this kind of slow boil.!

I know that in my lifetime I’ve experienced the joy of prolonged answers over and over--I know their sweetness, and I can’t quit the idea that somehow, there’s a better plan than what I wrought. This kind of thinking gives me the fortitude I need to get through the rough patches, and that’s a good start. In the end, it’s up to me to take up that newfound strength and use it properly, wield it like a sword, and stand up instead of cower at my own conjured and real fear.