Monthly Archives: February 2015

Dust has compassion…

If you recognize you are dust.  You have compassion.  You have the compassion of Jesus the Christ.  You know the unconditional love of the One who has given the greatest gift in life…the fullness of himself.  You know this love within yourself being forgiven from sin and embracing new life.  You know this love for yourself as a beloved child of God embracing your true self just as God created you to be.  You know this as a friend and neighbor who sees Christ in the people and the world around you.

Dust is compassionate.  Notice your compassion today giving thanks to the Compassionate One who gives us life.

(c) 2015 The Rev. Lil Smith



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Filed under Breathe, Devotion, faith, God, Gratitude, Jesus, Lent, prayer, Spiritual Formation, Transformation

Dust can doubt…

Doubt.  I think I have decided it is the very core of mountain of purgatory for it touches each terrace: Pride, Envy, Wrath, Sloth, Avarice, Gluttony, and Lust.  Doubt is different than not knowing.  It puts us in a place that is away from our foundation.  It takes us away from God.  And almost always, it is accompanied by…fear.don't know which way to turn

I don’t know if I am comforted or disturbed at the doubt Thomas Merton encountered while he was discerning his vocation.  Perhaps holding both lightly is the contemplative exercise I am called to do.  I was comforted at the beginning to know this was part of his journey.  But understanding the depth of his doubt…well it takes “Doubting Thomas” to a new level for me!  For a contemplative giant to encounter so much doubt in his faith journey seems so counter-intuitive.  Important dust can doubt…a lot!  Not just doubt, but retreat, self-negate and hide.

I began reading Thomas Merton’s The Seven Storey Mountain again as I prepare to attend the Spiritual Directors International Conference, Emerging Wisdom, in Louisville this April.  Studying Merton’s wisdom in the contemplative life, I encounter the real-life faith journey  of one ordinary being called to a life in Christ, in community, in union with God.  I encounter someone willing to let everything go for the gift of grace.  I encounter someone in the search for true vocation that was willing to give up his gifts for God.  Yet in this place of letting go, God provides for him so faithfully.

To fellow doubters out there.  Keep talking to your trusted advisors.  You can take a break from it for mental health when you need to, but don’t let it drop off the map.  And don’t let fear be part of the equation.  It is okay and wonderful to ask questions.  Listen.  Stop and really listen.  Be ready to hear the Holy Answer.

(c) 2015 The Rev. Lil Smith

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Filed under Breathe, Cursillo, faith, Gratitude, Jesus, Lent, prayer, Spiritual Formation, Transformation

I am fragile…

It has been a long time since I felt physically fragile.  Finding a way to play tennis or get in an aerobic walk each day has been an important part of my selfcare routine for many years now.  So the flu really hit me hard this year.  I “tamiflued” up when my husband got the flu, taking extra precaution. #tamiflufailvenus fly trap  I have been in the house, in my chair, curled up with the dogs for six days.  And today, a sabbath due to the ice and snow.

I am fragile.  Being forced to slow down, to cancel appointments, to miss important events was at first painful and bitter.  Yet in the freedom that was created for me, I was able to find a gift in the time, a blessing in the solitude, a deep breath in the space of time.

This reminds me of our call to return to God during Lent.  Our need and our desire to keep our eyes upon the Holy.  For when we see through the lens of the Holy, being fragile, being dust is peace, joy, love, hope.  Don’t fall into the trap of the world demanding your attention.  Take time to see, hear and embrace the Holy in the moment.  Be fragile.

(c) 2015 The Rev. Lil Smith

 

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Filed under Breath, Breathe, faith, God, Gratitude, Lent, prayer, Reflection, Spiritual Formation

How will I be blown…

I am dust.

I will be blown.

The unknown is…how I will be blown.

I will be blown places I do not want to go.  Unknown places.  But what is known is the presence of the Breath to guide me in the midst of the unknown.  The Breath will comfort me and give me peace.

I will be blown places that are familiar and joyful.  The Breath will give me laughter and joy.

I must let go and be blown to experience the Breath.  If I hold on too tight and miss being blown, I miss the gift of the Breath.

Holy One, I let go.  I free myself to the Breath.

I am dust.

(c) 2015 The Rev. Lil Smith

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Filed under Ash Wednesday, Breath, Breathe, Devotion, faith, God, Gratitude, Jesus, Lent, Ministry, Spirit, Spiritual Formation, Transformation

Sticking with it…

I am dust.

Not just yesterday, but today…and every day.

I invite you to stick with this image throughout Lent.

Dust.

What can dust do?

Dust can pray. I offer this prayer practice if you are looking at one for…stick with it.

Move the stickies to create your own prayer each day.

Move the stickies to create your own prayer each day.

Write down your prayer topics.  It can be as specific as you wish, or it can be a category that will remind you of your specific prayer.  I am a visual person, so this practice keeps my prayers on my desk…right in front of me.  It invites the Holy Spirit to hang out with me at my desk, to show me how God is at work in my prayers during the day.

And if something changes during the day, I can re-prioritize my prayers in an instant.

Try it for a few days, stick with it.  I pray that you are blessed with this offering.

With a grateful and dusty heart,

Lil

(c) 2015 The Rev. Lil Smith

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February 19, 2015 · 9:39 am

I am dust…

I am dust.

I am fragile.

I can be blown places I do not want to go.

Sometimes I leave marks I don’t want to leave.

I am dust.

ashes[1]

I will return.

I will return to the One who created me.

The One who will give me strength.

The One who goes before me and with me and behind me.

The One who forgives me and forgets.

I will return.

Friends, may this Ash Wednesday be a reality check for you to turn to the One who gives you strength, love and forgiveness.  Enter into the Truth, and see His journey with fresh eyes, real words, and new ears.

– Luke 18: 9-14

With a grateful heart,

Lil

(c) 2015 The Rev. Lil Smith

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Filed under Ash Wednesday, Breathe, Devotion, faith, God, Gratitude, Jesus, Lent, Pastor, prayer, Reflection, Spirit, Spiritual Formation, Transformation