A slight delay with this morning’s video. Wifi isn’t great out here among the Amish. But I share with you some thoughts this day as I invite you to come and join me at an 18th-century cloister where I found some peace for my rattled soul. Enjoy! I am now off to get some scrapple for breakfast! Blessings!
Yes, only I would go foraging in Vermont for fiddleheads and ramps on one of the hottest days in May. But I have been feeling out of sorts lately and so what better place to lighten a heavy heart than in nature? Well, as wonderful as God is, I didn’t get fiddleheads and ramps. Rather, I got a basket full of God’s surprises, and a reminder how I need to “forage” for more of God when I am feeling low. What about you? What are you in need of this day? Let me know and let’s be prayer warriors for one another. Now, grab your basket and let’s forage!
Woke up feeling…not sure how to describe what it is that I am feeling. Tired? Sick? Depleted? Heartbroken? Anxious?
I look at the grass glistening with dew. The birds are singing. The humidity captures and accentuates the smell of lilacs. The scent is almost suffocating. I don’t recall the lilacs ever smelling that strongly.
How is it that I am surrounded by such peace and beauty and yet I still feel…Tired? Sick? Depleted? Heartbroken? Anxious? (Perhaps I am feeling all of these things?)
Two horrific shootings in our country over the weekend — yet again. Two acts of violence that capture how sick we as a people are. My prayers for those grocery shopping in Buffalo and those attending church in California feel hollow. I am numb. And yet, I need to focus. I have stories to write. I have stories to edit. There are magazine deadlines that cannot be missed.
But it is hard to get to work today. Hard because all that I do today seems trivial and silly compared to the great pain, the endless tears and the broken hearts of those grieving today.
I cannot believe we are living in a world where we risk our lives going to get groceries, going to school, going to church, going to…wherever.
I want to retreat further into the woods. Go off the grid. But that is not the solution to the world’s pain and suffering.
And so I find myself sipping my coffee with tears streaming down my face. I have deadlines to meet. I have stories to write. The world’s love of productivity prods me to get on with my day.
My reply to the world, “Really? Get on on with the day?” Is “getting on with our day” the way we heal a broken world?
When do our hearts ever have a chance to heal anymore?
There seems to be no reprieve from horrific news. And each headline, each senseless death, each act of hate, rips off the tender scab that began forming on our tender hearts.
All I have left inside of me is a tired, broken whisper: Lord, in your mercy. Hear our prayers.
May God’s mercy wash over us this day and may our bitter tears flow into deep streams of grace.
It’s been a busy time for me and, as many know, I struggle with taking time off. But I have, and I didn’t realize how much I needed it.
What about you? When was the last time you tossed your “to-do” list aside and took time to marvel at God’s beauty all around? The sunning shining, the birds singing, the heavenly scent of lilacs blooming…take that time today. Make that time now.
Spend some time today with me as I share with you one of my favorite places from my childhood — the Wick Farm in Morristown, NJ. On a cold, rainy May day I get to explore, pray and ponder — and enjoy a few God moments, like meeting the friendly park ranger who welcomed me into the old 1750 house and shared a tale about a horse. As a Presbyterian pastor, I also learned the Wick family had Presbyterian roots! What God moments will you have today? They all begin by listening to our Good Shepherd and following where he leads.
Old Stone Well Farm is on location this weekend. Come and join me on May 8 as I take you to a place that shaped who I am today. You will also hear a legend about a horse and get to meet a local park ranger. A full and blessed day!
On this third Sunday in the Easter season, I’ve been thinking a lot about new life and the resurrection of dreams. If God makes all things news, then why do we hesitate to embrace that newness?
A question for today: Are we grabbing our nets and returning to waters we know or are we going to listen to Jesus calling out to us to cast those nets into new waters.
So come, join me here in Vermont for a time that I pray will inspire, comfort and fill your heart with Easter faith!
And if you would like to join me for some traditional in-person worship, I will be in the pulpit of First Presbyterian Church in Broadalbin, NY, this morning at 10 a.m. Live stream on the church’s FB page@Broadalbinfirstpresbyterian.