March 21, 2023
Some weeks seem to sparkle with unexpected gifts, blessings, treasures, and offerings, and last week, much to my surprise, was one of those times.
In spite of getting more snow and more cold temperatures, and an actual cold, requiring lots of kleenex, cold meds, and naps, my quiet life was full of treats, including delicious scones baked and delivered by friends after we needed to cancel our wine date with them. Isn’t the old axiom “Starve a fever, but feed a cold’? Or is it the other way around. Never mind, the scones were sooo good, and the gesture deeply appreciated. (The inside of the card that came with the scones said “Scones conquer Colds.”)
Other gifts may not have been edible, but were no less pleasing. And each one arrived in my email inbox.
- The copy of an article about a day walking several different labyrinths, “Prelude” by Nancy Nordenson.
“Don’t expect an epiphany,” the instruction sheet warned us. I know, I know: don’t expect anything and you won’t be disappointed, but I’m wired for expectation like a kid who knows she’s just going on a quick errand with her dad, there and back, yet nevertheless hopes he’ll pull the car into Dairy Queen on the way.
- The link to music for Lent sung and played by Steve Bell. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yg-rAwIuF_M
- Notice about a new show at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MIA), Eternal Offerings Chinese Ritual Bronzes. This exhibit is described as an “immersive experience designed to evoke the mystery of heavenly and ancestral worship.” Sounds like a field trip to me. https://new.artsmia.org
- A number of notes from dear women in my life, including one who is awaiting chemotherapy and another who has decided not to continue treatment. Each note, a kind of prayer.
- Another friend wrote about studying the Hebrew book of Micah, which if you didn’t know is between the book of Jonah and Nahum. Does that help? Anyway, she mentioned Micah 6:8″ …and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” I am planning the next session of Third Chapter Conversations at my church, and the topic is purpose and meaning. This verse is a perfect way to begin the conversation.
- One of the participants in the church writing group sent me her essay, a work-in-progress, about the power of invitation. As I read her examples of intentional invitations, I thought about the many ways I have felt invited in my own life and yes, the times I have extended invitations.
- An interview with Allison Townsend who wrote one of my favorite books of 2022, The Green Hour, A Natural History of Home. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYCftVFFBjM&t=585s I read much of this book aloud as Bruce and I were driving to Cleveland last fall. We especially loved her descriptions of the Wisconsin landscape, but perhaps this is my favorite quote:
I tell my students. “It’s the lives we make despite those wounds and the stories we tell about them that matter.” And I quote again Isak Dinesen’s beautiful words: “All suffering is bearable if it is seen as part of the story.” “You must believe this,” I tell my students. “You must tell your stories”p. 215
Weekly, sometimes daily, I receive meditations from Richard Rohr, Glenn Mitchell of Oasis Ministries, and Diana Butler Bass, and poetry from Steve Garnaas Holmes and Jim Borgschatz. I receive writing blogs from Jeannine Ouellette and Elizabeth Jarret Andrew. I listen to podcasts, Learning How to See with Brian McLaren, On Being with Krista Tippett, Love Period with Jacqui Lewis, and What Should I Read Next? with Anne Bagel. Each one is a gift, a blessing, a treasure, an offering.
And all this entered my life in one week.
I am blessed.
What gifts, blessings, treasures, offerings have you received recently? I would love to know.