Time for Beauty

Time for Beauty

There is very little time left.

 

But Spring is setting in.

The snow starts to show colour.

So there is that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

And then

The snow returns with a vengeance

Layering everything at least a few inches

And the ground gains a quick 6 inch topping

Smothering the melted 6 inches from yesterday.

 

 

 

 

And as the sun sets leaving a clear sky the tidbits of the shore colour it just a bit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The details up close show the grand colours of the night with a few wisps crossing the trees.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And as the night moves in on us the moon shows up across from the sun set.

 

 

 

 

 

 

That may be all.

Enjoy, Smile, and Hope.

Remember

Friday the 13th
Remember
All the things that happened on Friday the 13th.
All the times joy grew by leaps and bounds on Friday the 13th.
All the times by the oceans of loss and grief that the Spirit brought comfort invisible on Friday the 13th.
All the times the water flowed freely, seemingly even uphill, on Friday the 13th.
All the times the joker arrived once again on Friday the 13th.
All the times the rain fell softly, the snow fell silently on Friday the 13th.
All the times that humour bounced off walls like soccer balls inside on Friday the 13th.
All the times the hole in the wall was lit up with joy on Friday the 13th.
All the times that love flew freely on Friday the 13th.
All the times that honour and honesty embraced us all on Friday the 13th.
All the times we desperately needed God’s grace on Friday the 13th.
All the times we sat alone beside each other on Friday the 13th.
All the times in crowds of millions we’ve known screaming loneliness on Friday the 13th.
All the times the birds in the trees sang, the deer in the woods danced free, the coyotes howled their cries across the miles, the water lapped the sand of the shore, the canoe plied the deep water, and the loon sang it’s cry for solitude’s repair on Friday the 13th.

Remember …
Gently, carefully, hopefully
For without memories true
The chaos of evil’s deceptions will ruin life, love, trust, faith, and hope on all days including on Friday the 13th.

Remember and see clearly:

The sun sets.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Look more closely if you hope to see it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


And more closely yet, get beyond the weeds and distractions.
Do you see it yet?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


There do you see it?

Do you see even the fresh pristine white snow is turned purple with the red of blood mixed with the blue of the sky on Friday the 13th.
My blood, your blood, our blood, everyone’s blood, spat back onto the earth from the sun’s energy in a mix of sky and evil,
God’s offer of passion, love, and life
Rejected so often by me, you, us, by everyone for so long that even the sun cannot absorb the chaos of this evil exuding from us
Not only on Friday the 13th.

Yet, not the red of chaotic re-spat blood of rejected passion, love and life,
This red is the price of Grace, freely given, fully bought and paid for Grace.
Red of passion, love and life, re-sent to colour every inch of our world
With beauty.

Look closely
or not.
Regardless Grace flows freely also on Friday the 13th.

Winter Fresh

Winter Fresh
11 April and we get a 4” dump of fresh fluffy soft powdery wonderful-for-skiing snow.
Now that’s a gift.
The view after sunset is quite something.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So many ways to see the same thing.
It’s good to have choices.

A View on a Walk Before Bed

A View on a Walk Before Bed

After a day of writing, skiing, and grocery shopping, the sun set at 20:00 ish and though the solar power had held out through the whole day I was ready for fresh air and then to be done for the day, not to run late with generator power.

So out I stepped, took just ten paces west to take in the whole western sky after the sun had slipped from sight.

 

I looked at the photo thinking that the camera had somehow changed the clouds to be edgy.

Not at all, to my surprise. The clouds were identical in the sky as on the display.

But some of the view simply was not in the photo, so

I set the camera to panorama and turned it to portrait to capture more of the view.

And the results are a file ten times larger, and a photo without the intensity of the first, but with the whole view.

Satisfying to be able to capture the whole great view, but then lacking in the focus and intensity of the experience that is captured more with the first simpler photo.

A small adjustment to the exposure brings the photo closer to the actual view.

 

Which do you like better?

 

And which do you prefer for questions of life,

To see the larger view, a bit distant and aloof, an observer detached and able to forge a path towards a goal,

Or

To engage in each moment fully focused on the intensity of it, letting it slip out of its context and allow oneself to move from moment to moment without a compass, a context, a tradition, an ethic that would guide and inform you of what you see?

Or

Do you want both and cannot keep them both in view

OR

Do you have it all in view and cannot sort out the big issues from the intense events

OR

Can you see everything, live each moment to its fullest, and know the greatest peace assured that the big picture is both in view and not your own direct responsibility, only that you see the world

Through eyes of Grace, with Forgiveness your primary mode (for yourself and for others) of responding to great beauty and destructive ugly evil from where/whom-ever, just so that you can still experience the beauty of grace dancing on the light sparkles and shadows of the mundane spectacular!?

 

Forge a path, it is not foreordained where or how you will step next.

Choose wonder, grace, beauty, truth, and always faith, hope and love.

They say you can’t go wrong …

But you can and you will … so learn to forgive yourself and others freely, so that your next step is graceful.

Finding Ones Way Home

Finding Ones Way Home

There are developments
So late
In life
That they really are
A part of
Death,
Or rather
The final stages
Of living.

So I was reminded at a funeral this past week. Instead of the usual disheartening eulogizing, her son repeated some of the beautiful humour Carolyn shared with them in her final days, humour and care for them, when they least expected it.

One needs to find the beauty
That is all around
While one can.


Sometimes the wonder is clear as the sun sets.

… and the humour …

That comes in so many forms.
Take the pallets burned with garbage left all around by some fools a week or so ago:
Yesterday
two people full of humour
Decided to visit the same campsite,
with rocks bared showing the fire ring,
And burn a few more pallets, wood and nails, right next to the fire ring.

They must have had lots of joy,
Because they were simply too full of themselves,
Too busy,
Too important,

and/or

too stupid

To pick up the countless nails the burned pallets left behind,
Which is actually criminal.

Then there is the humour and beauty of being alive when so many people have threatened my life,
and
Of being gracious to the cruel enemies whose lies have brought so many people to think that my life
Is only worth ending,

that my life is their’s to claim in a false or misplaced revenge

for things I did not do, but others have done to me.

 

They find their way home, foolishly resolving their conflict by
inflicting on me the repute and punishment that is properly their own.
Their homes must be crawling with invisible mice and rats of great humours.

My home is a huge place, the whole outdoors
and a small place that may indeed
(if just one error picks it’s day to appear here too soon)
sink as ice becomes mush.

But for now the beauty is all around.
Breathe,
One has at least a few more days
To share the goodness of life,
Before the cost of one’s enemy’s lies are unjustly one’s own to bear.
At least the left over nails from the pallets cannot be used in a crucifixion

Or can they?

Is this
The path
Home
Through wind blown
Snow?

 

So today there is the beginning of path or roadway of sorts that may survive long enough to allow home to move on top of soil before it is too late.

How are you going to find your way home, today and each day,

while you still can?

After the Storm Does Anyone See Us

After the Storm Does Anyone See Us?
It was not much of a storm
just snow and white and wet and cool and windy windy windy …
but
when it passed
the beauty is by comparison
even more wonderful

 

 

The trees shine

Red on green in winter.

 

 

 

And on the sun setting the fog catches and holds the red for all to see.

The trees hold the sun one last moment in light.

 

 

 

 

 

The tracks go off as always

To just another nowhere, anywhere, here-where.
Here, does the world know that we are here?
I know you have got people who know you are there, but
Do you even know we are here? Do you know where here is?

Do you know who we are?
Do you know who you are?

Isn’t that the joy … of being able to ask,
And not know but think it’s possible to consider an answer is possible
Eventually?
Like the storm that eventually passes,
and leaves a beauty
that is that more enjoyable.

Rainbows of No Colours

Rainbows of No Colours but Grace Alone

After a full day
The sun sets whether the passengers get home
Or not
Flying
Leaving a crystal trail
Across the sky.

How will they know we were here?
And will there be a home ever again?

Is there hope?
Yes, just no evidence that provides a basis for it.
It is raw hope based solely on faith that though people fail
God will not fail us, will not fail to bring justice and mercy to bear on all
All of us.

Thoughts in shorthand from the Lessons for today:
Genesis 9:8-17
Psalm 25:1-10
1 Peter 3:18-22
Mark 1:9-15

Notes to Readings
Flood Promise: hope despite disaster of proportions inexplicable.
Colours: signs of hope, beauty as sign of promise of life not condemned.
Colours are a sign for God to remember!
Remember me oh God, amidst being forgotten by the world, made a non person.
Steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenant and his decrees.
So it is to be a religion of achievement, not grace! So to speak: Let us work to please God for God then will be the one to reward and save us! Quatsch!
God is God, God is gracious, God is merciful. And to all.
But there are consequences not known easily in this world’s course and flow, and there will be consequences for those and for all who make life for others hell.
Christ, the righteous, suffered for all, the unrighteous, not as removal of dirt, but as an appeal to God for a good conscience
What is this “conscience” to the writer of 1 Peter? A plea to God to provide a good conscience for us, through Jesus Christ! Yes, if Grace abounds, even sin forgiven is heavy, and brings us to behave poorly, but knowing the grace and forgiveness of God, bought and paid for by Jesus, and told to us as model of how to live, no more scapegoats, brings us to ask how can we live given that we are forgiven and made clean, a clean conscience and existentially clean as well! More than dirt removed, a soul, a life, cleansed in order to change the universe (i.e. system changed by one change).
First: when one realizes that God is gracious and forgives and gives life and breath freely despite none of us deserving any of it, then one is suddenly freed, freed to be marvellously and amazingly able to forgive, to be God’s grace to others, and even to oneself.
Second: when one changes/is changed by grace then since one exists within multiple systems, each member of the system dependent on the others, one’s changing changes the place and existence of the others in the system: that is when grace changes one person, it changes the system … it changes the system towards grace for all.
Third: that changed system towards grace rebounds back on the one first changed and changes that one even again and freshly so.
Forth: who are you? Are you fighting the system changes of grace along with so many other billions upon billions? Or are you freed and gracious and forgiving at all costs.

 


We think the world is pathways that we choose to take the high road or low road, the left fork or the right fork, the path of goodness or that of evil; but God works to bring our diverse paths together. God is well pleased with all of us. The light makes everything known, good and evil. And all of us will meet at Christ’s feet, the light of the world.

Baptism: beloved Son with you I am well pleased.
Temptation: 40 days tempted
Ministry started as John is arrested. Repent and believe the good news.
What is this: to be claimed, to be named, to be tempted, to proclaim/share the good news?
What is this if it is not to be the grace of God in this world so that others will experience it real!

This is life, the goodness of life.
The rainbow and the colours and the beauty, and the simple joys of life and the big joys of life are all given to us so that we can be (even as God is) reminded that God’s way is not to wipe out the world, good and evil; God’s way is to transform, to redeem, to give new free breath to every person and every atom in this world.
Breathe!
Be Graced, Be Grace.

Open to the Light

The Darkness is profound.
The Light still shines.
There is no evidence to indicate it will get better,
But only hope
That the light will shine brightly
And life will emerge from the twilight zone of black being white, and white being black.

Blue and Gold on White

The mode of entry into this real world is simple: skis on snow.

There are past trails covered by the recent 6” and then 2” snow falls of moisture laden snow.


One covered trail heads straight to the light going down.

There are others that have circled around looking for fish beneath the ice.
Nice
But one rolls the dice
Whether it will be tomorrow enough
Nice ice.

Forgiveness

Forgiveness
There are really terrible things that people do to other people.

In life these terrible things sometimes stick out above everything else.

There are really terrible things that have been done to me, lies that have been told, and the effects have been devastating.
There are much worse things that are done to others, that have been done to others through history.
As for me: I used to have assets of $350k before, and $250k after.
It was not much of a retirement since I was always a stay at home dad, but it was something, and I freely gave that $100k, or so I thought, because I trusted what I was told: that I brought joy, life and health to others.

Now, directly because of the lies told about me, I have growing debt and no assets, except a bicycle, my clothes, a tent, a sleeping bag. My reputation is in tatters. No one will hire me. Everything that sustains my physical living in the harsh environment of winter is borrowed. Everything that allows me to drink and eat and move and comply with sentences against me is borrowed. Everything and every minute is given to me as gift. So I am still standing. I am still breathing. I am still able to see, record and share the light and the infinite breaking in on our finite existence. But every day everything is borrowed. Or maybe it always has been, and we just make up that we possess things, instead of being loaned them by those around us.

What I did ought to be lauded. I ought not to be judged or condemned or sacrificed or sentenced.
I forgave.
I forgave because I could not allow myself to hate.

I forgive because I will not allow myself to hate.
“Hate is a very big, very hungry thing with lots of very sharp teeth and it will eat up your whole heart and leave no room left for love. We are lucky that God understands this. He is the one that will hand out the punishment so that we do not have to carry all this terrible hate inside of us, if we do not want to, if we are willing to forgive.” From the movie Amish Grace.

We Lutherans proclaim a very powerful Gospel, a Gospel that God loves us unconditionally, that God extends free Grace and Forgiveness to us, no matter what we do, good or evil, so that we can live freely.
We are not free to be whatever we wish to be, but free to respond to such amazing Grace given to us by offering grace and forgiveness to others, no matter what they do, good or evil.

Forgiveness
does not
and cannot
come easily
or
cheaply.

It is costly.

Forgiveness is so costly, sometimes more costly than we could imagine.

My forgiving has cost me …
everything.

An acquaintance wrote me: “You are a love-worthy person and I am glad I met you.”

Everyone is a love-worthy person.
And this is why and how God graciously forgives us, so that we can see each other as worthy of love.

What do you see today?
Who do you see today?
How do you see today?

Do you see with a heart consumed by hate?
Or
Do you see with a heart graciously forgiven and made capable of forgiving and loving in spite of what evil is done to you?

See the light

by following the darkness of the shadows.

 

Celebrate the light.
by seeing the light in all that is every-day.

Share the light

by showing the big picture to others, by showing how the light has lit up your path.


All our light comes from the holy infinite God all gracious loving one who gives us life, and breath.

So breathe.

Be gracious
and forgiving
especially of your enemies,

as well as yourself.

Everything is borrowed, given to us for a short time.

“Wir sind alle Bettler.”

MLuther

Cold Recovery

Cold Recovery

While it hits a low of -34°C and lasts a few nights
The cold is about to let up.

It’ll warm up to just -4°C.
And then sink at night to -17°C.

This is a little recovery from the Cold, welcome by most,

Or one could hope that the infection commonly known as a cold
will be the recovery that is coming.

Yet there are bigger recoveries that would benefit so many people would they happen.

There are so many people that know the recovery needed.

Just a little light, that’s what we need, a light to shine truth and hope and grace for us all.


In the trees the light takes the bite out of the bark with soft warm golden shine.
Shine light shine!

 

Near the water,
drawn full down by the spin of the earth into the clouds,

the light lets hope shine even as
it is about
to disappear through the cold of the night.

 

Even in the setting sun the wonder is still there,
Reflecting on the snow

And drawing us onward
Toward the horizon,
Toward what will come
After the darkness,
When the light returns and shines
the truth
all ways.

It may be cold.
It may be dark for a while.
But it will be light.
It will be filled with hope.
It will be filled with truth.

And it will be filled with Grace,

For all.

Who knows the light, the truth, the only reason for hope?
Who can speak and set the record straight?

Who can, who will?

What is dark will always be made clear in the light.

Who can, who will set foot in the light?

Who will step out of the shadows and give witness to the light and truth?