Flows Like Water

“Come away with me….to the wild.” Jesus invites me to lunch.

“Ok.” I sigh and follow where he leads. I have been smiling and preaching the need for home care up and down these streets all morning and my smile feels a little pasty and crooked now.

So I follow Him to a park with benches and slides and children playing.  Here, Lord?

“Yes, but deeper.” He says.

I glance to the side. There is a sawdust path marked “Natural Planting Area.”

“Here.” He says.

Internally my eyes roll as I look down at my crisp white dress pants and my black leather pumps….Grrrreeeaaattt.  So I take my lunch and my Bible and this journal and I start up the path.

The wood chips are soft like a moon jump under my feet and my heels sink in and bounce out with each step.  I come to a picnic table nestled in this Natural Planting Area…which really means this is where God is gardener and man steps back to simply enjoy his handiwork.

At first I am chilly (the trees provide lots of shade) and I have to pee and I’m not hungry yet so I guess you could say I was a bit resistant and then I sit and eat soup with Jesus and we talk about the lady arguing with her husband on the phone because she “doesn’t have time to do it all.”

I can’t see her through the trees, but her voice raises sharp with panic and I pray peace over her and Jesus says yes and we fill her up with the love of Jesus.  She packs up her tow-headed two year old and rushes away and I pray that soon she will remember that no one has time to do it all.

All we have time for is long-lingering hugs that smell like little boy and sand castles and lunches in the trees with Jesus and I pray that God will remind me when my voice raises like panic and I dream of drowning in laundry.  I pray that God will remind me that He has filled me with His peace and love and the really important things involve filling others from that well.

I pray to Jesus.  I desperately want to hold onto this peace. I want to hold onto this presence.

And He brings to mind the fountain on More Mountain. It is a sculpture of cupped, but open hands joined at the wrists and living water gurgles up through those hands and spills out over them and down over the fingers and fills the bowl beneath until it runs over.

He says to me, “From open hands my spirit flows freely.  Don’t hold on….open your hands.”

And I think of what my pastor said this morning to his group of young shepherds.  He said that the Spirit is like a fountain. A fountain can only take in more when it has given out of its abundance and the only way the fountain continues to flow freely is when it spills out all that it has taken in and in its place there can be more.

And then God reminds me, “Cari, what does your name mean?”

Cari- Turkish- Flows like water.

And I smile and tears sting my eyes because he knew me before I was born.  Because he created me for a purpose and he created a purpose for me and OH! What a beautiful journey discovering that purpose is.

10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.- Ephesians 2:10

A Quick Thought on the Dalai Lama

I’ve been thinking a lot about the way of non-violence after yesterday’s round table with the Dalai Lama, Helen Prejean and Vincent Harding. All the talk about violence begetting more violence and creating inter-generational hatred keeps spinning in my head.

This morning’s Bible passage?

“For lack of wood the fire goes out, and where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases.”

-Prov 26:20

The question that keeps plaguing me is am I fueling the fire? (Fire being any unrest in my fellow man’s or my own heart.) I  hate to say that the answer is, most assuredly, yes.

But I don’t have to…the Bible gives me a very clear way to stop.  A simply profound answer…”where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases.” If I truly die to self-remove myself from the equation and let Jesus live in and through me, the whisperer dies too.  Simple answer….not easy, but simple.

What will you do today to walk the path of peace?

Lord Jesus, I am taking myself out of the equation today.  Help me to have your eyes for the world. To view the heart of those I touch today and to understand.  Help me quench the fire of hate.  Let me be an instrument of your love and peace today. Amen.