Friday, June 25, 2010

Words from the heart - Wednesday's Meditation from Henri Nouwen

This morning's email brought an unwelcome but not unexpected surprise.  The message, from one whom I think of as a friend, informed me of an administrative decision at a place where I volunteer.  Not unexpectedly it impacts me negatively.  One good thing about being home ill is that you get to process such emotional brickbats without providing either worry or entertainment to your co-workers.

I talked about it with a close friend and then stretched out on the couch for what turned intro a 3-hour medication fueled nap.  My thoughts were roiling.   I know that there are "steps of grief" etc., but not now!  I hadn't the time. 

Since my return from the Midwest a week ago, I've been processing a number of new ideas which came to me during the times of prayerful silence and joyful time with family.  I had made some initial plans, but this decision (and one other)  impact these plans one way or the other, and I could go no further without therm.

I looked at this morning's  email a second time.  The tone was dismissive, and it seemed somewhat accusatory.  I was so disappointed but I also know I should not take it personally right now.  I had asked for a sign, one was provided.  As the old story goes, I was trapped on the roof in a flood, and God sent me a helicopter.  Should I stay on the roof as the waters rise, waiting for a better "message"?

Imagine my delight when, in going back to my email, I went through the week's Nouwen mailings and found this:

"Words That Come From the Heart

Words that do not become flesh in us remain "just words." They have no power to affect our lives. If someone says, "I love you," without any deep emotion, the words do more harm than good. But if these same words are spoken from the heart, they can create new life.

It is important that we keep in touch with the source of our words. Our great temptation is to become "pleasers," people who say the right words to please others but whose words have no roots in their interior lives. We have to keep making sure our words are rooted in our hearts. The best way to do that is in prayerful silence."

I realized that in my initial responses to this matter, I had simply been saying to this other person what I thought he wanted to hear -- to be a "pleaser".  Most protege's wish to please a mentor.  My attempts to do so in my earlier responses to this matter had only made things worse.

Now I have the time for prayerful silence.  I'm home from work until at least Sunday, and daytime TV is awful.  I guess I FINALLY have the time to pray!

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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Memories of a happy time chicago 1988-91

Those who know me know that my time in "Chicagoland" from 1988 to 1991 was one of the more difficult times of my life. My first marriage of 15 years ended while I lived here, and my life took off in an entirely different direction. Not a bad one but surely different. I now live in California.

Still there is much I miss about the area known as Chicagoland. The Great Lakes, the rolling prairies, little towns with "pig roasts" and other uh-interesting cuisine (Prairie Oysters?!!) and most of all the excellent bike paths.

As long as a brother and my dad live in that part of the world, I try to get back there once or twice a year. I start another such trip in a week.

This website shows recent pictures of some of my favorite rides!

Maybe this time I'll try to rent a bike!

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