Living in my mind a lot, as I am in school again, I sometimes wonder and question myself, what I am learning, the past, the present and the future. It is a lot! Anxiety can creep in as I forget who I am, and come home seeking recovery. It is not that the work robs me of something; but in my laser focus on the tasks at hand, on reading other’s thoughts in books and articles, or hearing other’s words, I can get lost.
Coming back to who I am, as I write this, as I marvel at the wonderland that is my life at present, I am amazed at how blessed I am. An evening of laughter with family all around me, a husband and mother who cook a feast for all, time to reflect in quiet as I look at a candle, my books, my writing tools; my children’s plump earthly faces to be kissed and squeezed; the dazzling light of the love I feel…
It is important to remember that life is always blessed, but we are not always aware. We may be pining for days past or looking forward too much, or we might be sunk right in the middle of something that has all of our attention, and mirth is the last thing on our hearts and minds.
Mirth is an interesting word; it is a very old word that to our modern ears might sound like a problem, but it actually means merriment, gladness, laughter. Fun. In the Bible, it was used to describe joy or laughter when the people celebrated; but mirth was also discouraged by the Prophets or in Proverbs when the people needed the wisdom to mourn or mend their ways. (We can have too much merriment!)
I find a life that is blessed has both mourning and mirth; laughter and lament; joy and sorrow. We are meant to bend into what God would have us be. We may not always know why we are laughing, or why we are crying. But to live is to feel. And to be in Christ is the be clothed in both merriments at the Bridegroom’s (Jesus’s) spiritual presence in our hearts, and His physical absence on a planet where we live or witness other’s devastation, loss and toil.
But what do mirth and mourning have to do with realizing a life of being blessed? I no longer need to be happy all of the time, to feel blessed. I no longer want to make light of everything in order to feel OK. I know God sustains me even when things are dry or times are difficult; when life gets in the way. I can sense God’s presence, even as I watch TV (perhaps asking me to turn it off!). I can feel God pulling me out of bed to come and contemplate, to put things in my soul aright.
Life is complicated. God is not. We feel many things, merriment, mirth, happiness, sadness, fear, anxiety, calm and contentment. Our feelings lead us to understand life, to process its many facets. There is beauty even in the ashes of life, in lament. A true poet, a prophet, a lover of God feels greatly, and loves deeply. We can express the entirety of life in many colours. God created everything. God is with us (the meaning of the name Immanuel) in everything. So why not embrace all as a blessing? And feel our way in God.
There are miracles in both mirth and mourning. Embrace your life. Live fully and love God.
From a Daily Book of Miracles, by Krista M. Moore, excerpt of a book in progress, Copyright 2019, Photo: Cross at West Hill, 2019
Daily Miracle Message
Have you ever had a best friend you could rely on even when they weren’t physically there? Someone who never goes away or fails you, who understands everything and never gives up on you?
I have. Though I have been blessed to have a number of “best friends” in my life, there is one whom I count on before all others: Jesus Christ.
I don’t know where my affinity with Jesus came from, but from the age of about 12 or so, I have claimed him and known him. He has felt like an intimate friend, a brother. I talk to him all the time: When I’m walking the dog; going to bed at night; washing the dishes; or writing this book. He is always there, in my heart and mind.
Maybe it’s because he made this promise long ago, that he would be with me ’til the end of time. My soul remembers, and he never forgets his Word.
I can count on him, and now, I hope, he can count on me. When I was younger and more of a seeker on my spiritual journey, our relationship was a one-way street:
“Jesus/God, what can you do for me?”
Now that I’ve grown older and hopefully a little wiser, so it’s more like: “Jesus, what can I do for You?”
But when times are tough and I am not as able to help others, I know where to turn. When life gets difficult as it must, when I need a friend who will not let me down, who will not judge, who is always available the instant I call his name, I know who I can count on.
It is as if Jesus is a very personal friend saying, “Count on me.”
Physical friends are essential, amazing (and life-saving) for a lifetime of joy and happiness. But God and Jesus are like my heart and soul, something I cannot live without. Times change, people change, but my Source, my eternal Helper does not. And when he gets me out of a jam, and turns my life right side up, I can get back on my horse and ride out into the sunset, and as I turn back, I smile at him, toss my head back and say, “You can count on me, too, brother. You’ve got a friend.”
Daily Miracle Practice
Try having a silent conversation with Jesus. He may surprise you. He can also be quite funny! Nothing phases the One who has overcome the world. You can tell him anything. His heart is yours.
Daily Miracle Blessing
I will always be here. I will always be with you. You can never lose me. Never doubt my Love. I will be with you ’til the end of time. When others fail you, I will help you. Count on me before all others. You’ve got a friend.
Mystical poetry and modern-day psalms by Krista M. Moore, Sunburst painting by Mary S. Moore
Daily Miracle Message
Sometimes it is difficult to hear what Spirit says. Listening for something can cause nothing to become much louder! It can feel almost impossible to connect to that ineffable Presence. Travelling in many circles of play and work, we dream, we write, we become still at night. And we wake again to the same plight: What is it all for? Is anyone listening? What does my life mean?
The doorway is open if we let ourselves seek it. Jesus said, “Seek and ye shall find. Knock and the door will be opened to you.” (Mathew 7:7-8). We must enter. It is not an easy path, it is through “the narrow gate” (Mathew 7:13): to close the door to one world and open the door to another. But it must happen.
Like sleep at night, we must engage in the practice of putting to rest all other things. We must fold down the sheets and lay our heads down. We must turn out the light, so the true light of our own inner being is illuminated. As our busy mind rests, our spirit is able to connect to God, to reunite with its Creator.
We can not expect this to happen instantly. It is a process of repetition, like the moon’s ascent each night. It does not decide when or what it will be; it simply returns, gloriously. And like the symbol of the moon, it can be a very emotional process. That time of rest is also sorting of many things we have carried during our days, weeks, months, years, or even lifetimes.
But once in a blue moon, if we persist, if we continually let go and return with open hearts and minds, we are able to dream beautiful dreams, to rise past fitful sleep, to that other place we call freedom or heaven on earth. To connect with our true selves and Spirit in new and beautiful ways, with the sun shining on our face.
Daily Miracle Prayer
Dear God, help me to open my heart and mind to You. Help me to hear Your Voice, and ascend to where you always abide. Let me move past all the cares and worries of this world. Let me rest my head and return to You so that I can know heaven on earth. Amen.
Daily Miracle Blessing
Rise up, daughter! Rise up, son! Turn your face to me and feel my eternal Light. Take your place among the stars at night and see the Light of who you are. Return to me and bask in my golden glow, forever held and free.
“Have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim from the housetops” (Mathew 10:28-29)
My random opening of the ESV Bible today, a new spiritual practice, revealed knowledge and wisdom that encouraged and uplifted me in my new quest not to hide the truth, but to proclaim it from the rooftops. In a secular world, especially in an especially “progressive” Canada, that is no easy feat.
I am reminded not to fear or worry what others think as I proclaim the Gospel in 21st Century North America and beyond. I figure I am not alone, though it sure feels that way sometimes.
Spreading light is easy if it’s the usual “self-help” or “new age” variety. But as soon as you use the word, “Jesus”, “Christ” or “Bible” you are in for advanced cynicism, curiosity or criticism.
I’m alright. Based on today’s passage, I’m in good company.