"Happy" Memorial Day (...but it's about dead people)?
The Earth has a message today that will help with this.
1. Gratitude is a garden.
Breathe it in (it makes us happy and weeds despair).
Say to a crusty veteran or the closest uniformed soldier-stranger...
"Thank you for all that you did...(and do)."
It makes a difference. We are so...lucky (i.e. blessed)
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My understanding of God changed as I grew older...and that's a good thing...
Last Saturday, I was reminded (at a six-year-old's birthday party) that God wasn't in the words. I was going for the metaphor of magic...a certain kind of magic...that made plants grow...and you grow...blah, blah, blah.
It wasn't a bad ceremony... but for these little people, God was play.
God visited as a rose-petal, blessing... turned food fight.
It was magnificent. Blessed be and Amen.
I have been hit the last two weeks with a ridiculously high permeability to joy… It happens to me regularly as a hospice chaplain (go figure…). The previous two weeks...we have been blessing nurses for National Nurses Week…
It’s called a Blessing of the Hands...
It is more common in hospitals, where hospital chaplains go around with aromatic oils or holy water and force-feed some self-care and appreciation onto the nurses who have a deserved (notoriously long-suffering) reputation for being allergic to self-care. Ahem.
We do it with rose petals…which I just happen to have lying around in the bucket loads: organic rose petals…just in case you want to eat them.
It is soooo much fun to see the nurses (aides and other support staff) receive this ‘anointing’. Some groups take it very, very seriously (like I am administering Last Rites…) but others receive it with joy and gather the petals up and throw them at their fellow nurses.
The holy, rose-petal food fight is on…
I am grateful for this place that the vicissitudes (and a tornado…or two have blown me to)—this place of messy perfection. May yours sneak up on you as serendipitiously.
Celebrating the Imperfect Body
Dying is messy and inconvenient. Death is a (bit easier) to celebrate because by the time we get around to it, it's over for them, we're still here, and there is stuff "to do" to distract us from its seeming randomness.
Elizabeth asked us to stop and think about it differently.
She asked us to celebrate the imperfect body which is "to embrace what is means to be human". Not perfect...(what life is?) but worth celebrating. The whole auditorium was captivated—if not enthralled. She seemed so fragile compared to her mechanized wheelchair but not so. Everyone around me felt it. We were in the presence of ... greatness.
This is one of the secret privileges of being a hospice chaplain but today the whole crowd got to see it. Extraordinary courage, equanimity and even playfulness at the edge—when we meet 'life as it is'.
Gratitude even for this...this life of beauty. Wabi Beauty. There is more beauty in our world because of her.
on a Chaplain's life