April 27, 2020

Daily Devotions

Meditation, Prayers, and Assorted Stuff for April 27, 2020

Henri Nouwen, Bread for the Journey, “Writing to Save the Day”

Writing can be a true spiritual discipline. Writing can help us to concentrate, to get in touch with the deeper stirrings of our hearts, to clarify our minds, to process confusing emotions, to reflect on our experiences, to give artistic expression to what we are living, and to store significant events in our memories. Writing can also be good for others who might read what we write.
Quite often a difficult, painful, or frustrating day can be “redeemed” by writing about it. By writing we can claim what we have lived and thus integrate it more fully into our journeys. Then writing can become lifesaving for us and sometimes for others too.

Jesuit priest and theologian Pierre Teilhard de Chardin wrote these words about patient trust. While not exactly a prayer, I think they speak in powerful way to where we all are today.

Patient Trust

Above all, trust in the slow work of God. We are quite naturally impatient in everything to reach the end without delay. We should like to skip the intermediate stages. We are impatient of being on the way to something unknown, something new. And yet it is the law of all progress that it is made by passing through some stages of instability—and that it may take a very long time. And so, I think it is with you; your ideas mature gradually—let them grow, let them shape themselves, without undue haste. Don’t try to force them on, as though you could be today what time (that is to say, grace and circumstances acting on your own good will) will make of you tomorrow. Only God could say what this new spirit gradually forming within you will be. Give Our Lord the benefit of believing that his hand is leading you, and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself in suspense and incomplete.

Here’s some more from pastor and cartoonist Cuyler Black:

Today’s links! 

https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/where-can-i-buy-bbq-late-in-kansas-city People are stepping up to meet the challenge of our COVID days. Here’s a story about a vending machine that dispenses Kansas City BBQ.

https://citiesandmemory.com/ Cities and Memories is an awesome website founded by sound artist and field recordist Stuart Fowkes. Travel all over the world, listening to more than 3,000 sounds from 90-plus countries and territories. Visit Hanoi and Florence, hear flamenco in Seville, Spain, and listen to gnaoua music in Essaouira, Morocco.

https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/16/us/chattanooga-tornado-church-piano-trnd/index.html You’ve probably seen this story by now, but I’m including it anyway. Listen as a woman plays a piano left standing amid the rubble of a Chattanooga church destroyed by a tornado. Be sure to watch all the videos in this CNN story.

https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-australia-52147740/coronavirus-dressing-up-for-bin-night-brings-a-smile-in-australia Dressing up to take out the trash is a definite thing in Australia. Take a look. I dare you to try it in New Athens!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQIJuu3N5EY I, for one, don’t think anyone can listen to banjo music without tapping along to the beat. How about Steve Martin and Earl Scruggs—among other all stars— playing Foggy Mountain Breakdown?

Let’s not have a Kaskaskia Valley breakdown! Remember whose you are.