… His love, is our free will!

The Trinity. How is one to understand it, all? Three persons in one, we are told. Most unusual. We accept God the Father, more readily, and yet He is the most obscure of the Three. How does one get their hands around a total spirit?

Have you ever considered God not in the classic, religious way but in a ordinary, generic fashion? Seeing Him through a new prism can sometimes shed glorious light!

He “is” and He beckons us to Him --- like a spiritual gravity. Uniquely, in the midst, love is required. A climate of repentance and forgiveness, on our part. Only then, are we made whole. There are no shortcuts – no other way – just a willing heart.

In harmony, with Him, our life blossoms! Apart from Him it crumbles. The choice is ours. He is the author of all that’s around us and even within us ---- that’s awesome! No one equals God or even comes close; no one except His Son, Jesus. He and the Father are ONE.

In our materially oriented society, is it any wonder that we needed someone real, tangible, believable to validate this invisible Father? And so, He came in a person, God’s Son … both human and divine. When you grasp how often a father’s traits reflect onto his children, then you realize that Jesus is, indeed, “a chip off the old block.” The second person of the Trinity.

“You belong to this world here below, but I came from above,” Jesus professed. “… before Abraham was born, I am.” Such words! So amazing! Quite and assertion to make! Then, seeing a fallen world around Him, He cautioned: “… die to your sins. Repent and live!”

This wasn’t intended to be religious, because it isn’t --- it’s gut real. Jesus came not to rule but to guide us. He knew our position; He’d been there. Loneliness and despair were His. He advised straightforwardly: “Repent. Sin no more.” On bended knee, before our Father, we are to express our wrong and be healed. Jesus, Himself, had no wrong, and still how often He withdrew into the wilderness to be close with His Father, in prayer.

With God, sin has no place; it cannot be. And so, He bridged this dilemma of ours:  we, the fallen, separated from Him, needed to find our way back. He rescued us. He masterminded an extraordinary plan: He placed His own, dear Son on the cross. He, the blameless One, suffered and died for us and paid the price for all sin. His was an example of such love! God thought we were worth it.

Nothing was left to chance; it’s all there. The question is: what will we do? On one side is strife, the other life --- the choice is ours. Our Father has no guile or programmed agenda --- it’s in our hands. His love, is our free will.

Something of His good, resides in us. Something that changes not only us but those around us. We glimpse of His love in yet another way; a third entity --- His Holy Spirit, within us. We too can evolve and sparkle into His likeness! We’ve seen His good in others and we’re drawn to it. Through this goodness and light, it is said: “… we have entertained angels unawares!”

Our journey is mapped out for us. It’s not to trudge onward blindly, but to walk by faith. To believe the unbelievable in our soul! To drop our bossiness and yield with kindness. It’s willfulness that keeps us broken and in the shadows.

And so, we’re blessed with the Trinity … the Holy Family. The Father, the Son, and God’s goodness, His Spirit, that longs to dwell within us. Such love has no measure!

Christmastime offers a sharp contrast: the ills of this world and the gift of a baby in a manger. This little One, did it all. He “is” the hope for the world!

… and with new eyes

 We say: “I can’t ---- I don’t have time,” and so, the perpetual whirl of our life continues …

We are all busy. Work, appointments and countless obligations crowd our days constantly. Commitments hurry us along in a barrage of confusion and noise. The monotony, of routine, swallows up all creativity and the onslaught never ends. We move at top speed, fearful of losing step with the rest of the world, afraid of being left behind. Much of the frenzy is self-created, the rest unavoidable, after all, “life must go on!” In the midst, a small voice cries out, from within, longs for our attention, and won’t be silenced …

“There must be a better way! Something I can do,” we long to find it. Before us, the small voice, of the One who made us, insists: “Be still and know that I am God.” These words are arresting! They come to us when we’re depleted; quiet. When finally we listen. Only God knows the inner workings of our heart ---- He created it! To bounce things off from Him is to learn “from the horse’s mouth.” All else are mere words, and they are hollow. God gets to the source: deflates our ego – frees us, from ourselves – and once again, we see differently!

We’re people made of clay. All sinners; all lacking. Some of us broken, some mended, and most still struggling. We don’t “walk on water, “ ---- not yet. But, God reaches out to us, if we let Him.

His advice, we can count on! We can move slowly and with new eyes! We’re here to notice everything. To observe it – as precious – not just dismiss it into a sea of “has-beens.”

There is always something to delight us, of His making. Incidentals, simple things, that teach and inspire: a feathered family, snug in their nest, a bunny hopping, flowers flaunting their petals of color and perfume, or a sky, so blue, with clouds whipped up into mounds of meringue! We don’t have to look far … for wonder!

We’re not here just to build, perform, or accomplish ---- but to dream and discover! Life, this constant adventure, is a mystery in the making! Our very being can be called upon, by God, at any moment ---- and we will cease living. To ease up on conformity and attainment and to step back, from the rush, and to see from a slower pace is our task. Besides, why the hurry? We already are!

Our life is fragile, like a snowflake. A marvel engineered by God! When analyzed closely, meticulously, both are miraculous! Snowflakes fall to the ground like tiny, white doilies each fashioned with their own charm! Their lacey patterns are missed by the naked eye yet such intricacy and beauty is built-in! God scrimps on nothing when He designs! Then look at us ---- unique to the core! No two alike! Amazingly engineered by God.

… a life’s partner


He sits there –
somebody’s life’s partner.
There on a bench
at the mall . . .
a husband just waiting
… and nothing more.
Patient … quiet…
‘mid confusion and noise
and the scurry of Christmas shoppers.
 
A people watcher
he is, of sorts,
observing the procession
‘til his wife returns…
his hair now silvered
and less than before;
his face more wrinkled
but mellow and calm…
a life’s partner, of many years.
 
She sees him now
from a distance, of course,
familiar …. dependable…
always there.
Soon he’ll help her –
he’ll give a hand.
He’ll see what she bought –
what was on sale …
and share in her enthusiasm.
 
When love is seasoned
it is grand!
There’s less to say –
you simply understand.
It’s comfortable to be
in the presence of this man …
a life’s partner.
 
And just when you are
truly one –
when nothing between you
can come undone …
nothing that matters, that is,
not when forgiveness
is uppermost ...
not when all that you planned
is found in a hand
that you hold …
and then strangely you’re told
 to let go –
and let God do His well …
take him home … with Him.
 
He’s gone, now –
and the bench is bare.
She misses him …
sitting there.
His priceless being –
their history …
a gift superior to any
store bought luxury …
a life’s partner.
 
She still feels
like he’ll pop-up … somewhere.
She knows that can’t be real.
Perhaps he’s sitting at another bench?
Or went to buy a present?
Or his watch stopped …
and he forgot himself –
or went to the men’s room?
 
No –
he’s gone.
She knows that to be true.
The mind plays tricks …
it will take time to start anew.
To face another Christmas …
the falling snow –
to dress the tree, again,
and do it all alone.
To miss this dear, uncomplicated
soul .. a life’s partner.
 
And every Christmas,
at the mall,
she’ll see him sitting there …
in every patient husband
waiting on a bench … somewhere,
and though the emptiness
takes time to heal
there’s something wonderful
about God’s plan –
for giving her
this ordinary, special man …
a life’s partner –
that warm, familiar hand
that was always there.

… so, I’m saving these memories for when it’s cold

That orange ball, up in the sky,
relentlessly
it baked the earth
and made us sweat
and sigh ---
how slowly days went by …
under it’s grip.
 
And though, we toiled
during the day ---
sometimes by evening
the heat eased away …
and when it did
how pleased we were
to sit
or snooze
or simply be …
content.
 
At night,
with windows open, wide,
the crickets argued …
outside.
They chirped
and chirped
and wouldn’t quit …
their bickering lulled us
all to sleep.
 
Life wasn’t complicated
then --- not all.
No cells phones to charge;
no malls to tour.
Mothers were home;
dinners were grand …
most of our stuff
was second hand.
 
On Saturdays ---
Daddy was chef, for the day.
He cooked
hot dogs and hamburgers
in a make-shift way …
not on some fancy
contraption or grill …
just cinderblocks gathered
and fired away!
 
We kids, in the yard,
were hungry as bears.
We drank lemonade …
in the shade …
‘neath some trees, in the back.
How we ate
and laughed;
we thought we would bust …
and swatted mosquitos
when they tried to eat us!
 
Vacations were never
arranged or planned ---
just spontaneous days
with our feet in the sand.
A place to unwind ---
to frolic
and sing;
to rest and do …
not a single thing!
 
In some ways,
our life was harder, then.
Nothing came easy
that had to be done.
We shelled peas;
mended trousers
and hung the wash, out ---
it danced on the clothesline
if a breeze, came about.
 
Our garden we tended
with daily devotion ---
but hours of work
went into this venture.
All that watering
weeding
the picking
the bending …
but those juicy tomatoes
were God’s invention!
 
Summer ---
a time for picnics
and strolls;
for sun tans
bare feet …
and a good, garden hose.
A time to remember
when winter unfolds …
so, I’m saving these memories
for when it’s cold.
 
- by Ruth Cronin
 
 

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