the lily’s bloom
the grazing doe
the secret smile
For each seed of tenderness we are grateful;
for each planting of joy we give you thanks.
the hazy dawn
the rolling thunder
the friendly silence
For each seed of wonder we sing gratitude;
for each planting of patience we give praise.
the quiet stream
the held hand
the deep breath
For each seed of love we lift up your name;
for each planting of faith we offer our joy.
Let each seed be a blessing,
a sign, a parable,
of your reign.
cross-posted at RevGalBlogPals
Now the day before Saul came [to the town], the Lord had revealed to Samuel: “Tomorrow about this time I will send to you a man from the land of Benjamin, and you shall anoint him to be ruler over my people Israel.” – 1 Samuel 9:15-16 (NRSV)
Saul comes to Samuel’s town in search of donkeys. It’s been an over-the-hills-and-through-the-woods kind of adventure for Saul, chasing his father’s lost donkeys through the hilly lands west of the Jordan River. Completely out of luck, Saul’s servant suggests they pay a local prophet for insight into the lost donkeys’ location.
And so it is that Saul and Samuel cross paths – Saul looking for a man who can tell him about donkeys, Samuel looking for a man God has chosen to be king.
Mismatched expectations like these are frequent gems in comedy … but can be lumps of coal in life. It’s good for a chuckle that Saul believes he has found a donkey diviner in Samuel, while Samuel believes he has found a people diviner in Saul. It’s less funny when friends or lovers or colleagues get the wires of their expectations crossed.
Feelings get hurt.
Egos are pricked.
Hearts cloud with frustration.
Someone’s anxiety over lost donkeys grows.
Someone else has the urge to shout, “Forget the donkeys already – this is bigger than donkeys!”
If our paths happen to cross today and I’m intent on donkeys while you’re intent on crowns (or vice versa); if you are coming and I am going and we miscue one another on our next steps; perhaps instead of rising to defend our own agendas in that moment, we might anoint one another with the holy blessing of new expectations.
Even if it means losing our donkeys.
Prayer: I already know, God, that I’m not going to track every wandering donkey today. I hate to let even one of them go. If different expectations are possible, please interrupt me to let me know.
written for the Daily Devotional
O people, hope in the Holy One in whom there is steadfastness and with whom there is healing! Blessed be the One whose heart is attentive to pain with compassion and accountability. Blessed be the One from whom nothing is hidden, though we create our own shadows....
Why should the nations say, “Where is their God?” Our God is in the heavens; God does whatever God pleases. … The heavens are the Lord’s heavens, but the earth has been given to human beings. - Psalm 115:2-3 & 16 (NRSV) Parenting college students is an interesting...
We want, O Shepherd -- how much we want! To be esteemed, to be secure, to be carefree, and we hoard to fill our insatiable egos. Feed us with the unlimited harvest of love, in all and through all and for all. We are tired, O Shepherd. Let us lie down, guard us as we...
You make me lie down in green pastures; you lead me beside still waters. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. - Psalm 23:2 & 5 (NRSV) Green pastures aren’t hard to come by when you grow up in...
The Holy One has been rejected so that routine might not be disrupted. Cry out, O Brokenhearted! The Holy One has suffered so that the murderer might walk free. Cry out, O Brokenbodied! Raise your lament, all you who are witnesses. Do not hold back your rage before...
Here is my heart, O Holy Life: ancient with the dust of stars, new as the day I was born. What use can it possibly have if it beats only for itself? Here is my soul, O Mystery: reluctantly tethered to flesh, marked with scars and calluses. Who else can recognize it...
Light runs out before love is finished -- some days, I think, even before love begins -- and the horizon blazes with the angry grief of time we wish we'd had, moments we missed, stories we didn't begin to write together or could've written differently if the sun had...
Who will break the fast? Joyful Jesus, how dare we continue to feed upon scarcity when there is a rich feast spread over endless banquet tables so that all who are hungry may know peace? We raise a glass to you -- Holy Abundance, Open Invitation, Broken Bread....
I'm not interested in your pain having purpose, my Friend, only in the space to grieve what has been done to you. Let no one call these harrowing days a hallowing. The broken flesh is not a fruit to harvest. The tortured earth is not a fortune to reap. The spilled...