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It’s easy to pray for those we love. Friends, family, neighbors, people who help us or encourage us. But, what about praying for those people who have hurt us? Or, who have committed crimes, acts of violence, or other attrocities? It can be much more difficult to pray compassionately for those whom we feel have no compassion, and it can be nearly impossible to lift up those who have deeply injured us.
But, we are called to pray for everyone – in the words given by Our Father – “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.” Moreover, we are called to be non-judgemental toward those tough intercessions.
Think about the ways in which you judge before you pray. Perhaps you sift through your prayer list and only consider those who are close to you, or whom you love a great deal. Or, perhaps you do pray for those who have injured you, but that prayer is tinged with dissatisfaction or dislike.
The more we are mindful to be compassionate toward all, the more of a difference we can make in those darker corners of the world. And the more we will model our Heavenly Father, walking with Christ throughout our daily lives.
A few days before Easter, I caught a really bad bug. I’ll spare the details, but suffice to say, it was one of those things that we with chronic illness (especially if we’re taking immunosuppressive drugs) dread. Not only does it make us feel absolutely miserable, but it throws everything else in our carefully-orchestrated lives off. I had to stop the immunosuppressive drugs while ill, and most everything else had to be put on hold, too.
Now, I’m feeling better, slowly. And resolved to climb back into “regular” life slowly, too – and much more cautiously. This, I think, is one of the most difficult aspects of recovering from an illness, especially if you have other chronic conditions that affect daily life, too. We’re happy we’re feeling better, and others are happy, too. We can’t wait to get back to the activities and people that make us smile, that give us enjoyment. At this time of year, well, we simply cannot wait to get out and about!
But I know too well that the days right after a bug has been squashed are days to be held a little more closely than our happy hearts would like us to. Energy will be lower, perhaps resistance to other bugs will be lower, too. Climbing back slowly will help build strength for healthier days to come.
So, I’ll resist the urge to speed up too soon. And along the way at this slower pace, I’ll be able to appreciate the life and world that God has given – beautiful, bright, and comforting!
Blessings and joy,
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Happy Easter – again and again!
I’m just digging out of a really bad bug – one of those things that flattens you out and makes you truly appreciate the days when you’re not battling…a really bad bug!
So, today, my heart is full of praise! Praise for Easter, of course, and praise for feeling better, little by little.
How do we pray praise?
Somehow, our “usual” words, tone, and posture doesn’t do it. No, when I think praying praise, I think of hands raised to the heavens, open and grateful. I think of words escaping my mouth that’s formed with a wide smile and, thus, helping the tone be lighter and laughter-filled.
Praying praise, to me, is letting my heart dance and my soul sing. And all – phrases and feelings – are presented to a God who is loving, forgiving, and great.
Pray praise today! Set your light a-fire!
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Happy Easter! He Is Risen! Alleluia!
Today, we meet in church and at home with friends and family, our faith communities, and we celebrate the glorious Resurrection of Our Lord! This is truly my favorite holy-day, and not only because it is so filled with joy, from music to decorations to the hints of spring that fill the air and sky.
Today is my favorite because it is all right – no, more than all right, it is good and just to express joy all round, to let out the light and love we have in our hearts and lift a hearty “We believe” to the heavens and earth.
Think about it, sometimes on other days, we might be less courageous to share our joy with others. We might be afraid to look too happy (“Is she nuts?”) or worried we will offend (“What will they think if I greet them too warmly”). But today, we have no excuse to hold back. And as we feel how wonderful it is to let our joy out into the world, I hope that for the rest of this year, moreso than in year’s past, we will continue to pour forth all manner of positive emotions and feelings into our troubled world.
Yes, let’s start today and continue on – let’s let our joy out and watch how it moves heaven, earth, and hearts more squarely into light and love!