The Beauty of a Sunday

Oceans 993

A Prose Poem

The problem with getting older, is that you’ve heard every sermon, or you think you have.

I didn’t learn faith in a church, the woods taught me, when I was young, showed me there was something greater. I saw the church filled with people, but their hearts were not still.

Later, the wooden benches were hard, difficult sermons, long sermons, with harsh words. Railing against the Pope, or President Obama. I was confused, and my heart grew sick.

Healing for me came, in the stained glass, the space. Certainly in the peace, and in the beauty of faith. Now the sermons are shorter, and the words are decorated with love. His presence. What can we give to others?

All of this reminding me of the creation, the woods, the rivers, the mountains, and the beauty of life.

My heart is full now, and contented.

And in the late afternoon, Sundays were made, for napping.

Writing and Image © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

Peace and blessings to everyone.

“If you love nature, you will love people.”

The Last People on Earth VIII – New Light

Oceans 171

As they sat down in the atrium that night, Miriam was amazed at the sight and smell of the fresh pizza Jeremiah had made. He had placed fresh tomatoes, and spinach in with the cheese, and she was starving. Smiling to herself, she knew part of the reason she was so hungry, was that she felt free, and happier than she ever had before. She also loved his cooking.

Jeremiah paused, for a moment. Was he praying? Then he started dishing out the slices, which also had a beautiful, mouthwatering, thick crust. The moonlight was beginning to shine clearly through the atrium, as the sun was going down. For some reason, Jeremiah asked her, “So how many languages do you speak Miriam?” She smiled and said, “Well….it depends on what you mean.” “I know Amharic, Somali, Hebrew, some Arabic,  and of course French, and English”. His jaw dropped. He was continually amazed by this incredible woman. She continued, “Oh, I almost forgot, I was also teaching myself some Italian!” He smiled from ear to ear, when he noticed a black cloth bag on the table, and asked her about it.

“Well, you may have been wondering about my faith”, she said. “Since it is a Friday night, and soon it will be dark, I brought this with me tonight.” Uh-oh he thought, this could be it, the one thing that might tear them apart, “religion”. He tensed, but said nothing. She continued, “I am from a Muslim family, but my parents were very open minded.” She opened the bag, and pulled out two of the most beautifully carved wooden candle holders he had ever seen, and two brand new white candles. “My mother was an Ethiopian Jew, and reverted to Islam before they were married.” He was fascinated, and listened intently. “They made a deal, before the wedding, that my father would allow my mother to light the Sabbath candles each Friday night, and say prayers, at the table”. She was beaming now.

“May I do the same, and say some prayers?” she asked. He was stunned. “Sure”, was all he could say. She said, “I tend to lean towards my mother’s original faith”. She covered her head with a scarf, placed the candles in the holder, and lit them. “I’ll be singing in Amharic, the language of my mother, and then in Hebrew.” She began singing, and chills ran up and down his spine. His spirit began to soar. He had never heard Amharic before, and to hear her sing it, brought tears to his eyes. Then she sang in Hebrew, “Baruch atah Adonai, Eluhenu, Melech ha olam…..…” (Blessed are You Lord, our God, the King of the universe) As she sang she moved her hands in a fanning motion towards her. The tears began streaming down his face.

He knew that he would share sometime his own beliefs, about the Messiah, his thoughts about the need for atonement, but not here, not now. This was a sacred moment. All he could say at the end, through the tears was, “Would you teach me Amharic?”……….Miriam smiled from ear to ear, because she knew for certain, without question, the Creator had placed them together………..

To be continued.

Writing and Image © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

Peace and blessings to everyone.

“If you love nature, you will love people.”

First Friday – Psalm 91

Mountains and Rivers 393

Psalm 91: 1-4

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High

will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress,

my God, in whom I trust.’

Surely He will save you from the fowler’s snare,

and from the deadly pestilence.

He will cover you with His feathers,

and under His wings you will find refuge;

His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.”

 

These verses are some of my favorites. The whole Psalm is filled with strength giving words. One thing to remember about the Psalms, is that they were actually songs, and had music with them. I would love to hear the music of the Psalms, that once played!

Clearly the Psalmist is encouraging us to have the Almighty, the Creator, as our shelter. It is a choice, and has always been a choice. When we do choose to trust, He helps and strengthens us. I love the poetry of being covered with His feathers! By the way, a fowler is one who catches birds, and the connotation about the fowler is very negative, so the Psalmist can illustrate the Creator protecting us.

So what about people that have no faith? Is God only concerned about people that believe in Him? No of course not. Although these verses are meant to strengthen and encourage, those that believe in Him, He cares about each one of us!

Think of it this way: Every time I wake up, that is God blessing me, and protecting me. Whenever I cross a street, or drive my car, and don’t get killed, that is God blessing me and protecting me. These illustrations do not depend on my faith. We all live every day. So what about when bad things do happen?

We’ve all seen innocent people suffer. There are times when it just does not make sense. But I want to trust in Him even during the terrible times, even when I do not understand. That’s where faith comes in. I may not ever understand, but these verses are meant to encourage us that there is an All Powerful, the One Who is Almighty, and that it is good to be in His care. When we are in His shelter, we can find rest. I know this is true, from personal experiences in my own life.

Note: The best book I have seen about suffering, is by C.S. Lewis, called the “Problem of Pain”.

Commentary and Image © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

Bible quote from the New International Version

Peace and blessings to everyone.

“If you love nature, you will love people.”