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Showing posts from February, 2010

The Process of Unbending

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I want to unfold.
Let no place in me hold itself closed,
for where I am closed, I am false.
I want to stay clear in your sight.
(Rainer Maria Rilke) -
Often when I feel uncomfortable or a bit nervous, I will bend myself together and make myself small. I will sit with my knees tucked up against my chest, my hands clasped protectively in front of my knees. It is a defensive position, an attempt to ease my tension and nervousness and keep myself safe.
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As humans, our first instinct is to protect ourselves, to hide and cover those places that seem vulnerable. We do this when faced with physical harm, but we also defend ourselves against emotional and spiritual discomfort. Instead of exposing our weaknesses and insecurities, we shield them, cover them up, and pretend they do not exist. We avoid situations that scare us or make us apprehensive. We edit how much we self-disclose to others. We project an ideal version of ourselves.
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However, while protection is often our first instinct, I a…

The Shadow of His Scars

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Over the past few years, Megan and I have had the privilege of getting to know Rebecca Woodbury, a high school senior who hails from the Southwest. Today she shares with us a poem she wrote this past year. -
The world is a sorry place, my dear,
Full of pain and want and fear;
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Of empty hands stretched trembling out,
Eyes left hollow by famine and drought.
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Oh, the pangs of the masses’ tomorrow,
For we know, darling, it holds only sorrow.
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What will you do to heal their souls?
How will you help to make them whole?
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Your arms are full of the roses of life,
Your cheeks unblemished by hate or by strife;
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Let the love pour forth from your spirit,
Sing hope and beauty to any who will hear it.
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Rock crying babies to sleep in your arms,
Hold back fright and quiet alarms.
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Speak in peace and love what is right,
Cherish humility and walk in the light.
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For until you and I – until we rise up,
And let the world drink from Christ’s cup:
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Until we touch each heart with His grace,
No happy future can…

Quotations: The Power of Always Trying Again

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"After each failure, ask forgiveness, pick yourself up, and try again. Very often what God first helps us toward is not the virtue itself but just this power of always trying again. For however important chastity (or courage, or truthfulness, or any other virtue) may be, this process trains us in habits of the soul which are more important still. It cures our illusions about ourselves and teaches us to depend on God. We learn, on one hand, that we cannot trust ourselves even in our best moments, and, on the other hand, that we need not despair even in our worst, for our failures are forgiven. The only fatal thing is to sit down content with anything less than perfection." C.S. Lewis
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Not Abandoned

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A small, nine-year old girl gripped the ball and nervously threw the pitch. The batter hit the ball in a line drive so fast that the young girl did not have time to react. The ball connected with the pitcher's stomach and the girl crumpled face forward into the grass, the breath knocked out of her.
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"She's just pretending. C'mon guys, let's go eat some of that birthday cake."
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The girl still lay face down in the grass. She wanted to move, to talk, but she couldn't find strength to do either. She wanted to scream, "I'm not pretending!" But it was impossible to move. She was conscious for the moment, but barely. Then all went completely black.
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Fifteen minutes later the girl woozily stood up. "Where am I and why am I standing in this field?" Then she remembered.
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Alone. Abandoned. They had left her.
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I was that little girl. Though it's been years since the accident, the day is still vivid in my mind. I was only a child, but I never …