Friendship Walk

It has taken me a long time to have a friendship with God. We were more the ‘casual acquaintance’ type for many years. ¬†Oh sure, we had our moments of closeness when I cried out in despair for help, not fully expecting to receive any help. And there were those ‘ah ha’ moments on spiritual retreats when I got all caught up in emotions of the worship and the message.

Real friendship was another thing. I still remember walking to communion one Sunday as the band played a song about Jesus being my friend and I realized that I didn’t feel that way. It broke my heart that others could know him that way but I didn’t. I mean I have been a Christian all my life so how could I not feel Jesus was my friend? Friendship implies a close relationship, a sharing of secrets, a deliberate presence in each other’s lives, and time spent together through all the good and bad times.

Wasn’t that Jesus?

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Pre-Dawn Walking

It wasn’t my plan to be outside walking before the sun came up this morning. However, with the dog whining and the daughter already off to work, up I was. And what a wonderful delight I found outside.

It was still quiet. Early enough that people were not out and about and late enough that I could see the lights turning on in the neighborhood. As Olie led me down the pathway I could feel the unfamiliar silence in the complex. The wind was lightly blowing, the grass slightly wet, and the crescent of the moon was still visable. In the distance I could see a glimmer of the new day dawning as I stood on the sidewalk looking skyward.

Weeping may tarry for the night,
    but joy comes with the morning. Psalm 30

I found myself thinking that if I had stayed in bed even a few minutes longer I would have missed all this. I would have missed the crisp air bringing my skin to life. I would have missed the simple walk that brought light into my day. If I had focused only on me instead of the needs of a four-legged friend who depends on me, I would have missed the best blessing of the day.

How often do we hesitate to step out of our comfort zone for the good of another? How often to do pull the covers up and say “someone will tend to it.” How often do we miss the joy that God will send our way when we look beyond self and love and care for others in the world around us?

I visited the Lamb Center in Fairfax, Virginia yesterday. What an amazing place. It is a small facility that is making a huge change in the lives of the homeless, and in the lives of the volunteers. Here visitors are given a hot meal and a place to socialize. Here they can find someone to pray with them and attend recovery meetings if needed. They can get a hot shower and have their clothes laundered while they look for a job or talk to someone about government services. They can meet with a nurse practitioner or a dentist. And they are so loved and respected in this simple place.

You see people who are willing to step out are blessing others and receiving a blessing in return. They don’t do it for the return benefit – they do it because God has placed a love for the less fortunate on their heart. Here people don’t have the luxury of a bed let alone the covers to pull up to hide under. Here people have said ‘yes’ in a big way–one person at a time.

Start your day early. Look beyond the normal. See where God would love to use you. Maybe it is the homeless, maybe young children, maybe the disabled, or maybe just the neighbor next door. Look up and see the wonder of this world and see what you can do to lighten the walk of another.

God bless you on your walk.

“Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you.” Psalm 143

Shifting to The Lighter Walk

Life has a way of sending us in new directions. I have walked many roads in my day, many that have not been easy.  The past few years have been less complex as I continue to learn how to make my life less complicated.

And now I am ready for The Lighter Walk.

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I have a deep faith in the transformative power of Jesus Christ in my life. I continue to develop a rich personal relationship with God. I have learned to let the words in the pages of my bible come to life and guide me through the Holy Spirit. When I am willing to look, I see God in the world around me. I have come to appreciate the connection between those wonderful words, nature, and the way in which my heart and mind are more open in those spaces.

I am ready for life to be less complicated. I don’t need to walk a thousand miles to find myself or to find God. I don’t need to embark on a foreign adventure to find what is already inside my heart and soul. I do; however, need to open my bible, open my eyes, open my ears, and become willing to receive the love God has surrounded me with here where I live and any where my feet carry me.

I need to let the light into the darker places from journey’s past and walk in a lighter direction.

img_2350-1What does that mean for this blog? It means I will slowly begin to turn this over to The Lighter Walk. It means that I am going to start walking in nature here, and near, where I live. It will start with a simple walk in the parks, the fields, the mountains, and the beaches around me in Virginia.

The Lighter Walk is a journey I hope you will join me on. I hope that as I step out you might want to walk with me and share what God is doing in your life. I hope that we will discover that if we keep it simple, we will simply hear and be with God

More to come, but for today I am letting go of other people’s expectation about how a walk with the Lord should look. I am letting go of the notion that we need some complex deep theological angle to meet with God. I am letting go of all that has held me back and starting a simple lighter walk with God.