…The Grief Of One…

Exaggeration
– Elizabeth Barrett Browning

We overstate the ills of life, and take
Imagination (given us to bring down
The choirs of singing angels overshone
By God’s clear glory) down our earth to rake
The dismal snows instead, flake following flake,
To cover all the corn; we walk upon
The shadow of hills across a level thrown,
And pant like climbers: near the alder brake
We sigh so loud, the nightingale within
Refuses to sing loud, as else she would.
O brothers, let us leave the shame and sin
Of taking vainly, in a plaintive mood,
The holy name of Grief! – holy herein
That by the grief of One came all our good.

poppy hanging on my wall; pic taken 12.14.09

Poppy

…Yield With A Grace…

Reluctance
– Robert Frost

Out through the fields and the woods
And over the walls I have wended;
I have climbed the hills of view
And looked at the world, and descended;
I have come by the highway home,
And lo, it is ended.

The leaves are all dead on the ground,
Save those that the oak is keeping
To ravel them one by one
And let them go scraping and creeping
Out over the crusted snow,
When others are sleeping.

And the dead leaves lie huddled and still,
No longer blown hither and thither;
The last long aster is gone;
The flowers of the witch-hazel wither;
The heart is still aching to seek,
But the feet question ‘Whither?’

Ah, when to the heart of man
Was it ever less than a treason
To go with the drift of things,
To yield with a grace to reason,
And bow and accept the end
Of a love or a season?

courtesy CD, 08/2009

Alaskawildflowers

…All The Difference

The Road Not Taken
– Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that, the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Direction

The "Gerig Way"

Sometimes it is best / To deal with a tough problem / With benign neglect

Note on picture:  This is a tribute to Dr. Donald Gerig, pastor of Huron Hills Church for many years, and one of the first to welcome me into the church when I first stepped foot inside the building in early January 1999.  Over the years, Pastor Gerig and his wife Carolyn were important influences in the life of my family and myself as they served to minister to us each Sunday.  Even after Pastor Gerig’s retirement and their moving away to Indiana, we kept in touch, and it was a sad day when I learnt of his passing away.

During a memorial service held in Huron Hills some weeks later, our current Pastor, Ken White mentioned that Pastor Gerig had a very wise way of dealing with problems that sometimes didn’t seem to have any clear or easy solutions.  In his unassuming way, it seems that he would often say that “benign neglect” is sometimes the best way!  And how true that is!  What we often rush to address with words and actions sometimes just need “letting be”. 

Pastorgerig

Donald D. Gerig, 08.07.1939 – 02.23.2010

Step Into Compassion: An Exhibit As Well As A Frame Of Mind

Last weekend, I attended this absolutely stunning and moving exhibit in my church.  It was titled Step Into Compassion— an exhibit of inner-city Detroit, Tijuana, Mexico and Rwanda– areas that are in great need of help, and provide us all with opportunities to step into.

Loveishere

Within the exhibit, I walked through Chene Street in inner-city Detroit, an area steeped in hard-to-believe poverty with residents struggling to climb out of drugs and desolation.  Over the years, our church (including my husband, Sunder) has been involved with helping the people in this area.  Check out a slideshow here:


The next part of the exhibit was entering the border town of Tijuana, Mexico.  Many years ago, Sunder and I were tourists in Sunny San Diego, and we took a day-trip into Tijuana, and have seen for ourselves the stark contrast in the lives and living conditions of the Mexican people there.  Over the years, our church has partnered with World Vision, a Christian international relief organization in serving in small and large ways the people of Tijuana. 

Finally, the last stop was Rwanda.  The images– both audio and visual– were forceful in serving as a reminder about the horrific state of affairs in that country in the last twenty years.  And how our small church is trying to offer help to one child at a time.

I hope that you will step up to stepping into compassion– wherever you are, and in however which way you can!