Posted by: Melissa Bane Sevier | February 26, 2015

Bearing the cross of compassion

Mark 8:31-38 Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.” He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life?

Maybe this is the very hardest of Jesus’ teachings. Not because it is difficult to understand what he’s saying, but because it’s impossible to understand why he’s saying it.

“Taking up the cross” means taking on suffering. But why? Who on earth would want to do that?

Well, certainly not Peter. He surely doesn’t want Jesus to do it. “Come on, Lord. You’re upsetting the crowds. Nobody wants to join up with a rabbi who’s going to suffer and die. They want peace. They are looking for happiness, security. They are looking for God, for heaven’s sake. Not suffering. And certainly not death.”

Jesus tells Peter to stop it. Not only is he saying something theologically wrong, it is Satanic—tempting. Because nobody, not even Jesus, wants to suffer. It’s against every ounce of self-preservation we have.

And so Jesus calls together the whole crowd and here’s what he says: if you want to follow me, you have to suffer.

WHATTTT???? Seriously? He did not say that.

I think I’m on Peter’s side with this one. Sorry, Jesus, but nobody, nobody, wants suffering to be part of the spirituality package.

But, here’s the thing: suffering just, well, it just is. We can’t avoid it. It comes to all of us, in different forms. It is simply part of life, so don’t go around preaching some weak gospel that says we can—by our faith—get rid of it. That’s not divine. It’s a Satanic gospel. Because it sounds like good news, but it isn’t.

Suffering just is. If we try to deny its existence for us or to someone else, if we say “it’s not that bad,” or “you’ll get over it soon,” or “just have faith,” we are not honoring the depth of painful experience, we’re not paying attention to our own inner selves but are covering up something very important. We are closing ourselves off to God, rather than allowing ourselves and others to cry out to God from the depth of experience.

If we think we are beyond the fear of death, then what do we have to share with God’s world? We will have tried to save our lives, but will have lost our souls in the process. Only a soulless religion thinks nothing bad will happen. A soulful religion has arms big enough to encompass suffering.

Our lives are significant. They are significant not because we have succeeded in avoiding suffering, or have told ourselves that pain doesn’t matter.

Our lives are significant partly because suffering matters so very much.

Jesus believed it matters. He stands with the suffering in the most significant of ways. Not to make them feel better. To make them not feel alone.

And we stand with each other. We are better at this once our own hearts have been broken. Not that we have the answer after that, but we tread a little differently afterwards. We see a little differently. Our own hurt, if we let it, eventually can allow us to open our hearts to the hurts of others.

So, yes, the crosses that we bear weigh us down. But Jesus invites us to follow him in his cross-bearing. Toward the future. Away from denial. Into the path where cross-bearing is acknowledged, maybe even welcomed, and the pain is lessened by all the company we have around us.

We raise our questions and our pain to God, where they hang in the air. God holds them gently, and weeps. As hard as it is to look at suffering, God refuses to turn away.

This is the true gospel.

© Melissa Bane Sevier, 2015

Posted by: Melissa Bane Sevier | February 18, 2015

Lenten transformation

In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.’ And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness for forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him. Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.’ [from Mark 1]

Every religion has ways of talking about transformation: repentance, conversion, being illuminated. We all feel the stirrings within us of the need for change, but it is so hard to do.

In Mark’s simple way, we hear in a few short verses how Jesus came from obscurity, was baptized, spent time alone with God in the wilderness, and, when John’s ministry was over, emerged to start his own.

Lent is our wilderness time. If we are hoping to turn our hearts toward God this Lenten season, we must start with transformation. The need, the desire.

Honestly, I think that’s what people are after when they set out to lose 20 pounds by giving up sweets during Lent. It’s the idea of being transformed into some better version of ourselves. We want to be thinner, nicer, more humble, more spiritual.

Jesus talked about repentance, which means to turn. To stop what we’re doing and do something different, or do the same thing in a different way. It requires change.

We get into habits, even spiritual habits, that become rote. Change is good for the mind, good for the soul. Doing something different during Lent can make us rethink, re-establish, who we are with God, who we are with others, who we are within ourselves.

We never stop developing. Yes, it gets harder to change old habits when they’ve been ingrained in us for decades. But that certainly doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Habits like not looking for God’s presence in the world, no longer hearing the rustling of the Spirit, sleepwalking through life.

Transformation may be huge. But it may also be small, incremental. I would never be so bold as to tell you what type of change or transformation you should attempt, but here are a few thoughts: 1) One minute of silence each morning. 2) One page of reading something deep and important. 3) Opening and ending the day in the presence of God. 4) Giving thanks throughout the day. 4) Writing one sentence or a paragraph in a journal—just thoughts and hopes, or fears, or emotions—positive or negative. Honestly, God cares about all of it.

Here we are, every morning, with the opportunity to make that day a new one.

How will you be transformed?

© Melissa Bane Sevier, 2015

Posted by: Melissa Bane Sevier | February 10, 2015

Learning when to be quiet

Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them. And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, who were talking with Jesus. Then Peter said to Jesus, ‘Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.’ He did not know what to say, for they were terrified. Then a cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud there came a voice, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!’ Suddenly when they looked around, they saw no one with them any more, but only Jesus.
As they were coming down the mountain, he ordered them to tell no one about what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead. So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what this rising from the dead could mean. [from Mark 9]

If a strong extrovert is one who speaks in order to clarify his thinking, then that is what Peter was. I can hardly judge him, because we all do this from time to time: we say something and realize even as the words are coming out of our mouths that the idea we’re forming isn’t quite what we’d hoped.

Many scholars have long believed that the writer of this particular gospel got much of his information from Peter, which makes the stories that feature him even more interesting. Peter’s not reluctant to have said to his interviewer: “I was scared out of my mind, but I thought somebody had to say something, so I told him we could build some shrines or something. Even while I was saying it, I knew it sounded stupid. Jesus was kind enough not to comment…”

As I said, I think we all can relate. We talk too soon and too much, when sometimes we just need to let the silence stand a little longer. We’re afraid, like Peter, or we’re anxious or rushed or impatient or even uncaring.

When someone wants to discuss a concern, we should offer an ear rather than jumping in with advice. When there’s a conflict, taking sides early on without lots of listening can short-circuit the process or contribute to driving the parties farther apart. When someone disagrees with us, instead of forming our arguments while they are speaking, we ought to hear carefully both what they are saying and imagine what may deeper values lie behind the issues in both the other’s perspective and ours.

Maybe Peter and the others learned something. Once he stopped talking, they had an incredible spiritual experience, certainly not one he’d planned in the constructing-of-shrines scenario. On the way down the mountain Jesus told them not to tell anyone what they’d seen—not yet. And “they kept the matter to themselves” even though they had many unresolved questions.

We don’t have to have all the answers. When we are still, we make ourselves open to new experiences, to learning from others, to input from the Spirit.

We just need to close our mouths and open our hearts and minds.

© Melissa Bane Sevier, 2015

Posted by: Melissa Bane Sevier | February 3, 2015

To be able to walk

This time of year is rough on lots of people. In Kentucky we’ve had a lot less snow and ice than in some other places.  Even so, the grayness and short days often have a wearing effect. Some suffer from seasonal affective disorder, which leads to depression.

Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the faint,
and strengthens the powerless.
Even youths will faint and be weary,
and the young will fall exhausted;
but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength,
they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
they shall walk and not faint. [from Isaiah 40]

Our writer was of course speaking to a people in exile, who’d spent a lot of years away from home. They were tired. Tired of the distance, the longing, the not knowing if they’ll ever get back, of feeling powerless.

He speaks to us, too. We get tired. Exhausted, even. Lonely. Faint, the poet says. And what is the word we’re to hear?

When I studied biblical languages, I learned that triplets(three-line sequences) in Hebrew poetry, like the one at the end of this chapter, grew in emphasis from the first to the third. In other words, the last line is more important to the author than the middle, and the middle is more important than the first. In this case, that seems counterintuitive to me.

If he were thinking/writing/preaching the way I would, the poet would have said, “They shall walk and not faint, they shall run and not be weary, they shall mount up with wings like eagles.” But his order is just the opposite of what I’d expect.

Surely, I would say, flying like an eagle should be the pinnacle moment of this poem, not walking without falling down.

Here’s what I have grown to love in this poem: Sometimes, no matter how much we long to soar like an eagle, all we can do is barely manage to put one foot in front of the other, over and over and over again. Maybe that is the pinnacle. That the very best thing is simply to be able to walk, in faith and with strength, because God accompanies us.

© Melissa Bane Sevier, 2015

Posted by: Melissa Bane Sevier | January 26, 2015

Teaching, the Jesus way

They went to Capernaum; and when the sabbath came, he entered the synagogue and taught. They were astounded at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. Just then there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit, and he cried out, ‘What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God.’ But Jesus rebuked him, saying, ‘Be silent, and come out of him!’ And the unclean spirit, throwing him into convulsions and crying with a loud voice, came out of him. They were all amazed, and they kept on asking one another, ‘What is this? A new teaching—with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.’ At once his fame began to spread throughout the surrounding region of Galilee. [Mark 1:21-28]

Jesus is teaching, and a man bursts into the synagogue, tormented by some mental health issue. A demon, it was called in those days.

Jesus turns and heals him, just as he will heal so many others of disease or disability.

Then he turns back to his teaching.

I’ll bet people listen a little more closely after that.

Jesus was called many things, but what about “teacher?”

When you are a teacher, you are given a tremendous amount of authority. But that’s not just the power to control. It’s the power to form, to connect, to inspire.

A good teacher notices more than just the material and the students’ questions. He notices who is sick. She pays attention to the ones who come to class hungry. He asks questions if a student appears to have been abused or neglected.

We seek out those in bondage to demons, and make it our life’s work to help cast them out.

Jesus showed us that stopping and paying attention to their needs doesn’t dilute the message of the gospel. It is the message of the gospel.

© Melissa Bane Sevier, 2015

Posted by: Melissa Bane Sevier | January 20, 2015

Armchair travelers

Want a life of travel? Excitement? Challenge? Seeing new places and meeting new people? Then follow Jesus.
I’ve always wondered if that isn’t the assumed message heard by the fishermen whom Jesus called on the shores of the Sea of Galilee:

As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the sea–for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fish for people.” And immediately they left their nets and followed him. As he went a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John, who were in their boat mending the nets. Immediately he called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and followed him. [Mark 1:16-20]

Likely, these guys knew Jesus already, had been drawn in by his teaching, and now he was offering them a life on the road. Leave the boats and see places they’d never been? Of course! Why not? And off they went, leaving their towns, their livelihood, their families behind. I’ve read that Jewish rabbis of the time typically didn’t seek followers; their followers sought them. Someone looking to study with a rabbi would do a little research, ask some questions, and then seek the rabbi with whom he wanted to study. Usually, this type of study would mean reflection, contemplation, studying the Torah and other writings.
Maybe the four disciples we read about here recognized something different about Jesus’ invitation. “Follow” suggests going someplace.

“Fishing for people” implies that the interactions they’ll have will involve more than a small group of students.
Travel, people, and excitement. They found all these things while following Jesus, but probably not in the way they expected. Sometimes they had to glean fields or depend on strangers for food. They’d get kicked out of places; they’d find themselves in increasing danger.
Even the teaching, we’ll read later on, wasn’t what they’d expected. Instead of just reflecting on faith ideas, they would experience their traditional beliefs and practices challenged. They’d find themselves at a banquet seated next to rich businessmen, or serving the poor on a hillside. Jesus told them that the types of people they’d been taught not to like were often the types God seems to favor.
But what about those who were left behind? What about Zebedee and the hired workers? What about all the others who heard Jesus but weren’t called to this life on the road?
What about us?
We may need to remind ourselves of this obvious fact: not everyone is called to leave the boats and nets, to leave family and place. The vast majority of us are called to stay where we are as we serve God.
But at the same time, the calling of Jesus all through the gospels is to get out of our comfort zone, to recognize that while we are to keep on fishing right where we are, we must do it consciously. We bring in as many aspects as possible of life “on the road with Jesus” to the everyday.
We pay attention to the outcast, the sick, the poor among us. We challenge the status quo. We seek justice and equality. We live kindly among our friends and family and among strangers. We allow our own faith and assumptions to be upended by new ideas and new experiences. We tread lightly on the earth.
Can we do all this from home? You bet.
But we do it best when we allow ourselves to journey with Jesus, even if we don’t leave town.

© Melissa Bane Sevier, 2015

Posted by: Melissa Bane Sevier | January 14, 2015

Ignore?

When a call comes up on my cell phone, I have two choices. I can tap “answer” and speak to the caller, or I can choose “ignore” and let it go to voicemail. If I am in a meeting or otherwise engaged, I sometimes have to hit “ignore,” then I check later to see if there’s a message.

I was reminded of this as we embark on a series of call stories—two of them this week. The one about the boy Samuel is intriguing, to say the least.

Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the Lord under Eli. The word of the Lord was rare in those days; visions were not widespread.

At that time Eli, whose eyesight had begun to grow dim so that he could not see, was lying down in his room; the lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was. Then the Lord called, ‘Samuel! Samuel!’* and he said, ‘Here I am!’ and ran to Eli, and said, ‘Here I am, for you called me.’ But he said, ‘I did not call; lie down again.’ So he went and lay down. The Lord called again, ‘Samuel!’ Samuel got up and went to Eli, and said, ‘Here I am, for you called me.’ But he said, ‘I did not call, my son; lie down again.’ Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, and the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him. The Lord called Samuel again, a third time. And he got up and went to Eli, and said, ‘Here I am, for you called me.’ Then Eli perceived that the Lord was calling the boy. Therefore Eli said to Samuel, ‘Go, lie down; and if he calls you, you shall say, “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.” So Samuel went and lay down in his place. Now the Lord came and stood there, calling as before, ‘Samuel! Samuel!’ And Samuel said, ‘Speak, for your servant is listening.’ [1st Samuel 3:1-10]

Samuel was young, living away from home and the familiar, a student/protégé. Lonely? Anxious? Bewildered? Certainly, he wasn’t used to listening for the voice of God. It doesn’t seem as though our writer would have us believe that Samuel was intentionally ignoring the call, only that his lack of experience kept him from recognizing it when it came to him. It took Eli’s wisdom—and time—to convince them both that something was at work.

And it makes me wonder: when have I missed something important? Not a cell phone call, but something deeper. When have I chosen to ignore instead of answering? When should I have done something but have been inactive? When should I have spoken up but have been silent?

The voice is all around us. In a news story about hungry children in our state, or about people who have inadequate health care. In a new piece of information about domestic violence. In a phone call from a friend or acquaintance or relative that signals a need. In a conversation about a class or group of people who are treated unfairly.

We can’t answer every need with an all-out response; there isn’t enough time or energy. But some needs will call out to us more than others because each one of us has different “receptors.”

Eli’s wisdom was to keep listening with an open heart and mind, and see what happens.

© Melissa Bane Sevier, 2015

Posted by: Melissa Bane Sevier | January 7, 2015

Life off the grid

John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. He proclaimed, “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.” [Mark 1:4-11]
Just when we thought we were done with John the Baptist after having him appear two of our four Sundays in Advent, we have to see him again.
What a strange character. Living in the wilderness, odd clothing, odd diet. Of course he must eat honey; how else is one able to choke down locusts?
I have seen a number of articles lately about people who live “off the grid,” which apparently can mean different things. Mostly, it seems to mean people who are not connected to a community-based power source. Perhaps they have a generator or solar power—or maybe no electric power at all. They may have heat from a wood or coal stove. Their drinking water may come from streams or they may carry it home in bottles. They may or may not have a gasoline or diesel powered vehicle.
In the developing world, people often live off the grid because of circumstances beyond their control, not by choice. And, in John’s time, obviously, there was no grid.
Even so, John’s manner of living was so ascetic as to invite comment by the authors of both Matthew and Mark.
What interests me is that this man whose lifestyle seemed strange to his contemporaries, was the person who recognized Jesus as the one sent from God.
Could it be that when we take some time to separate from our usual “grid,” we are better able to pay attention to the spiritual, and to how the spiritual is integrated into other parts of our living?
A day off from work or caregiving, turning off the television to have a conversation, a walk in the neighborhood, playing a game with your child instead of doing the dishes, spending a few minutes simply to watch the wind play in the grass… Anything that disrupts our usual way of being “plugged in” to life at a fast pace can create some space for the holy, and increase our sensitivity to things that aren’t necessarily tangible.
Life moves so fast, and like being in a car driving down the interstate, we don’t get to pay attention to the important things we’re passing by. Maybe January will be a time when you can slow down, disconnect from whatever “grid” is keeping you from experiencing holy moments. Maybe you, like John, will be prepared to recognize the movement of God in the ordinary people and events around you.

copyright Melissa Bane Sevier

copyright Melissa Bane Sevier

© Melissa Bane Sevier, 2015

Posted by: Melissa Bane Sevier | February 12, 2014

Bill Nye, Ken Ham and the Apostle Paul: how we evaluate truth and modernism

Last week the big religion news, at least as far as the secular press is concerned, was the debate between Bill Nye, “the Science Guy,” and Ken Ham, founder of the Creation Museum. Part theory and part theater, the debate was between a man who seems not to have enough appreciation for modern science in its varied forms, and one who seems not to have enough appreciation for modern Christianity in its varied forms.

Whether or not one believes in evolution, any cursory study shows that both science and theology themselves are constantly evolving.

I’m no scientist, but I have kept up a bit with science news over the last few decades, especially as it relates to origins of the universe. Big Bang, string theory, colliders—all look for categories and pathways to understand cosmology. Will scientists 100 years from now still cling to the exact same theories their predecessors now hold? Maybe, but I doubt it.

It’s the same with religion, a field in which I have a higher comfort level of understanding. Since we’re discussing Christianity’s view of ancient themes, we have to come to terms with the fact that those thoughts don’t often translate exactly into modern times. Galileo’s contemporaries in the church had to decide whether or not they could accept his findings that the earth wasn’t the center of the universe. Many decided they couldn’t. Today, one would find few people, even those with the most conservative views of biblical interpretation, who don’t believe this “modern” fact from the 17th century, despite the reality that a so-called literal reading of Genesis clearly says that the earth was created before the sun, moon and stars. You have to do a lot of creative theological and scientific choreography to make those two concepts (a “literal” reading of the Genesis poem and the astronomical evidence) dance together.

A clearer and more responsible biblical theology is to admit a few things up front.

• The books of the Bible were written in a particular time, for the people of that time. Ultra conservatives complain that scientists focus too much on modern thought, when they ought to be focused on ancient history and tradition. But it seems to me the worst kind of modernism insists that the ancients had us in mind when they spoke and wrote down their traditions. No, they were writing for their own communities, and perhaps for a generation or two down the line. They wouldn’t have cared a whit about writing something that today’s scientists could hang their hats on.

• Even if they had been interested in science, they were writing theology. Not the how of the origins of everything, but the how come. The beauty and depth of the writings come alive only when one reads the texts as they were intended: expressions of faith.

• Literalism isn’t what it’s cracked up to be. We should redefine biblical literalism to mean “reading each section of the Bible according to its particular genre of literature.” Since the opening chapters of Genesis were written in poetic form in their original Hebrew, we do far better to read them as such, rather than as God’s DIY manual for how to make a universe. Even in the most clunky English translation, the poetic movement finds its way through if we let it.

The Apostle Paul is not considered (by anyone) to be a bastion of 21st century thinking. Nevertheless, he was modern enough for his time. I thought of him last week and what he might say to the “followers of Nye” or the “disciples of Ham.” I think he would have told them to calm down, to listen with both grace and critique, and to remember that neither has all the answers.
For when one says, “I belong to Paul,” and another, “I belong to Apollos,” are you not merely human? What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you came to believe, as the Lord assigned to each.

I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. The one who plants and the one who waters have a common purpose, and each will receive wages according to the labor of each. For we are God’s servants, working together; you are God’s field, God’s building.

Let’s leave behind a false dichotomy between science and religion. It’s a creation itself. Moving into the future, we can allow science and religion to join hands and shed their perceived differences. A faith informed by science is a more rational endeavor, and a science informed by faith is a more moral enterprise.

Galileo himself said, “I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.” [Brainy Quotes]

And as the writer of Genesis imagined it, “God saw everything that God had made, and indeed, it was very good.”
© 2014, Melissa Bane Sevier © 2014, Melissa Bane Sevier

Posted by: Melissa Bane Sevier | December 31, 2013

Enfleshed

The Word was made flesh, and lived among us, full of grace and truth.  [from John 1]

 

          When I was a little girl, and had learned to read, I became even more fascinated by the gifts under the Christmas tree—well, at least those with my name on the tag.  I would move the package under a lamp and try to press the paper flat against the box to see if I could read any words: “Barbie,” “horse,” “Monopoly.”  Or maybe something I hadn’t even asked for. 

          But even if I could read the words, it just increased my desire to get under the paper, inside the box.  Because, though the words themselves were delicious, they were really just teasers to whatever was inside.  They made me want to hold and touch and play with the actual thing the words described.  The word wasn’t enough.

          The Word was made flesh. 

          In John’s gospel, the Word was with God from the beginning, but it wasn’t enough.  It was the actual thing, the real person, who was needed.  The miracle of a human child, who was unable even to use words himself until he would learn to speak as most any child does, was the realness, the physicality, the essence of the thing.  That the eternal Word could be present in a human was beyond imagination.  Yet, there it was.

          What does it mean for us, who cannot touch the infant, smell his baby breath, see his fingers and toes, hear his cries?

          We look for the eternal Word made flesh among us, but we don’t have to look far.

          Yes, there are people who do really bad things in this world.  But there are also moments when we can point to some person or act and think:  There.  There it is.  That’s how we see eternity right here.

          Maybe it’s some random act of kindness.  Or the face of your most precious loved one.  Some deep goodness you see in a person you know or a stranger.

          We have each other.  The Word is made flesh anew each day, right here among us.

          And we glimpse grace and truth.

© Melissa Bane Sevier, 2013

© Melissa Bane Sevier, 2013

 

© Melissa Bane Sevier, 2013

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