You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Metaphors’ category.
I’ve just returned from Good Friday service to an empty house; circumstances have conspired to give me an afternoon alone. I plan to use the time for reflection and quiet study in preparation for an exam I have to write for my Character and Ethics class, Monday evening.
But the reflections have already begun. The service this morning prompted deep emotions to surface, and I came home feeling somewhat solemn. As I made myself a sandwich I pondered how “Good Friday” was – in every sense – completely awful; for it was a day of betrayal, suffering, and the death of an innocent. The reason Christians call it “Good,” is we believe death wasn’t the end of the story. Indeed, it was the death of that innocent, Jesus, which made possible the hope of redemption.
But 2,000 years ago, the first Good Friday launched a wretched “in between time” for Jesus’ disillusioned followers who didn’t realize it was an “in between time” at all. They were devastated. Scattered. Scared. Everything they’d pinned their hopes on had been destroyed. They didn’t know that Easter – and resurrection – was coming.
Then I looked out my kitchen window to our wee backyard. The yard was bathed in sunlight. Some little glimpses of green caught my eye, sparking new thoughts, and sending me running for my camera in order that I might share them with you.
You see, it’s an “in-between time” in our backyard. There’s still abundant evidence out there of the dregs of winter. There’s much tending, grooming, cultivating and planting that needs to be accomplished before things look pretty again. The ground is hard. Fall’s debris lingers.
And yet, there are signs everywhere – even in the midst of all the dreariness - that resurrection and beauty are coming.
And as I snapped photos of those glimpses of green – sprouting amidst all the death and decay – it occurred to me that God has built evidence for resurrection into all of nature. And I thought, ”This is why I believe!”
“Scientific explanations exist for all that I see and hear outside my window. And explanations can be proposed for why humans enjoy nature so much. But faith in God is not about explanations. We do not believe in God because we need to explain this or that feature of the world. That is what science is for. We believe in God because we see something deeper in the world, something that transcends the scientific explanations.”
- Karl Giberson
… remember this lovely thought:
“Metaphor for the night sky: A trillion asterisks and no explanations.”
When I read it on Robert Brault’s blog today, I knew I had to share it.
Robert’s an obviously wise and gifted writer, who’s generous of spirit as well. (He’s encouraged me with his kind words on more than one occasion.) His is one site that’s definitely bookmark-worthy!
Is there anything more difficult than to see a loved one suffer? To know they’re in a place in life where thoughts or circumstances prevent them from experiencing joy?
We’ve all been there; we’ve all felt the heavy weight of worry when someone we love isn’t doing well. ”One way or another, being broken up and put together again is the universal experience, the never-ending central drama of life,” writes Mary Craig in Blessings.
I wish it weren’t true. I don’t like to see people “being broken up.” I am, by nature a “fixer.” I not only long for those around me to be happy, but I do everything in my power to make it so. If there’s conflict, I try to resolve it. If there’s loneliness, I plan a party. If there’s sorrow, I hit the kitchen in the hope that something nourishing for the body will, somehow, nourish the soul as well.
But there are some things I cannot fix. There are some struggles in life that can only be vanquished by battling through them, emerging victorious out the other side.
When such struggles come into the lives of those I love, there are two things that help me. The first is the knowledge that without the fight to emerge from the chrysalis, the butterfly would never fly. It is the effort exerted in the struggle that makes its wings grow stronger.
The second thing is prayer. Knowing that in my helplessness, I can still ask God to use trials – in the lives of those I love – for good, gives me hope. And brings me peace.
“Every person is a monument to the decisions they’ve made.”
I’ll bet my kids have heard those words a thousand times.
The first time I heard them, I was in university, I think. They were spoken in a Sunday sermon (by Pastor Bill Mugford if I’m not mistaken, at Toronto’s Stone Church) and the truth of them struck me so forcefully I wrote them down inside the back cover of my Bible to preserve them.
That Bible has long since disintegrated and gone, but the words live on. I hope my kids will speak them to their own kids one day.
They convey, in a line, the deep reality that every decision we make in life – no matter how small – can have far reaching consequences. And that even seemingly small choices often form the foundation on which far more significant choices are made.
Sometimes, we find the courage and strength to do the right thing in tough circumstances only because we’ve had lots of practice; having made countless little determinations to be honest or kind or giving under far less weighty conditions before.
That saying continues to inspire me in middle age; I thought of it again one Sunday morning a couple of weeks ago.
Now, I am by nature an early riser, the “open-my-eyes-jump-out-of-bed” type. But on this particular Sunday morning, the air felt cool, and the bed felt warm, and so I snuggled down under the covers and thought about how delicious it would be to just drift back to sleep for another hour or so.
But I knew it would mean we’d be having cereal for breakfast. And in that moment, I remembered the monuments I was building in my life and in my home.
You see, it’s sort of a tradition in our home to have homemade muffins for Sunday breakfast. It helps to make Sundays special. Add in a pot of brewed coffee, yogurt and fresh fruit, and we all look forward to our time around the table together.
Having one child away at university is an ever present reminder that my other two children won’t be home forever. My time with them is limited. And on that particular Sunday morning, my ‘monumental’ thought was this: ‘When the kids are all grown and gone, I want them to remember waking up on Sunday mornings to the aroma of homemade muffins baking in the oven.’ The thought was enough to get me on my feet.
And within an hour, my husband and kids were coming down the stairs, sleep still in their eyes, to the warm, spicy-sweet aroma of pumpkin muffins.
Classic Pumpkin Muffins
3 cups flour (the original recipe calls for all purpose flour, but I like to make them with at least half whole wheat flour)
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. cloves
3 c. sugar
2 c. pure pumpkin puree
2/3 c. milk
2/3 c. oil
METHOD: Preheat oven to 375 F. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Combine wet ingredients in another bowl. Combine wet ingredients and dry ingredients, mixing just until moistened.
Fill paper-lined muffin tins 3/4 full. Bake in pre-heated oven for 20 minutes or until tested done with a toothpick inserted in the centre of the muffin.