Monday Moments

A prayer for ‘the highest form of love’


The movement created what I like to call a nonviolent revolution. It was love at its best. It’s one of the highest forms of love. That you beat me, you arrest me, you take me to jail, you almost kill me, but in spite of that, I’m gonna still love you. (Congressman John Lewis)

Once upon a time there was a college aged girl who moved to a country filled with people who at worst openly despised her homeland and at best silently thought they were better than the citizens of the country she came from. They weren’t wrong to think these things after all, the country she came from beat, arrested, jailed, and almost killed people like Congressman John Lewis who fought for equal rights after centuries of injustice and inequality, and has a long list of prioritizing the pursuit of money over loving thy neighbor.

When I was 19 I moved to Canada from the U.S. to go to school. Little did I know just how much this move would impact my worldview and change my perspective. I quickly and regularly encountered strong anti-American sentiments from classmates, friends, and co-workers. It’s strange to feel in one moment a rise of patriotism as well as shame at many of the blanket accusations thrown around about “all Americans” because many of the statements people made were true. Maybe they didn’t apply to all Americans, but they applied to a good number of Americans and that realization was painful. There are good people standing up for justice in the U.S., but it’s not often the loudest voice heard around the world.

Once people learned I was American they prefaced their opinions with, “of course I’m not talking about you.” Here’s what I quickly realized, the message my country communicated to every other nation in the world was not one of love or hope, but one of superiority and brashness. It’s been almost a decade since I left Canada and it hurts my heart to think of what nations around the world are hearing from the U.S. these days.

On this Monday, I’m taking a moment to be still and pray. I pray that the love that Congressman John Lewis displays and communicates becomes the love we all have for one another as human beings regardless of nationality, race, socioeconomic status, and political beliefs. That this love transforms us in the smallest of interactions to the biggest of movements. And I pray these verses from Psalms 12:5, “But the Lord says, ‘Now I will arise! I will defend the poor, those who were plundered, the oppressed, and needy who groan for help. I will arise to rescue and protect them!'” May we all communicate love so loudly that it begins to change our society and stop the suffering of our fellow human beings. May the next generation learn how to love more deeply and powerfully than any other before from brave and courageous parents who stand up for the poor, the orphaned, and the refugee. Amen.

If you’re at all interested in hearing more from Congressman Lewis, you can listen to his interview with Krista Tippett here.

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Monday Moments

Learning to have peace and patience in the process


“Even with a greenhouse, you cannot make plants bloom on demand or bend the seasons to suit your schedule. Nature has its own timetable. In a hurry-up world, where everything is scheduled for maximum efficiency, surrendering to the rhythms of nature can be therapeutic.” (Carl Honoré)

This time of year and in difficult seasons of life, the tendency to rush “to get through it” can become overwhelming. Lately, God has been reminding me about having peace in the process and what that looks like. For me it means letting go of my timeline for breakthrough and releasing control of hoped for outcomes. It means saying yes to the rhythms and timings of God and no to when and how and what I think is best.

If we’re all like a tree planted by streams of water that yield its fruit in season (Psalm 1), then regardless of the season and what external appearances show our roots and the essence of who we are remains constant. We may produce different fruit depending on the season, but our identity remains. A tree doesn’t change its species based on the season or weather. It remains the same but looks different throughout the year.

Regardless of the season we’re in when our roots remain in Christ’s love, everything else works itself out in the perfect time. I pray we’re all able to have patience in the process and see the beauty of every season whether it’s raw, bare winter, bright, budding spring, lush, full summer, or diverse, crisp autumn.

Monday Moments

Clean lines, pure form

I was ready to clear out the dead herbs from these pots when my sister said, “I love the bare lines of dead plants.” So I’ve left them a little bit longer to enjoy the beauty of their stripped down form.

Every day the trees lose more leaves, I think about how beautiful their branches are especially when they’re etched in front of a blue sky.

There are moments when everything feels like it’s been stripped away and reduced to its rawest, purest form. Those are the times I love because when you reduce all the buzz, excitement, heartbreak, boredom you remember what it’s really all about.

It’s about relationship – with God, with myself, with my husband, with my kids, with family, with friends, with neighbors, with people who I will never meet.

And this is not always easy. But when you take away all the external stuff, it’s the only thing that counts.

How we love God, how we love ourselves, and how we love others.