Loving the Sacred through Word and Image. Parliament Hill Ottawa. A Wordpress Production

Lent 2012

Tender Mercies …

Courtesy: Flickr Stevensites

So it is Friday … It is chilly out, enough for a jacket. (7c) out.

It has been an eventful week to report. We are in the final push for the end of term which will fall, the beginning of May. We are full of assignments and papers to write before then. We spent two hours in the Geo lab on Wednesday night working on a mapping assignment which came home with me to finish up here.

I haven’t been paying much attention to the fact that it is Holy Week. I haven’t really been in a very holy mood. But I will attend services tomorrow night for the Easter Vigil at the Anglican Cathedral. And I might be bringing a friend with me.

Let us Pray …

It was one of those Friday nights. Yesterday I had lunch with grasshopper and we had a conversation about people and personalities. He shared his views, and in a way, he set in motion a self fulfilling prophecy.

This morning my phone rang and grasshopper was telling me that he could not drive us out to F.W.E as usual. And I hung up the phone and went back to bed, but I called him back a couple of hours later to get the whole story. It seems that his other half has commandeered the car from him, bitching and complaining about having to walk home or not being able to use the car when he wants it. So with that grasshopper won’t be available for Friday night set up.

Self fulfilling prophecy …

I set out for the church around 6:30 tonight. I got to Atwater and got to the ticket machine and put my opus card in the reader. I punched in what I needed and paid cash for the transaction, and the machine spit out two tickets into the drop zone. I took the tickets and turned for the platform. I got through the turnstile and down the stairs and realized standing there, on the platform, that I had left my opus card sitting in the reader.


I ran back up the stairs and back through the turnstile and up to the machine and my opus card was gone. Someone picked it up and walked away with it. They did not even think to drop it at the ticket seller as lost and found. It’s a good thing that the opus card was empty. Who ever took it will have to charge it in order to use it.

In order to get back onto the platform, I had to use my second ticket, which meant I had to buy another two tickets to get out and back, seeing that I was on the bus and metro tonight. I got in line for the ticket woman and bought more tickets. And got on the train. Even being a holiday, rapid transit was running full speed all the way across the transit.

I was at the church early and I got the urns perking. Our kitchen person came in just after I arrived to make sandwiches. We got word soon thereafter that Friday Finchley was closed tonight, which meant that we should expect a bunch more people for the meeting. And we were right. I put out all the chairs I had and we emptied an urn of coffee which meant that we perked another pot during the meeting.

You never know when God is going to show you mercy.

I was sitting in my chair talking to a friend and I happen to look up and there, walking in the door was Lizzy. She was shaking and crying and in the same breath so happy to be at a meeting. She had survived another relapse and was back for another round. We all gathered around her and held her and tried our best to help her feel welcomed and comfortable. I just knew when she stopped returning my calls that she was off on a run. And it was only a matter of time until she either killed herself on the run, or found her way back to the room.

God was merciful. She sat with me and I held her while she cried. But the tears were short lived because as soon as the speaker got up to the chair he got the ball rolling right away …

The chair introduced the speaker and we waited, almost in silence. It was a funny way to start but it was very quiet, and he opened with

“ALL RISE !!!”

Like we were awaiting a judge to reach the bench. The room erupted into howls of laughter. I can’t remember the last time I ever laughed as much as I did tonight with the speaker at the chair. And for fifteen minutes he went on and the laughs continued. I was almost in tears. So was everyone else. I also note that not everyone took to laughter …

But this is serious shit, you know. This isn’t a game.

And from howls of laughter the conversation turned on a dime, and you could have heard a pin drop as things got very serious for the remainder of the share.

We all have horror stories of what we did and what happened and how we all got here, our speaker was no different. The insanity and the nightmare of drugs and alcohol. But he made it here and we got to hear how he did that, in a round about sort of way. We all laughed at a very serious and chilling story line.

You have to put down the drug, or the joint, or the drink, if you have a chance in hell in making it out of that nightmare. Amongst our fellows, we all have survived things that happened to us in the past, things beyond our control. And we come to the rooms and we get sober, and we start to get “IT,” whatever that “IT” is. If we stick around we eventually heal. And things get better.

We are all walking, talking, miracles… Every one of us.

I hope Lizzy was listening and I hope something our speaker said tonight lodged in her heart. It was a great share. We laughed until we cried, we got serious for a while as well. You never know what you are going to get from the chair. And tonight was a “knock it out of the park” kind of meeting.

At the end a fellow traveler took her 18 year cake and cake was good.

I carpooled with Lizzy home tonight and we got to talk some more. I hope she sticks with it. She asked if she could come with me tomorrow night for church services and I said that that would be great.

Never forget the still sick and suffering alcoholics out there. Pray that they find their way back, or find their way in, one way or another.

Thanks for stopping by. And welcome to all my new subscribers. Welcome aboard. It is good to have you here.

That’s all for tonight, more to come, stay tuned …

40 Days and 40 Nights …

I was gonna wait to post this, but the spirit is moving me today, So here is one of my favorite pieces of writing. I wrote in a few years ago, and I re-post it every year at the beginning of Lent. And since I don’t have anything fresh to offer you – you can read this and prepare for your journey … Enjoy..

And so it begins, the walk through the desert. God is moving tonight, I can feel it in my bones deep within my soul. I am in Preacher mode and the message is loud and clear…Write and share the journey. There are several new bloggers on this list now, Christians I know for sure. Here is my Lenten exercise of the journey, it is called “Will you walk with me a step or two.”

One day the Lord spoke to them and they started walking through the desert. Men, women, children the elderly and the herds and flocks. Where they were going was not known, but it was apparent that they were going to get somewhere. If only they walked a step or two.

A young man spoke up and said “I will walk ahead of the tribes, I will lead them as the Lord leads me.” And the Lord asked the young boy, “are you ready to walk for the glory of God,” why “Yes,” the boy answered. So be it the Lord said, “now lead them, but take only that which you need and nothing more.” I will walk with You Lord, he said without a second thought.

The Lord said that the way will not be smooth and there are things you will see on the way that will test your faith, yet I the Lord will make the way straight and the path smooth, if you have faith in Me and the Glory of God the father. Yes, I have faith, the boy replied, so walk my son.

A few days into the journey the boy came across a woman with ragged hair and little clothing. She was elderly and needed some water. The boy was only carrying what he had, and he gave drink to the woman and quenched her thirst. She said to him, that she was lonely and afraid of the road, and the boy replied, woman, have no fear, for I will walk with you until nightfall and we will camp under the canopy of heaven. That day they walked together and the woman was grateful for the company and the water.

That night, they made camp, the tribes of the Lord.


The Angel of the Lord came down and struck the rock and water flowed. They all drew water from a spring that appeared and everyone’s thirst was satiated. And the animals were watered as well. Food was passed from group to group until every last one was fed. That night they sang the song of the Lord until everyone was sent to a sleep protected by the Lord himself.

The very next morning, rested and fed, the tribes packed up their wares and started the journey as they did the day prior. The sun hung low in the sky, and by high noon, sweat was pouring off the brows of the people. The young boy made his way in front of the pack, leading them as he was guided by the spirit of the lord. Soon after noon the boy came across an elderly man who was being carried by two men, visibly shaken and tired.

The boy looked up to the sky and said, what can I do Lord?

The answer came and the boy took the arm of the litter and helped carry the man for the rest of the day, until darkness fell and camp was set up for the night. Once again, the Angel of the Lord came down and struck the rock and from the rock a spring came up from the earth once again, the people and the animals were watered. The tables were set and the people were fed to their fill. Once again, they praised the God of Abraham and in the coolness of the night they slept under the canopy of the heavens.

On the third day they awoke to a cloudy day, grateful for the relief from the sun, they gathered up their wares and began to walk once again. Today the young man was tired. He had been leading this lot for days now, and yet the lord said, Keep walking. So he did.

On this day he came upon a young person drawn from travel, covered in dust from the desert. Visibly the boy had not eaten in days and was close to death.

The young man stopped and knelt down next to him and shared his water and some bread from his pack. He lifted the boy into his arms and carried him for the rest of the day. Hours passed and the boy was filled with faith and strength as he carried his charge on his back. That night at camp, the young boy gathered some bedding and laid his friend in a cool soft place.

That night the Angel of the Lord appeared and once again, struck the rock and water flowed. He bathed the young man whom he had carried all day, then they broke bread and shared living water from the earth. Miracle, you ask, quite possibly so.

That night all were fed and after the plates were cleared and all had been fed, they gathered before the fires and praised the God of Abraham. They rested beneath the canopy of heaven.

For 38 days and 38 nights, the boy walked with his people, helping each soul he encountered to the best of his ability as God had commanded him to do.

On the 39th day they awoke. The angel of the Lord was there at first light and he told them, the journey was almost over, walk on as the Lord commands.

That day was no different. On that day the young boy would meet his final “person.” She was laden with child, and was walking alone carrying everything that she needed. No man walked by her side, no assistance came to her. She was visibly close to giving birth, and the Boy took her hand

As night fell, the boy gathered the women together and they prepared the woman for birth. A call went out to the men and they gathered together some wood for someplace to keep the child. As was foretold, the Angel of the Lord appeared to them once again, and struck the rock and as happened each night before, water flowed.

That night the stars shone brightly, the heavens were alight with song. Something was about to happen. For after the meal, the woman called for the boy and he appeared by her side. The time had come and she wanted to share the birth of the child with him, for he walked with her a step or two. That night under the canopy of heaven a child was born and she asked the boy his name.

He answered, “My name is David.” She smiled at her son, and spoke to the heavens, May God in heaven be blessed and may he bless my son David, born this night. The heavens replied with a thousand shooting stars… What a glorious vision the host of angels come down from heaven to sing to David, the newest member of the tribes of Abraham. That night they rested and slept in peace.

On the 40th day the young boy awoke, there standing before him were 40 men, women and children. All of those whom David had walked with through the desert. At that moment an Elder man spoke to David and said follow me, there is someone who would like to see you David, HE has asked for you by name.

The people before him parted and through them David walked until he reached a hill that was green with foliage and there a spring bubbled up. “Take off your sandals David” a voice spoke to him. David did not skip a beat. As David looked up from undoing his shoes, There the Master sat on the rock before him.

David’s eye welled up with tears, he had done exactly as he was instructed, as the Lord had told him. He had led his people through the desert helping each soul he met on his path. The Master knew what was in his heart and soul. David was without words. The Master got up from where He sat and approached David and wrapped his arms around him, and said……..

“Well done good and faithful servant. In YOU I am well pleased.”

What for? David said, all I did was what you asked of me while I walked. And the Master replied, “you know David, each time you helped one of these souls on your journey, you helped ME.” “What the least of these you have done for my brothers and sisters you have done for me.”

The Master reached down into the pool of water and blessing the water he blessed and baptized David the Boy, and then David the infant. And for a moment the heavens opened up and God’s voice was heard, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

And from the sky a beam of light shone forth into the desert and the sands were parted and there in the swirl of dust a city appeared. It is there that the people made their homes. The journey had ended. And a placed blessed by God was theirs to live in.

So will you walk with me a step or two. The journey is long and the road may be rough, but as the Lord says “I will make the path straight and your burden will be light.” Take only that which you need. And if you meet someone of the road, stop and ask your questions, share your water and food, for you never know when the Master will reveal himself to you.

Are you ready to start walking !!!

Fat Tuesday … It’s Lent Already !!!

Courtesy: Tumblr Photos

Parties are going on all over the globe tonight. The last great hurrah before we buckle down with our observance of Lent 2012. With so much going on politically in many places, many of my fellows have skipped today’s festivities and I suppose that tomorrow the meditations for the season will begin.

What are you giving up for Lent?

It was a good weekend. Not a whole lot going on. But the crunch of assignments are at hand in school. We had a 10 page assignment due last night in psychology and I have a second Geography project due tomorrow night. I still have to do my populations graphs before class tomorrow night.

It was a good quiet day. I got out of the apartment early and set up was done well before our women showed up to read their books. We had a huge crowd tonight, I would gather we sat close to 50 folks tonight. Our chair read from the twelve and twelve, it being the second month of the year, we read from the second step.

I had a post prepared to write about steps and so I think that I will keep that one separate from this post because I want a stand alone post. We went the entire period and did not get all the way around the table.

A good night was had by all. I will publish my lenten 40 days and 40 nights tonight so that we can approach Lent properly, with an attitude of prayer and reflection. So look out for that later tonight.

I guess I will end this one here and get on to writing the post I had prepared for you.

Until later…