An offering from Elaine: Lord open my eyes to the beauty around me

July 15, 2015
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I’m reminded of last Thanksgiving and the pine cones that made up the centerpiece adorning our dinner table. My granddaughter, Anna, had picked them all up off the ground in her neighborhood.

(c) Bonnie Oden
(c) Bonnie Oden

I imagine her joy and excitement in finding one, then another, snatching them up and placing them gently in her little bag. This “fruit,” fallen from the tree, became a wonderful blessing to our family, a thing of beauty for us to share.

Lord, open my eyes to the beauty around me. I don’t want to miss even one little bit.

Yesterday, I saw the first tiny, tiny buds on the Rose of Sharon bush outside my kitchen window. I anxiously await the blooms, the mixture of pink and white, as two bushes have seemingly grown together into one.

Lord, open my eyes to the beauty around me. I don’t want to miss even one little bit.

(c) 2015 Elaine Weber

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An offering from Nancy Kate: Bearers of seeds

July 13, 2015
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Pine cones, bearers of seeds, a hidden latent forest lying on the ground. Notice the seeds, notice the potential.

(c) Bonnie Oden
(c) Bonnie Oden

As a spiritual director I am always looking for what else is there than what is showing, more than what is said. What is the unseen God doing? What is the unseen love, grace, call that is inside the part we can see? From years of noticing seeds in students, to now noticing seeds in spiritual directees, I cannot see what is before me without wondering what more there might be. How did I learn to look at something or someone and see more than what shows? I honor those who have seen the seeds of goodness in me even when I feel protected by my outer shell. What is the invitation to accept what makes the seeds grow inside me?

(c) 2015 Nancy Kate Dunkerley

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An offering from Ellen: Part of a greater whole

July 10, 2015
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As a young girl I played for hours in the woods near our summer cabin.

(c) Bonnie Oden
(c) Bonnie Oden

I would gather pine cones, inspect bugs, search for treasure, sit beneath a tree and read, hide in the shadows, and bask in the sunny spots. These many years later I still have a tremendous love for time spent in the woods. A walk in the forest is a reminder to me of the intricate and incredible design of our Creator. A forest contains an entire ecosystem of plants, animals, and tiny micro organisms. There is an interdependence among all of these elements. Each has a necessary function. A pine cone falls to the ground, containing the seeds of a future tree. Leaf mold fertilizes the soil. Tree roots prevent erosion. This reminds me of the body of Christ. We are all interdependent, part of a greater whole, each bringing our own gifts for the good of the community.God places a unique purpose in each of us. We need one another to thrive and grow just as all of the elements of the forest are needed for growth and regeneration. Praise God for all of creation!

(c) 2015 Ellen Mechler

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