May the glorious song
and the echo of the voices of those we love
and see no more
joined in the heavenly chorus
bring you peace and hope
this Christmas and always
The day has loomed large. August third would come. It made no difference that we still feel the impossibility of life without the aliveness of Jane- mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, friend. That her physical absence remains both surprise and reality. The one year anniversary of her death would come.
The day before was marked by storms that swept the Door County peninsula, knocking out power and leaving the villages that mark its length eerily closed in mid-Sunday afternoon, save for enterprising local markets, who offered deli items at the door, or grilled hot dogs and hamburgers in the parking lot. Bedtime by candles and cellphone flashlight.
And then the morning came.
As daylight pierced the darkness, I tried the bedside lamp – and the room filled with light. Sometime during the night, power had been restored. The eleven year old peered at me across the kitchen counter as I fixed my tea.
“Is everything back to normal?”
I sip my tea and think about her question. About the audacity of the morning. Remembering.
When death comes, and sweeps away all semblance of what was normal, the arrival of another dawn seems an affront. Somehow, if the hours do not pass, the days do not turn, it might be possible to hold on to the time when her life and liveliness were in the world. How is it possible for the sun to rise, the world to keep turning, when this enormous absence is omnipresent?
As a resurrection person, I know. I know. It is what makes it possible to go on. Theologian Martin Marty reminds us that we spend our lives saying goodbye to people we know we cannot live without. And we do. As people of the resurrection, we move forward, learning this new normal, this new reality.
With the marking of the first year we move into a new cycle of events when her presence was remembered, not actual. Over this year, we have heard, and chosen to ingest some words, and reject others which are the offerings of those who also have tried to reconcile their lives without a loved one. Looked for, prayed for , been grateful for those glimpses of grace that assure that she is at peace with God, assuring us in ways that love knows.
And so this morning came. Like a child after a fall, I check my bumps and bruises and with the rest of my scattered family and extended family who mark this day, get to my feet, however unsteadily.
Love calls. Faith calls. Hope calls. With this and every morning, I am thankful beyond words for the blessing of the life and love of my sister Jane.
There are some things the head knows and the heart and soul aren’t ready for. Or are ready for part of and not ready for in totality. For many years, an artist’s depiction of Ephraim Harbor in Door County, Wisconsin has hung opposite my office desk. It was a constant reminder, regardless of the actual or emotional weather, that August would come, with beautiful peninsula sunsets and the peace of this sanctuary. From the time my older daughter introduced me to Door County, it was a heart- home. It was a special joy when my Atlanta-based sister Jane joined me, and began her own love affair with this magical place.
Our travel rendezvous place was the Cincinnati airport. I would be waiting at the departure gate for Green Bay when I would see her blonde head and big smile heading my way. During some of the better days of her hospitalization last summer, it was one of the happy things to talk about, “next summer when we go to Door County…..”
I could never have imagined that when ‘next summer’ came, we would actually be experiencing the first anniversary of her death.
The ‘same as always’ part would include meeting daughter and granddaughter in Green Bay for the drive up the peninsula. Even that ‘same as’ had its own caveat; it is preceding my daughter and granddaughter’s mid-August departure for three years in Hong Kong.
Niece Sarah and I said a deliberately casual goodbye, as if nothing big was going on. My heart knew that no matter where each of us would spend that day, the shared experience of a year ago had simply become more devastatingly clear in every detail as the months passed and shock disappeared.
My husband would drive me to Cincinnati, leaving home at 6am. I was aware of every hour of the night, picturing the departure gate, now that the time was upon me. I could only imagine getting myself to the gate. My mind would not go further.
About a third of the way into the hour and a half trip, I pulled up my e-ticket to check my layover time in Minneapolis. I vaguely remembered it had taken many efforts to find the right schedule for both arrival and departure.
To my horror, the ticket read: Departure: Louisville Standiford Field!
There were no bars for service in the cell phone on this part of the highway, we remembered. When intermittent service was available, awareness that when we would reach the interstate that would take us from Northern KY to Louisville, we would be an hour and a half from the Louisville airport, arriving as the flight was boarding, still to navigate security. Husband volunteers to drive me to Chicago. With two bars of service, I reach United Airlines and manage a one way ticket which will get me to Green Bay two hours later than my original flight. We sit outside the United terminal while I complete my purchase.
Sitting here in Starbucks with my tea, building up energy to face the departure gate, I remember writing a month or so ago about that strange part of grief, of transitions, the place where I function. I do the things required of me, and sometimes more. Those looking at my world from the outside see the functioning, and assume that all is well. Life, with its new reality, is moving on. Which is true.
Many years ago, Jim Angell, former pastor of Lexington’s Second Presbyterian Church, writing about his daughter Susan’s death, said that
he did not want to live going forward in a way that would imply to his daughter that he was dishonoring her, and all she brought to life. Rather in his grief and adjustment to life without her, to celebrate all she was.
Such wise words. Such hard words. Oh, the absolute craziness of grief and transitions!
My tea is almost gone, and it is time to head to the departure gate, ready or not. And I know that I will image her big smile, heading toward me, full of anticipation for the days ahead. Tonight, and every night in our heart-home/peace place, we’ll head for the sunset, and feel her there, full of joy and life and love.
It’s a question I’ve been answering a lot lately.
My answers include:
- Let me share my brochure with you for my consulting practice.
- Check out my website.
- July and August are time out, or down time.
(that is, unless you count absorbing the contents of my office into the house that hasn’t had any real priority attention for over a year, and getting said house ready to receive the family furniture and storage boxes belonging to daughter # 1 who will be moving to Hong Kong in mid-August.)
Wednesday was the designated day to really get started. I’d been attempting to do a bit at a time along the way, but really getting started needed a couple of consecutive days of put-on-grabbiest-possible-clothes-in-the-morning-and-keep-at-it-until-you-fall-in-bed-because-muscles-you’d-forgotten-you-had-hurt kind of time.
Today, Day #2: I decided to start with what seemed one of the easier tasks; completing work with the fabrics I’d sorted yesterday, which meant bagging those which will hopefully go to Facebook friends who respond to my post about their availability, and categorizing and putting away the ones which will be used for my projects here at home.
I need to explain about fabric.
It’s a bit of a family addiction. Like books. (another part of this story.)
I grew up going to fabric stores with my grandmother and my mother. I learned to sew before I started to,school, and in high school, freaked out the home EC teacher by showing up with a Vogue designer pattern and yards of 100% wool to make a suit. (Home Ec and typing were two of my mom’s requirements for us to take, by the way). My fascination with imported papers began with a recognition that the racks of beauty looked and felt like fabric. When cleaning out the homes of both my grandmother and my mother after their deaths, there were boxes of beautiful fabrics among the treasures to be divided.
In recent years, I had become the side-kick beneficiary who shared in the bounty of samples from an interior designer friend given my sister Jane. The samples were likely to arrive in a 30 gallon garbage can (new and clean, I might add) left on her front porch, or leaf and lawn bags. We would sit in the floor of her living room and lift each piece out, exclaiming at the wonder of the colors, the textures, and imagine how they might be used. She created patchwork tablecloths and bread basket liners for her church, as well as upholstering a patchwork chair for her daughter, and making throw pillows for the diocesan retreat center, and for numerous bazaars and Art fairs. I made my share of pillows, but found my real delight in collaging jackets, as well as utilizing pieces of various fabrics in the paper collages. Our enthusiasm, we agreed, had something to do with the Patchouli ladies, a remarkable company we discovered on our first buying trip for Vardens, the boutique that Jane, her daughter Sarah and I ran in our great-grandfather and grandfather’s 1891 pharmacy building for a number years. The patchouli quilt I bought on that first trip, when my soon-to-be-husband and I were still renovating the house where we now live, is at home on our living room sofa, a marvelous blend of beautiful upholstery samples, rescued and repurposed by these creative ladies.
One of the things I know about grief is that you just never know when it is going to show up, and what the trigger might be. And when it comes, it really doesn’t make a lot of difference what the plan might have been for the day, or the hour. Grief is not a guest that can be kept waiting forever- even when you think you have given her the time she deserves.
I know better. I really do. Bereavement is one of my fields of study and practice. I’ve been intentional in doing the hard work that grief requires.
But life has continued, not only at a regular pace, but at an accelerated pace, moving toward the life-change of retirement, and of my daughter’s impending move. And now, evidently, it’s time out.
There, in the basement, among boxes and furniture from Jane’s house, and the pieces of my own life seeking a new place to be, grief just showed up , wrapping itself around me and the fabrics and the memories and the missing.
In one of the many books I have read about grief over the years, a man was asked how long it took him to “get over” the death of his wife. His answer rang true when I read it academically. I have learned through my own losses over the years how absolutely true his answer continues to be.
“I will never ‘get over’ it,” he responded. “it is part of the new reality of who I am, and as I integrate it into my life, I will learn to live and laugh and love again without her physical presence. There is no ‘getting over’ the loss of one you love – only learning how to live fully and creatively with this new reality.”
Martin Marty, the great theologian says, “We spend our lives saying goodbye to those we know we cannot live without.”
Productive work is a powerful aid to pushing through grief. Time out is an equal partner that was waiting for me.
I know that just past the tears and aching loneliness there are happy memories in each piece of fabric I touch.
Today is time out.
Instead of sorting and hopefully shelving more books, and adding to the “no longer needed” stash of clothing and ‘stuff’ that could be used by someone else, I’ve grouped some of my favorites of these beautiful fabrics, and taken photos. A dear friend has been the gracious and caring recipient of my exclamations and my plans for projects. It’s not even noon, and an entirely different set of ‘muscles’ are tired. Bone tired.
Freud called it “mourning labour.”
I am home. From the porch overlooking the lake, all is quiet. I can see the water moving gently, ripples from a fishing boat. But all is still. It is Sunday morning, and in post General Convention – travel fatigue. I have slept longer and harder than my usual rhythm of sleeping and waking, so I am here alone for an hour or two. The green sanctuary around me invites me to allow the last few weeks to unpack in my heart and soul while the over- stuffed luggage from which I’ve lived most recently can wait it’s turn for unpacking. There are chores to be done, both here and in the office that must be cleared. But not today. Or even tomorrow.
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly when the pace of life changed from business-as-usual to count down to June 30- the official ending of life as a member of the staff of the Diocese of Lexington. It is easier to note the increase in tempo of production, emotion and days passing. The interweaving of tasks and all they evoke: clearing an office and preparing for a ritual for retirement; packing for General Convention 14- and preparing a new professional web site. The pride and excitement of daughter 1’s new position in Hong Kong, and the impending reality of putting said daughter and granddaughter on an airplane for this far-away new life. Moving through the summer memories toward the year’s anniversary of the still-impossible-to-believe death of my dearest friend in life, my sister Jane, in August.
The best I can do is name them, and look at the realities of change, even as I give thanks for the amazing and wonderful things that have punctuated these last weeks. The beauty of the Evensong that marked my retirement; the generosity and caring of so many. The wonders of the Supreme Court decision, and the decision of the election of our new Presiding Bishop. Being a part of the church gathered. Sustaining, life-giving moments with people I love.
It is easy on this Sunday morning to feel that it is simply a long weekend with Tuesday bringing life as usual, and the alarm ringing at 5:45. And although this coming week will find me making my way to the office that has been mine until I have completed the moving out, I will go with an awareness that neither the space nor the work are mine.
So today I sit on my porch and allow the quiet and the naming to be with me. It is more than enough to hold in any one container; it will require more than this quiet Sunday on the porch to integrate into my being.
I am reminded of my father and his wisdom in helping a soon-to-retire professional athlete differentiate between what he “do” and who he “be”. A part of the work ahead, certainly, in all of the named aspects. I am aware that HOW I do who I be is what is changing, beginning with how I Do sistering in this world without the physical presence of my sister, and moving right along to how I Do who I BE as a parent and a grandparent in this new reality, and how I will DO whatever God is calling me to DO?
I be me, sitting here on the porch this Sunday morning. All of the accumulated experiences that have made me the person I be are with me.
I sit, and I ponder.
I didn’t expect an impact when my eyes happened on the swirly carpet in the corridor just outside my hotel room. On my way to set up for the 8:30 meeting, my suitcase and I headed out s we have so many times before. My thoughts were on the day ahead.
I know that carpet designs don’t speak aloud. But as I glanced at the path of swirls between room and elevator, a voice said distinctly, “this is the last time you will walk here.”
A number of hotels have become familiar to me in my diocesan travels over the past decade plus. Hamptons, Fairfields, Holiday Inn Express and more. Friendly and welcoming oases before or after meetings that begin early or end late. Nothing more.
But I recognized the niggling feeling that accompanied this morning’s walk on the swirly carpet. It had tried to speak to me last Sunday, as I headed to the altar at Grace Church, Florence for communion.
Worshipping at Grace, worshipping with all of the congregations in the Diocese of Lexington, is truly one of the joys of serving in a position on the Bishop’s staff that not only allows, but expects that being present in our congregations is a priority. These are the faces of friends. While my unexpected presence may generate some questions, and a small anxiety- ” Business or pleasure? Anything wrong?”- I have been welcomed warmly in these years. I know these folk, and they know me. I have come to love them.
The feeling that I kept pushing down at Grace’s altar, was connected to the realization of ” lasts” that is a part of transition. Connected to the awareness that in just a few weeks I will take off the several hats that God has placed on my head with His calls to me these forty years. I do not know when I may pass this way again. Before anyone protests , let me talk about my friend Arthur. I came to know Arthur during an island experience. A week with men and women doing the good hard work of personal growth in a tropical setting. As we headed to the airport, each carrying our own personal peak experiences with us, as well as our sadnesses at impending goodbyes to the folks with whom we’d shared this time of unconditional love and acceptance, as well as white sand beaches, boat rides and dancing under the stars to the haunting sound of pan flutes and steel drums, Arthur said softly; ” I will never be here again.”
The group reacted swiftly, with the kind of protests that revealed our collective emotions as the time for departure came. None of us were ready to give up the magic- and a part of that magic was holding onto not just memories in the making, but whatever remote possibility existed for a return to this place and time of enchantment.
Arthur’s statement splashed over us like a bucket of cold water.
We might not have wanted to let go this experience , yet – but the letting go was important.
These years down the road, it still matters. The recognition; the naming.
In Ecclesiastes we read, “For everything there is a season.” Despite the possibilities of the next chapter, there is a definite process of letting go and moving on. The beauty and goodness of all that has been are figural- difficulties and disappointments fade into the background. While longevity is in some sense unimportant – the brief island experience holding as much life-power as the years of relationship or life call, the very repetitions that are a part of longevity carry with them an establishment of patterns that create a framework around which the rest of life is structured. While the head acknowledges that the precious, hectic years of child- centered family life will end, there is a sense of ongoing-ness that feels interrupted when the last high school graduation comes. And so it is with vocation.
The established patterns are interwoven with relationships, built through shared experiences. Memories linger. Laughter. Frustrations. Hard- won victories. Tears.
Arthur’s words were hard to hear because they were true. They are true. And they are an important part of the letting go and moving on.
And some I love have reached the end
And some with me may stay
Their faith and hope still guiding me
I walk the King’s highway
The way is truth, the way is love
For light and strength I pray
And through the years of life, to God
I walk the King’s highway
The countless hosts lead on before
I must not fear or stray
With them, the pilgrims of the faith
I walk the King’s highway
Through light and dark the road leads on
Til dawns the endless day
When I shall know why in this life
I walk the King’s highway.”
The swirly carpet led to a day of hard, profound work by a group of committed men and women. A day framed in the Holy Eucharist and the music of They’ll Know We Are Christians By Our Love.” Just before the blessing, I was drawn into the center of the group. They laid their hands on me, as the priest prayed.
I hold it all in my heart. And the words on a sign at the Blue Dolphin Gallery in Door County: “Don’t be sad you’re leaving. Be glad you came.”
Sad. And glad.
In the process of letting go, and moving on.
Was it impulse or was it call? Whichever spoke to me on that snowy first day of Lent – and they may have been one and the same thing- the act of writing a reflective essay each day of the season was a discipline that spoke to me continuously throughout the forty days. It spoke to me in sudden awareness of a passage read, a voice heard, a song remembered. It spoke to me in the events shaping our every days. The deaths. The ah- ha’s. It spoke to me especially through readers who shared their responses or simply let it be known that something I wrote that was particular to me meant something to them as well. There is nothing that encourages a writer more than knowing there are readers out there- and particularly that as I write to make sense of the world around me, it helps someone else make sense of the world, as well.
It had been a number of years since a print- focused communications world mandated my rhythm of writing and deadlines. It meant the alarm clock went off a little earlier in order to,post before work- and I found that I grew fond of the time at my IPad with my cup,of tea.
Many of you have complimented this practice by asking if I will continue to write now that Lent is over. The answer is a yes/ and….
As part of my coming transition from life as a member of the staff of the Diocese of Lexington – which began with part time work with THe ADVOCATE, the newspaper of the Diocese of Lexington some forty years ago, to the next adventure to which God is calling me, you will be invited soon to “like” a web page which tells about my work- to- be. And to join me on a blog which will post once a week on a regular basis- as well as more frequently if extraordinary situations insist.
The proposed name for the blog is “And the Crazy Bird Sings Again”.
In the snowy days of Lent I wrote:
” And so the crazy bird comes. It sings its tiny song out over the cold and the brokenness. And in case I could not hear it the first time, it sings again. And again. And again. With just enough silence between the songs to make sure I am listening. And waiting, and briefly touched by the crazy thing called hope.
Crazy bird. Crazy, crazy bird. Calling me once more to the certainty of faith, and hope and love.”
It expresses much of what my writing, and my work, are about….looking at the paradoxes and complexities of life through the lens of faith and psychology and continuing to sing the songs, name the names , through life’s storms as well as it’s beautiful Easters. I look forward to continuing in dialogue with many of you who have honored me by traveling this Lenten journey, and to meeting other pilgrims along the way.
You will probably not be surprised when you find that many of the coming reflections will be about the transition that has already begun in my life…from a full time member of the staff of the Diocese of Lexington , where I have been blessed to wear a number of hats, both over the years and simultaneously, to a new calling of several hats.
Many years ago, a book title, and then the book and author themselves called out to me- LIFE IS GOODBYE, LIFE IS HELLO. This classic on loss and grief by Alla Bozarth encapsulates in its title the transition process that most of us experience many times in life. Life transitions have been a major part of my calling since graduate school- personal transitions, and more recently, institutional and organizational transitions. I hope to incorporate much of what I have walked with others into my own experience. I hope many of you will join me on this journey, and for the next chapter.
This crazy bird is still singing.
Peace and joy in Him……Kay
The book cover was like a promise. Marching across the top the letters spelled “THe Possibility of Angels.” I couldn’t wait top turn each page to see what boldly colorful, exuberant creature I would see next. An angel walks down the street barefoot, white robe billowing, a grocery basket on her arm. Another crashes through a ceiling. Some wings are attached to versions of contemporary clothing. Each bursts from the page, calling me to consider what the editor calls “Those rare and unpredictable moments when angels tread on earth.”
My angel fascination began before it was fashionable, evolving into some serious study and reflection over time, and taking on profound new meaning since the death of my sister. The angel stories, books and replicas we shared seem to connect us in a way that defies explanation.
But I am getting ahead of the story.
After weeks of working with my niece to,pack up my sister’s last home, the end was in sight. That night would be the last that I would spend in the place we had spent many happy times; overnights where the wall between the headboard of the guest bed and that of her bed certainly held our late night conversations.
The enormous realization of the last night in this place hit hard. I could not – could NOT- get in that bed, knowing that our voices would not mingle until one of us fell asleep. My tears and I curled up in her chair in the living room. At some point, sleep came.
Around 3AM I startled awake. Maybe I can try the bed, I thought. I pulled back the covers, climbed between the sheets and turned toward the wall, hoping for sleep,to return quickly. I was just settling in when I felt it. A slight, but sure touch on my back. And then, these words, “I have your back.”
When the morning came, the continuing sense of the touch and the words. Sitting in her chair, I thought of the hospital day when we had sat back to back on her bed, desperate to find a position in which I she could breathe, while providing support for her weakening body and spirit.
Marina Wiederken in A TREE FULL OF ANGELS writes: ” Listen, everybody! I saw a tree full of angels shining like stars in the night. Can you not believe that? Come now, don’t be a cynic. Your heart was made for deep things. Your entire being was designed for visions.”
The Preface to “The Possibility of Angels” ends, “As you read this volume, listen carefully. Beneath the sound of the pages as you turn them , that faint, u fathomable sound is the rustling of wings as angels take flight.”
If we are to believe those who have had them, an encounter with an angel can be challenging: troubling; uncomfortable, as it can be comforting, peaceful. The sense of a message from the world beyond most certainly will invite some internal shift in perception.
The book lives beside my bed. The touch lives in me.
MYSTICAL TRUTH, according to the late Bishop Bennett Sims, is the unsummoned presence of the Beyond. He said, ” I believe it is the deepest level of Truth available to human experience. It means that the opposite of a grasped truth is truth that does the grasping. The initiative in seeking and finding such truth is generally not one’s own, but comes unbidden by human resolve or expectation. Every level of truth above this can be experienced, comprehended and articulated, whereby mystical truth is confined almost entirely to the level of experience. It is the sensation of being taken hold of in one’s depth by an exhalting power that lifts one above the ordinary.”
From SErVANTHOOD: Leadership in
The New Millennium
Today, Friday, March 27 th is my older sister’s birthday. We will have lunch together, as we have for a number of years. A day to be sisters together. To celebrate her life and her big day. To laugh and tell stories, in the way that only siblings can.
We are three. The Collier girls. Since I was a very little girl, I have been the middle one.
On a sunny September day this past fall, we buried our younger sister. And we are three. Still we are three.
Some might call it denial, but it is not so. We know that we are without her physical presence, and we mourn that loss. But it cannot change the fact that we are three. That is our life story.
My friend Betsy had buried her teenage son several years before she was confronted by an innocent question, asked by a new acquaintance.
“How many children do you have?”
After initial hesitation, aware that the answer that was most true might come across to some as an unnecessary reminder of loss, she responded: ” I have three sons. Two who are with us and one who died a few years ago.” Her reasoning was in total agreement with her theology and her emotions. He was, and would always be her child. She would always be the mother of three children. She might not be able to function as the mother of three at this point in time; to DO the mothering thing times three. But she would always BE the mother of three.
And we are three.
If I were to try to set that truth aside, it would be all around me, tangibly and intangibly. Handmade pins of three female figures , discovered at an arts fair and purchased in triplicate. Photographs of three sisters, at various stages of life…..and a year ago today. In the picture we are all smiling, and have just enjoyed butterscotch pie that tasted exactly like our grandmother’s. Only sisters would know that. A painted tin sculpture of three figures, arms intwined, hangs above the breakfast table in the sunroom . Sisterly symbol. The clustering of participants in a family systems workshop by birth order: I belong with the middle children.
There are existential realities that cannot be changed by physical distance or loss. I can no more change the reality of being the middle sister – one of three – than I can change the color of my eyes. This is who I BE. This is who we BE. A very important part of who I be, and how I am in the world. A part of birthday ritual.
And for this I am thankful.
We be three.
The motto of the Daughters of the King has been one of the prayers which has most touched my heart since I first heard it uttered some decades ago. A number of women from around the Diocese gathered in the under croft of the Church of the Good a Shepherd in Lexington to hear a visitor speak about the Order of the Daughters of the King. She recited the motto to us, and invited us into discernment – to listening for what God would have each of us do. She reminded us that not all answers are ‘Yes’ answers, and that ‘ no’ was an acceptable answer as well. She asked us to pay special attention to the line in the motto that says ‘ I cannot do everything, but I can do something. I remember her pause, and her eyes looking at each of us as she said, ‘ if you are trying to do everything, you are probably listening to someone other than God- and might check in with Him and listen again.”
The prayer and her words have stayed with me . As I shared in The DOK spring assembly Saturday, these words were front and center,
Feeling obligated to do everything is a common malady. It’s traveling companion is always frustration with those who appear to be doing nothing. In leadership terminology, when I over function , convinced I must do it all myself ( or it certainly will not be done correctly!) I insure that there will be some under functioning going on. Someone who might be deprived of an opportunity to do something.
” What I can do, I ought to do.”
” but it’s so hard to know what God really wants me to do and what is just me!” The young mother’s voice spoke the words, but the nodding of heads and expressions on faces said she spoke for many in the room. Timeless. Continuous. As current as that very moment.
“That’s what discernment is all about,” the visitor replied. She talked about her own process of discernment like an old friend. It was clear they spent a lot of time together. Not just about big , life changing kinds of things, but about things it would have been easy to assume God might not have an opinion about at all- too busy with the really huge problems in somebody else’s life.
And in case she hadn’t made herself perfectly clear with her sharing, she added the firm punctuation:
“We’ve been guilty of associating the word discernment with whether or not someone is called to ordination, rather than claiming it as a process in each of our lives and relationship with God.”
The ah- ha moment. Still. Discernment is a process for listening for God’s will in my life every day. It’s not that God is too busy for the conversation or someone else’s decision is more important. It’s just that I get too busy, or forget that the limits of my human time management don’t apply to the Almighty. And without consultation, I forge ahead. And if, in retrospect I view the decision for the wrong road taken, and protest the way seemed ‘ perfectly clear,”, I try to remember that someone else said of discernment, that if it’s perfectly clear, it’s probably not God- if it’s more complicated, it probably is.
And the answer may not always be the one I would have chosen. So I need to remember the next line- “what I ought to do, by the grace of God I will do -“
“Lord, what will you have me to do?”