That Thou art mindful of us

Dearly Beloved,
Grace and Peace to you.
         When I look at your heavens,
                  the work of your fingers,
                  the moon and the stars that you have established;
         what are human beings that you are mindful of them,
                  mortals that you care for them?

                           —Psalm 8.3-4

My sister has finished her long journey of healing from lymphoma, through chemo and laughter and agony and drudgery and pain and wonder and prayer and shingles and friends, lots of loving friends, and here she is, healthy and whole. It’s pretty splendid. Meanwhile my wife is back in North Dakota going through her sister’s belongings, the little sister who died suddenly at Christmas and really ought to be alive. It’s pretty sad.

What do we say, that God has chosen this one and not that one? Or that God is not paying attention, that God is too busy spinning galaxies to notice our little lives and we’re on our own, good luck? No, the mystery is that the Holy One who holds the universe in strong and gentle hands also holds us, and cares for us, and accompanies us. The Beloved is with us. In death or life, joy or sorrow, the Compassionate One walks with us, breathes in us, suffers with us, and gives us the life we have. And that life, that amazing gift, is holy, precious and worthy of our wonder, no matter how long or pretty it is.

Our range of vision is so often limited to our desires— how fully we manage to cling to what we want and avoid what we fear— that we can’t see our lives from the perspective of the heavens: the sacred Oneness that our lives rise out of, the holy miracle of life in each moment, the magnificent mystery of which each of us is a spark, a blossom, a note. The promise is not that your life will be long or easy, but that it will be holy.

Treasure this gift of life. Notice the marvelous gift of breath and thought, love and beauty. Whether you are at ease or in pain, relief or grief, the Creator of the Universe is your intimate partner, giving you life, holding you in love. Whatever struggles you have, whatever brokenness, imperfections and even evil you suffer, it is the Beloved who gives you each breath, who carries you each moment, who pours love into your heart no matter what.

From the view of the heavens, all our lives are vanishingly short, but graciously given, magnificently beautiful, infinitely precious and mysteriously blessed. Whether long or short, hard or easy, your life is holy. Your life is a gift. And you are not alone. You are Beloved. Be in wonder, and give thanks.
Deep Blessings,
Pastor Steve

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

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