Grace and Peace to you.
You did not ignore the affliction of the afflicted;
you did not overlook me,
but heard when I cried out to you.
You are the source of my joy
as I stand here in all Creation.
I will sing to you among creatures
to whom you give life.
On my walk this morning it was fifteen degrees below zero. (I know you folks in Australia and South Africa don’t have to deal with this, but bear with me.) Being warm blooded, our warmth comes from within. In this kind of cold you think ahead about that warmth, and how to protect it out there. You think about every square inch of your body, and if something comes undone you fix it.
So it is with my spiritual warmth. God radiates from within me, miraculously, like the warmth of my own body, and I want to pay attention to every square inch of that grace, honor it deeply, receive it fully, and share it freely. Keeping habits of prayer and compassion are not obligations I’m burdened with in Lent: they’re ways to tend to the stewardship of my warmth. What do I do—what will I do today—to protect the warmth of my soul?
I take time to behold. I turn away from relying on external things to warm my soul—possessions, reputation, comforts, power. I let go of things that sap my warmth— anger, resentment, competition, judgment and worry. I attend to God fully in prayer and all day long in mindfulness. And when my mindfulness comes undone, I bundle up in God again. God gives me the luxurious warmth of heaven itself, burning within me. I don’t want to ignore or squander it. So I pay attention, and treasure it, so that I can bear warmth to those who are cold, even in Adelaide.
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