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April 2016

Seeing with vulnerable eyes

Glimmers April 28, 2016

Dear Friends,

Something new happened for me this Spring.

I stopped waiting for leaves to appear and began seeing the beauty of the trees, just as they are. I admired the grey-brown textured trunks, reaching up into the sky. Branches, thick at first, created a labyrinth as they narrowed and met one another above me. Some trees were clumped together as tall families hovering over the ground below. I looked far into the woods, no shady green branches were blocking my view. I saw past their upright lines and beyond, light came through from the other side. In a few months, this will be a forest. It will be a place of shelter and quiet. But today, the space feels like a foreign land inviting me into a new perspective.

The eagles called me to this new way of seeing. Their flight past my window thrills my heart every single time. They dip into the lake for a snack and then, whoosh, up into the tree to munch on their catch. I watch their naps, occasional preening, and their community meetings of 2, 3 or 4. Without leaves to block my view, the private life of my eagle friends has become accessible to me.

I don’t want to rush the arrival of green that covers the world above me. I’m looking for new signs of life that are hidden when summer’s leaves arrive. I find I am grateful for the trees in their vulnerable state. They have revealed another beauty around and within their midst. With quiet assurance, the trees have survived our Connecticut winter, and I wonder…have I?

I think of my own vulnerable places. Can I, like the trees, live for today just as I am? Can I see beauty  in what is, without imposing expectation or defense?In other Springs, I saw the trees as “naked” as I waited impatiently for their green vestments. This year, I’m learning that these noble trees “are” just as they are supposed to be. There is grace in their faithful acceptance of the rhythm of life. Could it be, that I too am just where I’m supposed to be? Can I embrace what is within, around and before me? May I stand tall with my tree friends and remember…”I am enough.”

Peace be with you this day, Lisa

Look around and see

Glimmers April 28, 2016


Dear Friends,

It is what it is

I have struggled with this phrase ever since it became part of our everyday conversation. In writing it down here, I can’t believe it’s only 5 words! Just 5 words, but when spoken they drop like a 2 ton weight right in the middle of the room. “It is what it is” stops conversation, deflates hope, and forces a supposed “reality check” around a certain situation. Is it like that for you?

Originally, I blamed my resistance to this phrase due to my lack of maturity or my inability to accept the limitations that life presents. There’s something to that, I am a “glass is half full” kinda gal, so I like to stay on the bright side. It just sounds like resignation when people use those 5 words. Recently, I’ve adopted another translation of “it is what it is” and would like to share it with you.

Maybe you too wonder about this current statement 
and would like an alternative?

On a fabulous March weekend, I was on retreat with a dear group of Mercy Associates at our beloved Mercy-be-the-Sea. We were being led in prayer and insight by Mary Daly, RSM, a treasure. After we settled into the reflective process of retreat, focused on the Mercy of God, she asked us to think about:

How have I encountered God’s care for me?
When has God’s love been easy? When has it been hard?
What have I learned from God’s love?

I settled in with my journal and named real people who love me just as I am, that’s an experience of God’s care for me. I named moments of welcoming and resisting the boundless, merciful love of God. It’s crazy to turn away from such love. But I, like all of us, struggle with feelings of self-worth once in a while. Fortunately, I also have experiences of accepting God’s mercy. So I then asked myself, “What have I learned from God’s love?” listening carefully for my heart’s truest answer. And here it is.

I have not done anything to deserve God’s love. And yet it is present in my life! God’s love exists all around me. It is revealed through a single tear, a new mother’s wonder, the unfolding of a Spring bud. Through my husband’s patience, through creativity, through moments of courage. God’s love is within me, within all of us. It illuminates our hearts, enlivens our hope, and holds our pain with great tenderness just by it’s very existence. God’s love is the foundation of life, it is the energy of creation – what was, what is and what will be. In other words? GOD’S LOVE IS WHAT IT IS!

So, my sisters and brothers, I join with you who choose Love. Let’s stand together and remind ourselves of the presence of Love. Let’s join with those who humbly offer their gifts for the good of the world. Let us transform the sound of resignation to an aria of hope. May our hearts remain open as we witness God’s boundless, merciful love……It truly is what it is!

Blessings to you from Beseck, Lisa