Posts Tagged ‘spiritual presence’

Join the Two Writing Teachers blog for March Slice of Life Challenge.

Join the Two Writing Teachers blog for March Slice of Life Challenge.

Sun beams through clouds

I try to take a photo of the sun coming through the clouds. My photo can’t capture the beauty. It can’t capture the moment. So I will try these words. Maybe they can tell you what I see and why it is magnificent.

The sun is a bright yellow-white light shining through a bluish-grey sea of clouds. Beams of light reach from the sun to the ground below, spotlighting the golden fields fallow now in winter. The clouds are white-capped waves dancing on the surface of the sea.

When the sun does this, no matter my mood or what I am worried about, my breath calms and sighs. Because of the magnanimity of it. How can I stay moody, anxious, or worried? Like when the geese fly with Mary Oliver and “announce my place in the family of things.”

I am driving to school. My car slows. Another driver passes me, honks the horn, zooms the engine, but still I slow down. I should slow down, enter my day like this sun plays on the sky’s monkey bars.

A dedicated science teacher I knew had a bumper sticker that read, “I stop for road kill.” My bumper sticker should be “I slow down for sun beams.” How else are we to be present in this world? How else can we say “thank you” to our creator? Recalls to mind a church camp song, “This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

Glad! That’s it. Be glad.

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Spirit Tree

Join the Spiritual Thursday round up at Reading, Teaching, Learning.

Join the Spiritual Thursday round up at Reading, Teaching, Learning.

Holly invites us to write about each other’s one little word. This week we are writing about my word, Present. Click on the icon above to go to other blogs to see what they are saying about Presence.

On Sunday, one of the readings was from Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. He writes about spiritual gifts. Thinking of the word presents as a synonym for gifts, I decided to re-write the verse into a more modern version.

A rewriting of Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians 12:1-11

Now concerning spiritual gifts, there are many.
The Spirit is generous when you agree to it.
Manifested for peace and goodness,
our hearts must play along.

You may have the gift of speaking
with confidence and knowledge.
Like our friend, Martin, with his dream,
you should speak up.

You may be the one we can all count on,
you show up and bring food. You give us hugs
and tell us how pretty we look today.

You may be the one who comforts, you know
about essential oils and whole foods. Your touch
on our chakras can produce heat and healing.

You may understand fully the phases of the moon.
You know the best time to plant trees. You feed the birds.
You have an herb garden.
And free range chickens. One is named Harvey.

You may be a collector of words,
Uplifting our days on Facebook
with a quote of the day.
Always clever, ever kind.

Whatever your gift of the Spirit is,
use it. Flaunt it. Show it off.
You never know who’s watching,
learning, growing, needing
the very thing you have to give.

Don’t question the Spirit. It knows
what it knows and chooses whom it chooses.
Embrace His Presence. Let it shine.
Let it shine.
Let it shine!

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Join the Spiritual Thursday round up at Reading, Teaching, Learning.

Join the Spiritual Thursday round up at Reading, Teaching, Learning.

Today is Spiritual Journey Thursday. Each week Holly Mueller invites us to reflect on our journey. This week the theme is doubt. I have no doubt of the existence of God because 30 years ago I was witness to it.

On July 3, 1985 I dropped off my four month old baby girl at day care. It was summer, and I wasn’t teaching, but I needed to run some errands, and she needed to get accustomed to the day care. However at noon while I ate lunch with my husband, I had an uneasy feeling. I needed to go check on my baby.

I dropped by and took Maggie in my arms to nurse her. Something wasn’t right. Her breathing was quick, almost like a dog’s panting. After she nursed, she spit up. Not unusual, but the liquid was tinted with reddish brown. That sent me into panic mode. I asked the day care worker to call the doctor. They told her to have me come in immediately.

Usually at the pediatrician’s office, you sit in the waiting room for hours waiting to see the doctor. Not this time. They whisked me to the back. The doctor came in quickly and listened to Maggie’s heart. He had a grave expression on his face. Her heart rate was too fast. She needed to go to the hospital.

This was pre-cell phone era, so I used the doctor’s office phone to call my husband. His secretary sent me to hold, and I was cut off. I called back and cried into the phone. “This is an emergency!”

The hospital was near the doctor’s office. Again, there was no waiting. No long form filling. The nurses grabbed my baby and within minutes had an IV in her tiny little head pumping in medicine. The diagnosis was tachycardia, an abnormal fast heart rate.

Hours passed, and Maggie’s heart rate did not slow down. It was racing at 200+ beats per minute. Our priest came by and prayed with us. He, too, was grave and sad. Was I going to lose my first child?

Around midnight, the doctors decided to send us to Ochsner in New Orleans by helicopter. I would fly with Maggie and Jeff would drive with friends.

I was laid on the stretcher first. Then they handed me the baby. We lay together chest to chest. Heartbeat to heartbeat.


Helicopters are loud. There was no talking to anyone. As we lifted off, we ascended straight up into the sky. No build up to take off as in an airplane. One minute on the ground, the next in the air.

While we flew, I prayed fiercely. I don’t remember the words, but they were like those of Jesus on the cross. “Take this cup away from me.” I didn’t pray for healing. I prayed for presence.

In the sky high above, I felt the physical presence of God, a warmth of hands wrapped around my shoulders. I felt calm, peaceful. I knew everything would be okay. Maggie’s heart slowed to the rhythm of my own.

The equipment at Ochsner was more sophisticated, so the doctors could tell that her fast heart rate was a sinus rhythm. It was not tachycardia. There was an infection somewhere in her system that caused the fast rate.

After many pricks and prods, Maggie was diagnosed with pneumonia. Remember the blood in her spittle? All was well, and we returned home by July 5th with a hoarse and tired baby girl.

When faced with tragedy, I am completely confident in God’s presence. Whether or not God physically healed Maggie doesn’t matter. I know that a strong and holy spirit was with me. We were both healed.

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