It was good to see the desert again. The mountains teeth. As we were coming down out of Prescott, just before the cactus begins, there was an incredible vista, mountains at your back, the draws and canyons carving their way to the valley below. I noticed out my window several areas of piled rocks --they could not have been natural deposits, but were gathered and piled and cleared areas on the edges of small promontories. There they are, I thought to myself, the Old Ones. And I wondered if any one else on the bus had noticed.
It was good to see classmates again. Good to see them ten to twelve years in to this strange vocation. Many had been chewed up by the church --congregations, dioceses, and had come out the other side wiser, tired, sad. A few had not. Some no longer worked in congregations. But all were still driven to carry the light in to dark places.
It was good to sleep, to rest, to be away. To pray unceasing for the People and my beloved. And now, as I turn to the road home, I am anxious, pleased, grateful. And I cannot wait to return to those wide open places and river valleys that have welcomed me so and taught me to walk humbly, and to all the ghosts there who bring their blessings and warnings --and to the starry night skies.
That is the trouble with trees... . Can't see the stars.
At prayer (again) this morning (a portion of Psalm 25)
To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul;
my God, I put my trust in you: *
let me not be humiliated,
nor let my enemies triumph over me.
Let none who look to you be put to shame; *
let the treacherous be disappointed in their schemes.
Show me your ways, O LORD, *
and teach me your paths.
Lead me in your truth and teach me, *
for you are the God of my salvation;
in you have I trusted all the day long.
Remember, O Lord, your compassion and love, *
for they are from everlasting.
Remember not the sins of my youth and my transgressions; *
remember me according to your love
and for the sake of your goodness, O LORD.
Gracious and upright are you, O LORD; *
therefore you teach sinners in your way.
You guide the humble in doing right *
and teach your way to the lowly.
All the paths, O LORD, are love and faithfulness *
to those who keep your covenant and your testimonies.
For your Name’s sake, O LORD, *
forgive my sin, for it is great.
Who are they who fear the LORD? *
the LORD will teach them the way that they should choose.
They shall dwell in prosperity, *
and their offspring shall inherit the land.
The LORD is a friend to the God-fearing *
and will show them the holy covenant.
My eyes are ever looking to the LORD; *
who shall pluck my feet out of the net.
I pray that all who travel today get to their destinations safely. One of my friends here got snowed out of his destination, and will not get home until tomorrow. Traveling mercies. Amen.
I am carrying my heavy coat --but it is warming up in South Dakota. I can see by my weather gadget that it is finally above zero --first time all week. Sheeeeeesh.