Why We are going to the Mosque on Good Friday

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It is Holy Week. We remember all that Jesus did for us when he went to the cross, died for our sins, was buried, and on the third day rose again. The very depths and heights of our faith. My husband and my calling to follow Jesus in loving those outside our own faith community compels us to go to our local Mosque this Friday night. Don’t get me wrong, I love Good Friday services. The somber reflections of the ultimate sacrifice Christ paid moves me deeply.

 

This friday is especially important that we go to the Mosque. For many years of our adult lives we  have lived in Central Asia, first in Northwest China, then in Kazakhstan. We lived and worked among many different ethnic groups – Chinese, Russian, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, but especially Uyghurs. Our Uyghur friends and neighbors taught us deeply about many things, hospitality, faithful loyalty to family, respect for elders, love of music, dancing and food, to name a few. These very ones who sowed richly into our lives are now struggling for their own lives in their homeland. The government of China is attempting to wipe out their culture and possibly existence by incarcerating over a million people in concentration camps where people are dying daily. They are seperating children from parents and mercilessly controlling every aspect of their lives through extreme measures. We are teaming up with our local Mosque this Good Friday to lend our voices to the voiceless. We are speaking up together to say No to this horrific act of violence.

 

What better way to fight the evil of dehumanization then to join with our Muslim brothers and sisters from around the world. We will not be manipulated into divided camps, but stand together and with one voice cry out to God to deliver the Uyghur people from their oppressors.

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Categories: Faith, God, Good Friday, lament, Lent, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Mysteries

birds flying over body of water during golden hour

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The mysteries

Of all we do not know

They are more than

The riches some heap

While others go without

They are more than

The wars against body and soul

The what ifs and the whys

The pit of sorrows we fall into

The crushing weight of grief

 

The mysteries

Of all we do not know

The greatest is love

That holds us when all is gone

That leads us to treasure

At the end of a dark tunnel

It runs through us and to us

Lifting us and helping us

To breathe and to live

And one day hope again

 

© 2019 Julie Clark

 

Categories: grief and death, Hope, Love, Poetry, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Signs and Wonders

Signs and Wonders

 

Hidden away

For me to find

To discover

Secret treasures

Or surprises

Early spring buds and flowers

The haron circling me

Then landing on the beach below

The sea lion

Lifting head from the water

Barking greetings to all

The fog laying down

On the water

Surrounding the island

Like a blanket

Majestic Volcano

Radiant in white

All call me to pay attention

To notice the beauty

Of Creator

Signs of love

Wonders to ponder

 

© 2019 Julie Clark

 

Categories: beauty, God, Love, Photography, Poetry, Seasons | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Grief Haiku (for Marianne)

Marianne helping me with a knotty problem.

(Marianne helping me with a knotty problem)

 

She has gone away

Released her breath and spirit

We have grief and tears

 

Lonely is this life

Soul trapped in body shell

Freed for true union

 

She carried many

Can too much love break your heart

Apparently so

 

© 2018 Julie Clark

 

Categories: Autumn Poems, grief and death, Life, Love, Poetry | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Haiku Practice

 

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Self Examination

 

Heart weigh and dissect

Examine content with care

Cold stone or warm love

 

Breathe

 

Can peace rule my day

Or worry fret it away

A deep breath will help

 

Deciduous

 

Trees finish their work

Shedding of best future hopes

Are we listening

 

© Julie Clark

 

Categories: Autumn Poems, beauty, Hope, Poetry, Seasons, Trees | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Fall Color Feast

Categories: beauty, Photography, Seasons | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Fall Color

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We need this rush

Of fall color and beauty

To fortify us through

The cold dark months

Of winter

 

The little creatures

Are preparing

Some gathering their stores

Some with wings

Taking flight

To warmer lands

Some are growing

Fat and furry

For their long naps

 

Me – I am gathering my yarn

And wood pellets for my stove

Looking forward to long evenings

By the fire

I am hoping my imagination

Will take flight

And I will come up with

Something of use to write

I am in favor of the naps

Though I would prefer

No extra fat or fur

© 2018 Julie Clark

 

Categories: Autumn Poems, beauty, Birds, Poetry, Seasons, Trees | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Heart Break in Northwest China, a place I called Home

Here is a link to an article I wrote for Culture Honey.

http://www.culturehoney.com/heart-break-in-northwest-china-a-place-i-called-home/

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Take Care of the Earth

earth space universe globe

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Let’s take care of the earth

All people

Everywhere

It is our only home.

The stars and the planets

Are too far away.

They were not given to us

To inhabit with these bodies,

but to guide and inspire.

 

We can be

The gentle

The meek,

The careful

Who inherit the earth.

We can think of our children

And their children

And their children’s children.

We can share her resources

We do not need to hoard them

She has enough for us all.

Enjoy her beauty

She feeds your souls

Be inspired to create

More beauty

More abundance

We can do this together.

 

© 2018 Julie Clark

 

Categories: Autumn Poems, beauty, Faith, Hope, Life, Poetry | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Paying Attention to Emotions

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I am learning more about emotions these days. Learning to look back over my day or even a few days and identify my feelings and emotions. A much better practice then shoving them down or acting on them without thinking. Here’s an example from what I’ve been reading: Did I feel Anger? Sadness? Fear? Then connecting some dots to what brought on these feelings. This goes along with a contemplative prayer practice called The Prayer of Examen.

 

Here’s what was lurking in my subterranean depths the other day.

 

I was feeling anger at the injustice in our world.

 

I was feeling sadness that all our kids and their families live far away at this time.  

 

I was feeling some fear of becoming insignificant, losing my strength, memory and voice as I grow older. Am I accomplishing anything important these days?  Am I missing something?

 

Now that I have identified these feelings I can talk about them with loved ones and I can pray about them. Naming these emotions helps me work through the difficulties I may have faced that day. It also helps me sleep better!

 

I also see how important it is to help children with identifying their emotions and connecting them with what is going on in their lives.  Not an easy task but so important for a life long practice.

 

Several years ago I began learning  inner healing prayer practices. We learned to connect our current troubling emotions with memory of when we felt these before, until we hit on a spot in our pasts that flared up with these emotions.  With finding these we were then able to invite Jesus into the painful memories and find healing. In this healing of finding him with us in our painful memories we were then able to deal with the present situation that was stirring up old emotions of loss, fear, anger, sadness, or abandonment.

 

Now having worked through the negative emotions, I can move on to look for positive ones.

Did I feel loved today, seen, heard, or appreciated?  Did something make me laugh, or feel happy or peaceful?  Spending a few moments appreciating these emotions leads right into gratitude. Gratitude is a great way to end any day.

 

Categories: Faith, growth, Prayer | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

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