Let’s Grow Love
Let’s Grow Love
With steps towards
Good and beauty
Towards life and healing
You may find
You may find
You don’t have
All you need
And not finish
You will add
Piece by piece
To what you have
Wondering where did
It all come from
Whether it be word
Or color or brick or paint
It won’t matter because
It will be there
To fit into the place it goes
And you will see
Unfolding before your eyes
(Maybe not exactly as you thought!)
The dream, the plan,
The drawing, the house
finishing in all it’s glory
© 2016 Julie Clark
Lifting our eyes, just in time to see the eagle soaring towards us and then turning away.
Silently above us, searching for fish.
It caught one down the beach and began to break it’s fast.
How many times have I only caught a glimpse?
How many times have I missed it all, head down, worrying some problem in my mind, not present to the moment?
Yet, the eagle is there, as are all the other messengers, whether I see them or not.
But, what joy, when I am expectantly scanning and searching for those messages sent my way.
Today it was an eagle and a seal and an extremely low tide.
It was meeting Michael from DC with his two young boys who reminded me of my grandsons.
It was Debra with her hairless dog making us laugh.
It was Munira, fighting cancer, out for some fresh sea air. We blessed her and prayed for her healing. She said God sent you to me today – the first day of Ramadan.
It was connecting with strangers who become friends, building community in our neighborhood.
How well am I listening to the voice of my Shepherd?
Have I been searching his Word for his words to me?
Have I been watching his every move to move with him when he moves?
Am I slowing down when he does,
to stop and play with a child or
listen to another who needs my ears and comfort?
Have I stretched out my hand in healing as he does?
Am I studying his ways to match my ways with his?
Forgiving as he forgave me?
Forsaking condemnation and judgement,
while learning the art of love and compassion?
How well do I know his voice?
Enough that I do not follow the thousand voices
leading me down other paths far away from his?
How well am I listening to the voice of my Beloved?
The house was filled with light
as the sun rose
over the tree tops
over the lake
Warmth and light
expanded our hearts
We drank it in
as we had not seen the sun
in several days.
The light also pushed
into the shadows of the house
Showing what needed
a smudge here
a dust bunny there
a streak across the glass
Not to be afraid of the light
Let it in
Let it bring healing and cleansing
Not to be afraid of the hard work
of the soul
to bring deep lasting
to the shadow places in my heart
Oh that I would run to the light
and stay there
just as my small dog finds
a sunny spot
and curls up to nap
The past experiences
of facing my shadows
and not dying
but living through it
to become more whole
reminds me that I will again
live through any pain
the light may reveal
© 2015 Julie Clark
We will never be completely whole
while we are in our bodies
but we can help ease each other’s pain
when we love one another
Tastes of heaven along the way
given in various forms
depending on the gift and giver
spur us onward with healing and hope
The homesickness deep within
will always pull us towards our origin
to the day when we will be reunited
face to face with Love
May we let love grow and have it’s way
choose it every day, every chance we get
preparing in advance for
that glorious reunion
© 2014 Julie Clark
I woke up very groggy this morning. Fortunately, I am married to a man who wakes up alert and ready to go. On Saturday he wanted to find something we could participate in to honor the memory of Dr. King. He found out that the big events in our area had taken place already during the week. One thing that did pop up for today was a joint project between the Snohomish Tribe of Indians, City of Lynnwood, and Leaf School, (Learn-n-serve Environmental Anthropology Field) of Edmonds Community College .
Down the road about a mile and a half from our house there was a big gathering of around 150 people in a park (Gold Park). We were volunteers, pulling up invasive species and then later planting some native plants in the newly cleared areas. It was great to get down and a little dirty pulling up “stinky bob”. We worked a little plot that was full of them. The tribal members showed us a couple of dances, gave us T-shirts and served us lunch that Ivors provided. It felt good to be a part of something. We didn’t have to come up with the idea ourselves, just lend a hand in something big already happening. It was definitely an example of “many hands make light work.” I also am reminded again that small acts of goodness or kindness are very important and add up to make good changes around us.
The area we worked had a big mound in the middle. Our guide told us it probably was the family garbage dump. She pointed out where the main house had probably sat. So interesting to think about a family living there from 1954 to 1982. Dr. Gold with his family and an obstetrics clinic were right there across from where now is the Vietnamese produce store we frequent. We go by it all the time, park across the street to shop and then go on our way home. The park doesn’t look like much from the street. It is so much more than we thought.
In the park besides a forested area, there is an ethno-botanical garden called “Stolja Ali” which means: Place of Medicine. Those were the beds our team was clearing of invasive species. Now the native medicinal plants that the Snohomish Tribal members care for can have a little more breathing space. Maybe there was an additional kind of healing going on today besides the medicinal plants. On a day we remember a man who struggled so hard for people of different races to live together in peace and equality, a healing of hearts took place. We were different kinds of people coming together to do something good for the land. It was healing for me. I learned about plants and met some more of my neighbors. I had a chance to share some old comfy gloves with one woman handing out T-shirts. Her hands were cold and I was about to take those gloves off and put on my work gloves. One of those moments in time when an opportunity arises to do something good. I like days like today when I finally wake up and am alive to these opportunities.
Yesterday, in-between watching CNN, I sat down and wrote a blog on building Parent/Child Connections: http://faithfullparenting.wordpress.com/ This was one of my responses to the unfolding drama in Boston. I know it is just one piece, the parenting piece, in the complex array of broken pieces in this tragic story.
Why did this happen? There is the emigrant story, the broken piece where the emigrant does not assimilate to the American culture and life. To understand this more Mary Pipher does an excellent job in her book: The Middle of Everywhere: Helping Refugees Enter the American Community
Then there is the broken piece of radical religion. How does loving God mean doing something like this? It does not. God is love and this is not love.
Perhaps another cultural broken piece is family loyalty trumping everything. An older brother influences a younger brother to join him in an atrocious act. We could find and name so many broken pieces.
It is important to work through these questions on the road to recovery. Along with this, in order to heal we need to choose our response. There is a lot of hard work ahead to do in order to heal. Will we become haters? If we choose that route we align ourselves with the same spirit that motivated the terrorists and they win. We become like them. Anger is a normal response to grief, but we can’t stay angry and let it poison our souls. We must move beyond it to the hard work of grieving, sadness, and the seemingly impossible process of forgiving. Hate, revenge, and bitterness are not the answers we need for healing. They never are. They will only destroy us and turn our hearts to stone.
Dear Boston choose the harder path of healing and recovery and you will find yourself surrounded by heaven ready to help. Our prayers are with you.
Shall be found
Everything left behind
There is a rhythm
There is a rhyme
And a plan
A weaving and a spinning
Healing and redemption
When we see
As we are seen
As we are known
When love reigns
In the air
On the earth
And in the sea
© 2012 Julie Clark
Listening is a healing solace.
We talk about being God’s hands and feet
Can we also be his ears?
There are stories in need of telling,
Locked away for lack of listeners
Who will hear and not be judging.
It’s the first step to understanding.
With understanding grows compassion.
Listening is an act of peace.
If we listen to those who are different
We will get a new view
Of the world
Through their eyes.
When I listen to you
I stop hearing all my wants and needs
To give space to hear yours.
Peace can start
In the heart
Through the ears
When I listen to you
And you to me
And we both
When understanding grows
I can give a little
And you too.
We can forgive
And be free
From the terror
© 2011 Julie Clark