Tuesday, November 29, 2011

New moon

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.

New moon,
inlaid in darkness
as smooth as polished stone,

skinny girl of light
bending over empty trees,
smiling, eyes closed,

ear of heaven
leaning toward my silence,
hearing more than I,

you welcome me to this time
of not knowing,
my mind with empty hands,

my heart like you,
so little seen,
like all the world, waxing,

pregnant with light,
turning gently,
what is, becoming.

Already, beyond my certainty
you are full and whole
and shining.

Deep Blessings,
Pastor Steve

Copyright © Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light


    by Sr. Ramona Cecille Daily

    I do not know what is wrong. My illness has not been named but it keeps me from the work I love and was called to do. The doctors said I had a “malaise”. That sounds glamorous. But in reality it is mysterious. I can be sitting, start feeling very, very tired and then I cannot move my legs, arms, neck. My speech is slurred or slowed. It resolves in an hour or so. I can breathe. I can think. My heart can beat. But I cannot move. This is very paradoxical. In between this paralysis I lead children, youth and adults in dance for worship.
    Unknown is an isolated, lonely place. Unnamed is the worst. Naming the demon is part of the healing. I have gone from doctor to doctor but they do not know either. They say it could be in my head. Well my head is attached to my body so the illness is in my mind, body and spirit. I went for cognitive behavioral therapy. I did my homework and talked about the past that troubled me. The therapist released me because I had grown in knowledge of myself and how to deal with the past when it jumps into the present. Yet the episodes continue.
    As a chaplain I walked with patients in their time of need. I have known some faithful, courageous, loving people in their suffering. They modeled the godly life for me. I am so grateful to them and their families for being in my memory today. Journeying with them taught me how to be a well informed patient who knows how to advocate for and participate in my own healing. They also taught me how to cry out, “How long?” (Psalm 13) as well as to trust God more in the time of suffering.
    One of my colleagues sent out a general e-mail regarding a Christian chronic illness website for support (RestMinistries.org). It features devotional articles, Bible study and chat rooms. It works like facebook. When I posted my information about my symptoms a woman in South Carolina responded and suggested a doctor who is an hour away from me. She and I are prayer partners now. I am not isolated. I went to visit the doctor. He is working with me on unraveling the mystery of my illness. I am not alone.
    My congregation has supported me with prayers, anointing and visits, meals and groceries, hugs and loving cards. My husband is here for me with emotional support as well as driving me wherever I need to go. I cannot drive. My 84 year-old mom calls me regularly to check on me. My whole family prays for me and encourages me in this extraordinary time.
    Yet I still do not know what is wrong. And I am comforted in knowing God knows all about it. I am comforted in knowing that I am not an unknown to God. God has called me by name. I am still God's person (Isaiah 43:1). I feel like I am going through the flood and the fire. But I remember, I am a baptized, named and known, child of God. Although I cannot do the ministry I used to, I can still pray even when I experience this paralysis. I have more time to pray for myself, those in my world and those in the world. Perhaps God is calling me at this time to be a prayer warrior. Who knows. Thanks be to God the all knowing, compassionate One!


  2. Mona, I hold you in my prayers. And God holds you in knowing arms. Peace, patience and hope be yours.
    Deep blessings,