Words to Remember From Joyce Rupp

I have needed to be compassionate toward myself when I was hurting. I have also needed to offer compassion and kindness to others. One of my best sparks for love and for forgiveness of old relationship hurts came from an image of myself at the Last Supper table, seeing my “enemies” seated next to me, all of us being loved equally by God. Another image that gave me courage and also freed me from mistakes and wounding behavior of the past was that of a beehive in my heart with golden bees making “honey of my old failures.”

Images have also reminded me how valuable a sense of humor is for healing. Mary Lou Sleevi portrays the widow Anna, in the Gospel of Luke, as the image of a woman who could laugh through the tough things of life: “Anna comes to Her Moment laughing. Those eyes have twinkled as she wrinkled…Her face the free expression of all that’s inside.” Perhaps, most of all, images have helped me to name my need to surrender and to trust God with my life. In order to be healed, I need a desire to let go, to get on with my life, rather than cling to the pain and memory of my old wounds. Some see surrender as negative because, for them, it implies a patriarchal approach to God, a giving in to a “higher power.” I do not envision it this way. I see surrender as a natural part of the cycle of life and, thus, it includes the spiritual path as well. I have learned much about having to let go of control by observing seasonal surrendering such as the plowed fields of spring accepting heavy rainfalls, summer’s fruitful days giving way to autumn harvesting, and winter’s wind whirling snowflakes into banks of beauty. My surrender does not seem passive to me. Rather, it feels like a strong trust in a loving One whose wisdom stretches far beyond mine. God can empower me, work through me, and weave patterns that I do not dream possible. I experience this as a great gift of love.

Dear Heart, Come Home (p. 127-128)

Prayer for Compassion

by Leeroy10Compassionate One,

when I am irritated or discouraged

by how my loved one responds

or does not respond,

fill me with compassion and kindness.

When memories of unpleasant experiences

of the past return,

assist me in extending forgiveness.

Help me, also, to be kind to myself,

to not deny the struggles.

Soothe my sore spirit

when I find the days especially difficult.

Forgive me for my own failings

and help me to overcome any guilt I have

for not always being my best self.

You know that these days are not easy ones.

Bless both of us with your merciful kindness.

From May I Walk You Home (pg. 35)

Benediction from Joyce Rupp

2015-05-Life-of-Pix-free-stock-photos-love-locks-bridge-leeroyBeloved God,

You have embraced us

With a love that endures all things.

The power of your unending love

Will see us through the times

When we feel empty and bereft.

When the days are long and desolate

Draw us to your heart,

Strengthen us, and comfort us.

Reassure us that the love we share

With one another

Will go on into eternity.

Beloved God,

Thank you for love

That is stronger than death.

Poetry for the Day: Writing

Writing by Joyce Rupp

I wait out sluggish days,

empty evenings, mulish

attempts to capture words

hiding themselves

inside the undulating sea

of my mental thesaurus,

not even remotely available

for me to scoot them

onto my fingers and

into necessary revision.

So I wait, and wait,

and wait some more

while I fumble uselessly

with worthless concoctions


one early dawn

the tide comes in

and the first word peeks out.

then they all follow,

and like a flock of gulls

I swoop in to snatch

the sea’s latest prey.WIP

Poetry For the Weekend

Joyce Rupp’s Greedy for Too Many Things

ravenous for too many things,

even spiritual growth,

greedy to grow without effort,

to have it all, to sit back and bask,

luxuriating in what was never mine

in the first place.

greedy for more time in the day

when I already have

all the time I need.

greedy for companionship

while I ignore the One Companion

always near.

greedy for, oh, so much,

while I miss the chipmunk

chewing on the sunflower seed,

the sound of soft July wind

rustling cottonwood leaves,

the color of azure sky as the sun

rinses morning out of it.

Something of Worth

I find that intentionally easing the fast pace of my days is indispensable if a spirit of hope is to be sustained in tough times.  Being overly active and involved in the constant bombardment of social media or other stress-induced activities whittles away my ability to go to the deeper places of life.  Without daily attention to what lies beyond the outer world I can easily get mired in the non-essentials and miss the hidden movement leading to future maturity.

…There awaits something of worth even though I may feel emptied and forsaken, beaten or humbled by loss.

From Joyce Rupp’s My Soul Feels Lean (pg. 87).

My Fear of Losing You

Beneath our enduring friendship

the unspoken, latent fear

I never mentioned to you,

that I would lose you

to work, to poor health,

to a faraway move

or something unforeseen.

And then one day I did lose you.

Death sliced you from me

with a condor’s swiftness,

ripped you out of

my fearful grasp without

a moment’s hesitation.

Always death wins

in who gets to keep.

You are gone now

and so is my old fear,

leaving plenty of room

for loneliness and sorrow

but also sufficient space

for the savoring of love,

the one thing Death

could not take from me.

From Joyce Rupp’s My Soul Feels Lean