1247. September days have the warmth of summer in their briefer hours… ~Rowland E. Robinson

Suffering invites us to place our hurts in larger hands.
In Christ we see God suffering – for us.
And calling us to share in God’s
suffering love for a hurting world.
The small and even overpowering pains
of our lives are intimately connected
with the greater pains of Christ.
Our daily sorrows are anchored in a
greater sorrow and therefore a larger hope.
~Henri J.M. Nouwen

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As I grapple with summer’s still sweltering heat, I have to remind myself that humanity has observed adverse aberrations of nature millennium after millennium and that out of the chaos order eventually returns.  Author, Peter Saint-Andre, says  nature “can inspire, enlighten, send shivers up the spine, delight, anger, frighten; it can make one think, feel, shake one’s head in astonishment, cry, laugh out loud; it can evoke feelings of triumph, melancholy, light-heartedness, serenity, excitement, boredom, rightness, anxiety, joy, sorrow.”  And I agree with him on all counts but until some level of coolness settles, it is challenging for me to experience much excitement and serenity.  Only now when, in the midst of the feverish misery, the wild purple eryngo blooms does the melancholy begin to lift a little.

Even if He causes suffering, He will show compassion according to His abundant, faithful love. ~Lamentations 3:32  ✝

**Image taken by me along a country road in our area. These amethystine beauties can be found blooming  this time of year in fields ravaged by summer’s heat.

1221. It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye. ~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Remember, the entrance to
the sanctuary is inside you.
~Rumi

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Creation is not simply a gift; it is “a self-giving of God whose image is to be found deep within all living things.” Too, it is the very “dwelling place of God,” Himself. Think about that for a moment and let it soak in. Not only are we standing on sacred ground wherever we go, but it has been and still is a place in which God stands right along side us. That means that despite the fact that His Creation is an ever-present mystery, the faithful, benevolence of its Maker indwells the conundrum. So ‘tis therein He should be sought as well as honored, revered, and trusted. To me, one of the most interesting things to note about Yahweh is that He created light first, and light is at the heart of all life. Thus utter, unending darkness can be naught but self-imposed for the Lord ensured that even nighttime would have a modicum of light from the moon and when its gone from the limitless array of stars. So it is that within the “mystery” of Creation there are parabolic lessons which are sometimes best pondered by the li-li-light of the moon.

Night, the beloved.
Night, when words fade
and things come alive.
When the destructive analysis
of day is done, and all that is
truly important becomes whole
and sound again. When man
reassembles his fragmentary self
and grows with the calm of a tree.
~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars which you have set in place, what is mankind that your are mindful of them, human beings that your care for them? You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor. You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet… ~Psalm 8:2-6  ✝

**Sunlight and moonlight images via Pinterest

1183. A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives. ~Jackie Robinson

The purpose of life is not to be happy.
It is to be useful, to be honorable,
to be compassionate,
to have it make some difference
that 
you have lived and lived well.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 1 Peter 4:10  ✝

**Image found on Pinterest; text added by Natalie

968. O rain, tear-like drops of almighty nature…in times of need you are a blessing. ~Excerpted lines from a poem by George Krokos

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A
drop
of rain is
like a sudden
knock at the door.
Unexpected, yet often
welcomed with a smile. It
can brighten your day or ruin
your plans. It can make you laugh
or make you sad. Whether a raindrop
is moving fast or slow, or is big or small,
it always gets everyone’s attention. A rain-
drop contains many secrets. It’s a bubble of
excitement and wonder cleansing the earth,
nuturing the flowers, and filling the cracks.
The rain is seldom silent. It taps on roofs,
spatters on the windows, and splashes
down making mud puddles; those
are ways for raindrops to play.
Pitter patter, pitter pat
Pat, pat, pat!

Rejoice in the Lord your God, for he has given you the autumn rains because he is faithful. ~Excerpted line from Joel 2:23   ✝

**I found this clever rain drop on the Internet and then changed it somewhat to make the shape a little more a drop of rain.

735. Be empty of worrying…. Why do you stay in prison when the door is so wide open? Move outside the tangle of fear-thinking. ~Rumi, as interpreted by Coleman Barks

I will not die an unlived life.
I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire.
I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me,
to make me less afraid, more accessible,
to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch, promise.
I choose to risk my significance; to live so that which came
to me as seed goes to the next as blossom,
and that which came to me as a blossom, goes on as fruit.
~by Dawna Markova

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Grass

~by Mary Oliver

Those who disappointed, betrayed, scarified! Those who would still put their hands upon me! Those who belong to the past!

How many of us have weighted the years with groaning and weeping? How many years have I done it how many nights spent panting hating grieving, oh, merciless, pitiless remembrances?

I walk over the green hillsides, I lie down on the harsh, sun-flavored blades and bundles of grass; the grass cares nothing about me, it doesn’t want anything from me, it rises to its own purpose, and sweetly, following, the single holy dictum: tto be itself, to let the sky be the sky, to let a young girl be a young girl freely–to let a middle-aged woman, be comfortably, a middle-aged woman.

Those bloody sharps and flats–those endless calamities of the personal past. Bah! I disown them from the rest of my life, in which I mean to rest.

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Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. ~Psalm 23:4    ✝

**Lord, thank you for this faithful promise above and for the blessed encounter today with someone who, whenever I see her, never fails to put the wind, the holy ruach, back under the frail wings, the torch, and the promise of this aging woman.

**Both images via Pinterest

687. Live simply, love generously, care deeply, speak kindly, leave the rest to God. ~Ronald Reagan

Help us to be ever faithful
gardeners of the spirit,
who know that without darkness
nothing comes to birth,
and without light nothing flowers.
~May Sarton

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In dwelling, live close to the ground.
In thinking, keep to the simple.
In conflict, be fair and generous.
In governing, don’t try to control.
In work, do what you enjoy.
In family life, be completely present.
Be content with what you have;
Rejoice in the way things are.
When you realize there is nothing lacking,
the whole world belongs to you.
~Excerpted lines by Lao Tzu

You, Lord, are my lamp; the Lord turns my darkness into light. ~2 Samuel 22:29   ✝

**Image found on Pinterest

686. Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom. ~Marcel Proust

We only part to meet again.
Change, as ye list, ye winds;
my heart shall be the faithful compass
that still points to thee.
~John Gay

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Once one steps into cyberspace via the internet, he/she opens the door to being able to speak to “strangers” all over the world. And even if there is no photo attached to their blog post, over time a recognizable “identity” develops from the kinds of things posted, be they words or simply images of some sort. Then as time passes and interactions continue with these “strangers,” one is not only able to learn more and more about who he or she is but also more about himself/herself from ongoing conversations or the sharing of images. Another fascinating aspect about this process is that through nothing more than this kind of “distant” and “blind” communication, lasting relationships develop, genuine fondnesses grow, and abiding love and respect occur. For, distance, it seems, never separates the hearts of those who come to care for one another and shared experiences as well as the building of memories make it possible for love to span miles and miles of vast distances.  This is not surprising since It is from and in God’s love which knows no boundaries that we are made and sustained, and it’s in the redeeming love of Jesus that we find salvation.

Once the realization is accepted that
even between the closest of human beings
infinite distances continue,
a wonderful living side by side can grow,
if they succeed in loving the distance between them
which makes it possible for each to see
the other whole against the sky.
~Rainer Maria Rilke

Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. ~1 John 4:11   ✝

**Image via Pinterest