Sorry  if you are receiving this twice – I’ve just reconnected to posting on facebook and this is a test.  Joan


“Instructions from the Lord: Pay attention, be astonished, tell about it.”  I found this quote from poet Mary Oliver in a book review in the Presbyterian Outlook. This is how I want to live.  I don’t care that irony and skepticism are the spirit of the day.  I don’t care that being astonished may make people smile condescendingly behind my back. I believe that the fingerprints of God are all over our world and that if I happen to slow down long enough to see them, astonishment, even excitement, is the  best response.   Astonishment is the response to beauty and goodness in the midst of so much that would squeeze the goodness out of life.  Seeing the presence of God flash out from everyday familiar things is astonishing  — like finding a dollar bill in the garbage.

A friend of mine is going through a hard time right now – broken in spirit over a desperate situation with  his children. One evening recently he stopped by the grocery on his way home from work.  In the meat department he happened to hear two employees talking.  The word “church” caught his attention.  Before he knew what he was doing he got their attention and asked “Are you Christians?” When they answered that they were, he said “Will you please pray for me?” One of the men asked my friend  what his problem was; then the men prayed with him using their native language which was Portuguese.

How astonishing that two Brazilians should stand praying over a Presbyterian in Portuguese  in the meat department of the Kroger!   It demands to be told.  And so I am telling you.