Last night as the group of women I meet with met we read a short reflection on the “prodigality” of God. This comes from the story of the prodigal son but the author spoke of how the father in the story is the real prodigal. He welcomes back this son who has come from the pig sties – likely smelling like it too – with open arms – which may mean a huge embrace for this smelly son. The father lavishes love and acceptance on this son who messed up so badly, welcomes him back with a huge party, even using some of the resources that would rightfully now be part of the older son’s inheritance. (No wonder the older brother is a bit miffed)
To the author “prodigality” = lavishness, giving excessive gifts, abundance that is given to un-meriting children.
She also reminds us of the story Jesus told in Matthew 20 of the workers in the vineyard. He tells the story of the owner of the vineyard who pays all his workers as if they worked a full day and when they protest he says, “Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?”
The story Dixie tells over at her blog of receiving a gift – out of the blue – that cheers her day reminded me of the reading from last night. It reminded me of the daily gifts that God lavishes on us that have little to do with their utility and certainly are not given because we merit them: the vivid colours of the sky at dawn and at sunset, the joy that music stirs in us, as do sounds of nature (the call of the geese at this time of year remind me of coming spring), the myriad shades of green and brown with splashes of color thrown in, the varieties of species.
We were reminded last night of our need to follow God’s example in this regard. Jesus lavished love on outcasts, prostitutes and sinners, sacrificing all to offer them a way to freedom. We need to be willing to risk falling prey to the occasional con artist in our attempts to care for people in need. We need to learn to love with the kind of abandon with which the Father loves.
O God, forgive us our miserliness when it comes to caring for others. Give us generous hearts, non-judgmental minds and open hands.
It was beautiful walking along the riverbank this afternoon – at least walking away from the wind. The wind still bites walking into it.
I am amazed over and over again by the bravery of the Canada Geese. They return before the river even has a hope of thawing, sail right on in and skid to a stop on the frozen surface. In pairs. What a honeymoon they have! Up here we don’t mind the geese so much since they tend to keep away from people places. They have enough wild places to settle in to I suppose. I hear that down in Regina they are already making pests of themselves on Wascana lake and in the parks.
I had a royal visit from a tiny princess last night. We had tea together and her dad watched this ridiculous show about demolition derbies from southern Ontario. What a crazy weird bunch! Didn’t know we had such backwoods boys in this fair land! The old guy sure needs a set of teeth.
Lately I have felt a bit like a lump of clay waiting for the potter to decide on where to squeeze me, prod me and shape me. It is hard to wait ’cause I think I should have some kind of shape. I have had a certain kind of shape for a long time and somehow it has begun to fit me poorly. I am sort of waiting for a make-over I guess. Maybe the make-over has begun – just no final shape yet and I am growing impatient with not knowing exactly for what purpose I will take shape. Which is kind of stupid since I am not the potter. I guess the time spent now being shaped, which I am sure is going on even if I don’t feel much, will result in what the potter wants.
I hope. It is hard to live in a liminal space.
I don’t want to live passively, as if nothing matters to me. I want to live expectantly even if I don’t know what is coming next. Learning to trust the potter with the design.
That is very figurative, I know. Waiting is hard. Waiting for things to move me towards retirement, towards new roles after that. Not knowing, waiting for pieces to fall into place, attempting to give some pieces a push. This in between place is a hard place to live.
The weekend was a bit chaotic. I was so tired yesterday. It was all very good and I was so happy to have all the kids home over the past few days but it is still more tiring than I realize until they are gone and the quiet settles in again.
I got a bit of time to go up and visit my littlest granddaughter yesterday afternoon, thinking that I would get a chance to do something useful for Michelle and help her out a bit. Instead, Kimia slept the whole time pretty much. I did get to hold her but I was also falling asleep. It was cozy and warm in the sun. Then Michelle got me a cup of tea and we chatted. I think they are doing fine. She is such a beautiful little thing.
Yesterday I also took about an hour in the afternoon and again a half hour in the evening to practice my bass. The songs are improving. If they didn’t go so bloody fast, I would be anticipating the concert coming up in two weeks with more excitment. Maybe I will be up to speed – but I doubt it. I will hit the occasional note and try to look "with it".
Today it is back to work. I wish I was still at home for some reason. This week is promising to be pretty cool, however and so, in spite of the geese’s return, I think spring is going to be a while in the coming. I hope I will find time this year to plant and putter in the yard.
Did you know that the geese came back today?
Promises of spring coming on the day that we celebrate the resurrection and the fulfillment of God’s promises to us for love and life everlasting.
I thought that was pretty cool.
It has been a good and full day – from the very cold (-13C) sunrise service at 7am to this beautiful afternoon (+2 C). There were 16 or so around my tables at noon aged from 84 yrs to a week and a half. We had turkey and ham and all the trimmings and then there was the great Easter egg hunt. Two boys running around so excited for each egg they found! And now Zaka has eaten just about all his chocolate eggs.
We were standing around the island watching Zaka deviscerate the chocolate bunny. There was a large hole from side to side – as if he had simply blown a hole in it. Right through the belly. I guess tonight he goes off with his father for a week or two. The guy showed up and wanted to take him away today but G stood her ground and he has been here with us and his cousins to help us all enjoy the day. We were discussing Zaka’s consumption of chocolate and the upcoming trip and what too much chocolate can do to the gut of a small boy. I guess we were not trying to keep him away from the chocolate that hard. I hope we can be forgiven for such things. I hate to see his mom so blue anticipating his departure. I am praying for a safe trip for him as he drives with his father to Edmonton. And a quick return. We love him so much.
Kieran got a new puzzle for Easter and that is what has been occupying him all afternoon. He can be entertained for hours with a puzzle.
Other children and grandchildren have come and now are gone again. At dinner, we had all five of our grandchildren and their mothers together. Picture time!
It was a good and very blessed day.