Daily Riches: We Are Made By What Would Break Us (Krista Tippett)

“I’m not surprised by the fact that inexplicable and terrible things happen in a cosmos as complicated as ours, with sentient beings like us running the show. But I am emboldened by the fact that surprise is the only constant. We are never really running the show, never really in control, and nothing will go quite as we imagined it. Our highest ambitions will be off, but so will our worst prognostications. I am emboldened by the puzzling, redemptive truth to which each and every one of my conversations has added nuance, that we are made by what would break us. Birth itself is a triumph through a bloody, treacherous process. We only learn to walk when we risk falling down, and this equation holds—with commensurately more complex dynamics—our whole lives long. I have heard endless variations on this theme—the battle with illness that saves the life that follows; the childhood pain that leads to vocation; the disability that opens into wholeness and a presence to the hidden wholeness of others. You have your own stories, the dramatic and more ordinary moments where what has gone wrong becomes an opening to more of yourself and part of your gift to the world. This is the beginning of wisdom.” Krista Tippett

“Joyful is the person who finds wisdom,
the one who gains understanding.”
Proverbs 3:13

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Have you experienced being made by “what would break” you?
  • In what ways have terrible difficulties in your life become “an opening to more of yourself?” How would you describe that new self?
  • Have difficulties or tragedies helped to shape your “gift to the world?” What do you understand as your gift to the world?
  • If you haven’t been shaped or made more valuable by great difficulties in your life, why is that?

Abba, make me a good student of the mystery and art of living.

For More: Becoming Wise: An Inquiry Into the Mystery and Art of Living by Krista Tippett

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These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and God seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it. My goal is to share something of unique value with you in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest! Please leave a comment or question. – Bill (Psalm 90:14)

“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”

Daily Riches: Fanny Crosby – The Blind Angel of the Bowery (Robert Morgan)

“Fanny Crosby, the blind hymnist, was asked to speak to a group of blue collar workers [in Cincinatti]. Near the end of her address, she had an overwhelming sense that ‘some mother’s boy’ before her ‘must be rescued that night or not at all.’ She mentioned this to the crowd, pleading, ‘If there is a dear boy here tonight who has perchance wandered away from his mother’s home and his mother’s teaching, would he please come to me at the close of the service?’ Afterward a young man of about eighteen approached her, ‘Did you mean me?’ he asked. ‘I promised my mother to meet her in heaven, but the way I have been living, I don’t think that will be possible now.’ Fanny had the joy of leading him to Christ. Returning to her room that night, all she could think about was the theme ‘rescue the perishing,’ and when she retired that night she had written the complete hymn. …Many years later, Fanny was speaking at the YMCA in Lynn, Massachusetts, and she recounted the story behind ‘Rescue the Perishing.’ After the service, a man approached her, his voice quivering. ‘Miss Crosby,’ he said, ‘I was that boy who told you more than thirty-five years ago that I had wandered from my mother’s God. That evening you spoke, I sought and found peace, and I have tried to live a consistent Christian life ever since. If we never meet again on earth, we will meet up yonder.’ He turned and left, unable to say another word. But Fanny later described it as one of the most gratifying experiences of her life. …This song served as a prelude to Fanny Crosby’s second career. About age sixty, she began working downtown rescue missions, spending several days a week in lower Manhattan, witnessing to the down-and-out. Despite her fame as a hymnwriter, she chose to live in near poverty in New York’s ghettos, for she felt a calling to minister to the needy. Just a few blocks from her little tenement apartment was the Bowery, a haunt for alcoholics and where every kind of vice flourished. There Fanny would go day after day to rescue the perishing.” Robert Morgan

“Down in the human heart,
crushed by the tempter,
feelings lie buried that grace can restore.
Touched by a loving heart,
wakened by kindness,
chords that are broken
will vibrate once more.
Rescue the perishing,
care for the dying.
Jesus is merciful,
Jesus will save.”
Fanny Crosby

“the Son of Man came
to seek and to save the lost.”
Luke 19:10

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Have you experienced the miracle that can result from the “touch” of a loving heart?
  • If you’re not ministering to others, is there some good reason?
  • Imagine moving to the Bowery in your sixties. Are you available to God like that?

Abba, some are so crushed by the tempter, they’re seem beyond being helped–the “perishing”, the “dying.” Use me to rescue them just the same.

For More: Then Sings My Soul by Robert Morgan

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Thanks for reading/following my blog! –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

 

 

 

Daily Riches: Aging As Spiritual Formation (Gordon Livingston, John O’Donohue, Pat Benatar, Robert Frost)

“The afternoon knows what the morning never suspected.” Robert Frost

“Many old people report the feeling of invisibility experienced by other minorities. This takes the form of being ignored in stores by salespeople, seeing few desirable reflections of themselves in popular culture, becoming the object of obligatory visits and phone calls from family members, and above all, no longer being treated as if they have anything useful to say. It is this latter experience, not being listened to, that is the most galling for the elderly. … ‘Getting old is not for sissies’ is an accurate statement of the predicament faced by the old in a youth-obsessed society. Perhaps our final obligation is to sustain the physical and psychological blows that accompany our aging with a dignity that eschews self-pity. …If we can retain our good humor and interest in others even as the curtain closes, we will have contributed something of inestimable value to those who survive us. We will have thereby fulfilled our final obligation to them and expressed our gratitude for the gift of life that we, undeserving, have been given and that we have enjoyed for so long.” Gordon Livingston

“It is lovely to meet an old person whose face is deeply lined, a face that has been deeply inhabited, to look in the eyes and find light there.” John O’Donohue

“I’ve enjoyed every age I’ve been, and each has had its own individual merit. Every laugh line, every scar, is a badge I wear to show I’ve been present, the inner rings of my personal tree trunk that I display proudly for all to see. Nowadays, I don’t want a “perfect” face and body; I want to wear the life I’ve lived.” Pat Benatar

“Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Harran.”
Genesis 12:4

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Do others ever make you feel “invisible?” Do you feel the need to be visible?
  • Has God made changed you or made you more useful by allowing you to be treated like “other minorities?” If so, how?
  • Have the losses of aging, in some ways made you better? If so, how?

Abba, each day I’m less “perfect” … and also perfected a little more. Thank you.

For More: Too Old Soon, Too Late Smart by Gordon Livingston

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These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”