Sunday, November 1, 2009

A Great Sandwich

My wife often says to me after I’ve made her a sandwich, “A sandwich always tastes better when you make it for me.” Well, I don’t know about that, but she seems to know a great taste when she bites into it.
There are way two many different kinds of sandwiches to even try to mention here but there is one that caught my attention as I was finishing up reading Brennan Manning’s book, Ruthless Trust.

One of the greatest things that flow out of the Father’s unconditional love is a broadening, expanding clarity in the bigger picture of His direct involvement in our/my daily living.

To deviate for a minute here I want to quote something that Manning said here, “Preferring agony or ecstasy to the ordinary and mundane, I try and pump up each moment with gaudy significance. Aware of my demented tendency to craft every situation into a polished diamond, friends remind me that every day is not a ten.”

Brennan (using my wording here) sites what is in my opinion a capturing of what it means to live in the nowhere, ‘now here.’
In the gospel account of Luke 21:1-2 Jesus heard a beautiful melody the only place it truly exists: Nowhere. It says that this melody caught his attention, “he noticed” a poor widow putting in two small coins into the offering, the music created by the widow’s sacrifice entered deeply into Jesus.
The juxtaposition of this encounter is sandwiched between what happened yesterday, the confrontation with the chief priests and the scribes over (a money issue) tribute to Caesar and tomorrow’s betrayal by Judas (another money issue) and the feast of Passover.

“The two words “he noticed” offer profound insight into the person of Jesus, highlighting his full attention to the present moment, his watchfulness, consciousness, sensitivity, perception, and unbridled appreciation for an unobtrusive old woman who tossed in her two coins and scurried away, figuring that if you’ve seen one bag lady, you’ve seen ‘em all.”

It is THROUGH immersion in the ordinary-the apparent empty, trivial, and meaningless experiences of a routine day-that life/Life is encountered and lived.
Real living is not about words, (oh I have so many of them) concepts, and abstractions, but about experience of who or what is immediately before us. The self-forgetfulness that such experience requires is the essence of contemplative simplicity.

God sees the little sparrow fall,
It meets His tender view;
If God so loves the little birds,
I know He loves me, too.


He loves me, too, He loves me, too,
I know He loves me, too;
Because He loves the little things,
I know He loves me, too.

He paints the lily of the field,
Perfumes each lily bell;
If He so loves the little flow’rs,
I know He loves me well.


God made the little birds and flow’rs,
And all things large and small;
He’ll not forget his little ones,
I know He loves them all.



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