What Does It Mean?

There are lots of ways to interpret things, often times.

Different people look at the same painting, listen to the same song, consider a particular situation or opportunity that arises, or decision that is needed, and have different takes. It’s a mixed bag at best.

Some times those differences can seem vast. Sometimes those differences are unexpected. Sometimes the differences cause conflict; sometimes they sting.

Life is a lot about perspective, and experience, and how they shape each other. Perspective can influence how you experience something, certainly; but too, your experiences are at the heart of the perspective you have. They really inform each other.

So what does it mean? Does it mean if things don’t align, if people don’t agree, if the goal isn’t realized, do we simply give up?

You might choose that path, sure.

If you do that though, you sell yourself and the situation short. What can the moment teach you? What perspective can be broadened by remaining engaged?

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, with most every aspect of life turned upside down, nerves frayed after 30+ days of Shelter In Place, there’re a lot of folks asking lots of questions, struggling with all manner of our current situation.

So…? TAKE A DEEP BREATH. Take five deep breaths. It does wonders. Then ask yourself a few questions.

What experience can you gain, what can you learn, to be better next time, to understand more completely? And how can you continue toward your goals, even with differences you have with others?

In short, I think it means, “Keep at It”;

I think it means “Never Give Up.”

I think it means “Hang in there; you’ll find a way forward.”

Yes. Yes you will.

Divine Mercy

Divine mercy, that’s what He called it. Divine mercy, maybe that’s why he came. And as he hung there , up on that tree, little mercy did we show him that day. Yet, that’s why he came.

Filled with love, sure of love, fueled his mission to teach us a better way, closer to God.  Through repentance, forgiveness, mercy and love, a better way we’d find. 

So on this day, one week after the day that he rose, let us remember how he chose, why he chose, the love he poured out for us, the mercy God showed to us, teaching us forever the power and magic of humble mercy, the least we can offer, as we strive to be like him, follow him, love Him.

Maybe let’s start today, forgiveness, mercy, and love, that is the way.

Juxtapose

Side by side we go through life. So many different ways this plays out, consider these few. Unless we choose the hermitic life, we strive to live with others. Friends, colleagues, even strangers, we go through this world side by side. If we’re lucky, there’s even that ONE special, other person with whom we share our journey. Ideas are often side by side in our head, quickly joined by choices. What to eat for breakfast? What is our favorite flavor? Do I want silence or the radio on the way to work? Endless examples cloud the mind. What to with our time? The next year? Where shall we go this summer? What to do the rest of the day? So SO many choices, all juxtaposed, one to the other. How to discern? A very successful musician I follow and admire once talked about his work thus, paraphrasing, “…I’m spending a lot of time doing what I do…so I want it to be meaningful, and satisfying…after all, time is the most precision commodity we have — we have to use it wisely.” And so with the endless choices we have about all manner of things, it’s with the Big Ticket Items that I want to spend my energy working to identify and prioritize and then hone the skills to make the best path forward. Because life is full of uncertainty; but it’s also full of hope, if we have the right mindset. And then one of fundamental tricks is to turn that hope and desire into action, amidst the uncertainly. And make it GOOD.

Pivot

This word has been around a long time. So the dictionary says, it’s about four hundred years old, from around 1605–15; < French pivot (noun), pivoter (v.), Old French < ?

It means among other things, as a noun,

a pin, point, or short shaft on the end of which something rests and turns, or upon and about which something rotates or oscillates.the end of a shaft or arbor, resting and turning in a bearing.any thing or person on which something or someone functions or depends vitally.

And as a verb,

to turn on or as on a pivot.

Lately it seems like I’ve heard it more around economy and business narrative.

With the COVID-19 pandemic, seems like the world has had to pivot.

There’s been a lot of pivot at the local and family level too.

With Shelter In Place now pushing a month’s time in the San Francisco Bay Area and throughout much of the country, it’s meant we do most everything from home: work, play, learn, relax…really, live every aspect of our lives, in one place, with whoever we live with.

Dispatch From A House With Little Kids: IT’S NOT EASY. There’s been a lot of pivoting.

Planned to be on the concall — pulled away to help someone in the bathroom.

In the middle of trend analysis for a product line — HARD STOP interruption because the six-year old is melting down.

There was talk about manufacturing companies pivoting from their primary industry sectors to make ventilators, make safety masks, etc.

We’ve ALL had to pivot, to adapt to the circumstances before us. For tens of thousands around the world it’s been a matter of life or death. This I think brings it home. If we have our health, if our loved ones are safe, the rest is manageable at the end of the day.

Like the disciples after the crucifixion who had to find their way after Jesus was gone, we all have to adjust and move forward, into the unknown. It’s up to each of us. Make it so.

Lyrics Post: “You Will Be Found”

Brought to you by…

Ben Platt, Kristolyn Lloyd, Will Roland, Laura Dreyfuss & Original Broadway Cast Of Dear Evan Hansen Lyrics soundtrack)

I don’t think I’ve listened to this song once without having a tear or two dripping down my face…

[EVAN:]
Have you ever felt like nobody was there?
Have you ever felt forgotten in the middle of nowhere?
Have you ever felt like you could disappear?
Like you could fall, and no one would hear?

Well, let that lonely feeling wash away
Maybe there’s a reason to believe you’ll be okay
‘Cause when you don’t feel strong enough to stand
You can reach, reach out your hand

And oh, someone will come running
And I know, they’ll take you home

Even when the dark comes crashing through
When you need a friend to carry you
And when you’re broken on the ground
You will be found

So let the sun come streaming in
‘Cause you’ll reach up and you’ll rise again
Lift your head and look around
You will be found
You will be found
You will be found
You will be found
You will be found

[ALANA:]
Have you seen this? Someone put a video of your speech online

[EVAN:]
My speech?

[ALANA:]
People started sharing it, I guess, and now, I mean.. Connor is everywhere

[JARED:]
Your speech is everywhere. This morning The Connor Project page, it only had 56 people following it

[EVAN:]
Well, how many does it have now?

[JARED:]
Four thousand five-hundred eighty-two

[ALANA:]
Sixteen thousand two-hundred and thirty-nine

[EVAN:]
I don’t understand, what happened?

[CYNTHIA:]
You did

[ALANA:]
There’s a place where we don’t have to feel unknown

[COMMUNITY VOICES:]
Oh my god
Everybody needs to see this

[ALANA:]
And every time that you call out
You’re a little less alone

[COMMUNITY VOICES:]
I can’t stop watching this video
Seventeen years old

[JARED:]
If you only say the word

[COMMUNITY VOICES:]
Take five minutes
This will make your day

[JARED & ALANA:]
From across the silence
Your voice is heard

[COMPANY:]
(Someone will come running)
(To take you home)

[COMMUNITY VOICES:]
Share it with the people you love
Repost
The world needs to hear this
A beautiful tribute
Favorite
I know someone who really needed to hear this today, so thank you Evan Hansen, for doing what you’re doing
I never met you Connor, but coming on here, reading everyone’s posts
It’s so easy to feel alone, but Evan is exactly right..we’re not alone, none of us
We’re not alone, none of us
None of us
None of us are alone
Like. Forward
Especially now, with everything that you hear in the news
Like. Share. Repost. Forward
Thank you Evan Hansen, for giving us a space to remember Connor
To be together
To find each other
Sending prayers from Michigan
Vermont. Tampa. Sacramento
Thank you, Evan Hansen

[Overlapping:]
Repost
Thank you Evan
Thank you Evan Hansen
This video is
Thanks to Evan
This is about
Thank you
Evan Hansen

[COMPANY:]
Even when the dark comes crashing through
When you need a friend to carry you
When you’re broken on the ground
You will be found

So let the sun come streaming in
‘Cause you’ll reach up and you’ll rise again
If you only look around
You will be found (You will be found)
You will be found (You will be found)
You will be found

Out of the shadows
The morning is breaking
And all is new, all is new
It’s filling up the empty
And suddenly I see that
All is new, all is new
You are not alone
You are not alone
You are not alone
You are not alone
You are not alone (You are not alone)
You are not alone (You are not alone)
You are not
You are not alone (You are not alone)

[ZOE:]
Even when the dark comes crashin’ through
When you need someone to carry you
When you’re broken on the ground

[COMPANY:]
You will be found

So when the sun comes streaming in
‘Cause you’ll reach up and you’ll rise again
If you only look around
You will be found
Even when the dark comes crashin’ through
You will be found
When you need someone to carry you
You will be found
You will be found

[EVAN:]
You will be found

Taxed

Most often when we talk about taxes it’s the fiscal kind, the kind imposed by government on its people to raise revenue for services.

“Taxed” comes to mind in a similar fashion now as we head into the second month of the COVID-19 Sequester, “sheltering – in – place”, hunkered down trying to take care of ourselves, our families, our work, our health.

Most everyone is feeling “taxed”; in other words, weighted down, carrying the burden of the moment, expected to give up more of our normalcy for societal well-being, in the face of this virus pandemic.

Patience is at a premium; loneliness is on the rise; immediate income stability for millions is turned upside down. It’s stressful, it’s demanding, it’s difficult.

We’re taxed heavily right now, no doubt about it.

But once we’ve accepted it, once we’ve resettled the burden on our shoulders, we need to go forward anyway. One foot in front of the other.

“It’s HARD!”, you scream at the darkness, into the sky to no one in particular.

Well, taxed or not, keep going. You know the right thing to do. NEVER GIVE UP.

Find the Way

Find the way. That’s what they had to do after they find the empty tomb.

There was confusion and joy and disbelief and uncertainty. And so they had to find the way through all that to the next right thing.

Let us not only take heart in the hope of The Ressurection; let us also be bouyed by what they did next. They kept going. Some no doubt faded away; but the Apostles, they found their footing, they found their hearts on fire with faith and certainty that they had to continue the work Jesus had started. 

In similar fashion, we are called to continue our work. We are called to find the way forward on the unique mission each of us has.

Amen I say, AMEN.

Let’s get to it.


Risen

My anticipation, on the rise.

My appreciation, on the rise.

My simple joy, on the rise.

My expectation, on the rise.

My creativity, on the rise.

My discretion, on the rise.

My acceptance, on the rise.

My happiness with now, on the rise.

My humor, on the rise.

My awareness, on the rise.

My hope, on the rise.

My faith, on the rise.

My love, on the rise.

Paschal, Wood

Easter is a curious time. As a believer I’ve often struggled to find proper respect for the Passion; I’ve found the Resurrection similarly challenging at times. The Paschal Mystery is indeed well, mysterious to me. 

At different times, and different years, I’ve felt varying degrees of success and failure at connecting with this season.

This year with the usual bumpy life of family with three little kids, made the more dynamic this year, all awash the last four weeks with COVID-19 and Shelter In Place. I’d considered Lent and the coming Easter celebration off and on, reading to the kids a bit, participating in mass from afar through live stream. It’s felt mostly flat.

Until I listened to a homily by Brother Michael Joseph OFM Cap., a Capuchin Franciscan Friar. What follows are some of the notes i jotted down while listening to him talk. For all intent and purposes, these are his insights; all the same, I agree with them one hundred percent.

As a Christian believer, the cross is the very foundation of our faith. At the very center of the cross, this is the portal of transformation and rebirth. The wood of the cross is similar to the wood of the manger into which God entered the world. 

God became poor that we might become rich; God came into the chaos of the human world and took up the mantle of holy poverty to give us a perfect example of surrender and salvation. 

Jesus crucified shows us the depth of mercy and love and forgiveness that we are capable of with God’s grace. Indeed, through Christ crucified, Jesus nailed to that hard wood, God flooded humanity through all the world with mercy and compassion for all time.

This is the mystical and enchanted space of the Resurrection. Let us be filled with awe and praise and thanksgiving. Let us today and every day forward understand that through the wood of the manger and the wood of the cross, God gives us the perfect example.

Through the cross God conquered the ancient foe, and showed us that death does not win, that darkness and evil do not have the last word.  That is the central lesson of the Resurrection.

Light wins. Compassion and mercy and forgiveness win. And love, love wins.