Thursday, June 25, 2020


Dear All of Us,

Next time someone asks us
       "What are you doing with yourself these days?"
how would we answer:
         "I have a level eight position in the Department of Labor"
       "I write poetry"
         "I don't have one hell of an idea!"
       "I teach second graders"
       "I drive for UPS"
       "I volunteer at the church food pantry"
       "I just had a baby"
       "I do portrait photography"
       "I am wasting away in a dead end marriage."
       "I cook hamburgers at McDonalds"
       "I read and travel"

If the follow up is
       "How much do you love what you do?"
how would we respond:
         "I grin and bear the grind"
       "Can't wait to do it"
       "It puts food on the table"
       "It's ok sort of some times"
       "It gets me firing on all eight cylinders"
       "I absolutely hate it"
       "Couldn't love it more"
       "I simply..."

Well, how about this response to both quires:
          "I do beauty and I love it."

That's the counsel of our delightful, sassy, 
down to earth and all the way up to heaven,
Sufi mystic and spiritual friend, Rumi.
His response is:


What wisdom!
How positive and alive!
It means that whatever we do, 
easy or hard,
we let it come from love, 
love of the beautiful,
even if that love is buried under a pile of pain at times.
Love merges us with the beautiful.
That enlivens, energizes.
Then whatever we do is a doing of beauty.
At the core of all is love and that love is God:
             "God is love." 
                                        I John 4:8
All our doing then flows from being in Love,
being in God,
loving the beauty of God all about and within
and the beauty we love is what we do:
       - raising a child 
       - absorption in Taize chant
       - cooking supper for the homeless
       - being awash in scripture
       - visiting the lonely
       - getting lost in the sunrise
       - writing to a friend,
       - forgiving an offense
       - caring for the marginalized
       - trying to make the best of a really bad situation
       - letting go in prayer
       - at work and at play
       - everywhere and always
and all that doing is beautiful.

About now I can hear,
           "Oh yeah? 
         Sounds great, 
         pretty poetic and all that,
         but what about
         the person working a deadening assembly line to support the family,
         the woman in labor for twenty hours,
         the dedicated social worker dodging bullets in Chicago,    
            the politician at risk for playing it clean and principled?"
Not ease, but those folks sure are in Love with something beautiful
and what they do because of that Love sure is a beautiful doing,
even if painful.

Over the next week 
let's savor these scriptures,
sensing The Spirit,
seeing ever more how we can 
let the beauty we love be what we do.
It might help to spell it out in our journal:
           how do/can each of these three scriptures
           get lived out in our actual, daily doing?
         " Do everything in love."
                                                              I Corinthians 16:14
         " Whatever you do, do with all your heart,
           as working for the Lord..."
                                                              Colossians 3: 23
         " So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do,
           do it all to the glory of God..."
                                                              I Corinthians 10:31

While reflecting on all this, 
one of our community here 
at "frankly speaking" drew a word tree. 
The trunk and branches 
are words reaching upward and outward, 
bespeaking the beauty/love doing in her life.
Here's her's in the hope of encouraging us 
to draw out ours.

                            family  invite  
                         entertain  culture  
                   awe   museums  watercolor  
                                      church home 
                          cooking classes
                         create community


               Great to be doing this blog with you.

                               I love it!

                     In The Love Who is God

                             John Frank


             Every week we have new members 
             joining our little gathering here.
             Among others, we were graced 
             this week with a large number
             of new folks from The United Kingdom.
             We count ourselves blessed 
             by your presence and sharing.

                       "frankly speaking"
                   spirituality for the street

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                     See you next week!!