Wednesday, January 19, 2022


      Dear All of Us, 


So many saints and sages 

sure got it just right.

One way and many they tell us

that if we want to get life just right, 

go where it's experienced just right,

go right to children.

Children haven't yet forgotten 

how to live free and full.

They, their way and wisdom,

come highly recommended:

   The people brought 

   children to Jesus,

   hoping he might touch them.

   The disciples shooed them off.

   But Jesus was irate

   and let them know it:

   "Don't push these children away.

   Don't ever get between 

   them and me.

   These children are at the 

   very center of life 

   in the kingdom.

   Mark this: Unless you accept 

   God's kingdom in the 

   simplicity of a child,

   you'll never get in."

   Then, gathering the children up

   in his arms, he laid his hands

   of blessing on them."

      Mark 10:13-16

       The Message

       What a referral.

It routes our spiritual life right -

          just right.

When life hurts, kids cry.

And if life hurts really bad,

kids cry really hard, loud and long.

Kids show us how to be present to hurt. 

They are also wide open to 

wide open arms of comfort and care.

Kids show us what to do and

where to go with our hurt. 

They model being in

God's Comforting Presence.

When life delights, kids have a ball.

Just get on over to the park

and watch them have to.

They play right into

a rip-roaring good time.

It's glee in high "G".

Kids show us how to play,

show us God's joy 

and exuberance

let loose.

It's God's Play Presence.

When we get in the game, 

play pry's us free from 

our often over wrought 

intensity and tightness.

It let's The Spirt flow 

fresh and freeing

right through us.

It's presence in the 

zippy, zesty Spirit.

If we hang out 

with Jesus and his 

  Kingdom Kids 

we get swept up

right into the 






Just see a baby and mother 

and we see how presence

is with us and God

if we just relax into it.

Relaxing into it is key.

So often and way too much

we strain to make things happen 

in our spiritual lives.

I remember obsessing as a young

wannabe saint in the seminary 

trying to 

    Practice the Presence of God.

It was exhausting.

Come to find out it wasn't up to me.

I was already profoundly present to God.

God was already profoundly present to me.

I just had to show up where I was -

be present to 

            The Presence.

So doing we find that 

God is absorbed in us

and enfolds us.


Again, children show us the way.

A baby asleep on its mother's lap

is really and securely 

in the presence of its mother.

It doesn't think it.

The child experiences it.

They are one.


A nursing baby and its mother 

are intimately one.


At other times the baby plays

with it's mother.


At still other times the baby 

is pained and cries.

The mother holds and 

comforts the baby.


It' a lived union way more than 

a conscious caught awareness.

The whole wonder of living in




    is simply beautiful 

if we'll let it be what it is.

It's not dependent on

the effort we put into it

and certainly not a matter of 

cerebral, conscious earnestness 

on our part.

We don't have to stress

until we are walking around 

in some sort of transcendent trance 

all the time.

It's infinitely wider and deeper

than those limits.

God is 


      in which we are 

      - are present -

We're already there.

Best to do as a child does

when at peace and secure 

in its mother's enfolding presence.

             Be There.

At times it is a conscious awareness.

At times it's an action awareness.

Always though, it is a shared presence,

a shared life in all its moments and modes.

As a growing child shares 

the being and doing of life 

with its mother,

so us with God.

    In him 

    we live 

    and move 

    and have 

    our being.

   Acts 17:28

However we are,

wherever we are,

whatever we do,

we do together,



present to each other.

We do life together.

We are life together.

As we get to be big kids

we learn, work, love,

serve, celebrate,

and yes, suffer together.

Over the years we experience 

knowing beyond knowing,

the way children do,

the way lovers do.

Living in


is living together all of life.

We drive together, 

we cook, 

have a headache together,

listen to Palestrina, 

we try to patiently suffer 

a noisy neighbor, 

we work our day job, 

we pray and meditate, 

we do what we can 

for others and for Mother Earth,

all and always in 


There are moments 

of awed awareness.

There are moments

beyond concept or word.

There are mostly moments 

of everyday living love,

practical presence.

We let God take care of all

types and shades of awareness -

sleep to soulful rapture.

Just be there on there's terms

There's where 

        "There Is"

                The Presence.

We do well to remember 

Mother Theresa.

For years on end she lived 

life together in God,

by faith, not consolation.

No spiritual goose bumps!

When we get strung out,


mixed up,

surface stuck,

conflicted or confused

 - and we do -

it's time to check out, 

even hang out 

with God's

  Kingdom Kids

Learn how to cling to God,

learn how to let God 

hold us tight, safe and close

when the ride is wild

to really wild.

When we are busy, 

happy, excited, working,

learning, sharing,

it's time to check out,

even hang out with 

God's Kingdom Kids.

They'll show us 

how to do it just right.

If we are freely, 

fully present to

  what is, as is, 

with the simplicity of a child 

we'll find ourselves in 

      The Presence 



There are many 

modes and practices

that help us "simple down" 

to that of a child.

We need to be sure, though, 

we don't get compulsive about it,

caught up in technique.

If we employ them to control 

our awareness of

 God's Presence

we are playing God 

and we just aren't there.

We're trying to capture God 

rather than to simply 

be caught up in God.

If we employ one or two of those 

many modes and practices

to get our controlling selves 

out of the way, we're on our way 

to where we are - in 

    The Presence of God.

Again and always, children are 


and show us how to be so.

A baby is present to being held, 

to being nursed, to being comforted.

Kids on the playground are 

"all in" to what is going on right 


     "These children are at the 

         very center of life 

          in the kingdom"

       "Unless you accept 

        God's Kingdom in the 

        simplicity of a child

        you'll never get in."

 So good to simply share together

          THE PRESENCE

            John Frank


   I'm eighty one.

   When I grow up 

   I want to be a kid

   and spend all my time 

   kidding around with God.



     frankly speaking

  spirituality for the street


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Have a great week.




The seen shows the unseen.

See a baby and mother

and we see God and us

living in 


of each other.

A baby asleep 

in its mother's arms,

playing with its mother,

crying with gas pains 

as its mother's sooths it

is living in her presence 

and she in his presence.

is totally in her presence.

It's not cerebral, rational awareness,

but it is beautifully real


At other times the baby 

is awake and plays 

with the mother.

There is awareness in

this enlivening presence.

At still other times the baby, 

pained by gas and crying,

is in the mother's caring presence.

as she sooths him.