Wednesday, April 24, 2024


Dear All of Us,

Before we get started, 

a few words about 

the words that follow.

This week's posting

is about love making,

     God and us

  Divine Intimacy

It employs forthright,

real life love language.

It does that in the 

unabashed manner,

freedom, spirit and joy of

    The Judeo-Christian Scriptures

    Medieval Christian Mystics

    Sufi Mystics

    Among so wonderfully more.

Explicit metaphors 

to make explicit

the majesty of

Divine Coupling.

Explicit metaphors

to move us

to move in

with God.





No matter how sincere, urgent, 

passionate, well intentioned,

we just cannot make love 

to someone 

who is not there.

Fact of life.

Yet, that fact is missed 

in a huge swath 

of spiritual teaching and

leads millions upon millions 

to spiritual frustration and

discouraged disengagement.

Sad such the spirituality 

that fixes God in heaven, 

us are on earth.

      Distinction and distance


         fixed in place.

Sure, it says that

God has good hearing and 

God way up there in heaven

hears our prayers.

But God is still way up there 

in heaven and we are 

still stranded way down here,

earth bound.

We and God exchange 

vibes varied 

- revelation, prayer, 

  ritual, sacrament -

but still that

fixed, far apart,

distance and distinction.

No love making.

We just have to wait it out 

til we are outed to heaven

to be bedded by God,

to be totally present 

to each other.

In practice it's not actually

      The Practice of 

   The Presence of God

so much as it is 

   The Practice of Patience 

   Until We Are Present

          With God

         In Heaven

Yet, that same,

far out spirituality

urges us to go ahead anyway

and give it a go at trying

to live out

      The Practice of 

    The Presence of God

Frustration fraught!

Quite frankly, that's like 

trying to have sex

on a Zoom Call.

No go!

Digital connection doesn't do it.

Neither does

   God there

        us here spirituality,

us spirituality slugging away trying 

to picture, see, sense, achieve 

a direct line connection to 

       God Intimacy

We just can't do it.

Wrong number.

"This call cannot be completed,"

nor can our embrace unto 


until the celestial by and by.


   "...misleads millions upon millions 

    to spiritual frustration and

    discouraged disengagement."



      absolutely necessary

          we get into a 

      totally different mode,

get on a completely different 


The reset is that God is 







  Anyone, Anything 

    that has being

       does so


      The Being 

        that is 




Paradox for sure.

Potential even more for sure.

"In him we live and have our 


         Acts 17:28

So does all Cration.

Speaking of Christ:


    "...all things were created 

     by him and for him...and




            things hold


       Colossians 1:16-17



      comes from him.


      happens through him.


      ends up

             IN HIM"

       Romans 11: 36

        The Message


      All that "be's" is 

     "varied together"


 The Ground of Our Being


 Thank you, Martin Buber.


So, yes God is in heaven

and just as "yes" 

God is everywhere 

and everyhow else.

So, bring it on!

    "God is love"

    1 John 4:16

     and we do 

     more than 




       as in 


         - L. "inter" - between

         - L. "currere" - flow, move


as in course through, 

as in flow through

each other



 It's free, full




Our reset is to 

stop stressing

to reach God 

and let God 

choose how 

   to be 


   to us.

As we relax to





    God is 





  We are 


   in God

We don't have 

to seek it,

It's ours 

to wake to it,

to see and sense it,

to open wide to God

as God chooses

to be present to us.

As they say 

in Sheboygan, 

"Ya gotta be there!"



because God 

is already there 

     and just 

plain passionately

wanting, waiting.

God is our environment.

God is our divine milieux 

       Thank you 

  Teilhard de Chardin

         God is, 

 "being" present to us,

     inviting us to




   through each other 

in the Love that is God

    in who we are

    in what we are

    in how we are

    in where we are

    in what we are about


No need to wait it out  

until the celestial

by and by.

We don't have to wait.

We don't have to relocate.

We just need to slow it down

to fall into God's Presence.

We just need to 

let go, 

open up,

to be enfolded 

into God Present as

    we fold the wash,

    drive the car,

    go to school

    do our work,

    drink our wine,

    share sacraments

    take a deep breath,

    tell a joke,

    sing a hymn

    are patient with a pest,


    take a shower,

    hold a baby,

    grow a garden,

    be a church,

    steep in scripture,

    seek The Common Good,

    as we endeavor

        "To act justly,

          and to love mercy

          and to walk humbly 

          with your God."

             Micha 6:8

       in prayerful contemplation

       as we reverence and repair

             the elements,

       as we discover God present 

            through all we 

              see, hear,

             taste, touch,



             intuit, feel,


            It's like the sun 

            shining on us

            into us

            in all sorts of rays.

So what about all the dark,

dirty, rotten, painful stuff?

It is God Good fouled

by human sin and weakness.

It is God Energy twisted 

hideous and destructive.

We are present with God

suffering through it all 

to redemptive rightness 

and freshness.

As Augustine said,

God is closer to us 

than we are to ourselves.

That's pretty intimate.

We chill to the warmth of God 

as our core and more.

So, we let God be God.

So, we let God do 

   the heavy lifting.

So, we let God "presence" 

   where and how God does -

   the times, tones, 

   textures, touches.

So, we soften to let all

be the unique

God Presence it is.

So, we let God take the lead 

    in love making and thrill to it.

So, we allow surprise -

     God draws us into Love

       in the sensual to the spiritual -

     a delicious Friday night pizza 


          contemplative joy

           holding a baby.

So, God shows up in the 

     here and the now -

     after all, that's the only 

     place and time we really have,

     and the only place and time 

     where/when love making can be.

                  AH YES,


                is present 



               right here, 

               right now

  (even writing/reading this blog)

        and we are invited

           to the endless 


         and completing 




         Love Making,


          Real Deal

     The Practice of the

       Presence of God



Next Posting:


        May1, 2024

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         May3, 2024

           A Heart Felt 


              to all

             here at

       frankly speaking

    spirituality for the street

Again, greetings to the growing groups


              HONG KONG



joining in our sharing here each week.

We are blessed and delighted!



      Simply scroll down 

      below this posting

           Thanks for giving 

    this somewhat unique posting

       your heart's attention.

         See you next week.

             GodLove to all

              John Frank











Wednesday, April 17, 2024


Dear All of Us,

Right off the top

I want to thank each and all 

for letting me be with you

each week, sharing 

what and as I can.

You are generous and 

I am grateful.

So is my wife.

Writing this blog each week 

keeps me off the street 

and out of trouble.

My wife doesn't get phone calls

from the police anymore to

"Come get the little old man 

with the walker

down at the park

trying to get teenagers 

to let him play

tackle football with them!"

And to think the medical people say 

the last thing to go is our hearing.

Hope not. 

I'm holding out for 

a robust sense of humor 

right up to take off!!

In the mean, 

make that "merry" time,

let's blog on.

So, remember way back when:

"Pat-a-cake, Pat-a-cake, 

Baker's Man"?

Such fun action as kids 

and we've all been busy 

ever since making 

a lot more than patty cakes. 

We're genetically 


It's in our soul's DNA.

It shines out early on 

as making 

paper dolls and paper planes,

moves on to 

making the bed,

making friends, 

making numbers and nouns 

    work out in school, 

making it work at work,

making love, 

making a family,

making things right 

making poems, gardens, 

    music and art,

    software and supper,

making church a community,

making the environment safer,

making peace.

More and continuously


The Genesis story tells 

from whence all this originates.

Genesis pictures God as 


and having one heaven of 

a good time at it, too!

God saw all that God had made

was really, really good, 

was mighty pleased with it, 

and then God took a day off.

Come Monday, 

right back at it and 

on a roll ever since.

Creation isn't a was.

Creation is an is.

Creation is a 

   right now always.

Creation is a flow,

an outpouring of 

God Goodness.

The God Dynamic 

is shared in elements,

animals, vegetables, minerals,

         all that is, 

earth dirt to star dust.

There is this progressive

expansive surge to it.

So far we still don't know 

the tiniest of its pulsations

nor the extent of its vastness.

Genesis reports God 

creating us people 

in the very image

and likeness of God 

- a shared DNA -

and asking us to help guide

God Goodness evolving 

creatively and endlessly. 

So, what does that 

look like where we live,

in our right now?

Well, it's vast, wonderful

and wide open.

Literally everything we do

is meant to be creative,

us in sync with 

           The Creator,

together as



A little add on to 

the examples above  -

God and us together,

creative busy:

- making soup 

- making room for interruptions

- making space for differences

- making music, in the shower 

  or at church

- making well an item 

  or service at work

- making a garden

- making a conversation good

- making a visit to a lonely person

- making plans for a family vacation

- making up after a fight

- making the roads safe 

  by how we drive

- making the house commodious,

  the yard a bright/right place

- making newcomers welcome

- making pesty paperwork 

  a zone for patience

  (I betray a bias here!)

- making things as 

  just and kind as we can

- making The Common Good 

  our goal and benchmark

- making a party

- making childhood 

  safe, expansive, wondrous

- making an art of all we do,

  doing it with God 

I hope this little reflection 

enthuses our hearts 

and frees our spirits 

to jump in with God,  

    Team Creators


     Happy Holy



Next Posting


        April 24, 2024

Next Email Delivery


        April 26, 2024 

"The creation of the world 

 did not occur 

at the beginning of time, 

it occurs every day."  

Marcel Proust

       A Warm Welcome

        to all joining us 

  for the first time this week.

      A special greeting 

      to the group from


We appreciate your company,

        one and many

and hope you'll feel right at home

here at   

            frankly speaking

       spirituality for the street


            by scrolling down 

          beneath this posting

          IT IS SO HELPFUL

                to have  

          frankly speaking 

          shared with others

          widening its reach. 

         Thanks many much

         for sharing it with others.

    God is making God Good


   we are invited to be active

         in the joy of it.

    We actually get in on 

  God making good on his 


     Have a great week 

       at this holy work.

          Love to all,

         John Frank


Wednesday, April 10, 2024


Dear All of Us,

"Don't you just love it when..."

really isn't a question.

It's a vent.

We're ticked and 

we're gonna 

let the world know it. 

It has a twin.

They're not at all identical.

"Don't you just love it when..."

isn't a question.

It's a delight.

We're not ticked.

We're tickled pink and 

we're gonna 

let the world know it.

"Don't you just love it when 

when the neighborhood pest

mows his lawn at midnight 

every Friday?

"Don't you just love it when

Grandma has us over for 

the world's best ever apple pie 

right out of her oven

every once in a while?"

Long the lists and 

critically important.

That's because


Love makes one.

Love isn't just a preference.

Love is more than an attachment.

Love is union.

Love is a merger making one.

As we are what we eat

and it determines 

our bodily health and vitality,

so who/what we love

determines our fundamental

spiritual health and vitality.

If we truly love someone,

we are "an item,"

we are a one 

and it shows.

It puts a skip 

in our soul stepping.

If we really love porn,

we are what it is -

love phony and failed.

It trips up our soul stride.


Our spiritual quest 

is for what is good.

Anything good is 

an emanation,

a pulsation, 

a presence,

a particularization



"God alone is good."

    Mark 10:17

"Every good and 

  perfect gift 

  is from above,

  coming down from 

  the Father of the

  heavenly lights..."

      James 1:17

Mix it up with good 

   and we are 


    in God.

We're "in" Love

  "God is Love."

    1 John 4:8


We love God in 

God's presence 

and good gifts.

So, we just love:

     shrimp scampi

     a Morris West novel

     riding in a convertible

     having friends over 

     Hymn Sings

     growing a garden

     Contemplative Prayer

     playing tennis

     working at Habitat for Humanity

     a spiritual retreat


     songs by The Brillance

     getting dressed up 



     reading to a child

     a freshly made bed

God is as close as 

anyone and everything 


Genuine spiritual life 

sure is spritely spirited.

We're full time, 

flat out,

into good, 

One in God Good

and do we ever 



Next Posting


      April 17, 2024


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      April 19, 2024

        frankly spwaking

    spirituality for the street


          Just scroll down

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Thanks for your good company!

          "I just love it!"

            John Frank






Wednesday, April 3, 2024


Dear All of Us,

Please be patient.

What follows is about 

a lot more then 

name dropping.

Over the years ,

have connected 

with more than a few 

well placed people.

I exchanged hellos with

Eleanor Rosevelt.

In a crowd I shook hands 

for about one second with

John F. Kennedy.

I am associated with 

the retired CEO of a major

communications network.

Chatted with 

G. Mennen Williams.

Mixed and mingled 

at an event with 

Helen Hayes and 

Sidney Poitier.

Had a private visit 

with Cardinal O'Boyle.

Have been with Richard Rohr

on numerous occasions.

Had an hour all to myself 

with Gerald May.

Nodded and smiled as 

Kattie Hepburn and I 

were leaving the A&P 

in Edgartown, 

Martha's Vinyard -

she drove off in a Jeep, 

 - what a woman!

Worked closely with

Bishop Lawrence B. Casey

 (and liked him a lot!).

Exchanged pleasantries 

with Eric Sevareid,

pundit at CBS News.

Am on a first name basis

with a number of

United Methodist Bishops.

Rowan Williams, former 

Archbishop of Canterbury,

greeted us and held the door 

as my wife and I left church 

one morning

(lovely fellow).

For all of that,

             SO WHAT!

Most of these well placed people 

are now placed six feet under.

Many of them 

are not widely known,

or have no place 

in the public's 

orbit of significance.

To fuss over them 

would be misplaced

pride of place.

The real pride of place,

   - ready for this - 



You are one of a kind,

 hand crafted by the 


     on purpose,

  out of sheer love,

    brimming with 

     hope and joy.

    The Ultimate,

     Love Itself,

God of the Universe 

and endlessly beyond,

     chooses to be 

 placed and present

        in YOU, 

        by YOU,

        in YOUR body,

    where YOU are,

with YOUR personality,

present and active through


You are the object 

of Infinite Passion.

God chooses to do 

much good,

uniquely so,

in and through you

in your place and way.

God is the core of 

who you are.

Talk about being 

 "well placed"!

God counts on you.

We do too.

Please be sure you

know and take your



Next Posting


       April 10, 2024

Next Email


       April 12, 2024

     Welcome All

with a special greeting 

to our many visitors 

this week from Cambodia. 



                                            SPECIAL EDITION

                               Pray it indeed be a "special" edition.

                               Pray it indeed be a "special" addition.


                              SPIRITUALITY FOR THE LATE LAST YEARS

                                            a read for all ages

                        We all are invited to bring soul to an unhurried read

                                          over time as we have it.


                                                      is for

                                            those of many years

                                            those helping them

                                            those helped by them

                                            those soon to be elders

                                            those in community with them

                                            those living at home with them

                                            those living a movement

                                            to elderhood some when.

                                            That's pretty much all of us

                                                This is a piece 

                                                 to Pray Read

                                                 to do so in a calm time and place

                                                 to return to for reflection

                                                 to be Slow Souled over time


                                                This is a piece

                                                for personal meditation

                                                for small group study

                                                for a couple to read/talk through together

                                                for those working with the elderly

                                                for families as an elderly parent 

                                                         moves in with them

                                                for churches that want 

                                                        full inclusion for the elderly

                                                for those offering spiritual direction

                                             Feel free to share this with others.




                              SPIRITUALITY IN THE LATE LAST YEARS


It’s happened.

We’re old.


How about that!

What‘s it going to be like?

How do we do it?

What about our spiritual life?


My friend Sandy has a delightfully spunky approach:

     “Old age, well it takes me four times longer to do nothing.”

     “If it don’t hurt, it ain’t working.”

I tease that:

     “I forget ever so much, but at least I remember that I forget.”

How about the Hasidic wisdom:

      “For the unlearned, old age is winter;

        for the learned, it is the season of harvest.”

Then there‘s Stanislaw Jerzy Lec:

       “Youth is the gift of nature,

          but age is a work of art”

 Job promises positive:

         “You will come to the grave in full vigor,

           Like sheaves gathered in season.”

                            Job 5:26

Sounds a little like Margarita Magnusson’s

The Swedish Art of Aging Exuberantly


Many takes on much ado about aging.


 Let’s see what together we can make of




In the business world they say “location is everything.”

It sure is important in the business of our spiritual lives.

How we went about them when puberty popped on us

was way different than when we were adding pounds

and losing options in the Mid-Shift Forties.

Over the years we find ourselves in a variety of life locations –

childhood, adolescents, twenty something, adult,

mid-life, older adult, undeniably old.

Each has a distinct terrain and climate.


It’s like moving from Florida to North Dakota to New Jersey,

and not stopping there.

As with all of them, old age keeps us busy adjusting to our

                                NEW NOW

                  LOCATED LAST LATE YEARS

We want to get the lay of this land.

We want to explore this life location,

understand its terrain and adjust to its climate.

We want to learn this “work of art.”

We want to embrace this ”season of harvest.”

We want to age living “In full vigor.”


Paul helps us get our bearings.

He locates us all living “in Christ.”

He does it 164 times in his various letters.

Now, that’s what you call emphasis.

Paul puts a point on the pencil.

Speaking of the Risen Christ,

he maps out the terrain of our spiritual life:

        “In him we live and move and have our being.”

                                (Acts 17: 28)

           “I live now not I but Christ lives in me.”

                             (Galatians 2:20)


That presents and propels variously

as we move through the quite different

landscapes of life.

It is particularized in each,

and most assuredly in these late last years.


                                    In a curious and paradoxical way

                                    they are similar to and then often

                                          just the flip of puberty.

                                     “What’s going on with my body?”

                                      “Why do I feel so…?”

                                       “People don’t treat me like they used to.”

                                        “I really hate that.”

                                        “Sometimes it’s pretty cool.”

                                        “How do I do this?

                                        “Where do I fit in?”

                                        “Can I fit in?”

                                        “Where’s God in all this?”

                                        “Where am I with God in all this?”

Our powers, prowess, positions shift big time.

For a while we feel like a foreigner even to ourselves.

A lot of our preferences and patterns cash out.



In both puberty and old age we are forced to let go of a lot -

activity-wise, in relationships, with the familiar, the bodily, our self-sense,

purpose, independence, prayer, spiritual practices and patterns.

We knew our way around as kids, but then that adolescent scene,

well, it just wasn’t same so at all.

The whole drill is repeated in old age and that with some new wrinkles.

It’s our living out the pascal mystery, death and resurrection “in Christ,”

in our skin and now.

There is loss and what gain!

We have to let go to be gotten and given.

It’s like a child deeply attached to a rag doll.

They are together always.

Letting go is a loss and it happens

again and again and anew

over the span of years and life locations.

It is also an opening for one day

the intimacy and union of a Life Lover.

It means loss to be filled to a new fullness.

Spirituality In the late, last years is

     Diminishment Unto Fullness

 A more subtle fullness here and

 readiness for an infinite fullness hereafter.



In many cultures the elderly are prized and respected.

In others, the elderly are shunted off, sidelined into storage.

It makes a world of difference in living the last lap.

In the first, the elderly are central to family and community.

Their well-aged wisdom is sought and supportive.

They compliment community and are comforted in it.

In the other, they are dulled in loneliness, devalued, discarded.

Each location tones and tempers late life aging.

One well.

One terribly.

Spirituality For The Late Last Years

is maximizing the first and

refusing to be stopped by the second.


In earlier life locations we are busy

creatively growing/developing

self and society:

mind and body,

skills and competencies,

career, relationships,

communities, positive impacts.

As we age the creative flow and emphasis

are as vital as ever.


Their intensity and our activity

shift more subtle and serene.

Doing is slowed.

Being warmly widens.

   “Fewer more”

is motif and manner.

Fewer things are more profoundly lived.

We can take time and taste breakfast like never before.

A poached egg on toast is allowed to share all it is -

a God Good Gift, connection to chickens and farmers, wheat fields,

transport, workers, store to table – the underlying unity of Creation.

In prayer we revisit hurts and sin.

We forgive and welcome that sense in soul.

We sit still long enough for God to hug us One.

We joy in the miracle of a child’s growth.

We hurt, not like, but with the suffering.

We let The Spirit show us around the beginnings of heaven.

From deep in our being we do our giftedness in


                        “The unforced rhythms of grace”

                                   Matthew 11:29

                                    The Message



We cook, we call, we smile, we listen, we host, we support, we visit,

we share what we have of wisdom, humor, compassion, we help out.

More and more we open and delight in a lived union with God.

“I live now not I but Christ lives in me.”

We are one.

We are and do together always and in everything.

We see, experience and respond as One.

We drive, make the bed, shower, sleep, read,

visit, exercise, together.

We get lost in a poem.

We spend time aglow in sun scapes.

We let a house plant silently sing God for us.

We “be’” One, doing all together.

Together we are One with all that is,

Creation so far with infinity more

forever rolling out.


In these late last years we accept

freedom from being in control and

the consequent freedom to be gifted more fully.

It does take some getting used to for sure.

That is faith.

Faith is trust.


We trust God to move us from

what has been to what opens before us.

We are like babies in the womb getting ready

to move through the birth channel.

As life this side of the womb has been

so much more than wombed life,

so, and so much more will life

beyond the womb of world life be.

(Hey, that’s pretty much “so.”)

The transition can be rough at times.

Ah, but the transition is to an infinite,

well, we really don’t have

adequate words for it.

Another way to stammer it is this.

Watch logs on a bonfire.

All they are is released and transformed,

rises to the heavens.


Between now and when, we have a great gift to give.

It is so needed in our confused and conflicted world just now.

             “Is not wisdom found among the aged?

              Does not long-life bring understanding?”

                                    Job 12:12


Sometimes that’s done in words.

Mostly it is done by example and in quiet support.


“In Christ” we suffer the aches and pains that gang up on us as we age.

They break our illusion of dominance, self-sufficiency and control.

Rather than fuss and fury, we can experience a widening of soul,

oneness with Christ suffering across history, in our next-door neighbor,

in the victims of violence, poverty, injustice,

in the those dis-eased of body or mind.

We can’t make sense of it because there is no sense to it. Something is wrong.

We are One “In Christ” righting it the way Jesus did – bringing Real, Rightness,

Love, Compassion to it. We are One with the hurt, the limited.

This same sensitivity of soul allies us with all of Creation that is in travail.

We weep at what war does, actually undoes.

We ache at what air, water, earth suffer from selfish abuse.

We care for the masses duped by materialism, commercialism, “Me-ism,”

fashion fads, violent sports, stupefying entertainments, gross politicians, fascists.

For it all, a hearty sense of humor helps big time.

I laugh like heaven that my little Grand Son and I both need diapers

and that he will be the only one to out grow them!


That same sensitivity of soul frees us to delight in Godness beautiful and brilliant

all about, within, above, below, wraparound.

We savor food and wine. We watch children play and we are joyed.  

We rejoice that lovers found each other.

We are exuberant riding through the mountains.

We let music, poetry and literature lift us.

We get pretty pleased that we have dinner each evening.

We marvel that we can facetime with our children and friends.

We luxuriate sitting in the sun.

These and endlessly more are the moments, places and ways of

our contemplative prayer,” our Oneness “In Christ.”


That Oneness “In Christ” blends and binds us in a holy com-union.

We thrill in our down deep union as family, friends, neighbors,

peoples of the world.

We don’t yet live it out fully, but it’s there and so are we.

We delight that all of us are the same, unique and varied.

 We each a drop of water,

 We all One in the sea of existence.


This is most intimately experienced as The Church.

We are The Body of Christ.

We are “The Gathered” (L. Ecclesia) “in Christ.”

Church is not a building, an organization, a religious system.

Well, actually it is too often, sad to see/say.

That’s why in our late last years we are courageous enough

to seek, find or found and share a real community “In Christ.”

It is never perfect. It can must be real!!


Speaking of real, we are ever more and more than ever before careful about

our real estate and all the elements of our life style.

We are SoulSmart and don’t buy into the fake out of commercializing

our remaining time and means.

It’s that devilish drill:

        “You worked hard and now deserve

          every unblessed thing you want.”


We take a happy pass on being reduced to self-indulgent children

demanding more and more toys in a playpen of self-centered confinement.

Given our givens, we give as much as prudently possible to others –

our time and attention, our assistance, all the “stuff” we will never need

or use again, our funds. If possible, we visit the alone, we organize get togethers

in our community (book groups, prayer gatherings), we tutor children and …

One way and many we are givers more than getters.


It takes tons of patience.

Barbara Johnson puts it like this way:

      “Patience is the ability to idle your motor

       when you feel like stripping your gears.”


Jesus puts it like this:  

       “By patience you will possess your soul.”

                     Luke 21:19

However we put it, we need to put it into practice.


Patience and its cousin humility

are front and center as we age.

Think how patient humas and vine

mellow mature choice wine -

       (L) humus = earth  

Think of the difference when we are patient

       (L) patior = wait, 

slow down to experience the now,

wait, even suffer, certainly delight.

     Patiance and humility

grease the creaky gears of late life:


    What we used to be able fix in an hour

    now takes a repair person a week to show up

    and fix in two high priced hours


     We reach for the salt and our hand decides

     to tip over a glass of water on the way.



     As a child we excelled at potty training.

     Now we fail the course.


     It seems everybody has decided to whisper

     rather than “SPEAK UP!!”


     It takes a few tries to remember our spouse’s middle name.


The whole thing rachets up as more and more we can do less and less.

Waiting is now derigeur, and not just for the bus.

That span can be a caldron of agitation.

Better yet, it can be a work out in learning how not to control things

and going with the cadence and gift of now.

In that waiting there is spaciousness for prayer, a pliability of soul,

noticing what God’s Now is presenting rather than

fuss and fume trying to put our command control on life support.


As kids we were taught that a lot had to be taken on faith.

It was a head trip and mostly a lot of trip up:


       Three distinct persons, yet only one God.

       Definitely a try at a higher math than we could climb and calculate.



       Those raised in the RC and Orthodox Churches were taught/told that

       Jesus is bodily present in the bread and wine in communion.

       We puzzled what kind of a human body can be shrunk and stretched to fit

       into lock boxes on altars all over the world all at the same time,

       and into a pocketed pyx for home delivery and still be a human body?


These elder days we operate way more from the heart of the matter.

We fuss less with head stuff.

We’re more than good with scripture’s snapshots of God pictured as

            Creator, Redeemer, Sanctifier, 

            Dad, Lad and their Spirited Love

It’s like picturing a person who is married, parent and bus driver,

same one snapped as variously seen and experienced.

Scripture’s word pictures of the One God are angled and partial –

those of the one picturing.

We’re so grateful to have them as we do so viewing them

from our angled and partial perspective.


We’re good, too, with the real presence of Jesus in us, the Body of

Christ, gathered in a holy communion of God Love lived and shared.

It is our sustaining soul food and drink.

We are too busy and excited living faith to play head games with it.

Faith is lived more than conceptualized.


Faith is the air in our tires 

whether rough ride, smooth glide.

It’s how we go.

Faith is trust.

Faith is a lived cohesion.

That trust radiates from intense intimacy.

                        “In Christ”

                          we are.

                   More and more

                         we are

                        “All In.” 

We still deal with religious head trips some, but

               “In God We Trust”

                is coin of our realm.


Whether we understand or not,

whether things are easy or not,

            we live faith.

 “All things work unto good for those

  who love and serve the Lord”.

              Romans 8:28


   Love and serve – team “in Christ”

   The Lord – intimacy “In Christ”


Please let me tuck this in before I forget,

because forgetting is getting to be my middle name!

In our late last years we more and more depend on others.

Our spirituality calls for ever increasing patience with them

and ever deeper gratitude for their care of us.

It’s our God Love Lived, personal and gracious.


Heraclitus, that wise old Greek philosopher,

saw and said it straight:

      “The only constant in life is change.”

                        And so it is.

A sperm changes an egg and together

they constantly change across the years all the way to

these late last years and our speeded up slow down.

We climb aboard and do well in a new way,       


We refuse to get on board and are left behind

in a land of frustrated futility.

We can’t change old age away.

We can’t travel trip after trip old age away.

We can’t Botox it away.

We can’t tummy tuck and hair color it away.


Slowed down we see and sense more than ever before.

The deep-down goodness of Creation comes into clearer focus.

We one in wonder as a potted daffodil radiates colorfully open.

Going to the supermarket becomes an outing in isles of abundance.

Slow timing meals treats us to a wider palate of taste and texture.

Scripture words God in new never before noticed awareness.

Prayer isn’t something we do.

Prayer is Soul Snuggle.

Some days gentle quiet.

Some days hot passionate.

We watch the puffy clouds shy dance God.

It’s all endlessly God Good.


Slowed down we see and sense

more than ever before

the chaos and pain

of sinful systems,

of the soul sick,

of citizens Empire resident:

   a congress minority ruled and out of order

   gutless politicos,

   media moguls manipulating fact to fiction,

   fouling heads and hearts.

   the possibility of a fascist head of state

   in more than a few states,

   mind management in education,

   being opposed to killing yet executing killers,

   paying ball players millions upon millions,

   entertainments spiraling sick and shallow,

   profit overriding The Common Good


Soul Sensitive we deeply feel the real and the unreal.


As ELDERCHRISTS we are called to be light in a dark world.

Just now things are the darkest and most dangerous they have ever been.

All through history there have been social strata twisted evil –

a controlling few on top, controlled masses under their cruel, unjust heals.


What’s dangerously different now are

      a proliferation of nuclear weapons,

      a destabilizing climate,

      an unregulated, unpredictable and possibly rouge AI

      a global instability -  economically, militarily,   

      governmentally, religiously, culturally,

      with massive migrations and decided resistance to them,

      our Mother Earth being raped.

Aware that in all human history there has never been an available weapon that

has not been used means we are living in a dark tinder box

that could at any moment ignite to possible annihilation.


Aware that sickly many inept, delusional to diabolical people

control much of media, money, military and governance,

igniting to annihilation is more probable than not.

We don’t want to know it.

We must.

It is in this deadly dark that we live “In Christ” and Jesus Christ is

                                 “The Light of the world.”

                                            John 9:5

Nothing can keep us from living light in dark,

                       Kingdom Bright.

As elders “In Christ” it is ours to live that light,

to speak it, to model it, to encourage it, to share it.

We do that as we can, as we are and where we are.

Please permit the personal.

This is no way normative.

May it encourage vigor of living in all our unique selves.

I am an eighty-four-year-old retired pastor and educator.

My mobility and energy are somewhat restricted.

There’s a lot I can’t do.

There’s plenty I can do.

Writing this freight and light piece right here is one of them.

I pray my day-to-day living reflects at least a little of “The Light of Christ.”

I pray it from my heart continually.

I write a weekly blog on spirituality.

Over seven plus years now it has been circulated to people

in a hundred and twelve countries.

That’s not to brag.

That’s to do what I can and to thank God I can and open

to what God can do in this ELDERCHRIST.

Grandma Moses painted in her eighties.

Grandpa Me writes in mine.

I actively listen and share as best I can with my children, friends, and colleagues.

I support every flicker of light among my family and friends, church, culture,

government, in stores and on the street.

I am just one little old man in a pleasant neighborhood of Washington, DC

who goes around lighting little candles.

            “Better to light one candle than curse the dark.”

                                 The Christophers

Their founder, Father James Keller, knew the wisdom and hope that is

                                      “In Christ”

                          “The Light of the World”

                                  In Christophers

                        In Christ Bearers of That Light

He gave us a way to go - us, just ordinary folks across the globe.

Even if we knew it before, knowing it deeper now is a light to live.

Father Keller pictured a totally dark Yankee Stadium at night.

If but one person there lite a candle

there was a flicker of light in darkest Yankee Stadium.

If everyone there lite a candle

the dark would be flamed bright,

Yankee Stadium would be aglow.


There is dreadful dark.

You are a candle in Christ.

I am a candle in Christ.

Together with other “just little lights”

we live “In Christ”

     “This Little Light of Mine, I’m Gonna Let It Shine.”


Many of us will be more and more restricted physically and socially

as we continue to age. It will be ours to quietly and peacefully relax

in God’s embrace. More and more we will join God in loving union

with all of Creation.

We will hold others in trustful prayer.

If we suffer it will not be in isolation.

It will be “In Christ” as God Good fills the painful voids in us and our world.

Ours will be a spirituality of presence and prayer.


Being out an about gets shifted.

If for years we delighted

to encounter God’s Goodness travelling,

we now delight to do it from home,

with Rick Steves and such,

internet transported.


If we can’t get to church,

the church streams to us.

Museums, concerts, lectures as well.


FACETIME and ZOOM shrink distance,

connect in communion.


If we can’t manage a lot of cooking,

we invite others over for dinner anyway

and together enjoy take out.


For select interests there are

recorded offerings.

One of the best I know are

The Great Courses

and are they ever!

No, I don’t get a commission,

just outstanding intellectual expansion.

I have treasured recordings of

Joseph Cambell, Thomas Merton,

Richard Rohr, Gerald May.



Whatever our zones of interest,

they are in some form or other

ready to come to us right at home.

Ours days become different.

If we will accept them as they are,

there’s a lot of daylight in our days.


 Inevitably one day will be our last day here and like this.


Karl Rahner was a holy and brilliant theologian of my youth.

He said that death is not something that happens to us.

Rather, death is something that we and God do together.

We are active partners.

That makes a world of difference as we transition from this world.

Trust and patience are front and center as mentioned above.

There’s a lot of unknown to it all.

In Christ we will be shown along our way

and I imagine extraordinarily surprised.

Our prayer is that of Jesus:

           “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.”

                                    Luke 23:46

               Depending on how sassy spirited we are,

               we may say it something like:

              “OK God, you want me, you got me.

               Come and get me. I want you!

               Can’t wait!”

In all cases our prayer rest in the promise of Jesus:

            (this merits Slow Soul Deep Hearing)

“Do not let your hears be troubled.

Trust in God; trust also in me.

 In my Father’s house there are many rooms;

 if it were not so, I would have told you.

I am going to prepare a place for you.

And if I go and prepare a place for you,

I will come back and take you to be with me

that you also may be where I am.”

                   John 14:1-3

                 HOME SAFE


I remember my Mother and her death.

Mom was an outstanding nurse,

extraordinary Mother,

at home saint –  a love!

As the first born it was up to me

to share with Mom the doctor’s word

that we were ready for Hospice.

We cried.

Mom asked for a little alone time.

I returned about an hour later.

After having prayed things through Mom said:

“Joe, I’m going to the Lord. Let’s do it.”  

Calm, steady, trusting, one with God’s will and way.

Some days later she awoke in the middle of the night,

smiled and died.

I hope it can be so for me, for you.


Mom had a way to go and was ready to go.

She knew and trusted that:

             “But our citizenship is heaven.

               And we eagerly await a Savior from there,

               The Lord Jesus Christ,

               who, by the power that enables him

               to bring everything under his control,

               will transform our lowly bodies

               so that they will be like his glorious body.”

                          (Philippians 3: 20-21 )


 As for me, I tell you flat out how I feel about dying.

It’s like just before the first time you make love.

A little scary and can’t wait!

“Let’s do it”

                                    THE END       


                               THE BEGINNING  



                                       Highly Recommended


                                           The Gift of Years

                                     Growing Older Gracefully

                                            Joan Chittister

                                               Blue Bridge



                                  On the Brink of Everything

                                  Grace, Gravity & Getting Old

                                          Parker J. Palmer

                                 Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.