Great Plains Daily Devotional for 11/20/2020

Today please be in prayer for

Plum Creek UMC
Five Rivers District
Redfield UMC
Five Rivers District
Princeton UMC
Richmond UMC
Five Rivers District
Salem (Iola) UMC
Five Rivers District

Today's Lectionary Text

Psalm 145:5

On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.

Today's Devotional

Hush! Hush!
Listen as the symmetry in nature unfolds bringing hope and order to the universe.
In the quietude appreciate what is ultimately valuable.
Ooo’s and awe’s
of passers-bye
were expressed not long ago
in gratitude for springtime blooms from the neighborhood redbuds.

as snowflakes fall
the exquisite blooms float gracefully as a ballerina
to the ground beneath the trees.

A sweet lullaby
heard in the soft breezes coaxed tender green leaves out
of their hiding places
where they convincingly hung
on through rain, storms, wind, and hail.

Huddled on the ground are pinecones snuggling with dried leaves of oak, ash, maple, and elm showing off their symmetry. Every last one.

Stop now in your tracks
and ponder the humble bean pods that lie under the locust tree branches.
Even these fulfill divine purposes of providing food on a cold, winter’s day.

Hush! Hush!  Appreciate what our Beloved provided and has outfitted humanity in order
to survive and inspires collaborating in symmetry with the divine.

From the beginning of the scriptures we are encouraged to keep our minds and hearts focused on God. There are times we know that we ought to be focusing on things above, but just can’t seem to let go of thoughts and troubles to get it done. In one of Julian of Norwich’s visions she saw that,

To seek is as good as seeing.
God wants us to search earnestly
And with perseverance,
Without sloth and worthless sorrow.
We must know that God will appear suddenly And joyfully to all lovers of God.
(a centering book by Brendan Doyle, 1983).

Revelations may be made to us about God when we are alone or with others. Yet when our bodies are cluttered with emotion and our energy centers are blocked with anger, fear, or confusion, we may feel numb. It is when we are ready to acknowledge thoughts and feelings and release each one like leaves falling from the trees, that our senses are heightened.

Then, we sense the wondrous Spirit among us.

Trees go bare while the bright colors of autumn are carpeting the ground. The scent of sweet roses will be found only in the flower shop for another season. Yet hearing the rustling of leaves as they fall and touching cool stones and rough pinecones may arouse our senses, even when the sky is cloudy.

Practicing listening and wondering can help us be more aware of the pain of others. Surely, we appreciate the beauty in ourselves when we appreciate Mother Nature! Even though it is common among children and teens to hide when the camera comes out, I thought it was because they simply have camera fatigue from the sheer multitude of photos being taken. So last week it nearly broke my heart when a young teen begged me not to take her picture. She said it was because she doesn’t like the way she looks. She looks like most 12-year-old girls who are still growing into their faces. Yet she somehow has the idea that she’s not worthy of photographing.

Another day I heard a poem about a very round woman who asked the question, “If you can’t love me for who I am, who will?” Indeed! We might also ask, “If I can’t love myself, who will?” Some of us laugh at ourselves for being grateful for a mask to hide the well-earned wrinkles! Our culture often casts judgments upon our appearances. But these appraisals certainly do not come from God.

Quieting oneself to appreciate what our Creator has to say to us in nature can help us appreciate ourselves and one another as well. Even when we are physically isolated, I sense the divine in you and appreciate you. Even apart, we are together, our spirits bound in Love. We are united when praying the Lord’s Prayer, singing the songs of faith, serving neighbor, and accepting love. I seek God in your beautiful face and see you in my prayers.

In grace and peace, 
Rev. Marta Wheeler


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