To Heal

The Spirit seeks our hearts

that have been broken

ever ready to heal them with

strength and new life.”

Psalm 53

Psalms for Praying

by Nan C. Merrill

How many times can one heart break? Will there be anything left in the end? How many times can one heart be healed? Is there a number beyond all numbers? Does Eternal Love ever flow into each tiny crack and each massive crevice actually seeking to kiss all pain and deposit strength and new life within and all around?

For real?

I must confess my Yes.

It is my hope that indeed my wounded scars ever touched by Grace fortify my loving tender heart and eternal new life emerges and strengthens dawn after each Next Dawn.

Lorie – November 2017

 

This Beautiful Love

     This Beautiful Love

 

 

 

 

This Beautiful Love is the only force that

comforts my sorrow

settles my wrong

orients my fear

holds me in the truth

radically transforms me for wellness

flows and fills each momentary breath with Grace,

And, compels me forward to carry and share

This Beautiful Love

To Adriana

Love, Your Mama – May 2017

The Grand Embrace

“The Grand Embrace of Love”

Pain blocks love – and then becomes a doorway for love to enter in.

 

I See Papa’s love for the me who is in MacKenzie,

Take after take, stab after stab,

Grace upon grace

 

I Hear Her truth of being for me in everything,

I never left her, I never left you

I never leave

 

I Feel MacKenzie’s fury and desperate wrestle with the senseless and the crazy,

The agony of unanswered questions

Glare meets gaze

 

I hold “The Great Sadness” as it shuts me down and wipes me out,

Clipped wings, unable to fly

Resistant to being loved

 

I know I am stuck in the knothole of pain as I hang on my cross,

I twist, I turn,

I resign

 

I Acknowledge the reality of being helpless, seeming hopeless, in

Pain and death, suffering and sorrow, anguish and agony

A gut-wrenching scream, “Get me out of here!”

How can I ever get through to the “other” side? A whisper comes – I must.

 

I Let Go into the wild power of not knowing,

Yielding as I melt and awake to what is. Here. Now.

Some how I trust in the flow of forgiveness and freedom.

My silent Yes surrenders into the simple astonishing love that has always echoed in me.

 

I receive “The Grand Embrace” of relentless affection for She is awfully fond of me.

I am wrapped in a beautiful enveloping that sheds the illusion of separateness.

I expand to hold what is most precious to me, and am sustained within and all around.

I am recalled – to the radiant freedom of a life of love – recalled to know who’ve I’ve always been.

I am Home with Love

Reflective Poem & Photos by Lorie Martin


Perfect Parent – Perfect Wisdom – Perfect Peace

One early morning in December my body was wrestling with sickness and I lay alone in the dark on the good old couch. It was that time of year, plus a few other complications, and in this state of YUK my inner pains joined along with my body aches and it seemed darker still; a bit of despair and anguish lingered near. As the familiar warm tears of sorrow broke through the normal wellness dam I was met by a surprising Sound. The Voice whispered a secret medicine directly into my story.

From my journal Dec 3/16 @ 7:50 am.

I’ve just been given an amazing gift!!! I am still sitting in the midst of it.

I have been lamenting the death of our Adriana and now another loss with a MattersMost situation. I’ve been beating myself up as a parent. I’ve been in tremendous pain. As I was looking at my life with some despair. I sensed God showing me Jesus’ life and how it wasn’t a glowing report of everything looking perfect around him on earth all the time either. He suffered a lot.  And then ….. I had The Words come…..  the disciples spent three years with God-in-flesh, up close and in their faces, and when push came to shove in overwhelm they all went  to their various ways of being; one even ended his own life. They were with Perfect Parent (The Father and he were One), Perfect Truth. Perfect Wisdom. Perfect Friend, Perfect Peace, Perfect Guide, and Perfect Love for 3 years day and night, city to city,  miracle after miracle, hearing powerful preaching and life-changing stories. And yet they …..

How can this be? In a way I could relate to Jesus as a parent/teacher giving my love, pointing to Divine Grace as best I knew, being capable  and incapable, loving as fully as capacity allowed  ….. yet hard things happened. Confusing things. Painful things. Awful things.  It happens. And in the twelve!!! Resounding in my heart, mind, and body and singing through my soul is “EVEN IF you’d have been perfect….. you don’t know.”

STILL The Holy With Us One is for us in all and is redeeming all things in the end and along the way. He gets my hurting heart. I’m broken wide open at this gift of mercy with out flowing tears.  I guess I am invited to a new place with some of this.”

I asked my trusted friends and companions:  Does this make sense? It’s quite impacting. I don’t remember ever hearing this before. They reassured that it has the embrace of the Spirit being utterly sweet and kind. The message given was/is powerful and is healing more of my wounded heart, but the most powerful piece of this is that I was given The Word of Life to the exact pin point of pain that I couldn’t even articulate in this state. Healing Love met me on my bed of sickness and pain AGAIN! What wonderous Love!

Surely This One Who Loves You Most is there with you at every moment. What might The Whisper be to you today?

LOVE ALLWAYS,   Lorie

To Sister Sara in San Fran.

Photo from Lindell Beach/lm 2014

 

Strength in the Storm

Strength in the Storm

 

You are in this boat

With me

With us

O Great Thankfulness

You pull us in to yourself, your embrace

You tuck us in tightly face to face

Your strength surrounds us

Your sure-ness enfolds us

We are safe in your holding love

We are safe.

Though the storms rage all around

The waves slap at us as they are

You calm the inner storm and wave

O Great Thankfulness

O Holy Touch beyond compare

O Sacred Hold through all

O Blessed Peace beyond understanding

O Great Thankfulness

As I wrote this in my journal this morning Psalm 18 came to mind – It is an old favorite of mine. As I turned the very thin pages of my extremely worn, almost disrespectfully so,  NIV Bible I found it marked and circled with sketches of lightening bolts running down the margin.  An old remembering met me there – a mysterious reminder of what had been given many times before. I re-entered her captivating message and was once again re-called to how my voice goes into God’s ears and how God draws me out of deep waters and takes me to a spacious place as I am delighted in. I forgot how extremely long this Psalm is but I read it in it’s entirety even in the midst of the longest to-do list EVER!  As if that wasn’t enough I felt drawn to read it again in Nan Merrill’s Praying the Psalms where her intimate language drew me even deeper into THIS GREAT LOVE and TRUTH – My Center, my Home, my Beloved.  Another invitation to be held so tightly and taken to spacious places.

With Love,  Lorie

Labyrinth Center Photo taken @ Stillpoint/Bellingham Jan 2017 lm

The Dark Night and the Illumined Light

The sun set at 4:11 pm. Really? It seems like the day was just getting going. The shortest days of the year are here and the long dark nights. And now the very cold, at least for those of us in the valley that aren’t used to the sting of below zero frost on our cheeks when the wind pushes her bitter chill into our tender pores.

Have you experienced a Dark Night of the Soul? Or a few?  Or have you felt pangs of despair around a deep sorrow that is staring you in the face; a new dilemma in our world or that old haunting sad tired from the tragic moments of long ago? If so, you likely know the loss of a felt sense of God’s presence. “God’s ‘visible absence’ (or so it seems for sure) makes it hard for us in our (difficult) times to celebrate his ‘invisible Presence‘  

I received this piece of a letter from a friend at a poignant dawn that came to me. I’d like to share it with you. I’ve (adapted) it a tiny bit:

“I have to look for cracks and crevices. Don’t tell me how God’s mercy is as wide as the ocean, as deep as the sea. I already believe it, but that infinite prospect gets farther away the more we mouth it. I thank you for lamenting God’s (seeming) absences — absence from marriages going mad, our sons dying young, from the inescapable terrors of history: Treblinka. Vietnam. September Eleven. (May I add Aleppo, Syria.) God’s visible absence makes it hard for us in our (difficult) times to celebrate The Beloved’s invisible Presence. This must be why mystics and poets record the slender incursions of splintered light, echoes, fragments, odd words and phrases like flashes through darkened hallways… The thin and tenuous thread we are held by, so astonishing, is the metaphor I need at the shoreline of all those immeasurable oceans of love.”  – From a Letter to Lew Smedes about God’s Presence by Rod Jellema

Cracks and crevices, the slender incursions of splintered light like flashes through darkened hallways, O Glorious Light shimmering in the cold short days of life, Awaken us.    Pause

Recently, as I lay on my bed of sickness and tears, surrendering to invisible Presence, an Echo of Love came and touched a tender place in my heart bringing illumined whispers of grace to some darkness where I was held hostage. I know dark; I know REALLY dark. But I also know light –  and the Sacred ILLUMINED light that is too difficult to dismiss as anything other than a ‘splintered light’ of a grace explosion . She often comes with the peek of tender dawn; silent dawn upon lengthy ever-coming dawn. And then, shocking, but true, she sometimes comes and kisses you smack in the face and it’s hard to breathe for a moment or two and one can’t see straight for a while. Astonishing. The surprise of it grabbed me unaware and the lingering of it warmed me for hours and days; perhaps for this lifetime.

I forget, do you?  We share in forty days of our Lover’s suffering and four weeks of Advent waiting. May we also consent to enter forty days, at least, in the glorious resurrection truth in this life, and on into the one to come, and enter Christmas with good tidings of great joy that is for all people. God has come, LIVE – IN PERSON, and wanted to!!!  May we celebrate the personal and up-close coming of God in just a few days. For OUR LIGHT has come, is coming, and shall always come again. Light changes everything; a flower blooms, a bird sings, a wanderer finds their way, and a child dances! Hope is imparted morning light after morning light; wave after lapping wave.  May we know afresh, and perhaps deeper still, that we are held by that “thin and tenuous thread” at the shoreline of “all those immeasurable oceans of love.

My prayer is that dawn after dawn, and grace upon grace, will continue to invade each crack and crevice and darkened hallway of our lives such that we melt into surrender, and can no longer deny or diminish her fragments that touch us moment by moment, tear after tear, and envelope us in the beauty and goodness that God has come ~ and always will.

Lorie ~ December 17, 2016

Photo LM ~ Willband Bird Sanctuary, Dec 16/16

 

 

Grace upon Grace

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*** NEW RELEASE***

“Grace upon Grace”

Daily Meditations  $15

2nd book in the “Invited In Daily Meditation Series”

Available on Amazon 

Order here
for local pick up

This little book is the second in a series of daily meditations. It holds 31 photos, sketches, and quotes to invite you into quiet moments of reflection and offers comfort and strength on your unique pilgrimage of loss and grief.

“I found that lots of words can overwhelm when passing through deep waters of the various losses in our life. However beauty and simplicity gift my soul. These images, invitations to linger and ponder, and daily blessings, continue to be a fragrant balm to the healing wounds of my heart and life. You will be met in the pain and suffering of your past and present sorrows that have impacted you deeply, changed your life, and cracked you open to your core. When it seems all hope is gone, may genuine comfort, patient wisdom, and radical new life be yours.”   Lorie

Cover Photo: Watercolor by Herta Klassen.com  The Light Overcomes the Darkness

 

 

A Light for Aleppo

A LIGHT FOR ALEPPO   http://www.alightforaleppo.org/ img_3646-3

A candle will be lit at upcoming Contemplative Evening Prayers  NOVEMBER 20th @ 7:30 pm

St. Dunstan’s Anglican Church 3025 – 264th Street Aldergrove/Langley

Lorie Martin and Cathy AJ Hardy

In addition to the Contemplative Evening Prayer Gathering on Nov. 20th we are joining the Light for Aleppo gatherings around the world. Our sung prayers will hold with hope the hearts and lives of those who suffer. Truly Hope is Deeper than Despair. May it be so. Painting attached: Light Overcomes the Darkness by Herta Klassen.com

Will you join us by lighting a beacon on Sunday 20 November to help raise awareness for the crises in Aleppo?

The beacons can be as simple as lighting a candle in a window, though we are also hoping for a number of community gatherings and the lighting of fires with churches and faith communities being integral to this vision. People feel so helpless and frustrated about what is happening in Syria. We hope that this initiative will help the movement for peace in Aleppo and let the people, aid workers, charities, and victims of war know that they are not forgotten. We have already heard from people in parts of the UK and in other countries who intend to join in. In this way, a path of light might well reach from here to Aleppo, or at least to Syrian borders, and spread hope, and may even help save lives.  Warm wishes, Ali Newell   Associate Chaplain at Edinburgh University

Divine Mercy – Astonished

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A larger than life size DIVINE MERCY met me with great surprise at the Westminster Abbey this weekend. I was astonished, as Simone Weil, would likely say.

THE DIVINE MERCY icon has been extremely meaningful to me over the past 2 years. When it found me at St. Stephens in Vienna almost 2 years ago it took my breath away, moved me deeply to tears, and was the only thing to do so in all the chapels, churches, basilicas, and cathedrals we explored on our trip through some of Europe, as I had decided to set God “over there” for a while on my grief journey. This image captivated my inner attention mysteriously and poignantly. There was something in the eyes of Jesus that I knew saw me exactly as I was and still crimson love and whitest light streamed from his heart to mine. I remember saying loudly inside my head, “But YOU, I can’t get rid of YOU!” I took the little piece of paper, with this drawing on it, that was offered us for free.  It remained tucked in a book, my pocket, my purse, wherever, for almost a year until I felt nudged to research it. I discovered it came from THE DIVINE MERCY icon of Christ having entered through the locked door of the upper room to meet Thomas who, to me, wasn’t “doubting”, rather, was longing for his own personal encounter with the risen Christ.  I have cherished and held sacred this tattered paper image, and a beautifully mounted icon that had been made for me by my friends, Brad and Eden.  In my everyday life, in my world, I have not seen this image anywhere else. Until four days ago.

Last Friday …..when I sauntered into the Westminster Abbey,  my arms full to set up for a 3-day retreat we were offering there,  and looked straight ahead of me across the room. Greeting me there stood this ‘super-size’ image. The same artistic piece that had met me in Vienna almost two years ago.  My breathing suddenly stopped and I very slowly followed my legs as they moved in a sacred rhythm to draw me near. I didn’t know whether to laugh right out loud or fall bowing on my knees. Stillness held me unmovable except for the holy breath that now moved my upper body up and down, in and out, captivated by this Grand Embrace of The Divine Mercy.

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The Divine Mercy continues to flow from that little scrap paper through this mega size image down, down, deeply into my being where springs of joy are tapped and Love overflows in ever fresh streams of grace.  That I could be so blessed.

The funny thing is that I really dislike the glamorized version of this icon – it’s just too Hollywood for me – preferring the original  from Saint Faustina Kowalska with the kind assistance of the Divine Mercy Apostolate. I think that is the humor of the Sacred in life,  all become so meaningful regardless of our preferences. I am one who is most grateful I can now laugh with tears of mostly thankfulness rather than tears of only despair. The Pascal Mystery indeed. Divine Mercy to you in all of her glory.

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Completely Undone

10 hrs ·

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Sketched yesterday at a Grief Workshop
@ StillPoint Spirituality Centre  http://www.stillpointatbeckside.com/

“For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, it’s inside comes out and everything changes. To someone, who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.”    C. Occee
(A sneak peek at my next meditation book.  Working title: “Grief & Grace” from my mantra “grace upon grace.”)

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