Sunday Best – May 15, 2022

A good preacher knows the power of words.

A great preacher is more like a poet, transforming with just a few syllables.

Rev. Peter J. Gomes was a great preacher indeed. I had a chance this week to review some of his teachings, as I received a Gomes award from Harvard Divinity School, a huge and humbling honor.

Rev. Gomes famously upped the ante on the popular Christian phrase, “What would Jesus do?” by asking instead, “What would Jesus have me do?”

When I was studying biomimicry, I began to use an echo of this phase – “What would Nature do?” – to provoke reflection and creativity. What if we ask instead, “What would Nature have me do?”

These two tiny words make all the difference. They move us from a place of judgment to a place of responsibility, from analysis to action. Whatever we honor, this edit tilts the question inward, and forward.

In this demand we find hope.

In this demand we find love.

And that is the brilliance of Rev. Peter J. Gomes.

 

*****

More about Rev. Gomes and this year’s awards can be found here.  https://hds.harvard.edu/news/2022/04/13/gomes-honors-leaders-explore-nature-human-flourishing

 

 

Sunday Best – May 8, 2022

When I was eight years old, we did a lesson at school on occupations, and I came home and declared that I was going to be President of the United States. Our neighbors all laughed, but my mom looked me straight in the eye, totally serious, and said, “I can’t wait to vote for you.”

Dear ones, let’s honor all those who care for us,

those who believe in us,

those who vote for us.

Sunday Best – May 1, 2022

People mistake their limitations for high standards.     – Jean Toomer

 

I spent a lot of time this week in the weeds of regulations and standard-setting for environmental issues, vital endeavors to be sure. 

But.

These are just tools, and like all tools, they can be used to create great new things, or to smash around making a lot of noise with little benefit – and sometimes even destruction.

It’s easier to judge than to analyze.

It’s easier to demand than to create.

In our fervor to raise the floor of what is acceptable, sometimes we also lower the ceiling of what is possible.

Dear ones,

when we find a hammer in our hands,

let’s consider what we really want to build –

before we start swinging.

Sunday Best – April 24, 2022

As we slowly shed the layers of winter in New England, a great joy of the springtime is the chance to reconnect with the earth – literally. 

Feet on the ground, I feel the squish of the melting season and the bounce of the new grass emerging.

Hands in the soil, I meet the life teeming just below the surface, spiders scurrying out of the way and nematodes wriggling in the new light.

Knees on the turf, I witness the tiny red arrows of emerging peonies, giant puffballs of bloom already developing within.

Dear ones,

let us glory in this season,

attending the bluebird’s sermon,

ministering to the rhubarb,

worshiping the worms.

Sunday Best – April 17, 2022

 

May you awaken to the mystery of being here
And enter the quiet immensity of your own presence.
May you have joy and peace in the temple of your senses.
May you receive great encouragement when new frontiers beckon.
May you respond to the call of your gift
And find the courage to follow its path.
May the flame of anger free you from falsity.
May warmth of heart keep your presence aflame and anxiety never linger about you.

May your outer dignity mirror an inner dignity of soul.
May you take time to celebrate the quiet miracles that seek no attention.
May you be consoled in the secret symmetry of your soul.
May you experience each day as a sacred gift,

Woven around the heart of wonder.

    – John O’Donohue, A Blessing for Presence

 

Dear ones,

the spring has arrived

at long last!

 

Let us awaken.

 

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