If a tree falls

Hello, dear reader, how are you today?  Or maybe my question should be, is anybody out there today?  You see, its the age old dilemma, if a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to witness it and to hear it fall, does it really fall and does it make a sound?  If I write this and there is no one to read it,  did I really write it and does it make a difference?  That is key, I think.  We all want to matter, we all want to make a difference to at least someone, somewhere, some of the time.  We look for our value reflected in another’s gaze.  We all want to be heard.  We all need to be known.

When I started this blog, I didn’t think it would matter if anyone read it or not, I just needed to write.  But I was wrong, already I can see that I was.  It does matter to me, connection matters to me;  you, unknown reader matter to me.  How can this be?  I’m not quite sure. The irony is, I am not now, nor have I ever been on any social media of any kind.  (remember I told you in an earlier post that my technical skills are sadly lacking.  more like non-existent).

But I dare say that many of us live feeling faceless in a face book world.  Face book has replaced the face to face and left us longing for more than it can provide.  Without the personal interaction of conversation in real time with real people, about what’s really on our minds and in our hearts, we are left isolated and alone.  Alone with the images all our “friends” have created for themselves on face book to keep us company.   But, these images do not hear us and these images do not know us.  And what’s more, we cannot hear them and we cannot know them.  For it is both,  we want to hear another’s story and to be heard ourselves.  We need to know another person as well as be known by them.  We were created for community.  We were created for relationship.

In first Corinthians 13:12 it says, “Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face.  Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”  Isn’t that what we all want, to be fully known?   Implied in that concept of being “fully known” is the idea of being seen clearly as you are, for who you are and in that recognition being fully understood and fully accepted.  How many times do we feel invisible, or when visible then misunderstood?  Too many times I would guess.  So with whom can we experience this gift of being fully known?

There is One who knows us better than we know ourselves.  The One who “knit each one of us together in our mother’s womb”.  Our Creator, who calls each star by name also knows my name and your name.  Indeed, our names are engraved on the palms of His hands.  Matthew 10:30 says, “And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.”  Psalm 139:4 says, “Before a word is on my tongue You know it completely, O Lord.”  Job 23:10 says, “But He knows the way that I take;”.  We are known and understood by God, our Creator.  No one is invisible to Him.  No one is unheard by Him. “not a sparrow falls to the ground apart from His notice.”  and “I will be found by you, declares the Lord.”

With this knowing comes God’s acceptance of us,  “He has compassion on all He has made.”,  the Bible tells us.  1 Samuel 16:7  tells us, “The Lord does not look at the things man looks at.  Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”  I’m thinking it should be “heart book” instead of face book.  But we don’t have the discernment necessary to pull that off.  (besides, all the pictures would look the same except to cardiologists).  and where’s the fun in that?

This knowledge, that we are fully known, understood, accepted and heard by our Creator could help each of us in turn to make the attempt to understand, accept and hear those who are present with us in our daily lives.  We are not invisible to our God, we are seen and we are heard.  We matter to Him.  “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?  Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father.  . . . So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”   Matt. 10:29-31

Well, the tree has fallen, the cry has gone out, from my heart to yours. Hold on to your mustard seed of faith, extend mercy to everyone you meet.  May your mountains be moved and your miracles be many.

sincerely,              Grace Day


Waiting Well

Waiting, not something we do well in our culture, but something we find ourselves doing at some point almost each and every day.  We wait in stopped traffic, we wait in drive-throughs at pharmacies or fast food.  We wait in check out lines at stores and of course we wait in waiting rooms built expressly for the very purpose of waiting.  We wait “on hold” on the phone, listening to music not of our choosing, while waiting for the next available operator.  We probably don’t want to know just how much of our valuable time we spend waiting.

I for one, almost always pick the wrong line at the grocery store.  Its a personal challenge with me to see if I “win” or “lose” each time.  There is a formula that I employ (for all the good it does me).  I take into account first the variable of, number of customers in any given line.  But this doesn’t tell me everything I need to know.  Next, I must consider the number of items in each customer’s cart.  This, of course, has to be a quick estimate as other customers are quickly joining each and every available open line while I pause to consider my options and place my bet on the line I think will move the fastest.  Another variable to consider is the chattiness and or speed of the person at the register.  This is harder to ascertain until you have made your choice and now while waiting have the time to observe the cashier in action.  Then it is too late, unless I really want to gamble and switch lines.  And of course the unforeseen variables of the price check or the non-working credit card are just that, unforeseen, and therefore are difficult to factor in ahead of time.  Let’s just say I’ve lost more than I’ve won, I always seem to pick the slower lane.  Good thing I’m not a gambler.

But we all seem to be waiting on something.  We’re waiting for our luck to change, for our ship to come in, for our lotto number to be drawn, for the promotion at work.  We’re waiting for love to find us, (or us to find love).  We’re waiting for our team to win, for a good report about our health.  We’re waiting to be discovered, we’re waiting for our big break.  Youth are waiting ’till they can drive, college grads are waiting for their first “real” job.  Workers are waiting until they can retire.  We spend the week waiting for the weekend.  We’re waiting for reconciliation with that friend or family member.  We’re waiting for justice to be done, for the wrongs done us to be righted. We’re waiting for healing.  We wait for better days.  We wait for peace in our day.  It seems we spend our lives waiting.

I blame the microwave.  Is that when it all started?  When the microwave replaced the crock pot. Is that when instant became preferable over process?  Or we could blame the internet, with instant access to everything.  We are not a patient people.  Were we ever?  Farmers were and are of necessity.  Everything in its season, there is nothing instant about growing crops or animals.  But so few of us are farmers now.  We haven’t learned the art of waiting well.

In Spanish the word for,  to wait,  is “esperar”.  This word also means “to hope” in Spanish.  The same word for both “wait” and “hope”, which I think is telling.  To wait is to hope and to hope is to be waiting for whatever the object of that hope is.  They are inseparable.  Even while waiting in stopped traffic, I am waiting with the hope that I will eventually arrive at my desired destination.

Isaiah 40:31 reads, “but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.”, in one translation and in another the same passage reads, “but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength.”   Both end with “They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”   Waiting and hoping, hoping and waiting,  this is the experience of living.  As dreams are realized, new dreams appear to take their place.  We are again waiting with hope, hoping in the wait.

The fourth stanza of the hymn “Amazing Grace” says,  “The Lord has promised good to me, His word my hope secures;”.   Because He is the object of my hope, I can rest secure.  I may grow weary in the wait but He can renew my strength and enable me to wait well.  As I wait for the miracles needed to move my mountains,  may I hang on to my mustard seed of faith and show mercy to all I meet, (even those in the grocery store checkout line).

sincerely,                Grace Day

Time – friend or foe?

Time, that ever elusive commodity more valuable than money.  Although there are those who say time IS money.  Time, the one thing we all have in equal measure; sixty minutes in an hour, twenty-four hours in a day.  The same for all of us, nobody gets more, nobody gets less.  Doesn’t matter who we are; rich or poor, famous or infamous, old or young, what race, religion, color or creed; time is no respecter of any person.

There are so many things we do with time.  We spend time, we save time, we take time, we make time, we waste time, we mark time, we bide our time, we find some time, we loose track of time, we buy some time, we have time to kill, we have time on our hands, or we are in a race against time.  And we can do all these things with time in the space of a single day.  Exhausting.

Time itself is a many faceted marvel.  Sometimes time flies, sometimes it drags, or creeps or crawls.  A minute can seem an eternity or a day can pass in the blink of an eye.  We say, “use your time wisely,” or  “don’t waste your time.”  (as if we own Time)  Time – making it, spending it, saving it; all things we do with money.  But time is infinitely more valuable than money.  We can’t get it back.  Time marches on without us,  in spite of us, as if to keep some preordained appointment, scheduled long before our appearance into this thing we call time.

Time is busy, as our conversations reveal.  We say time is standing still, we say time is running out, we say time is passing us by, we say time is slipping away, we say the time is fast approaching or the time has come.  We say we will take time off, we put our kids in “time out”.  We say time waits for no man.

Time – empty hours left to us to fill with whatever we choose.  Or seconds fleeting, eluding our frantic grasps as they pass us by; and we, wanting for a moment’s pause in which to revel in the sound or sight or smell or taste or touch contained in just that moment’s pleasure; needing no past or future, sufficient unto itself alone, the joy contained in that small space of time. It will not stay, but marches on (as time does), leaving us behind with memory for comfort and companion or sweeping us along to we know not what, requiring we leave behind that which time already took from us without consent, ushering us into places new and yet familiar.  Perhaps these places are the same, but we are not the same because time has kept us ever moving.  Time will not rest but carries us ever toward the destination, a destination we chose or didn’t choose, but will arrive at all the same.  A place familiar and unknown, where time never runs out and we are at home in eternity.

“Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”  Psalm 90:12

“Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”   Ephesians 5:16

“Show me, oh Lord, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life.”  Psalm 39:4

thank you, dear reader, for taking the time/spending your time in reading this.

sincerely,              Grace Day

Somewhere in the world

Are you reluctant to turn on the TV or radio these days?  I know I am, not wanting to hear more news that brings with it the sadness, grief, anger and helplessness I feel with each act of violence, each loss of life.  The abundance of statistics about the numbers shot, killed, injured etc. may be mind numbing but the reality that surrounds those statistics is heart breaking.  How then shall I continue on?  Do I live numb and uncaring because to do otherwise is too painful?  Or do I live broken and bleeding, often for those I have never met, because their pain has become in some measure my own?  How can I live with hope and joy when surrounded by death and despair and loss?

From France to Louisiana to Turkey, we are a world weary with our wars. We pray for peace while continuing to hate each other.  Who has the courage to turn the other cheek?  The families of the nine killed in a Charleston, South Carolina church did.  The parents of the five little girls killed in a one room Amish schoolhouse in Lancaster, Penn. did.  Unfortunately, forgiveness is the exception rather than the rule.  And so we witness the perpetual cycle of violence begetting yet more violence.  The cycle continues self-perpetuating and unbroken throughout history.  Nothing I know of is strong enough to break this cycle except mercy, shown in the form of forgiveness.  This, the most powerful of all acts, forgiveness, is the antidote and the answer to breaking the unbreakable cycle.  But it has to be put into practice before it can produce results.

And so we, the world, wait.  Wait in fear?  Wait in hope?  Wait in silence or shout into the din of angry voices already raised?  Who will listen?  It has been said that all that is needed for evil to prevail is for good men to remain silent.  Where do we turn?  Where should our focus be?  Where we look for answers and what we are looking for will determine what we find.  Because somewhere in the world simultaneously, we can find what we seek.

somewhere in the world a children’s choir is singing praises to God while elsewhere others are shouting that He does not exist.

somewhere in the world a mother is abandoning her baby on the street, while somewhere else even now, a mother is laying down her life that her child might live.

somewhere, someone is stealing food from their neighbor while somewhere else, someone is sharing what little food they have with a hungry stranger.

somewhere, in a hospital, there are those dedicating their lives to healing the sick and the wounded while outside that hospital there are those dedicated to wounding those who are whole.

somewhere, some are building up homes, schools, churches and hospitals while somewhere else others are tearing them down

somewhere in the world there are those abusing their power and enslaving others, while somewhere else there are those giving their lives so that the prisoner, the slave, the oppressed may live in freedom

for every person who values neither his life nor any other, there are those who know each life is miraculous and valuable to the Creator.

while some are taking all they can get, others are giving all that they have and all that they are in Jesus’ name.

somewhere in the world people are gathered in violent, angry protests while somewhere else in the world people are gathered hand in hand in prayer and petition, pleading for peace

somewhere, someone is taking an eye for an eye, while somewhere else someone is turning the other cheek, giving his adversary the shirt off his back and walking with him the extra mile.

somewhere in the world, someone is exacting revenge even as somewhere else in the world someone is dispensing mercy

the first results in death,  the second brings healing and restoration and life and peace

mercy is the miracle that will move the mountains of hatred in our world, if only enough of us had the mustard seed of faith to practice mercy daily

mercy is the precursor to peace

“God, be merciful to me, a sinner”   (Luke 18:13)

may we each one be both the givers and receivers of mercy each day,

sincerely,           Grace Day











When words won’t do/ there are no words

this is untitled as I begin to write because there aren’t adequate words to describe my experience this morning.  There are no words to describe the events that have taken place in our nation these past weeks,  from Orlando to Dallas and everything in between; what has gone before and what is yet to come.  We are a nation in mourning, a nation in chaos, a nation in anger, a nation broken up by our own divisiveness,  a nation in pain, a nation searching for solutions, a nation grieving from the wounds inflicted from within.  We have seen the enemy and the enemy is us, ourselves.  We are the enemy.

We are the enemy every time we wrong our neighbor, our coworker, our family member, the stranger on the street.  We are the enemy every time we speak hatefully of those who do not look like we do or live like we do.  We would do well to watch our words because our words eventually become our actions.  And we have all seen what that looks like over and over again as it plays out on the evening news.

This morning for a few hours I experienced the solution, I lived the solution, I lived the dream, I was privileged to be a part of the vision that most of us say we share but do little to bring about.  I said I lived the dream of peace and reconciliation for a few hours but this was not a dream.  This was the truest reality, full of the mixture of pain and joy,  anger and compassion,  hope and despair, emptiness and fulfillment, guilt and forgiveness, isolation and acceptance, failure and success, mortality and eternity, that each of us carries around with us every day.

This was Sunday morning worship with my brothers and sisters.   We look like heaven here on earth.  “. . . before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb.  . . . they cried out in a loud voice: ‘Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb’.”  Revelation 7:9-10   That was us on this Sunday morning, crying out to our Creator God after a week of witnessing man’s inhumanity to man, we gathered to practice the opposite.  We talked, we shared, we listened to each other, we cried, we joined our hands, we prayed together and ended by singing songs of praise to our God.

For these few hours this morning I experienced the joy of love, acceptance, forgiveness, safety, freedom to be myself as I extend to others that same freedom, all while worshiping our God together.  Yes, in this inner city church on this Sunday morning, while the world went about business as usual, we all experienced a little bit of heaven here on earth.  Pews filled with every skin color God created, all ages, backgrounds, occupations, ethnicities; united in worship, formed into a family by our Heavenly Father. This is the world we want, this is the world we wait for.  This is the world as it was meant to be, a world where peace prevails.

My few hours this morning were in stark contrast to my experiences of this week leading up to today.  This seems to be the way it is, joy is so fleeting, pain so persistent. Yet these snatches of joy amid the grief and the loss that are a part of daily life here on earth, provide us the glimpses of heaven we need to keep our hope alive.  Today I had a glimpse of heaven.  I wish each of you could too.

sincerely,              Grace Day



No longer lives here

Just four words, but they felt weighty as I wrote them across the front of each post card that would go in the return mail.  It was the act of writing those four words that made it real.  It was the writing of those words that made it true.  My three millennials do indeed no longer live here.  I have now what is referred to as, “the empty nest”.   As gradual and non-linear as the process has been, the finality of those words still took me by surprise.

Having achieved every parent’s dream, what do I feel?  Granted, two of the three have returned home to live for brief periods of time within the past year.  Now, however, all are gainfully employed and living in three different states.  Distance adds credibility to the finality of,  “this time its for real”.  Seems that’s often the case, a few false starts or practice runs before taking off for good.  If that was supposed to prepare me for this present reality, it didn’t.  You can’t know ahead of time how you will feel, no matter how much you anticipate and prepare.  You can’t know until you experience it.

I am always surprised when I experience what I did not expect to experience. This is something  I knew for certain would happen one day, I just didn’t think “one day” would ever get here, especially not so soon.  I expected celebration, what I feel is a sadness.  I expected the exhilaration of freedom, what I feel is the emptiness of no one’s expectations of me.

Is this an ending or a beginning?  It’s both of course, because every ending ushers in a new beginning of something.  It will be the beginning of something I choose or of something thrust upon me, either way, the only way is forward, no going back.  And I’ve already stated that I like beginnings, all things new and uncharted, the adventure of the unknown.  I can now make decisions without needing to consider the needs and personal preferences of three other individuals.  And yet, learning to live well with others, balancing their needs with my own seems ultimately more fulfilling than considering only myself.

We were meant to live life in community.  The “every man for himself” ideal brings upon us the strife, isolation, crime, grief and destruction that we witness in our own lives and the lives of those around us and in our nation.  All we have to do is turn on the news.  The results of this philosophy surround us.  The molehills in our lives become mountains and our mountains become insurmountable without the compassion and cooperation of those who would surround and uplift us in our times of need.  The miracle is that mercy still exists and is experienced, often when least expected by those who least deserve it.  And that is each one of us at one time or another in our lives.

So let us be dispensers of mercy, each one, that we may also be receivers of mercy in our times of need.  Holding fast to our mustard seed of faith, let us face our futures with anticipation rather than dread, courage instead of fear and hope rather than despair. After all, each day is a new beginning, a gift from God, waiting for us to fill it with our choices.  Choose well,  my friends.


sincerely,          Grace Day







I like beginnings, all beginnings.  They are so full of promise, so full of possibility, while at the same time so pristine, so free of pain.  There is something exciting and refreshing about the unknown, unspotted and unspoiled, where all options are still open and mistakes have not yet been made.  Sadness has not yet entered in.                   Beginnings are the joy of a clean slate, of a blank canvas, of a new journal waiting for that first entry, of a second chance.

Life is full of new beginnings, (although I must say, a beginning IS new simply by definition, otherwise it wouldn’t be a beginning).   A new life coming into the world, first day of a new school year, first day of a new job, the beginning of a new relationship, the beginning symbolized by a wedding, the start of summer vacation; all start out clean and clear, no doors yet closed; waiting for us to fill them with whatever we choose.

Each day is a new beginning for us, a clean slate, a do over, a second chance to get right what we didn’t get right the day before.  (I think that’s referred to as learning from our mistakes).  God’s mercies to us are new every morning, so hopefully our mercies to ourselves and others are as well.  What a difference that would make in our daily experience.

So, this blog is a new beginning for me.  Kind of like starting a new journal, but a little less private.  I have no idea what to expect, this is a first for me.  It is also the height of irony because I have practically zero computer skills (a friend set this up for me on my old desktop) and I am not on any social media.   This is truly like sky diving for me, or as close as I will ever get to that I’m sure.

But the beginning of anything is exhilarating and I enter into this beginning full of all the hope and anticipation that accompany any such endeavor.  I do love a good beginning.  I have already experienced today in getting this launched, a molehill, a mountain, mercy, and a miracle; all while clinging to my mustard seed of faith.  The molehill of technical difficulties turned into a mountain, which due to the mercies of my friend and neighbor, eventually yielded the miracle of this blog.  (well, its a miracle as well as a mystery to me anyway).  So,  unseen, unknown readers, you are more than welcome to share this journey with me.  I have no idea where we are going or where we will end up, but the joy is in the journey and I would be glad to share that with you.

sincerely,             Grace Day