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Benevolent Glancing

  I did a little experiment of benevolent glancing today which was very enlightening for me.  Buddhists use their eyes for receiving rather than taking.  As they see reality moving toward them, they position themselves to receive it.  It is a posture of appreciative receiving rather than taking, an experience called "benevolent glancing." It is only in reflecting on the exercise that I realize that I truly did experience what Buddhists call appreciative receiving.  Let me explain:

            As I was sitting, waiting for my first encounter, I found myself preparing my heart and mind.  As I would see people at a distance, I would try to imagine their lives, their spirit, and their prayer.  In envisioning their spirit, I began to connect with the God within them without them even knowing it.

            I must admit that I felt a bit like a stalker when I first made eye contact with an unassuming priest.  He smiled and looked away.  So did I.  I felt a little intrusive at first, like I was too interest in what he was doing.  Almost like I was being nosey.

            Everyone was so busy.  They were too busy to notice me.  But I sent them thoughts of love anyway.  Most people would walk by me and never even see me.  They were going somewhere, on a mission, distracted by their cell phone, talking to someone else … busy.  Even the few who were strolling at a slower pace neglected to see me.  They were looking around, seeing everything but me.  I couldn’t help but wonder – is this the way God feels?  Looking at us with love and benevolence and we are too busy, too distracted to see him?  Is he, like I was, just waiting to share a loving glance with someone?  Waiting. Waiting. Waiting.  But everyone was too busy.

            Then finally, eye contact was made.  A smile and nod followed.  I was seen and acknowledged.  And then he moved on.  It was quick and unassuming, but present nonetheless. 

            Then another.  His nod was slower.  His glance longer.  It seemed purposeful.  Intentional.  I felt it was God – seeing me.  God was glancing at me from behind the eyes of a dark African man.  It was beautiful. 

            In reflecting on this exercise, I realize that while I wanted to give a benevolent glance to others, I eventually came to receive a great gift.  As the article purports, in reality, I was positioning myself for appreciative receiving.  That is usually what happens when we try to give of ourselves.  It is in giving that we receive.  Such was the case for me.  In recognizing the God in others, I opened myself to receive God from others.  It was a beautiful moment.  One I want to repeat over and over again.  What a true gift.  

Add A Comment > Posted On: June 16, 2013 at 9:00:27 PM

Rest in Jesus

 When I think of rest my mind wanders to the beautiful beach we enjoyed this summer in Roatan, Honduras.  Morning walks before the kids woke up, strong coffee from the bar as we watched the morning roll by.  Then out to do a few scuba dives.  After lunch - the ever inviting nap in the coolness of our air-conditioned bedroom.  Nothing to do that we didn't want to do.  No time constraints.  We even had time to read while swinging in a hammock.  As I take a deep breath in and out, I can feel the stress of my hectic day lessen as I remember our island time.  

Mark 6:30-31 tell us that Jesus must have wanted some of the very kind of rest we enjoyed.  He told his disciples, "Let's go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile."  He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his  apostles didn't even have time to eat.  I can totally relate to that today.  Trying to juggle work, volunteering at the high school, dropping off laundry, making a football game and then a volleyball meeting, only to then rush of to make a dinner that, quite frankly, no one really liked.  I could use some rest.  And my island get away is no longer an option.  So how do you get away with Jesus and rest?  

Physical rest I am sure he approves of.  We are all so driven by schedules and deadlines and people wanting more of us than we can give at times.  We are exhausted.  But is that the kind of rest that he is inviting us to.  Rest in his word???  Yes, I love doing that.  But sometimes, be honest, doesn't reading the Bible feel like work sometimes?  Don't think me sacrilegious on this one.  I just mean, sometimes I run the other direction from what I perceive as "holy" things to do.  I don't know why.  I love God.  I love his word.   But sometimes I am too weary to even open the pages.  What I discovered several years ago has given me great comfort in times like this.  Times that some of the saints and mystics have called the Dark Night of the Soul.  When our spiritual room darkens and we slip into what I call a type of spiritual paralysis -- like the  pilot light of desire is on but the furnace just won't kick on.  I have felt like that at varying points in my life.  I believe when Jesus calls us to rest, he is calling us to rest from everything -- religiosity most of all.  What I've discovered is that I can't read my Bible enough to transform me - or pray enough to change my heart.  It's not even my job!  Transformation is the Holy Spirit's job and all he needs is my surrender and consent.  Not my Bible reading record or my lofty words.  Just my presence, my stillness, my surrender.  And that is true rest - where we do nothing more than rest in his love and grace - asking for nothing, expecting nothing, but being open to whatever work he deems necessary.  This is the ultimate trust - and the ultimate rest.  

I think Jesus gave you a suggestion.  "Let's go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile."  Can you let go - even of the 'good' things and just sit in the quiet solitude with Jesus.  Just the two of you.  In silence and surrender.  Not uttering a word.  Give it a try.  It's life changing!

4 Comments > Posted On: August 25, 2011 at 10:31:07 PM

Swimming with the sharks? No thanks.
I have been emailing a very perky person named Laurie from the Palmetto Bay Dive Shop in Roatan, Honduras, trying to get ready for our summer vacation.  She informed me today that we'll be able to do dives of ship wrecks, wall dives, night dives and even shark dives if that makes us happy!  I can tell you one thing:  that ain't gonna make momma happy!  But I am afraid it just might be on the agenda now of my dare devil husband.  No thanks!  
The kids and I started our scuba classes this past weekend.  It was a little unnerving for me, although I got the hang of breathing underwater eventually.  When I told my 13 year old that the sound of my breathing was freaking me out, she said it sounded like adventure to her.  She belongs to the man I'm married to.  Besides a knot on the back of my head that still hurts (from the tank knocking me a good one when I attempted my pool entry) I'd say it was a pretty fun time.  Two more weekends and we'll be headed to the Blue Hole for our open water dives.  Hopefully no shark-like creatures in there - just frigid temps!  Oh, joy!  The things we do for our kids.
Add A Comment > Posted On: May 16, 2011 at 10:04:16 PM

Why Blog? Do you know?

I was talking to my husband the other day trying to explain a blog.  What is it?  Why do people write them?  Are we ego maniacs thinking that anyone really cares what we have to say?  Do we have anything to say?  I guess my answer to all of these questions is "I don't know."  Not so brilliant, and certainly not so well written.  

It made me wonder why I went to all the time and expense of setting up my own website and blog.  Initially I wanted to promote my ministry, but lately my ministry has mainly been in the church, not on my own.  I am going to finish my masters degree in December of this year and am wondering what is next.  Going on to get my doctorate?  Writing?  What I really want to do is write Bible studies.  So I think I will take a break from school and try to do that.  I am trying to figure out now what topic or book the study will be about.  A matter I am commending to prayer - and would appreciate your prayers as I begin discerning.  

What topics are YOU interested in studying?  What do you want to learn from a Bible study?  Any guidance you can give me I am grateful for.  

Thanks for listening!


Add A Comment > Posted On: May 15, 2011 at 5:24:49 PM

Surrender to Silence Contemplative Retreat

I will be facilitating a contemplative retreat at Ceta Glynn November 5-7, 2010.  There will be 3 workshops throughout the weekend on Centering Prayer, Journaling as a Spiritual Pathway and Lectio Divina.  We will have yoga each morning to complement the silence of the weekend and lots of quiet time for self reflection and time with God.  I would love for you to come.  For more information please email me at Linda@Vocation101.com.  I can send you more information and a registration form.

Surrender to Silence Contemplative Retreat

November 5-7


Ceta Glynn


1 Comment > Posted On: August 8, 2010 at 10:30:36 PM

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