In this crucial time We need to stop, look, listen Stop now and bow down!
In kindergarten, we were taught to stop, look and listen. We made traffic lights as an art project. As a kindergarten teacher in the 70’s, I taught the children to recognize their colors, write their numbers, sing their ABC’s and listen for the sounds the letters made. I taught them safety features. Looking out for themselves and for one another. Yes, we had partners who took care of each other when we went out on field trips.
It’s time once again For us to stop, look, listen Practice safety rules
It’s time once again To look out for each other Hold hearts across miles
Just STOP, everyone! Stay sequestered and stop now Look for ways to help
Listen for the cries Of people less fortunate Look for solutions
Kim Taylor Henry is one of the contributing writers for Daily Guideposts 2020. This week, she has taken us through her devotionals on a journey to the Holy Land. We stopped with her in Jerusalem and bemoaned the way “the city bustled on.”
Kim thought of the words of Jesus: “Jerusalem, Jerusalem… how often I have longed to gather your children together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.”
She wrote that when she traveled to Jerusalem, she “had expected to feel connected to God through tranquility.”
Instead, as she stood on a hill looking down at the expanse of the city, she wanted to cry out, “Stop everyone! This is holy ground! Bow down. Worship. Praise.”
We were just like that – Chaotic, bustling, busy – Moving way too fast
Then this virus hit We came to a screeching halt Stop, look and listen!
Now we have the time We are forced to be at home How will this change us?
Will we use this time To reclaim our best values To reach out in love?
The city is still The children are in their homes It seems the world stopped
Take time to bow down Reconnect with your Maker Let His Will guide you
When Kim Taylor Henry left Jerusalem and traveled on to Gethsemane, she expected to find “a hushed highlight” for her trip. She wrote that she thought she would find “a spot where I would reflect on our Savior’s suffering, a place of pain, yet serenity.”
“Instead ,” she wrote, “I saw a fenced-off grouping of knobbly olive trees… It didn’t feel peaceful.”
Opportunity or Tragedy
We have the opportunity during this COVID-19 pandemic to create in our homes a place of peace, a spot where you sense a “hushed highlight” in the opportunity to just BE… just BE together with family or alone in your space…
We can create a tragedy where we feel “fenced off” and we can be resentful, and we can worry and let our fear blind us to the opportunities that are before us.
Indifference or Awareness?
Traveling on the Via Dolorosa, the road to Calvary, the place outside the city of Jerusalem where Jesus was crucified, Kim Taylor Henry wrote in her Guideposts devotional,
“I felt irritated by what I viewed as near oblivion to the sanctity of the path. Crass crowds and the array of souvenir shops disturbed me.”
But she went on to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and Golgotha, the hillside where Jesus and the two thieves’ crosses remained, and she felt a sense of hush and respect.
Kim asked herself, “Why is the Via Dolorosa bustling with indifference and commercialism while the sites of death and resurrection are worshipful?” And she postulated, “Perhaps it’s a reminder that I, like so many wrapped up in the world… realize my errors too late, and bow down after the fact – when crisis has already struck.”
Is it Too Late?
Help us not to wait Until the crisis has struck Devastating us
Help us to heed NOW The directions we’re given And let us bow down
Stop, look and listen Like kindergarteners did No, it’s not too late!
Thank you, Kim Taylor Henry, for permission to quote your writing. Thank you, Guideposts, for your wonderful DailyGuideposts 2020spirit-lifting devotionals. I appreciate this resource that helps me each day stay focused on the positive ways we can remain in His Word and “Walk the Talk” as we learn to better love and care for one another.
The outside pressures Try to squeeze peace from our souls But we can’t let them
Treat yourself to this beautiful rendition of “It is Well with My Soul” by the First Plymouth Church in Lincoln, Nebraska.
This hymn has a special meaning to me because when we were members of the Harvest Presbyterian Church in Ceres, CA, a dear family who were charter members there had a son, Robert, who was dying. His dad, Homer Jorgensen, was at his bedside with a hymnal. He was turning the pages of the book, asking Robert to blink when he came to a song he’d like to hear. Blinking was all he was capable of doing at that end-point of his earthly life. Robert blinked when his dad came to “It is Well With My Soul.”
Homer was reading the words of this hymn to Robert when his son took his last breath. Since then, both of Robert’s parents have joined him in their heavenly home. Rest in peace, Jorgensen family. I am praying for the beauty of your legacy to live on in our hearts as we listen to this gorgeous, meaningful song and consider the beauty of its words.
Let the Words Be Your Prayer
As you listen, my friends, pray for all those you know who need the peace this composer wrote about. It is the peace that only God can give. Lift your family and friends up as you enjoy these beautiful voices and appreciate the phenomenal, majestic organ.
God bless you!
Psalm 46:1-3 – “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.”
I will find the peace That comes from deep within me And I’ll sit awhile
We all need to laugh Laughter is good medicine Brings good endorphins
Laughter reduces pain, increases job performance, connects people emotionally, and improves the flow of oxygen to the heart and brain. Laughter, it’s said, is the best medicine.
Let Laughter Reign
I hope you laughed out loud at some of these. I did! Did any of them shock you? Did that make you laugh louder?
The Major Function of Laughter
Some researchers believe that the major function of laughter is to bring people together. While we are socially distancing (afterall, you may be thousands of miles from me), we CAN laugh together!
You may have been surprised that this usually prudent 80 year old blogger would post more than one meme with the word “asshole” in it. Right?
But did you laugh, or did you just breathe deeply and say, “Oh my!”?? Deep breaths are good for you, too, you know!!
Did you know that laughter reduces blood sugar levels? It is believed that laughter increasing glucose tolerance in diabetics and non-diabetics alike. It’s worth a little shock effect of naughty words, don’t you agree?
All the health benefits of laughter may simply result from the social support that laughter stimulates. Just loosen up and laugh, my friends. It’s good for you! It keeps us connected, even though we may be far away.
Have a happy day… laugh a lot … and spread your joy… Especially during these extraordinary times. What meme or comment have you seen or heard that made you laugh out loud?
Let beauty fill you Only lovely quietude Calm reassurance
Take a walk outside Look up into the big sky Marvel at beauty
Appreciate home Let its peacefulness fill you Find a quiet space
You can find a spot You may not have a big porch But it’s a big world
I see God at work Holding our world in His Hand Helping us save it
Hold the whole world close We have a global challenge But God is in charge
Out of this chaos A healthier planet grows Creating beauty
You can find beauty Right in the space of your home Look in your kitchen
She sent a video of this loaf. In the video, she was cutting a slice and then tapping the crust for us to hear how crunchy it is. We had fun using “What’s App” to exchange some beautiful silliness. Then I wrote this Haiku:
Listen to the crust Crunchy and appetizing Crackle’s Symphony
Beauty in the kitchen … Beauty in the dining room … Beauty is where you make it … Beauty is where you find it.
Let beauty fill you!
Have fun with beauty on your blog! Have you tried the new “Block Editor” here on WordPress? They have greatly improved it – and made options (like colored text) so much easier to access.Thank you, WordPress!!
Make it a beautiful day! Thanks for stopping by JanBeek.
Leave me a message telling me about something beautiful in your world right now.