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  • Veranita Alvord, Pastor

Flare Up


In meeting with my Spiritual Director recently, we discussed my Dad's death and the large swath of influence he leaves behind related to the purposeful way he lived his life. I'm still receiving sympathy cards...thank you! Dad served others, worked hard, was faithful to God who called him into full-time Christian ministry. He had integrity, was honest to a fault. He made a mean (as in delicious) fruitcake and wonderful marzipan which we would find in our stockings each Christmas. When I was in high school and my mom was teaching elementary school, Dad fixed supper for us every night. He had his own recipe for ground turkey meatballs, made super smooth mashed potatoes and we always had English peas with whatever he fixed. English peas were his "go-to" vegetable. In sharing about Dad, digesting his influence on me, our family, the world, this poem by Rainer Maria Rilke came to mind. This is one of the poems I have committed to memory. Particularly, "flare up like a flame and make big shadows [God] can move in." Perhaps that is what God is calling us all to do, take our "one wild and precious life" and let everything happen to us--beauty and terror. Beauty and terror will happen to us. We must keep going, however, and never lose sight of the One who Made us, Saves us, and Sets us Free. May I use my life to flare up like a flame full of God's animating Holy Spirit...

"Go to the Limits of Your Longing"
God speaks to each of us as [God] makes us,
then walks with us silently out of the night.
These are the words we dimly hear:
You, sent out beyond your recall, go to the limits of your longing. Embody me.
Flare up like a flame and make big shadows I can move in.
Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror. Just keep going. No feeling is final. Don’t let yourself lose me.
Nearby is the country they call life. You will know it by its seriousness.
Give me your hand.

Book of Hours, I 59, Rainer Maria Rilke

Grace and Peace, Veranita

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