Of Kindling and Light

Of Kindling and Light

Home from work
to a house cold and dark
I create a companion
of left-over embers, paper,
kindling, and cedar logs
My friend breathes
and moves and grows –
a living being of warmth
It fills my home with light
and comfort.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

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“…he was there alone…”

“…he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone…”
– Matthew 14:23

The only thing that ever stays the same whenever I take that Meyers Briggs Test is the “N” part – “Intuitive” – everything else – the Introvert/Extrovert, Thinking/Feeling, Judging/Perception stuff – seems to constantly change. Right now I test as an Introvert. This month the idea of going “up into a mountain apart to pray” sounds really lovely to me.  And I guess I’ve been feeling guilty about that. I’m not sure everyone understands the need some of us have for solitude. I worry it might be viewed as unfriendly or “not doing one’s part,” or even insulting, if I say no, I’m not going to be able to make it to that party; or no, I can’t go to that meeting; or no, I can’t join all of you this time. 

But hey – even Jesus needed time alone, right?

alone

        “For three years after my discovery, I sought the solution of this problem of Mind-healing, searched the Scriptures and read little else, kept aloof from society, and devoted time and energies to discovering a positive rule. The search was sweet, calm, and buoyant with hope, not selfish nor depressing.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

 

 

Here’s to 2018!

Here’s looking forward to 2018… may it bring you all bountiful love, laughter, and life! May you meet new friends; discover unexpected moments of beauty; find lots of reasons to laugh; and find all kinds of wonderful opportunities to show kindness and love to your fellow creatures, and to use your talents. I’m glad to know you.

-Karen

Glimmer of Pure Joy

I was in the car with Scott, listening to a radio show – there was some comedy bit about avocados and bananas, and then a story about potato gun wars between the employees of neighboring restaurants. And the guys talking were completely relaxed and enjoying themselves – there was no hint of worry about the state of the world, no mention of Donald Trump. They seemed totally free of doubt or fear. They were joyful without question, or reason. And for just a moment that silly radio show helped me transcend Trump and politics and war and fear and worry. For just a moment I felt an indescribable, effortless, fearless joy. For a moment I caught a glimmer of simple, uncomplicated happiness – a moment of heaven.  And that moment gave me hope, my friends.  I saw that this kind of joy is possible – and I remembered, vaguely, experiencing it as a child…

A glimmer of joy
pure, fearless, free, soaring high
taste of what can be
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

baby Karen in dirty dress

Dressed up to greet Dad when he gets home from work. (I’m guessing Mom went through a lot of laundry detergent.) 

 

Karen's twirly dress

Karen in her twirly dress.

 

Happiness is spiritual, born of truth and love. It is unselfish; therefore it cannot exist alone, but requires all mankind to share it.
– Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures

 

Happy New Year! (Asparagus, Paths Untrod, and the Upward Way)

Originally published on December 29, 2011.

Adventures of the Madcap Christian Scientist

We really have no choice but to progress, you know?  You and I can no more go backwards than an oak can become an acorn, or a butterfly a caterpillar.  Grow we must.

Years ago I heard a lecture titled “Grow We Must” given by a Christian Science teacher named Harvey Wood.  I don’t remember much detail from the lecture anymore – but I do remember Harvey talking about asparagus. He said that just because we can’t see progress in our lives, doesn’t mean progress isn’t happening, and he used asparagus as an example of this – Harvey said that we don’t see the asparagus growing under the concrete in our driveways,  but once it starts growing nothing can stop it – it’ll break right through the concrete in its journey upwards. (If you don’t believe this – google “asparagus growing through concrete” and take a gander at the interesting…

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Communing with Love

We went to church today. It had been a while. It felt good to be back among my church family again. I looked around at the faces there – all of them dear and familiar to me – and realized that, of all the people sitting there, I was one of the people who had been attending this church the longest – almost 33 years. I began remembering, then, all the beautiful people I’d met in this edifice. A parade of precious faces from the past went by my inner vision. Gordo and Babs. Gordon and Jane. Another Jane and her three beautiful daughters. Sue. Laurie. Sabra and Dave. Darlene and Elliot, John and Linda and Becky and another Linda and a Zach. Mary and Serena and Jennifer and two Walts and a couple of Dons. Magnolia and Connie and Win and Bob.  The Tall Family. Jack and Anne. Geraldine. Marcie. Shirley. Merrle! All of them had played a part in my spiritual journey – nurtured and cultivated the good in me, and shared their inspiration with me. I felt filled with gratitude for each and every one of them – fellow adventurers and explorers and pioneers.

That final scene from Places in the Heart came to my thoughts – that scene where the camera pans down the pews in the church as the characters in the story drink from a communal cup – passing it from person-to-person – and we realize that the characters who died during the movie are sitting there, too, sharing in the cup. And we realize that the people who had battled with each other during the movie are also sharing in the cup. We see forgiveness. We see fellowship. We see love.

We don’t, literally, pass around a cup or eat wafers in the Christian Science church. But we do commune with Love. We do share in the atonement, the at-one-ment, with Love. And there have sure been some wonderful church friends sharing in that atonement with me.

“Atonement is the exemplification of man’s unity with God, whereby man reflects divine Truth, Life, and Love.”
– Mary Baker Eddy