Do Not Despair

“My child, do not despair. Do you think we would have brought you here if there were no hope? We are asking you to do a difficult thing, but we are confident that you can do it.”
– Madeleine L’Engle, A Wrinkle in Time

Not Giving Up

So there’s this site called singsnap that’s a karaoke site – let’s you record yourself singing songs to the site’s backup music. My friend, Kathi, introduced me to this site back in 2013, and I made some recordings on there over that summer and then pretty much forgot about it and moved on to other diversions. 🙂 But this morning I was thinking about a Jason Mraz song, I won’t Give Up, and went back to my recording of it on singsnap. It was the first song I recorded on there and I didn’t really know what I was doing – this is not a professional recording or anything. But I feel impelled to share it today. It’s a song for my country and my world. Here’s the link to it: Karen’s recording of I Won’t Give Up. 

I won’t give up on us
Even if the skies get rough
I’m giving you all my love
I’m still looking up, I’m still looking up.
– Jason Mraz

“Rise in the strength of Spirit…”

“Rise in the strength of Spirit to resist all that is unlike good. God has made man capable of this, and nothing can vitiate the ability and power divinely bestowed on man.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

“Casting out evil and fear enables truth to outweigh error. The only course is to take antagonist grounds against all that is opposed to the health, holiness, and harmony of man, God’s image.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

On Sunday morning my United Methodist husband agreed to read the week’s Christian Science Lesson-Sermon with me – he took on the role of First Reader and I was Second Reader – and it was just… it was just very dear.  The Lesson-Sermon on Sunday was really powerful and brought me healing and hope. I’m going to post excerpts from it below, so’s I can return to it when I need it.

“And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world…”
– Revelation 12

“Truth and Love prevail against the dragon because the dragon cannot war with them.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

“God being everywhere and all-inclusive, how can He be absent or suggest the absence of omnipresence and omnipotence? How can there be more than all?”
– Mary Baker Eddy

“That evil or matter has neither intelligence nor power, is the doctrine of absolute Christian Science, and this is the great truth which strips all disguise from error.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour…”
– I Peter 5

“Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep; So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man.”
– Proverbs 6

“The night is far spent, the day is at hand; let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.”
– Romans 13:12

“So secret are the present methods of animal magnetism that they ensnare the age into indolence, and produce the very apathy on the subject which the criminal desires.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

“Peals that should startle the slumbering thought from its erroneous dreams are partially unheeded; but the last trump has not sounded, or this would not be so. Marvels, calamities, and sin will much more abound as truth urges upon mortals its resisted claims; but the awful daring of sin destroys sin, and foreshadows the triumph of truth.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

“Evil thoughts and aims reach no farther and do no more harm than one’s belief permits. Evil thoughts, lusts, and malicious purposes cannot go forth, like wandering pollen, from one human mind to another, finding unsuspected lodgment, if virtue and truth build a strong defence.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

“The Christian Scientst has enlisted to lessen evil, disease, and death; and he will overcome them by understanding their nothingness and the allness of God, or good.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

“Expose and denounce the claims of evil and disease in all their forms, but realize no reality in them.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

“Rise in the strength of Spirit to resist all that is unlike good. God has made man capable of this, and nothing can vitiate the ability and power divinely bestowed on man.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

“We should follow our divine Exemplar, and seek the destruction of all evil works, error and disease included.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

“Casting out evil and fear enables truth to outweigh error. The only course is to take antagonist grounds against all that is opposed to the health, holiness, and harmony of man, God’s image.” – Mary Baker Eddy

“No hypotheses as to the existence of another power should interpose a doubt or fear to hinder the demonstration of Christian Science.” –
Mary Baker Eddy

“Christian Science silences human will, quiets fear with Truth and Love, and illustrates the unlabored motion of the divine energy in healing the sick.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

“The Lord bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought: he maketh the devices of the people of none effect.”
– Psalms 33

“Let the lying lips be put to silence…”
– Psalms 31

“Greater is he than is in you, than he that is in the world.”
– I John 4

“In a world of sin and sensuality hastening to a greater development of power, it is wise earnestly to consider whether it is the human mind or the divine Mind which is influencing one.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

“The exterminator of error is the great truth that God, good, is the ONLY Mind, and that the supposititious opposite of infinite Mind – called devil or evil – is not MInd, is not Truth, but error, without intelligence or reality.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

“All must sooner or later plant themselves in Christ, the true idea of God”
– Mary Baker Eddy

“The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.”
– Zephaniah 3

“The Scripture, ‘Thou has been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over man,’ is literally fulfilled, when we are conscious of the supremacy of Truth, by which the nothingness of error is seen; and we know that the nothingness of error is in proportion to its wickedness. He that touches the hem of Christ’s robe and masters his mortal beliefs, animality, and hate, rejoices in the proof of healing, – in a sweet and certain sense that God is Love.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

Rediscovering The Last Unicorn

“It all seems a bit unfair, my lord, begging your pardon. What could we have done to save the unicorns? We were afraid of the Red Bull. What could we have done?”

“One word might have been enough,” King Lir replied. “You’ll never know.”
– Peter S. Beagle, The Last Unicorn

I read Peter S. Beagle’s  The Last Unicorn for the first time when I was a university student – a long, long time ago. It was a wonderful read. There were passages that left me laughing out loud, and passages that filled me with courage and hope. The Last Unicorn left me feeling heart-filled and sort of… nobler, I guess.

A few days ago – when I’d read up to page 100 of The Nightingale  – another great read – I realized I was too fragile at the moment to go on, and set it aside. The thought entered my noggin (and where this thought came from, I still do not know – I hadn’t thought about this book for a long time) that I needed to read The Last Unicorn again. And so I did.

And oh, it was perfect – the exactly right book for me right now! If you’ve never read The Last Unicorn, I highly recommend it. If you’ve already read it, I recommend you read it again. I don’t know how anyone could read this little book and not come away from it feeling braver and nobler and more hopeful about the world.

***

“The universe lies to our senses, and they lie to us, and how can we ourselves be anything but liars? For myself, I trust neither message nor messenger; neither what I am told, nor what I see. There may be truth somewhere, but it never gets down to me.” 

“The most professional curse ever snarled or croaked or thundered can have no effect on a pure heart. Good night.” 

“Be still,” and the two words cracked like autumn branches. He said, “The magic knew what it was doing. Be still and listen.” 

“Witchwork, surely, Schmendrick thought, and nothing made by a witch is real, at the last.” 

“I love whom I love,” Prince Lir repeated firmly. “You have no power over anything that matters.” 

“No,” he repeated, and this time the word tolled in another voice, a king’s voice… a king whose grief was not for what he did not have, but for what he could not give.” 

“Things must happen when it is time for them to happen. Quests may not simply be abandoned; prophecies may not be left to rot like unpicked fruit; unicorns may go unrescued for a long time, but not forever. The happy ending cannot come in the middle of the story.” 

“She stood very still, neither weeping nor laughing, for her joy was too great for her body to understand.” 

“The magic lifted her as gently as though she were a note of music and it were singing her.” 

“You may plant your acres again, and raise up your fallen orchards and vineyards, but they will never flourish as they used to, never – until you learn to take joy in them, for no reason.” 

“Moths and midges and other night insects too small to be anything in particular came and danced slowly around her bright horn, and this did not make her appear foolish, but them most wise and lovely as they celebrated her.” 

“So they began their new journey, which took them in its time in and out of most of the folds of the sweet, wicked, wrinkled world, and so at last to their own strange and wonderful destiny.” 

 – Peter S. Beagle

The Just Right Messages

What I am finding so heartening right now is how people of all religions and non-religions and races and ethnic backgrounds and genders and sexual orientations are coming together to help each other through these challenging times.

This morning I found the message I exactly needed (and isn’t it amazing how we always seem to get the message we most need when we need it?) waiting for me from a dear Methodist friend: “I am rereading the gospel of Matthew in The Message for some new perspective on some familiar texts and I found a description of your life as Jesus is sending out the disciples. (Matthew 10:16-35) Isn’t that delightful? ‘There is great irony here: proclaiming so much love, experiencing so much hate! But don’t quit. Don’t cave in. It is all well worth it in the end. It is not success you are after in such times but survival. Be survivors! Before you’ve run out of options, the Son of Man will have arrived. . . . Don’t be bluffed into silence by the threats of bullies. There’s nothing they can do to your soul, your core being. Save your fear for God, who holds your entire life–body and soul–in his hands.'”

I love that! All of it. Don’t quit. Don’t give up. Don’t be afraid. Christ, Truth, will arrive – has always been with us, I believe – to show us the way out of the darkness. Don’t be scared into silence by the bullies. Stand up to them. They can’t touch or harm what’s essential about us – who we really are – the children of God.

And today when I got home – feeling discouraged and alone and surrounded by dark and cold – I clicked onto Facebook to find this message waiting for me from my dear friend, Patricia – a fellow Christian Scientist: “Let us smash this bowl of delusion and rejoice!!! with this clip attached of a little girl exuberantly smashing a bowl . It’s a teensy clip – only five seconds – but I found myself… well, I teared up, actually. Teared up with courage and hope. I really, really needed that clip of the little girl and her happy exuberance.

I believe that if we listen – if we’re open to them – Love is continually sending us the thoughts we need to move us from moment to moment.

“…the angels of His presence – the spiritual  intuitions that tell us when ‘the night is far spent, the day is at hand’ – are our guardians in the gloom.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

“Angels are pure thoughts from God, winged with Truth and Love… My angels are exalted thoughts, appearing at the door of some sepulchre, in which human belief has buried its fondest earthly hopes. With white fingers they point upward to a new and glorified trust, to higher ideals of life and its joys. Angels are God’s representatives. These upward-soaring beings never lead towards self, sin, or materiality, but guide to the divine Principle of all good, whither every real individuality, image, or likeness of God, gathers. By giving earnest heed to these spiritual guides they tarry with us, and we entertain ‘angels unawares.'”
– Mary Baker Eddy

“These angels deliver us from the depths.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

 

 

Sunrise on the Way to Work

“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –

And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard –
And sore must be the storm –
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm –

I’ve heard it in the chillest land –
And on the strangest Sea –
Yet – never – in Extremity,
It asked a crumb – of me.
– Emily Dickinson

bow-sunrise-3

Sunrise on the Way to Work Photo by Karen Molenaar Terrell