Saturday, December 05, 2015

Advent 2: Julian, Suffering and Peace

“All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.”

― Julian of Norwich

It's the Eve of the second Sunday in Advent and "Peace" is our point of focus for the coming week, Julian's words meet us in a time where peace may seem far off...
For refugees wandering...
For victims of senseless violence...
For those without a place to call home...
For those suffering sickness and grief...
it seems crazy to repeat her words.
Some may even go so to say the her words are foolishness.

But, there are some words we need to repeat -
perhaps even more in times like these.Julian's words mean to assure each heart that in the midst of all circumstances that Jesus the Christ is always present.

1 Corinthians 1:18 speaks of how some might perceive the gospel message to be foolishness...
"For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God."

Julian of Norwich was not speaking about suffering, having never suffered. At a young age, she was close to death in the midst of a serious illness at suddenly saw a vision (as well as others) of Christ crucified.Shortly after the series of visions she recovered.  (For more on Julian's life visit Wikipedia)

While this account may seem unbelievable, the records of this event and theological writings that followed Julian's mystical experience remain impressive.

In the midst of suffering, Christ was present with Julian.
So, in the midst of our suffering, Christ also is present with us.


For those hearts too full or empty due to the grief they bear, this presence of Jesus Christ is anything but foolishness.

May all manner of things be well for you and yours in this coming week of "peace".
Christ is present.
Christ is with you.
Christ is the Prince of Peace.

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Color for the journey


Art is something that lifts my heart and helps my mind to stop it's spinning. Art is rest and release as well as a way to connect and interact with others. Art is an expression of spiritual matters in simple physical matter. Art (in all its forms) - from cooking a new dish to painting on a fresh canvas bring flavor and color to each day of my journey. I hope this colorful collage of text, watercolor and mixed media help illuminate a new shade of  hope for you too.

"Color for the journey" is a mixed media original art piece integrating text, color and simple everyday resources.

Rilke's advice

Rilke advised me to "Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves..."
I took his advice.
I swallowed his words whole hoping they would take root and grow in my belly like the absurd possibility of eaten watermelon seeds.
I watered the questions.
I took risks.
I went to places I'd never dreamed possible and met people that were easier and harder to love than the questions themselves.
I got lost in their stories.
I learned the unspoken language and the pauses in their speech.
I saw that we shared the same questions
and we all struggle to love them.

Questions are hard to love.
They are restless wanderers that leave as soon as you become used to their company
and return to visit when you aren't prepared to face them.

"Live the questions now", Rilke tells me.
In their curvy strength I'm to live, to breathe and be content.
Am I to ride wholeheartedly the uncertainty of this rollercoaster?
At every bend should I raise my arms in gleeful surrender and finally exhale at the abrupt dot’s end?
This question’s ride is not always amusing.

The question isn't if I've lived the question Mr. Rilke,
but have questions really helped me to live?


T.L. Eastman 2015 Copyright