August 29, 2016 – Tru Love
Intersections are moments that require our full attention. Simply stopping and looking both ways will not open our eyes to the gifts of who and what is crossing our path. A few weeks ago a friend that has a radio show in Ontario messaged me about a person on a radical spiritual quest. She said, “Traci you have to meet this man. His name isTru Stefan and he has let go of everything so he may be open to recognizing the Sacred in all people and in all encounters. He is writing a book and writing and recording music as he crosses the country alone trusting God to meet his needs for shelter and food. He offers himself through music, teaching and energy shiatsu massage.” Honestly my first thought was, “You had me at massage.”
I emailed Tru and our intersection began. A few emails and telephone conversations later, Tru landed on my doorstep last Friday. When I opened my door my new friend’s smile set me at ease. His face was illuminated from within and framed by long white curls that graced his broad shoulders beneath a straw fedora. We spent Saturday walking and sharing our stories while we sipped hot tea, admiring our surroundings. As evening fell we shared a dinner at home that consisted of grilled salmon, olives, artichokes, grilled garlic, cucumbers, sliced tomatoes, three different kinds of Cheese and spiced flat bread, crackers and decadent jellies. Then it happened. Tru took out his guitar and began to share some of the songs he has composed. His eyes, the cadence and sound of his voice paired with a peaceful melodic chart pierced me and moved me closer to the Sacred. I could feel pieces of his story as he played and sang. Then I shared some of my music with him while neighbours slowed down their pace as they walked in front of my open dining room window. On Sunday Tru joined the Praise Band and taught us us a new song The River Flows.. The congregation fell in love with him. We sat down on the chancel and had a conversation in front of the congregation about what it means to live into a calling and a dream. Tru shared 3 more original songs with us and wet our spiritual pallets for a concert he is going to offer to Calgary in our sanctuary in the next few weeks. He is here for awhile, until the Spirit tugs on his heart and says, “Time to go here,” wherever here is. My home has four levels. Tru is temporarily living on the fourth level, I on the third and we meet on the second for conversations of faith, lost love, sweet love, family, friendship and of course food and an occasional glass of wine. Silence or music cascades the second floor where our intersection is second to none. Like Tru, I don’t know what tomorrow holds but I trust who holds tomorrow and I am not in a rush to get there because I don’t want to miss a moment of now. Intersections are holy ground. I am reminded that when I trust the Lord with all my heart and stop relying on my limited understanding while acknowledging that God is with me and knows all my ways of thinking and being, the intersections and perceived or real detours are simply doses of empowerment for my journey. The presence of Tru is a dose of energy from the Giver of Life for all who dare to move beyond looking both ways. May we dare to live greatly. Amen.
August 22, 2016 – It’s Good to be Home
I prefer ordinary days. The no small moments where I am surprised by the palpable presence of God. Last Friday I babysat my grandsons Luke and Jeremy. I didn’t have any spa music softly playing in the background because I didn’t want to miss the sounds of their voices as they played in what I call “The Great Room”. This room is an open space that I intentionally designed to make myself and anyone who entered feel as if they have walked into a cottage on a beach. This summer on July 14th I moved into my new home. The walls were all a bright highlighter yellow but I knew the moment my Realtor and I walked through the front door I was home and four days later the walls donned a soft celery…cucumber colour just waiting for me to hang my pictures and rest my body and soul. The great room holds my dining room on one end with a long and open kitchen with a counter in the center that feels like a welcoming wave and on the other end my living room. The space is surrounded by windows, pouring in light from both bookends and light from a window above that beams into the loft and second floor. The loft welcomes my grandsons into a play room filled with toys waiting for them in blocks within shelves while a pine threaded armour is packed with games and movies. Pictures from generations past and now whisper “I love you’s” and “You did it” all around this space as a radio flyer full of Batman’s and Bad Guys sits in the corner surrounded by pillows to fall upon. The loft leads into a seaside paradise with twin oak captain beds and windows, buoy’s, seashells, an oar, a Captain’s mirror and a dolphin wait for the boys to run to the old boxes at the foot of their beds full of Lego and star wars characters. Their master bathroom has a large bathtub that was quickly named, “The Pool” with a glassed in shower so one can see the old boat and shells around the mirror and sink. Up another flight of stairs awaits my soul’s solace. A large room with my oak Shaker bed and a reading space where my big fat leather chair and ottoman hold a pillow and blanket graced with the faces of family and those I love who have gone before me. When I walk into my room I feel like I have walked into the ocean, soft sand and soft colours, a picture of my girls on the beach, a picture a friend painted for me of the tide rolling in and art that has women in soft repose with flowers surrounding them. I have more than enough space for yoga and strength training and a large nook full of books and my journals. My bathroom also dons a “jet pool” and a shower where I can sit and let the worries of the day wash over me. The basement, yes I bought a home with four levels, waits to be developed into a living and sleeping space for my parents and friends when they visit.
Outside my dining room window I can see a large hill surrounded by walkways and two parks, On top of the hill it looks like a scene from the Lord of The Rings and Jeremy has claimed this as his Jedi Castle. This hill is one of the few legal tobogganing hills in the city. As I write this I can see and hear children playing with their siblings and care givers. When I turn and look to my left the entire wall is a window over-looking my deck and backyard. I can see the wind blowing my umbrella and feel the cross breeze on my face and hands. In the great room are painted water colour scenes from moments spent on beaches and a large credenza proudly holds precious family moments in frames with bottles of sand and candles lighting the faces. Behind me as I write from my dining room table a buffet that looks like it was stolen from a beach house holds shells, old sea sticks woven into a garland and a stone tail of a whale.
I am not writing about my home to brag. I am writing because it is a simple place full of simple ordinary moments that are no small moments. These moments to some may seem like no big deal but to me they are my world. The people in these frames, the people that come through my doors are my world. My ordinary life is full of my family, friends and a stranger that will become a friend when he lands on my doorstep this Thursday and stays for a few days and shares his story and songs with me. This is my life. Today, until a friend comes over for dinner, I am living in my pajamas, researching, writing and planning the worship services for the next two Sundays. I have the sounds of nature playing on the stereo and the sounds of nature blowing through my windows and spirit. My Creator has been all around me today and singing with songs of joy inside of me. I have heard God’s voice as I read the Scriptures today and meditated on their lessons for me in this moment. I have no idea what I am going to cook for dinner but this one thing I know is that out of this ordinary day the Sacred will co-create something with me that I would never have thought of on my own. Ah, it’s good to be home. May you discover the scared extraordinary in your place of solace. Call out and God will answer you in all that is surrounding you and in all that is coming through your doors. May we all dare to live greatly.