Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Amy Welborn in Living Faith

Amy Welborn is a contributor - five devotions per issue -  to the Living Faith daily devotional quarterly

For example today, November 19

My son was playing a Beethoven sonata in a piano recital and everything was going great. Then...a memory slip. He stumbled. He paused, started from the same point...and stumbled again.
Later, his teacher said, "Next time that happens, don't return to the spot where your brain flipped out on you the first time. Pick a point beyond your first mistake--and move forward."


 November 1

The principal narrating the film--also a religious sister--described her order's understanding of that moment and that place. She said they were seeking to share a greater truth with the children, to image the warmth and welcome God shares with us in his kingdom by the way they welcomed and treated children in the classroom every day. "We're saying here--you have a place prepared for you," she said, "as the Lord has a place prepared for you in heaven."


 September 23.

It was strange. Twice within the space of a few days, two writers that I know, but who don't know each other, said to me something like, "Yes, this is what I'm working on now, but let me tell you about what I really want to write." So why weren't they putting their energies into the ideas that excited them? Different reasons: 



 July 18:

I don't have as many anxiety dreams as I used to. But when they occur, they share the same setting as they always have: I'm in the classroom, either as a student or a teacher, unprepared to either take or give an exam. Or I have to get to school and I just can't.

What a relief it is to realize--either in the midst of it or upon awaking--that it was, indeed, just a dream.

 July 3

A long time ago, my oldest son stumbled in the kitchen. A knife in the cutlery rack of the open dishwasher door stabbed his leg and he had to get stitches. Now, 20 years later, you can still see the scar. I glance at my forearm and a darkened crescent shape reminds me of the time I burned myself with an iron.

Whether we are children or adults, we relish battle scars. We compare them, check to see if they are still visible. They are evidence of adventures, mistakes, and they are signs of surprising strength. We recognize ourselves, in part, through our scars.



 June 22:

When I was a child, I used to frustrate my parents--so they told me later--because when asked what I wanted for Christmas, I would shrug and say that I couldn't think of anything. I told them that whatever they gave would be all right.

I don't share this so you can file it away in my canonization file: "Even as a child, she eschewed the false glitter of the world..." Far from it! 


 May 14:

I'm taking a stand in defense of paint. Specifically, paint drying. What is it we say when we want to express deadly dullness? "It's like watching paint dry."


 April 30

I was in a boat on a lake in Central America and feeling guilty about it. My youngest son, asked where he'd like to go on a summer trip, had answered "Mayan ruins in Guatemala." So here we were. Who does that? "Ridiculous," I thought. What an overprivileged pair!


 April 15:

The garage doors had been inoperable for months, mostly because I was convinced it would be an expensive repair. A handyman, here on another job, snapped a part into place, pushed a button--done.
I was both joyful and shamed because of the easy fix. I was elated at the simplicity and zero cost, but a little embarrassed that I'd not understood that the situation wasn't really that complicated after all.\


 March 31:

I don't remember my baptism. There aren't even any photographs of the event. But it happened. And, indeed, as a tiny baby there in Bloomington, Indiana, I died and rose with Christ, and here I am.


 February 25:

When my children see a wasp outside the house, I ask them to please not race away in fear. Do themselves, and the rest of us, a favor, I say, and follow it, at least with their eyes. For if there is a wasp floating about, it's likely because it has a home--one that's probably attached to our home somehow, under an eave or in a doorframe. If we follow it to its source instead of just running in fear, we might eliminate a lot of future problems.


February 22 - the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter

When I think about each of the important older people in my life (all deceased because I'm one of the older ones now), all are associated with a chair.
My father's preferred spot was his desk chair in his study. My mother spent her days in her comfortable chair in the corner, surrounded by books. My great-aunt was not to be disturbed as she watched afternoon soap operas from her wingback chair. My grandfather had his leather-covered lounger, its arms dotted with holes burned by cigars.


 January 29:

Inside this church, it is warm and dry. Light filters through stained glass and shines on friendly, familiar faces. Led by the choir, we chant praise, joining our voices to the saints. The Lord comes among us.

As I pause at the church door on my way out, I'm met by the chill that lies outside. I know that I'll encounter strangers and much that's unfamiliar out there. It's far more comfortable inside.


 January 7:

I would have just driven on by. But my son, always alert to the mysteries that nature holds, had been paying attention, so he was able to see. And so Magi, wise and observant of God's ways in the world, were led by the light to his son.