Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Daily Office Reflection: Peter's Tears

Psalms: 26, 28 * 36, 39; 1 Kings 8:65-9:9; James 2:14-26; Mark 14:66-72

Today, we have Mark's version of Peter's three denials of any knowledge of Jesus. The differences and similarities among and between the Gospel writers is an interesting study to undertake. One of those differences in Mark, from Luke's version, is the lack of a dramatic turn of the head and look by Jesus when Peter makes his final denial. In Mark, we do not know if Peter could see what was happening to Jesus, or whether he was outside the walls, with view obscured.

What we have today, in Mark's version, is Peter's own conscience, his own self, reawakening with a knowledge that is devastating. Jesus knew Peter would be afraid and from that fear, trigger a self-preservation pose of denial. That is part of Peter's self-directed bitterness. Part of it also had to be from the loss of the one in whom so much hope and trust and love and excitement had been projected. Peter "broke down and wept" when his memory was triggered by the second crowing of the rooster. He came back to himself.

Those times in our lives can be formative. We know that Peter grew to be a leader, founder and central figure in the post-resurrection church. This forecast betrayal is an important piece of Peter's growth as that leader. We are reminded today that we can and will make mistakes (some of them gy-normous). They do not have to control or ruin our lives, although we can allow that to happen. We can let them inform us, form us, allow them to help us to grow into something we never even considered. Can we be open, today, to the thought of examining our lives and those times when we did something about which we have remorse, and grow from that experience? Grow into a new life which was unimaginable a day ago?
jfd+

Copyright 2011, The Rev. John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.
Photo courtesy of M.H. Jarvis, 2010: SW, DC

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Daily Office Reflection: Such Fear

Psalms 20, 21:1-7(8-14) * 110:1-5(6-7), 116, 117; 1 Kings 7:11-8:21; Acts 28:17-31; Mark 14:43-52

Jesus is captured today in Mark's Gospel. Captured by those who for a multiplicity of reasons wanted him to stop what he was doing. They wanted him to stop changing the status quo. They wanted him to stop attracting followers, taking them away from their usual places of learning and worship. They wanted him to fit into their society's culture and follow the rules and regulations that had been promulgated and been the foundation of their society for hundreds and hundreds of years. They wanted to not be afraid of what he was doing.

Those individuals who came to capture him were afraid: they came armed, and en-masse, and at night to take him. All things indicative of a lack of confidence in what they were doing. The disciples that surrounded him that night fled in fear. An unidentified young man, who had come out to see Jesus wrapped only in a linen cloth, fled naked when he was grabbed and struggled free from the cloth covering him. Such fright all around us in today's Gospel selection.

And at the center of all of this is the calm figure of Jesus. He prayed and pled to God to lift this burden off him in yesterday's selection. But that prayer was not answered in the fashion for which he asked. But that prayerfulness, I believe, helped provide him with the that center of strength necessary to be that calm in the eye of a swirling storm we see today.

Whatever we are dealing with in our lives today, fear quite often is lurking just around the corner. Whether we are facing high winds, rain, surging tides, buildings collapsing or damaged because of earthquakes, we need to remember the efficacy of prayer and the model Jesus sets for us today, which will aid us when fear is no longer lurking but ever present. Perhaps we are immersed in fear of all the difficulties associated with unemployment, or the loss of a relationship, or the death of a loved one: Jesus' calm presence and our ability to find peace in prayer can help us at those moments.

No matter what we face in life, Jesus' calm presence in the face of imminent torture and death can and will help us. For on the other side of those challenges, which can be fodder for fear, is the promise of resurrection and new life, all grounded in God's vast and great love for each one of us.
jfd+

Copyright 2011, The Rev. John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.
Photo: Allie Charging, jfd+ 2008

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Off-line for a while

I am moving and will be off-line for a while. When internet/civilization returns, so will I. :-)
jfd+

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Daily Office Reflection: Should We...or Should We Not

Psalms 119:145-176 * 128, 129, 130; 2 Samuel 18:19-33; Acts 23:23-35; Mark 12:13-27

The Pharisees and then the scribes are chasing after Jesus again, trying to trap him, make him look bad, flummox him. The Pharisees chase him about paying taxes and the scribes about resurrection. Jesus does not allow them to trip-him-up. He points out to both groups, in different ways, that they "are quite wrong" in their thinking and understanding of this kingdom he is opening for us, establishing for us.

There are always people in our lives who, for their own reasons, try and trip us up, or argue with us (some times just for the sake of arguing). Should we or should we not engage with them? Do we rise to their bate or swim on by, recognizing the nearly invisible line that could reel us in and take us off course? There is no set answer for each and every situation: we need to make judgment calls all the time. Helping us to make those decisions can be an understanding of what Jesus is attempting to get across to the Pharisees and the scribes today. Jesus is pointing us to a view of this world that sets us apart from the cultural norms and rules, regulations and laws that surround us. Notice, Jesus doesn't say to ignore these manmade rules regulations and norms (he says to still pay taxes). Our focus is to be on this kingdom that remains undefined in today's Gospel reading. We are to be focused on this living God, embodied within Jesus Christ for such a short period of time, but who still is with us. Jesus is pointing us to the concept of living in this world but not of this world: being a part of this world but never forgetting we are called to always take steps to assist in the creation of this kingdom of Jesus.

"Should we or should we not" is a pretty good mantra for the day, basing our decisions on this mindset of the kingdom.
jfd+

Copyright 2011, The Rev. John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.
Photo: Receiving the Word of God, 2007.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Daily Office Reflection: St. Mary the Virgin

MP: Psalms 113, 115: 1 Samuel 2:1-10; John 2:1-12
EP: Psalms 45 or 138, 149; Jeremiah 31:1-14 or Zechariah 2:1-13; John 19: 23-27 or Acts 1:6-14

I love the story in our MP reading from John today. Not for the usual water into wine reasons, but because of the inter-play between Jesus and his mother. She knows who he is, what he is. She has raised him, knowing he was going to do things that would shock, confound and change the world he inhabited. And Mary pushes Jesus a bit today. The first miracle story in the Gospel of John has Mary, Jesus' mother, being the impetus behind his performing this first sign of his majesty.

Think on this lovely domesticated scene. Jesus is at this wedding with his family and his disciples. We can chose to decide for ourselves whether he is having a rollicking good time, or is bored out of his mind, or is somewhere in between. His mom notes that the wine has run out and she goes to him telling him. Jesus reacts as many of us do to our parents pushing us, he tells her to leave him alone. She knows better and Mary tells the stewards to listen to him. And he, of course, relents and we have the first miracle in John's Gospel.

About what could this interplay between Jesus and Mary be a metaphor? As opposed to looking at it literally, what is it symbolic of in our lives, our world? How do we make this very human interaction, leading up to a major event, relevant to us and a part of our lives? Who in our lives knows us so well, and can push all our buttons, that we become reactionary, even when we know they are right? Do we, eventually listen to them, perhaps begrudgingly, to move or take action as we should? Is, perhaps, that annoyance we can feel at being prodded, a rejection of the Holy Spirit's (sometimes) none-to-gentle nudge pushing us in the right direction? To what do we need to be open to, today?
jfd+

Copyright 2011, The Rev. John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.
Photo: Flowers @ St. Thomas', 2009.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Pentecost 9


Preached @ St. Anne’s, Damascus, MD 8/14/11, Matthew 15:10-28

Listen and understand: it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but it is what comes out of the mouth that defiles. A friend of mine told me about some problems she is having with her daughter. Katie is eight, small for her age, overweight and is near-sighted making her wear glasses. All of these outward personal traits have made her an easy and regular target for schoolyard bullies. Although she is not physically attacked, she does suffer verbal abuse from her peers, making her life, at present, a fairly lonely and unpleasant one. Children can be so mean sometimes when they see someone who is different from the rest of the group….. As is so often the case, Katie is just the nicest child: caring, loving, funny and lively. These harsh words directed at her, the snide glances given, Katie’s simply being ignored as if she does not exist, are all very hurtful and wounding at a very deep and personal place. This impacts all aspects of Katie’s life and is a cause for great concern to her Mom.

What comes out of the mouth is what defiles us. Jesus is doing something pretty radical today. Just before today’s passage begins, Jesus is criticized by the Pharisees for allowing his disciples to eat without washing their hands, without following the purity laws. These rules and regulations controlled Jewish life for thousands of years. Instead of answering the Pharisees directly, he turns to the crowds and abrogates all the food laws: he says, enough with these rules and regulations. Jesus gets rid of thousands of years of rules and regulations today. The magnitude of this can easily be lost on us. By tossing these rules and regulations, Jesus is saying that what we do externally (washing our hands and feet) and what we actually eat, is not what defiles us before God. What makes us unworthy to approach God is what comes out of our mouth, which Jesus says comes from the heart…. What is our intention, what is in our heart when we say and do things?

The state of a person’s heart is much more important than any rules and regulations. Rules and regulations cannot be the ends of religious practices but are meant only to be a means toward religion, toward faith. Our tradition in The Episcopal Church, our liturgy that can bring such comfort, is not religion in and of itself. These traditions are a way to being faithful, of being religious, not the only way, but are a way toward getting to know God and opening ourselves to God.. When our heart is turned away from God and we act in vile manners, we are defiling ourselves; we are moving ourselves away from God by these actions.

Jesus’ actions in the second part of our Gospel today seem to fall into this category of acting inappropriately. We have an insulting and condescending Jesus here…..(Not a very nice Jesus at all.) There are a number of explanations for Jesus’ actions given by different theologians, mostly apologetic in tone. I do not buy any of these apologies. If we believe that Jesus was fully human and fully divine, well I think today we are seeing an aspect of Jesus being fully human. This is very bad behavior. Shocking in fact. To call anyone a dog, even if they were ancient enemies of your people (who were a hated, indigenous, rural people), these are disturbing things to hear coming from God’s son. After all this is a woman, kneeling in front of Jesus, begging for help for her ill daughter, and she is treated quite poorly by Jesus. What was in his heart when Jesus said these things?

This Canaanite woman was not deterred by her mistreatment; she persisted and found a way into Jesus’ heart. In a very clever way, this outcast individual turned Jesus’ insult around pointing out to Jesus that dogs eat too, dogs are also under God’s authority. And it is almost as if a switch has turned on in Jesus’ heart and mind, and he grants the woman’s request healing her daughter. Looking at this story in this one particular way makes Jesus appear like the schoolyard bully who learns his lesson, unlike the ones who are a torment to Katie, my friend’s daughter.

Words can sting so much, no matter how thick we might think our skin: inconsiderate words can hurt. It is not only words directed straight at a person though, it is also when we talk about others, when not in their presence. Some call this trash talk, but it all really boils down to being gossip. I find it amazing that after all these many eons of years and ages, we still gossip and triangulate. I am getting to the point where I believe this need to gossip is innate in us and needs to be un-learned. That is something Jesus did not do today, he did not turn to his disciples and “diss” this Canaanite woman behind her back…he at least had the guts to do so to her face. For talking behind someone’s back, gossiping about people, trying to triangulate a person into a conversation, sending anonymous letters, are all part of bad communication skills and I believe result in two things: defilement of the person saying or doing these things; and injury to the person about whom the things are being said. This is a different kind of schoolyard bully mentality then the one exhibited toward Katie, or the one practiced by Jesus today, but bullying it is, defiling it is.

In our Gospel selection today we have a “believing” Gentile pit against Pharisees stuck in their purity rules and regulations. St. Augustine pointed out another pairing: the pride of the Pharisees in their rules and regulations set up against the humility of this Canaanite woman of faith. We have those same self-righteous Pharisees nit-picking at Jesus, positioned against the persistent faith of an excluded individual, a true outsider. We have role reversals today: first it is Jesus responding to being bullied by the Pharisees paralleled against Jesus bullying the Canaanite woman.

Much like we saw when Jesus healed the centurion’s slave from a distance, here we have Jesus healing another outsider, from a distance. This could be Matthew signaling the clear trajectory of the Gospel: the universal invitation of Jesus to reach to all people. Today’s event is a part of Jesus’ journey on the way to that endpoint in the Gospel; it is a movement for Jesus beyond his tradition, both religious and cultural. This is a growing of the heart to encompass more, to reach out to the true other.

It is only from a clean and clear heart, an undefiled one, from which this kind of reaching out can truly happen. There needs to be an inward beauty that controls us, (much like Katie’s), and thereby helps to control our tongues. We all know people who outwardly appear beautiful, cool and confident, who, as we get to know them, are not like that on the inside. (It is not only children who can be cruel.) Inwardly these seemingly beautiful people are anything but: they are cold and calculating and unlovely to behold. Their outward beauty and their “cool-factor” usually disappears when this realization sets in: when we see the rot under the shiny exterior.

When we find ourselves in a situation where gossip is starting to be traded, or where an individual is being talked about who is not present, or if we are asked to participate in a scheme to malign an individual, we need to take a step back and think about what is in our heart. Is this how we would want to be treated or talked about?.....Is this really how we want to act? Perhaps we should not only step away from that kind of conversation but also suggest that direct communication between the parties involved would be healthier for all. For then, our shiny bright insides cannot help but to emanate through whatever fa├žade we may have built…..thereby showing our true and good and undefiled selves to the world. There is no better evangelism we can undertake and live. Amen.

jfd+

Copyright 2011, The Rev. John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved

Photo: Brett & Jason's Wedding Reception, 2011

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Daily Office Reflection: Protections

Psalms: 97, 99 (100) * 94 (95); 2 Samuel 14:1-20; Acts 21:1-14; Mark 10:1-16

Jesus talks about marriage and divorce and the innocence and openness of children today. They may seem like the usual "Mark-mash-up" of ideas. But there is an important thread that ties what Jesus is talking about, together.

In that time and place, women had few rights unto their own, and if they were divorced, they often became poverty-stricken, homeless. Jesus, by restricting the right of divorce claimed by the Pharisees, was being the civil rights champion to which so many of us aspire: protecting those who by law and custom are easily stepped upon and cast aside.

In a similar vein, Jesus chastises his disciples for not allowing children to come near him. He says "whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it." The exuberance, the openness, the excitement, the imagination, the willingness to live into mystery are some of the attributes of children Jesus is asking us to model in our quest to establish the kingdom he announces, here and now. He is also reaching out, like he did in the verses just prior to these, and protecting the children from being cast aside as unimportant.

Jesus protects those who are thought of by society as "less-than"......who, that surrounds us, is considered less-than the rest of the society in which we live? Who should we be reaching out to protect?
jfd+

Copyright 2011, The Rev. John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.
Photo: Inauguration Morning, 2009.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Transfiguration, 2011

Preached @ St. Anne’s, Damascus, MD 8/7/11: Exodus 34:29-35, 2 Peter 1:13-21, Luke 9:28-36

W

hat is Transfiguration? All three of our readings today highlight a transfiguration event. There is no end of discussion about these passages – like most passages in the Bible. There are those that take the literal route and there are those that take the more metaphorical route. The Episcopal Church, and the tradition residing therein, is one which seeks to encompass both approaches: a place where differences of interpretation can be taken, looked at, studied, argued over and then an agreement can be reached to agree to disagree. So….What is transfiguration?

We have Moses in our Exodus reading coming down from the mountain with the skin of his face shining. In the Second letter from Peter, we have that author giving us a first hand account of what he saw and heard on the mountain with Jesus. (Notice this letter was written long after the event it describes.) And we have Luke’s version of the Transfiguration, where while Jesus was praying, “the appearance of his face changed” and his clothes became “dazzling white.” There is no description of how the appearance of Jesus’ face changed. The NRSV didn’t do us any favors in the translation of what happened to Jesus’ clothes. The Greek word is “egastrapton,” which is an unusual word in the Bible. This word only appears three times: here in Luke, once in Ezekiel and once in Daniel. This word literally means “to flash like lightning”. If we think about lightning: it is quick, blindingly bright. Think about lightning, how images are seared on the retina. How images of seemingly ordinary things are made to appear extraordinary, memorable, different. And those images stay with us. They can be seared to us somehow.

So we know Jesus was praying and then something happened that was witnessed by Peter, John and James. And after it was over, “they kept silent in those days”. What is Transfiguration? We know that for Jesus it was both a spiritual and a supernatural event: God pointing at Jesus, highlighting Jesus’ divinity. But how do we make this event relevant to us? What is Transfiguration?

A friend of mine, I’ll call him Alex (not his real name) has given me permission to tell this story. Alex was walking his dogs one early Saturday morning. He lives in New York City. Alex is one of those perfectly fit, trendily attired individuals that populate so much of NYC. Alex was taking his dogs on their initial morning romp, and Alex was limping. He had a pain in his leg, running down the calf and into the foot for a few months. Alex had gone to various doctors seeking treatment, but the various anti-inflammatory medications did not help and no concrete diagnosis had been given.

Saturday morning in NYC is usually a pretty quiet time: the tourists haven’t arrived yet, or gotten up; the shops are just opening; the majority of people are sleeping off the prior evening’s shenanigans. Alex told me that this is one of his favorite times to be out and around: it is quiet, not crowded and the dogs have a bit more freedom to roam. So, Alex was limping along to the end of the block and then turned right, hugging the curb, in case the dogs decided they had found that perfect spot. Alex told me that this particular block has a few small restaurants, a deli, a hardware store and an Irish pub. As he was walking along the curb, and as he reached midway along the block, he saw in front of him, at the curb, a bedraggled-looking, obviously homeless, seemingly quite old, woman, standing right in the trajectory of where his dogs were semi-dragging him. And he inwardly groaned, saying to himself, “She’s going to ask me for money. Not this morning.”

Unlike many of the homeless people in the area, Alex didn’t recognize her and did his best not to look at her as he and the dogs were approaching. As he came parallel to her, and was ready to pass her by, she looked directly at him, and something made him look at her. Alex said she had the most piercingly dark, moist and intelligent brown eyes he had ever seen. And she asked him, standing there on the curb, in a very soft voice, “Can you help me to that doorway please,” pointing to the deli adjacent to where she was standing. Surprising himself, Alex said yes, put the dogs’ leashes in one hand and offered this homeless woman his elbow. She placed her dry, calloused hand on his arm and they made their way across the sidewalk, slowly, her leaning heavily on his arm, him walking and limping slowly alongside her. They reached the doorway, she let go, looked him in the eye and said “thank you.” Alex nodded and turned away, the dogs leading him to the next corner, where he turned right to walk back home.

Shaking his head as he walked, Alex was thinking to himself, “that was very strange. Why did I help her? Why did she need help? How’d she get there? Why didn’t I talk with her?” He told me his mind was simply a jumble of questions…. About half way down the block he realized something. His leg was no longer hurting…. He was not limping. And he stopped dead in his tracks. He said he felt blinded, frozen too, as if lightning had struck nearby: an image was seared on his retinas….all he could see were her moist dark eyes staring at him. Without dwelling on why, he tugged on the dogs, turned around and hustled back around the corner, retracing his footsteps to that deli’s doorway. Peering in the window he couldn’t see the homeless lady. Opening the door and going in the shop (and getting yelled at by the proprietor to get out because of the dogs), he didn’t see her. She was not there. Alex looked up and down the block, in the different stores and could not find the woman. He was uncertain, but also certain, that something had just happened to him….. What is transfiguration?

Alex is not a religious man, only occasionally attending church and infrequently having discussions about spiritual matters. But he knew something had happened to him: months of pain and discomfort had ended. What is transfiguration?

Did Alex’s good deed in helping that homeless woman loosen some knot of anxiety and stress that relaxed some muscles that sent the pain away? Had the medication he had been taking suddenly kick in at that exact moment? Or was there something more mystical or spiritual at work. Is there a concrete, one-size fits all explanation of what happened to Alex?

In a similar way, is there only one way to read and understand the Gospel we heard today? What is transfiguration?

In the Gospel today, after the lightning flashes and the changes are over with, Peter wants to do something, feels the need to do something, to mark the occasion. He suggests building booths for Jesus, Moses and Elijah, even though Moses and Elijah are already leaving….. Peter wants to dwell there, extend the experience. But then a further experience happens, the cloud descends, “a voice” speaks, “This is my Son, the Chosen, listen to him!” and the cloud lifts and Jesus is there alone with Peter, John and James. And they leave, in silence, not talking about it. What is transfiguration?

We are being asked to look at this event that happened in Jesus’ life, and wasn’t reported or discussed at the time, and reflect on events in our lives that have changed us, although we didn’t understand them or really know that we have been changed until much later. We are also called to ask ourselves if we are stuck in the moment? Are we simply stuck in that blindingly bright lightning flash and unable to move forward?

My friend Alex took a long time to share this incident with the homeless woman with me. He is different now. He is no Bible-thumper, but in true Episcopal fashion, he is trying to live into the tension of the idea that something radical happened to him that day, or perhaps something radical didn’t happen and his body simply “relaxed” after his good deed, to the point where whatever was wrong with him simply was expelled. (Depends on the day, he tells me.) Interestingly, he has found a small Episcopal Church that he attends fairly frequently and volunteers in the soup kitchen a couple times a month….. I believe Alex is always on the lookout for that woman…... And, I also believe he has been transfigured.

Transfigurations happen to everyone. Not every transfiguration event happens like Alex’s or the one witnessed by Peter, John and James. The small, every day experiences and encounters with each other, seeing Christ in our neighbor, can be transformative and lead to our transfiguration.

And I think all of us here at St. Anne’s are being transfigured all the time. In small ways and large ways, in ways we cannot really see or appreciate while they are happening. Those transfigurations can also occur in ways that are just so big as to make it almost impossible for us to understand at the moment. We need time to reflect, pray and try and understand for both types of experiences. Peter, John and James needed the Cross on Calvary, the Resurrection three days later, and a good deal of time to pray and reflect after that, to really begin to understand how they were transfigured on that day on the mountain with Jesus. Remember that although Peter wanted to build something, to stay there, to get stuck there, he didn’t….he kept on the journey. Not being forgetful of the formative experiences, but rather being reflective, prayerful and giving time for understanding to set in. An understanding to help explain the images seared on his retina from the lightning emanating from Jesus’ clothing.

Jesus modeled this behavior for us. Remember, Jesus was praying on that mountain when his countenance changed and his clothes began to shoot off lightning. Before and after almost every major event in Jesus’ life, he could be found praying and reflecting. This is a good model for us to remember….. Pray, reflect and keep ourselves always on the journey, wherever the road is leading us, however we are being transfigured. Not stuck in the “we don’t do things that way” mentality. Rather today’s Gospel is pointing us down the road, instructing us to stay on the journey, stay nimble, flexible and ready and willing to change….. The Gospel is asking us to trust in the grace that is God’s love for us…. That love will help us along on the journey toward our ultimate transfiguration. Amen.

jfd+

Copyright 2011, The Rev. John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved

Art: Blessing, 2011, jfd+

Friday, August 5, 2011

Daily Office Reflection: Belief and Unbelief

Psalms 88 * 91, 92; 2 Samuel 12:1-14; Acts 19:21-41; Mark 9:14-29

Today, we enter the last day of Vacation Bible School at the church where I am wrapping up my ministry time with them. (I am, at the same time that I am ending and saying good bye here, getting ready for a move to the upper midwest and a new call.) It has been fascinating and wonderful to watch these boisterous and life-filled children enter into the mysteries of our faith with such trust, enthusiasm and joy.

They began on Monday being unsure, quiet, a bit timid: Is it okay to sing and dance to the music? Is it okay to laugh at the silly outfit of the priest? We could almost see those questions behind their bright eyes. Each day has proven to be another flowering moment for the participants. The songs are more familiar. So is their surroundings. New friends, made fast by the experiences of the days together, greet each other with hugs and squeals of joy. On that first Monday, when their parents arrived to pick them up, they were ready to leave. Yesterday, their parents had to literally drag some of them out, and on to their next adventure.

That trust, that certainty, that joyful exuberance, is an example of what the father of the epileptic child was crying out for when he says to Jesus, "I believe; help my unbelief." Like so many of us, as we grow older, that quick to trust, that accepting belief exhibited by our VBS students, erodes because of our individual life experiences. I do not believe it is ever completely gone from us. But life's experiences can make that trust and belief much harder to accept, feel, find.

Belief and unbelief is a daily challenge for all of us. Jesus reminds his disciples at the end of today's Gospel passage talking about the spirit he chased from the child, "This kind can come out only through prayer." Perhaps that spirit he chased is a metaphor for our unbelief. We need to remember to pray, and open ourselves to the giddiness of a child's joyful faith: this can imbue us with a life changing way to see the world.
jfd+

Copyright 2011, The Rev. John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.
Photo: DC, SW Waterfront Cherry Blossoms, 2011, jfd+