And there was stillness…

“In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you.” Deepak Chopra

Meditation: Sometimes life presents to us so much movement and change that our hearts and minds become dizzy. And additionally others upload their chaotic inner lives onto us, as they are trying to get rid of their pain by pulling us into the abyss of their suffering soul. Our hearts get injured and begin to feel the agony of the other persons’ pain, who unconsciously inflict on us what was done to them. How do we remain still? How do we not allow the intensity of life’s movement and the chaos of other people to flood our brains and hearts to the point of getting lost or sick ourselves?

In our spiritual practice of prayer and even chanting, we are able to access the loving relationship with our creator that can ground us. There is a stillness beneath the movement and beneath the chaos of life that can become an amazing source of comfort. We just need to allow time and intentionality to reach that place deep inside of ourselves. The place where we are connected with God and where there is peace.

Prayer: God of stillness, you are our hiding place. You are that deep relationship that wants to shelter us from the storms of life. You invite us “to come” to you, so that you “can give us rest”. When we feel injured by unfair attacks, exhausted by the responsibility of holding the growth and change movements in life, God, have mercy. Be our hiding place and teach us how to be still. For in you is stillness, healing, forgiveness and renewed strength. Amen

“Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.” Psalm 46:10



“We must be ready to allow ourselves to be interrupted by God.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Meditation: Parenting is a journey of constant interruptions. Your kids wake you up at night. They call from school with a fever to be picked up. They hurt themselves, right when you try to get some work done. They cry when the guests are about to arrive. Our children run into the house with excitement having to tell us the latest news of the day, interrupting our quiet moment. We only vaguely remember how it was when we finally became young adults who enjoyed the fact that we were at last in control of our schedule and that we found independence. However, when we then became parents and formed close relationships with our children, we quickly realized that their needs could interrupt our schedule at any time. The new way of living as a parent meant being interrupted and attending to the other. This experience teaches us more about God. We discover how parenting matches God’s ways with us well. We remember Jesus modeling and teaching many times about God allowing to be interrupted and God interrupting.

Prayer: Parent God, thank you for allowing us to come to you with our needs, stories and excitements without hesitation or apology. We can come to you at day or night, with fever or pain, with joy or excitement. And you listen. You allow to be interrupted. You attend to us. And then at times You also interrupt our schedule, our plans. Open us up to listen closely to You as we learn to allow being interrupted by You. Attune us to Your interrupting voice. We marvel how Your relationship with us is meant to be an intimate one, just like parenting is. Amen

“But finding no way to bring him in, because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down with his bed through the tiles into the midst before Jesus.”  Luke 5: 19


Tired of giving in…

“People always say that I didn’t give up my seat because I was tired, but that isn’t true. I was not tired physically… No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in.” Rosa Parks

Meditation: I read as a teenager in Germany that Rosa Parks was “tired from a long day of work and therefore did not want to give up her seat.” Even with this interpretation, I thought how courageous she was. When I later learned about her perspective on the event, I thought that she was even more courageous than I imagined, as she was consciously resisting and not “just exhausted” as my German textbook interpretation suggested. What an amazing woman whose courage sparked  others’ courage and a movement that is more relevant today than ever. We will need her example and Spirit in the years to come.

Prayer: God of justice, there is a tiredness of the soul that goes beyond physical tiredness. There is the tiredness of the heart that says: “This is enough, no more”. And when that happens, something new is coming about. God, we need resistance without violence. We need powerful symbolic acts that prophetically claim what is just and expose what is unjust. We need acts of protest that shine light on unethical, immoral and unlawful ways. Gracious God, we need for Rosa Park’s Spirit to inspire us. And we pray that you will pour out your Spirit of courage upon us, so we will be able to rise up, walk and even run, without getting tired. Amen

“But those who wait for the Lord’s help find renewed strength; they rise up as if they had eagles’ wings, they run without growing weary, they walk without getting tired.” Isaiah 40:13


The joy of being…

“In today’s rush, we all think too much — seek too much — want too much — and forget about the joy of just being.” Eckhart Tolle

Meditation: In the middle of the day, I pause. I take a minute to stretch my body that has been sitting for too long. I walk across the parking lot, and then I decide to run for a minute. I feel my heart pump. I feel my breath. I feel alive. Later I take my food not back to my desk, but decide to sit in a different place. It is a bright spot. It is quiet. I taste each bite, enjoy the moment. Before I go home, I brew myself a cup of tea. It is warm. I smell the aroma, taste the herbs. I breathe in this moment of peace and breathe out the stress of the day. I relax my shoulders that carry the weight of the day. I say a prayer. I am grateful. I am present. I am alive.

Prayer: God, you want to meet me along my day. As I become mindful, I reconnect with myself and with you. I feel my body, and I am grateful. I nurture myself, and I am grateful. I pause long enough to commune with you. And if it is just the smile on my face, running across the parking lot. Thank you. I am alive. Amen

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34



“After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.” Philip Pullman

Meditation: Sometimes all we need is a compassionate witness. Somebody who does not judge, does not change our story and does not interrupt. To become whole we need to tell our story in the presence of empathy and compassion. This is how we remember, even painful parts of our story. And by “re-membering” we are bringing back to ourselves parts that we cut off or disowned. And those disowned stories run rampant in our soul and unconscious, waiting to be told. Stories that had been forgotten, but that are crucial to who we are. As we tell our stories, happy ones, sad ones and even ugly ones in somebody else’s empathic presence, we learn to become compassionate with ourselves. And in that compassion for self we find liberation and healing. Yes, we need food, shelter and relationships. And then we most of all  need to accept and “re-member” all of our stories to become whole.

Prayer: Gracious God, all our stories are held in your memory. You are the one holding them for us, until we are willing and able to remember them. You are providing for us safe spaces where we can recollect stories and laugh or cry about them. You want us to be healed. You want us to be whole. Even the painful memories can be transformed in your empathic presence. God, send us compassionate listeners in your name, and we will be healed. Amen

“You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.” Psalm 139:3





And let it begin with me…

Did I offer peace today? Did I bring a smile to someone’s face? Did I say words of healing? Did I let go of my anger and resentment? Did I forgive? Did I love? These are the real questions. I must trust that the little bit of love that I sow now will bear many fruits, here in this world and the life to come. Henri Nouwen

Meditation: Did I accept God’s offer of peace for me today? Did I accept God’s face to smile upon me? Did I allow God’s healing words into my soul? Did I acknowledge and release anger? Did I allow God to forgive me? Did I believe and embrace that I am loved unconditionally? These are the important questions between me, myself and God.

And then, I am able to follow Henri Nouwen’s words “of doing likewise” with my family, my friends, the neighbors and strangers around me. I cannot control the politics of our time. I cannot end evil or brokenness at large. However, I can start with me. I can open myself to healing and love. And then extend both into the environment around me, trusting that this is how peace and transformation begins.

Prayer: God of peace, you want to start with me. You want to transform and heal me, as you want to heal and transform our families, our workplaces, our communities, our city, our country, our world. And so this morning, I quiet for a moment to allow you to touch my heart and my soul. Let there be peace, and let it begin with me. Amen

Heal me, Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise. Jeremiah 17:14


Abuse of power…

I believe the root of all evil is abuse of power. Patricia Cornwell

Meditation: As America is being distracted by the mental health issues of their president, other world leaders use the opportunity to abuse their power and invade other countries. As the most powerful country in the world loses its focus and gets bogged down by trivial disputes of tweet interpretations, other countries do whatever they want, as America has turned inward and has stopped watching and paying attention to global issues.

The masses in the US are paralyzed by fear or distracted by reacting to whatever is being “fed” to them. Manipulation of the masses through media is a sophisticated abuse of power. We have seen it 80 years ago in Germany. We see it in Russia and other totalitarian countries today. And we have the same phenomenon happening in the US today. The enemy of democracy is fear induced mass manipulation and mind control through manipulated mass media.

Prayer: God, we are witnessing the endangerment of human rights, freedom and democracy. We see the American society not prepared to deal with such sophisticated mind manipulation, but react and fall for it. We are worried. We are scared that our democracy is being undermined by abuse of power through manipulating mind control. The truth is being labeled as “false” and lies are being defended as the “truth”. As we witness the perversion of what is right, just and loving once again, we call on your protection. Shelter those most impacted by the evil of today’s time. Stop the abuse of power and shield us as we live in this world. Remind us that we are not of this world and ground us in your truth. Amen

My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. John 17:15


Second level of maturity…

It is not fair to ask of others what you are not willing to do yourself. Eleanor Roosevelt

Meditation: Raising children, and especially teenagers who begin to challenge us parents, is one of the most growth producing journeys. Our children watch our every step. And our teenagers comment on our every behavior. It is humbling when they identify discrepancies between what we say and what we do. As our children mature, we as parents go through a second maturation phase as well. And we need to become more mature than our teens, especially when the conversations get intense. We need to decisively leave without reacting, when their tone becomes offensive. We need to stay calm and call them on it, when they raise their voice. We need to set clear boundaries without becoming retaliatory. It is the challenge of a second maturity cycle to actually role model and not only talk…

Prayer: God, give me the humility to see my own need as a parent to mature even further, as my children go through their process of growing and maturing. Give me your Spirit of discernment, patience, non-reactivity and hope. Give me wisdom to distinguish between what matters and what does not matter in the grand scheme of things. Help me to assert my authority not through loud voice, power demonstrations or oppression, but by example of intentionality, discipline, authenticity and congruency of word and deed. God, be the sane presence of grace in our home when we, adults and teens, are going through crazily intense growth spurts – all at the same time. Amen

Do not be children in your thinking; yet in evil be infants, but in your thinking be mature.” 1. Corinthians 14:20


Holy kiss, healing kiss…

A couple of years before he died, I kissed my father goodbye. He said, ‘Son, you haven’t kissed me since you were a little boy.’ It went straight to my heart, and I kissed him whenever I saw him after that, and my sons and I always kiss whenever we meet.” Terry Wogan

Meditation: These are amazing moments, when long established generational patterns are being changed. For males in our society to show love and affection openly (other than during sports events) has been judged as “female” or “gay”. So boys learn to be tough. They learn to hide their feelings, even from themselves. This “false self” is an illness of the soul and can be passed down from generation to generation, just like an addiction. However, saying good bye is an emotional moment. It can free us up to be real, to be authentic. When males and females express their affection openly to their parents and children alike, it strengthens not only the bond and relationship between the generations, it also heals an illness of the soul.

Prayer: Jesus, you expressed affection freely. You cried when a close friend died and allowed a woman to show her expressions of love and affection freely in the midst of a group of men. Your true self showed anger and love, anguish and tenderness. You want us to be set free to express love and affection freely. When you said good bye to your disciples you established rituals of intimacy and love that would endure. When we pass the peace and share bread and wine with each other, we participate in your ongoing expression of connection and love. And we are being healed. Amen

 “Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you. Greet one another with a holy kiss.” 2. Corinthians 13:11-12

The mystery of friendship…

“There is a destiny which makes us brothers; none goes his way alone. All that we send into the lives of others comes back into our own.” Edwin Markham

Meditation: There is a mystery in life that is called “friendship”. You cannot make it happen. It is similar to love. You cannot “want” love. You can open yourself and allow love to find you. Similarly we experience friendship. There is something that remains even when friends get separated by distance or time. It is a connection, an attachment that is there, no matter how many years pass or how many miles one has to travel to see each other. There are memories deep ingrained in one’s heart. Laughter, tears, deep conversations, meals shared and transitional moments celebrated… Friendships like these turn into brotherhood, sisterhood… Not that you take each other for granted as siblings often tend to do, no, you never take the friend for granted. But one also does not have to worry anymore that one could lose the other person. And so, the mystery of deep friendship is that one accompanies the other in Spirit. One holds the other within one’s heart, even when there are times of external distance or silence. Nothing is lost. No memory will go away. Everything is shared between two, whose lives in some way have become one.

Prayer: God, we are grateful and amazed that you ARE the mystery of love. You lived a new model of friendship and brotherhood/sisterhood in your son, Jesus. He revealed to us a depth of love that we did not connect with You, our God, before. We thank you for the undeserved gift of deep friendships. We are amazed and grateful for the experience of connectedness that transcends all time and space. And we are comforted knowing that You are the One holding all of us eternally in Your love and friendship. Amen

“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity” Proverbs 17:17



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