April 2019 Archives

See the Divine

See the Divine

“People that are difficult, rude, etc., are that way because they are coming from a place of pain. If you can see the divine in everybody, it will help soften the blow of his or words or attitude.” Madisyn Taylor

He is Here

He is Here

Chapter twelve in the Gospel of John, verses 12 through 26, tells the story of what is known in Christianity as Palm Sunday, describing Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem six days before Passover. Three different responses and expectations are noted in this text, those of the Jews, the Pharisees and the Greeks (God-loving gentiles).

The Jews were expecting a national deliverer, one who would overthrow Roman authority; they loved what they thought Jesus could do for them.

Zealots for religious orthodoxy, jealous of Jesus and in direct competition with him—the Pharisees feared they would lose their power over the people.

Concerned for their safety and full of questions, the Greeks just wanted to see Jesus.

“Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks. So these came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, ‘Sir, we wish to see Jesus.’”

Seeing Jesus . . . I had just such an opportunity this past Wednesday at the Jefferson County Community Ministry food bank.

Since activities had slowed down, I was sitting at the desk reading, when a young lady entered with her yellow form to receive food. After a friendly greeting, I began asking the required intake questions:

“Do you have any food allergies that you know of?”


“Do you have access to a stove or microwave for cooking?”


“Do you . . .”

The young lady jumped in . . .

“Wait a minute. I think I know you. Didn’t you use to be a teacher?”


“Are you Mrs. Spurlock?”

As I looked at her more closely and then at her name on the form, I remembered her.

Here He was standing before me; I had not recognized Him thirteen years ago in a school classroom.

I lovingly grabbed her hand and told her how very sorry I was that she found herself in these unfortunate circumstances. As I finished the intake questions, she told me a few short details of her life; not much—she had always been a quiet and reserved student.

When her order was ready, I gave her a hug and she went on her way.

“I just want to help people” . . . my heart’s desire in volunteering . . .

. . . in doing so, I keep discovering, over and over, He is here.

He is here, Hallelujah. He is here, Amen.
He is here, Holy, Holy. I will bless His name again.
He is here, listen closely. Hear him calling out your name.
He is here, you can touch him. You will never be the same.

Kirk Talley



How do you see me?

When I was a teenager, I gave my father a Bible with the inscription, “use and read it every day.”  Fast forward thirty years—to my father writing me a letter in which he describes that moment saying “it made me wonder what I looked like to you.”

Recent e-mail and text exchanges with a friend have brought this pondering to the forefront of my mind and heart . . . what do we look like to each other?

The circumstances of our birth and our life experiences do determine a particular frame of reference, or context, if you will, for how we are seen and how we see others.

My being inhabits a white female of almost 60 years of age with graying hair. Although I have had a “Lily Munster” gray streak in my hair for 30 plus years, which has prompted more than one person to say “did you do that on purpose?” I am of short stature, and getting shorter as time passes it seems, and am of average weight for my height. I’m an only child and grew up in a middle-class suburb of Washington, D.C. in the 60’s and 70’s.

I come from a protestant background having attended United Methodist churches most of my life. Although I did attend a Brethren, Baptist and Four Square church for short periods of time. My youngest son, and later my cousin, introduced me to Eastern ways of spirituality which both broadened and deepened my past and current understandings about God.

Married, divorced, re-married . . . raised three boys . . . daughter . . . mother . . . wife . . . grandmother . . . college graduate . . . retired teacher . . . what do these conditions and situations make me look like?  How am I perceived?  And in what ways do I use them to disregard, misconceive or misinterpret others?

Perhaps this is one reason part way through his Sermon on the Mount Jesus says:

“Don’t judge, so that you won’t be judged. For the way you judge others is how you will be judged—the measure with which you measure out will be used to measure you. Why do you see the splinter in your brother’s eye but not notice the log in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the splinter out of your eye,’ when you have the log in your own eye? You hypocrite! First, take the log out of your own eye; then you will see clearly, so that you can remove the splinter from your brother’s eye!” Matthew 7:1-5

Calling us hypocrites seems rather harsh for such a compassionate man.  That could be intentional because how we see, our judgements, limit our ability to see ourselves and each other clearly.

A guest pastor at the church I attend, gave a message about this very topic.  She suggested that when we wake up in the morning and look in the mirror to say out loud, “I’m God’s beloved.”  She strongly enjoined, adjured, and exhorted us to see ourselves and others through God’s eyes—simply yet profoundly as His beloveds.  This enlightened perspective places all of us within a broader context which doesn’t appear to be open to narrow contextual perceptions.

Because of a quiet and reflective mood, this post is not my most impassioned, but written with a heartfelt desire for us to see one another with only God’s eyes.  I fail and will fail miserably, but it is my earnest daily and moment to moment desire.

As I do maybe all will become transparent . . . and Light will truly shine through the prism of His Love . . . and I will see and be seen,

. . . as God’s beloved.

I can see clearly now, the rain is gone.
I can see all obstacles in my way.
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind.
It’s gonna be a bright, (bright), bright, (bright) sun-shiny day.
It’s gonna be a bright, (bright), bright, (bright) sun-shiny day.

I think I can make it now the pain is gone.
All of the bad feelings have disappeared.
Here is the rainbow I’ve been praying for.
It’s gonna be a bright, (bright), bright, (bright) sun-shiny day.
It’s gonna be a bright, (bright), bright, (bright) sun-shiny day.

Look all around, there’s nothin but blue sky.
Look straight ahead, nothin but blue sky.

I can see clearly now, the rain is gone.
I can see all obstacles in my way.
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind.
It’s gonna be a bright, (bright), bright, (bright) sun-shiny day.
It’s gonna be a bright, (bright), bright, (bright) sun-shiny day.

Johnny Nash