Lost and found

Lost and found1 012816

Lost and found2

Praying the Lord’s Prayer at McDonalds.
A man who was lost/homeless/mentally ill/addicted/blind (any or all)

I went to McDonald’s to get “second breakfast” after attending mandatory substance abuse awareness training for my job (This class has to be taken every 5 years). This man outside the store asked for change.
I find it significant that panhandlers ask for change – not money. Change is what they need, true change.
I gave him money and said “God loves you.” He initiated the prayer. He held out his hand to me. It was grimy – grey/green. We held hands while we prayed the Lord’s Prayer together. It was beautiful. I remember my years of struggling with addiction and feeling lost.


8.5 x 12 inch Strathmore visual journal

Map torn from a book, missing some of the reference points. Paper that reminds me of prison bars. Receipt. Matte medium. Distress ink spray (crushed olive)
Created 1/28/16

Poem – Our daily bread

“Give us our daily bread”
isn’t really about food.
It refers to manna.
Heavenly bread, spiritual sustenance.
Just enough for today,
only one day at a time (Like AA).
It says
“Help me appreciate right now
– no worry about the future.
Help me trust that
have that under control.”

When we worry about our future
we are forgetting
the sovereignty
of God.
We are saying that
are in charge. We are making idols
of ourselves

God gave us the test
of the manna,
to see if we would gather
just enough
for this day,
to see if we would
walk in his ways
and trust him.

Eternal God, honor us
by giving us this day
our daily bread,
and may we
honor You
by gathering only enough
for today.


The Lord’s prayer

Jesus was praying, and when he was through, one of his disciples said to him “Lord, teach us how to pray, just like John taught his disciples.”

He said “You should pray like this:

Heavenly Father, we give honor to your holy name.

May your kingdom come soon.

May your will be done here on earth just like it is done in heaven.

Give us our bread for tomorrow,
and forgive our faults in the same way that we forgive the faults of others.

Do not cause us to be tempted, but instead rescue us from evil.

The kingdom and power and glory are all yours eternally. Amen.”

MT 6:9-13, LK 11:1-4

“Your heavenly Father will forgive you if you forgive everyone who has harmed you or done wrong to you, but if you don’t forgive them, your Father will not forgive you for everything that you’ve done wrong.

MT 6:14-15

Tiredness and thankfulness.

This last week I’ve woken up tired. We’ve been going to bed late, and getting up early. Sometimes it seems no matter how much I plan or cajole or wheedle or lament, this keeps happening.

I have gotten really angry about it. It is important to both of us to get in bed at a decent hour. Me, because I’m bipolar, and not enough sleep brings out the weird side of my brain. Scott, because his work schedule means that he has to be up two hours before I do.

But this week I rounded a corner on this. Instead of getting upset about it, I decided to see it as a “this is the way it is” kind of thing. I decided to see it as something that God needs to happen. The fact that I’ve tried to get us to bed on time and we keep not managing to do it means that there is some other force acting on this. I prefer to see that force as God. I prefer to think that God is in charge of everything, and always is moving us in the proper path so that God’s will is properly unfolding.

Perhaps I need to be a little “off” in order to see a situation or a person in certain way. Perhaps being the way I am is helpful to God’s plan. Perhaps being a little tired means that we will both take more time to do something, and thus do it better. Perhaps someone else needs to see either one of us moving more slowly to know that it is OK to go slower, and that life isn’t all about rush rush rush.

The moment I accepted the way things are as part of God’s plan was the moment I felt better.

I think this is what the Lord’s Prayer is all about. I think that what Jesus is trying to teach us is to be OK with what is happening, and not to fight against it. I think that Jesus wants us to totally submit to God, all the time, in everything. I think that Jesus wants us to know that we need to relax into life in order to live life. The more we fight against it, the harder it gets. The more we let God use us as we were made to be used, the better off everything will be.

I think this is part of what Jonah teaches us when he was in the belly of the whale. Everything looked like it was lost. Nothing was going according to his plan. It was dark and smelly and lonely. And yet, in that moment, he gave thanks to God.

In the moment he praised God he was freed.

Thoughts on the Lord’s Prayer.

With the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus was trying to give us a model of how to pray. It is a recipe, a framework, a blueprint. We aren’t supposed to repeat these words mindlessly. We are to use them as an example and make them our own.

Here’s the version I was taught. There are slightly different versions. Some don’t include the “trespasses” part. Some add “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever.” at the end.

Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us,
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

Really, how many people even talk like this today? Jesus sure didn’t. In spite of what some fundamentalists would believe, Jesus didn’t speak English. And Jesus certainly wouldn’t use King James English in the 21st century. Jesus is all about getting down to our level. Jesus talks like how the people he’s with talk.

How many of us even really understand these words? Who knows what “hallowed” means? How many of us just say these words like they are a magic formula? We have them memorized and we say them and we are done. The words have passed through our lips but not through our minds or hearts.

These words of Jesus are a pattern, not a formula. They provide us a framework. They give us topics to cover. If you cover these basic topics, you’ll have prayed in a good way. Jesus isn’t about people mindlessly muttering words to God. Jesus tells us to pray from our hearts.

God made each one of us a little different, and God wants to hear from each one of us in our own special way. That is way we were made different. For us to pray the same prayer all the time makes no sense.

So what is Jesus saying in this prayer? What is Jesus telling us to do?

Perhaps it is something as simple as this:

Dear God/ Creator/ Divine Source of all that is, You are the master of everything and you are the Lord. (Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.)

Help me to remember that You are always in charge, and You know what is going on better than I do. Help me remember that I don’t have to try to control everything – that you’ve got it all figured out. (Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.)

Thank you for taking care of my physical needs, not just food but clothing and a place to live. Thank you for making sure that I have what I need. (Give us this day our daily bread,)

Help me to remember to always forgive other people, because You have already forgiven me. Help me to hold no grudges. (and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us,)

I ask that you not test me by tempting me with things that are bad for me. (and lead us not into temptation,)

Please protect me and keep me safe. (deliver us from evil.)


You can formulate it along this pattern. Think about each phrase as if you are seeing it for the first time. Think about each word. Look each one up – not just the ones you aren’t familiar with. What do they mean to you? They will mean something different to you ten years from now.

Some thoughts on this –

The “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever” part is really a repeat of the “hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” part. They both refer to the fact that God is in charge. God is the creator and ruler of everything. God is the beginning and the end and everything in between. God has the master plan. We keep thinking we are in charge, and it is up to us to make sure everything gets done. This is a very unhealthy way to think. So perhaps it is good to refer to this twice in this prayer. It is the key to it all.

In the “and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us,” part, we need to look at the word “as” – it means “in the same way, or like” but it also means “at the same time” Our mistakes are forgiven when we forgive others their mistakes. It isn’t up to us to judge. We have to let it go and let God be in charge. Jesus came to teach peace and forgiveness. This is something that comes from God to us, but it is also supposed to be something that we extend out to everyone. Consider it trickle-down forgiveness, but the trickle is more like a waterfall.

In the “lead us not into temptation” part, I feel that is there because God often tests us to strengthen us. God is like a personal trainer, and wants us to grow strong. We have to be tested for this to happen. Perhaps part of this is also that we are asking that we see that whatever tests do come our way we see as being from God. Then we will have the strength to endure them.

If we live an easy life then we won’t ever get to test our faith. It is easy to “love your neighbor” if your neighbor is kind – it is much harder when your neighbor is a jerk. But it is exactly that kind of neighbor that we are here to be kind to. I also think Jesus put in the “lead us not into temptation” line because God forgets how hard it is to be human.

God gave us all these rules to follow. And we kept breaking them. God gave us more rules, and we still didn’t get it right. So God came down in human form, and finally understood why we couldn’t get the rules right. God finally understood how hard it is to be human because God finally saw what it was like from our perspective.

It is like a professional race car driver trying to give driving instructions to someone who has an antique VW van to drive. The professional is going to keep getting frustrated – why can’t this person get it? It is easy. Then, when the driver finally gets into the old, clunky, VW van with its impossible stick shift and heater that is always on, even in the middle of summer, and the rusted out floorboards, the driver will finally get a clue as to what is going on.

It is as if God says after all that “Of course you can’t do it the way I’ve been telling you. I see now. Here, let me break it down to just two rules. Love Me, and love your neighbor.”

And really, it is just one rule. Love.

Sometimes that is the hardest thing ever.

The Prayer to Our Father

This is from http://www.thenazareneway.com/lords_prayer.htm
These three new translations of The Lord’s Prayer give a whole new insight into the meaning.

The Prayer To Our Father
(in the original Aramaic)

“Oh Thou, from whom the breath of life comes,

who fills all realms of sound, light and vibration.

Nethkâdasch schmach
May Your light be experienced in my utmost holiest.

Têtê malkuthach.
Your Heavenly Domain approaches.

Nehwê tzevjânach aikâna d’bwaschmâja af b’arha.
Let Your will come true – in the universe (all that vibrates)
just as on earth (that is material and dense).

Hawvlân lachma d’sûnkanân jaomâna.
Give us wisdom (understanding, assistance) for our daily need,

Waschboklân chaubên wachtahên aikâna
daf chnân schwoken l’chaijabên.
detach the fetters of faults that bind us, (karma)
like we let go the guilt of others.

Wela tachlân l’nesjuna
Let us not be lost in superficial things (materialism, common temptations),

ela patzân min bischa.
but let us be freed from that what keeps us off from our true purpose.

Metol dilachie malkutha wahaila wateschbuchta l’ahlâm almîn.
From You comes the all-working will, the lively strength to act,
the song that beautifies all and renews itself from age to age.

Sealed in trust, faith and truth.
(I confirm with my entire being)

Lord’s Prayer, from the original Aramaic
Translation by Neil Douglas-Klotz in Prayers of the Cosmos

O Birther! Father- Mother of the Cosmos
Focus your light within us – make it useful.
Create your reign of unity now-
through our fiery hearts and willing hands
Help us love beyond our ideals
and sprout acts of compassion for all creatures.
Animate the earth within us: we then
feel the Wisdom underneath supporting all.
Untangle the knots within
so that we can mend our hearts’ simple ties to each other.
Don’t let surface things delude us,
But free us from what holds us back from our true purpose.
Out of you, the astonishing fire,
Returning light and sound to the cosmos.

Lords Prayer, from Aramaic into Old English
Translation by G.J.R. Ouseley from The Gospel of the Holy Twelve

Our Father-Mother Who art above and within:
Hallowed be Thy Name in twofold Trinity.
In Wisdom, Love and Equity Thy Kingdom come to all.
Thy will be done, As in Heaven so in Earth.
Give us day by day to partake of Thy holy Bread, and the fruit of the living Vine.
As Thou dost forgive us our trespasses, so may we forgive others who trespass against us.
Shew upon us Thy goodness, that to others we may shew the same.
In the hour of temptation, deliver us from evil.

From http://www.thenazareneway.com/lords_prayer.htm