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by Lynn Anderson
A wealthy New York couple withdrew their three-million-dollar pledge to the Central Park Childrens Zoo because the city proposed a commemorative plaque smaller than the couple wanted! This headliner in Wayne Mullers book, Sabbath: Restoring the Spiritual Rhythm of Rest, punched my buttons. So I lifted some choice lines from Muller for todays reflections.
Contrast the New York couple with the late Henri Nouwen, who turned down a White House invitation to provide spiritual counsel for the first family. Though Nouwen empathized with their sorrows, he explained, I am here with Adam, my retarded friend. Others can go to the White House. Adam needs me.
Of course this went un-noticed by the press. No wonder. Though Jesus was everything good, the world took notice only to kill him for it.
One of the things that died with Jesus was the illusion that the world will always reward good deeds. In quiet times, alone, we retreat from the illusion of our own indispensability.
Our master said, Be careful not to do your acts of righteousness before men, to be seen my them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on he streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth; they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what y our right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your father who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. (Matthew 6:1-4).
Oh Lord, rescue me from my craving to be noticed, appreciated loved. This hankering generates only duplicity, resentment and depression, and robs me of your best rewards. Oh Adonai, Grant, my highest satisfaction in the deep, quiet joy of your smile on those rare occasions when I secretly co-operate with your amazing grace. Please keep reminding me, that you are most glorified in me, when I am most satisfied in you. Amen.
Author: Lynn Anderson
Publication Date: June 6, 2001
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