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Tag: Cheryl Davis

Cheryl Davis
The Simple, Profound Truth July 15, 2015
2015.07.16 02:19:51

I looked up from the keyboard into the face of heavenly joy. The last time I’d seen this kind of joy, it had been on the face of a young and trusting child. But this time I was looking into the face of an elderly woman with dementia. She was smiling broadly. Her eyes were sparkling. It seemed that light was emanating from her face; in fact, she appeared to have a halo. I couldn’t look away from her. She was gazing directly at me, so I returned her smile, and we shared the beautiful moment. I’m not sure, but I think she gave me a glimpse into heaven and the joy we will experience there.


My fingers continued to float over the keys, playing the familiar song. She continued to sing joyfully, and although others were singing, too, this was her song, her moment of immersion in the love of Christ.


This woman and I had run into each other repeatedly during the first days of my summer chaplaincy internship at a long term care facility. I learned her name, and she started to recognize me. We saw each other so often that we laughed whenever it happened—just because it had happened again. And then it stopped happening. I didn’t know it then, but she had been moved from the general population into a specialized home for those with dementia. Of course, I was thrilled to see her again today, and she seemed to recognize me.


The song came to an end, but her glow continued.   “You really love that song, don’t you?” I said to her. She nodded her head vigorously, still smiling, still bathed in warmth and joy. I could tell that the song was the touchstone for her faith. It took her back to a time when she was a young and trusting child who received the love of Jesus with open hands. It had carried her through life, and now it was flowing from an old and trusting heart that had proven the song to be true. It tied her entire life together and pointed her to the magnificent future awaiting her.


The song? Oh, have I neglected to mention that? We were singing “Jesus Loves Me.”


Glad for the simple, profound truth,

Vicar Cheryl Davis



Tags: Jesus Loves Me | dementia | Cheryl Davis

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Cheryl Davis
Old Saints and the Goodness of God
2014.12.01 23:31:08

Old saints. Contrary to medieval art, they don’t have glowing halos hovering above their heads. They don’t wear long robes. They aren’t in a constant prayer posture; in fact, they’re often bent over a bit. They walk with canes and walkers and ride in wheelchairs. They struggle to see and hear. They often depend on other people to help them through each day.


You wouldn’t know they’re saints just to listen to them because they don’t spout religiosity. But when someone says to them, “We serve a good God, don’t we?” they light up and reply, “Oh, we sure do. We sure do.” As their physical abilities fail, their spiritual certainties kick into high gear. And so does their gratitude.


“We are so grateful for all God has given us,” they say, reflecting on the past and looking into their future in heaven with Jesus and the saints who’ve gone before. They wait with expectation for what lies ahead.


This mindset—“heart-set”—didn’t happen overnight. They were children once, and their faith was probably young and fragile. Their lives did not unfold perfectly. Many experienced extreme hardship and tremendous loss. But through it all they discovered that Jesus kept his promise: he never left them or forsook them, and now they rest in the knowledge that he never will.


Old saints show us how God works. God starts as small as a seed within the cold earth or a tiny baby within a woman. He grows that beginning into something beautiful. He uses the hardships of life to create strength and endurance. And as the end nears, he brings the beauty of faith to full-bloom.


Advent begins today: we wait anew for God to fulfill God’s plans. The old saints among us have learned to wait with confidence. They know that God is good.


Learning from them,

Vicar Cheryl Davis

 

 

 

 

 



Tags: Saints | Advent | Cheryl Davis | faith | Waiting

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Cheryl Davis
Sparrows and Still Points
2014.11.20 00:50:15

Encouragement came in an envelope this week: a thoughtfully written note tucked within a beautiful card. Sunflowers and a sparrow adorned the front of the card, and their images jettisoned me back to one of the “still points” in my life.


It was at least 25 years ago. My kids were teenagers, and I was on overload. The clothes dryer had died, so I’d lugged the wet clothes to the laundromat at 6:00 am to get the job done before the day crashed in on me.


I sat in my car while the clothes were drying, opened the windows to the early morning breeze and tried to have devotions. I couldn’t focus. When was life going to get easier? When would I be able to relax? When could I let go of the anxiety associated with each and every day?


Just then a sparrow landed on the fence in front of my car. It was so close that I could see the amazing detail in its feathers. It hopped around there long enough for the Holy Spirit to speak gentle thoughts to my heart:


“Do you see that sparrow, Cheryl? It’s one of the most common,  non-extraordinary birds I’ve created, but look at it. Just look at it! It’s amazing in its detail and capabilities. Not one feather is out of place. It’s perfectly suited to its environment. Truly, it’s an unsung wonder.


Now, my dear, if I can create something like this—and someone like you—don’t you think that I’m wise enough and strong enough to bring calm to your heart and get you through this day?”


I observed the bird a while longer. Peace settled in. The Creator of the sparrow had spoken to my deepest need. God was still in control of the big picture as well as the details. He still knew what was best for all creation, and that included what was best for me. I could enter my day trusting him…and so can you.


Confident of this,

Vicar Cheryl Davis



Tags: Still points | Cheryl Davis | Anxiety | Trust | Sparrow | Psalm 84:3

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