Giving Life or Draining It

In every encounter we either give life or drain it. There is no neutral exchange. We enhance human dignity or we diminish it. The success or failure of a given day is measured by the quality of our interest and compassion toward those around us.
~Brennan Manning
from Abba’s Child: The Cry of the Heart for Intimate Belonging

Forty years ago this week I graduated with an M.D. degree from the University of Washington and began a lifetime of trying to be life-giving rather than life-draining to others.

There have been times when I’ve failed miserably, my interest waning and my compassion fatigued.

But like tracing the path of a spiral from inside to outside, I continue to try to reach farther and encompass more with each step I take in the time I have left, remembering the dignity of each person I meet and being worthy of their time and trust.

May this young woman who embarked so enthusiastically on the physician journey so many decades ago never forget, after so much seasoning, what it took to get there and what it means to continue to be worthy.

Awaiting His Arrival: From Emptied to Overflowing

poliswaterfall2

He has satisfied the hungry hearts and sent the rich away with empty hands.
Luke 1:53

For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord
    as the waters cover the sea.
Habakkuk 2:14

 

 Thou who wast rich beyond all splendour,
All for love’s sake becamest poor;
Thrones for a manger didst surrender,
Sapphire-paved courts for stable floor.
Thou who wast rich beyond all splendour,
All for love’s sake becomes poor.
~Frank Houghton

 

Breath, mouth, ears, eyes
he is curtailed who overflowed all skies,
all years. Older than eternity, now he
is new.
~Luci Shaw from “Mary’s Song”

 

Do you think you could contain Niagara Falls in a teacup?
Don’t come with a thimble when God has nothing less to give you
than the ocean of himself.
~Brennan Manning

brussels1127

A Unique Heartbeat

photo by Josh Scholten

photo by Josh Scholten

“Assured of your salvation by the unique grace of our Lord Jesus Christ” is the heartbeat of the gospel, joyful liberation from fear of the Final Outcome, a summons to self-acceptance, and freedom for a life of compassion toward others.”
~Brennan Manning (April 27, 1934-April 12, 2013) from The Ragamuffin Gospel: Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up and Burnt Out

photo by Josh Scholten
photo by Josh Scholten