Friday, July 6, 2012

An invitation to be the reconcillor

My friend Lynell Walker, who is Canon Pastor at Trinity Cathedral Sacramento where Lori and I spent 18 wonderful years, just returned from her summer vacation. She wrote this for the Trinity e-newsletter, and so I pass it along to you for a summer's day reflection:

A Summer's Reflection

Pat and I have just returned from a wonderful trip touring parts of the Oregon coast. The change inRembrandt  climate, pace and exposure to the stunning cliffs and seacoast provided a wonderful time of rest and refreshment. It doesn't take much to reset my life. While away, I reread Henri Nouwen's bookThe Return of the Prodigal Son.  It's based on his meditations of Rembrandt's depiction of the familiar gospel parable found in Luke 15:11-32. Nouwen had been invited by friends to join them on a trip to the Soviet Union to see the original portrait located at a Hermitage in St. Petersburg and he seized the opportunity with great joy. He had encountered the image in a poster some time before and it had haunted his heart and imagination. Now he would get a chance to experience the painting as the artist had expressed it.

While camping, I downloaded the Rembrandt sketches and final portrait to my phone and went back and forth between Nouwen's interpretation of the story and the paintings that had so moved his heart. I have read this book twice before and never caught, until this read, that imbedded in the parable resides the invitation to become the father - generous with all that he had, and ever checking the horizon for a glimpse of the son he loved and missed so deeply. I had always seen it as a story of reconciliation but never as an invitation to become the reconciler. I'm grateful for vacant times that give the heart time to ponder.

I hope this summer gives you time to pursue something that once captivated your heart. Take time to remember. Was it a piece of music, a work of art, a place forgotten, an old friend? May you find joy in discovering the many ways that God's Spirit naturally reveals itself during this summer season of re-creation.

Lynell Walker +Blessings,


The Rev. Lynell Walker
Canon Pastor

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