Saturday, January 25, 2014

A Debt Of Love

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. Romans 13:8

A few days ago another lady and I loved a group of homeless women at a special tea held just for them at a local Rescue Mission. Cloth table cloths, colorful plates and napkins, centerpieces with potted plants and ceramic birds, homemade cookies and red velvet cupcakes. There were hand painted ceramic cups to replace the usual Mission donations that had a Seattle Seahawk's logo or an encouragement to bank at the credit union.

Some of the women were stunned. Some were suspicious. Some asked where the coffee was. All warmed to the idea as quickly as a tea cosy absorbs the heat from the pot. 

My husband always laughs at how two men can ride to the top floor and never break the silence in the elevator but two women can go a few floors and discover where shoes are on sale, how to potty train a toddler and when the next season of Downton Abbey will be out on DVD. The tea was a delightful demonstration of that very connectedness.

We all guard our hearts and the homeless more so than most, but as women we always seem to leave a window unlocked. Christ slipped right in with the tea. It was a beautiful and rewarding moment when after a devotion about how God will never unlove us, the room relaxed and talk of plans and hopes and past loves filled our Valentine themed Tea.

There was laughter and gratitude and refills. There was singing. Some of it was not ready for prime time though I tried my best, I am no singer. Lady after lady, young and mature offered up her favorite love song for our enjoyment. Each woman had a love song even though she may have been without a home.

It was a transforming time. I know this because Jean and I went home transformed. It is always that way. We start out to give only to find we cannot empty the cup. Heaven's endless supply just keeps pouring until we are all awash in God's goodness.  

Romans speaks of the continuing debt of love we owe to one another, which is really a debt of gratitude to Jesus who loved us and gave Himself for us. Our lavishing that unselfish, generous affection on our neighbors is a way of honoring His sacrifice. In the distant past in some cultures one could pay a debt with tea. For me it was a custom worth reviving.
One of these days Christ will return and we will all take a ride to the top floor. I want to be in the elevator where the love songs are sung by women who have found a home in Him. Until then I am making tea in the biggest pot I can find.



Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Awakening, A Morning Psalm

The dawn broke over
the mountain, your mountain,
blinding white and prismatic
The sun, your sun, discovered
an uncurtained sliver
of window, my window
and the room exploded
into brilliance
Just a sliver of you
was all it took to find me,
to make me shield my eyes
from your furious sunrise
"Light, exist!"
Oh, God, how glorious
you must have been
when darkness dissolved
in the fire of your will
and a million mornings rushed
upon eternity, your eternity
Uncurtain my heart, My Urgent Lover
I surrender to this new day, your day
Dazzle me!
Awakening, A Morning Psalm
-by Kat Cavanaugh LaMantia
To the One who is the Word
Fractal art by permission of Silvia Cordedda

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Table For Five

I was brought up Roman Catholic and have said my share of Our Fathers, Hail Marys and Glory Bes prior to praying a personal prayer of reconciliation in Jesus name.

I have prayed in Latin and in English.

I have prayed out of fear; out of desperation; out of obligation.

Somewhere along the line I just started to turn my thoughts towards God and found He was listening.

I put down the prayer book and the Rosary and had a real conversation with the one Jesus said was Ours.

While recently reading Matthew in the Message I fell in love with the Our Father that I had banished for many years.

After reading and meditating on it I have to say I give it five stars.

I found myself guided by it to ask God:

Show yourself
Bring your world into my world
Act on my best interest
Keep me fed, forgiven and open hearted; from evil, from spite
Be God

Read it for yourself in Matthew chapter 6:

Our Father in heaven,
Reveal who you are.
Set the world right;
Do what’s best—
    as above, so below.
Keep us alive with three square meals.
Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.
Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.
You’re in charge!
You can do anything you want!
You’re ablaze in beauty!
    Yes. Yes. Yes.
With each different idea I let myself enjoy what it means to me to have a personal involvement with my Father.
I shed the cares and emotional car crashes that hinder my freedom.
I let people back into my world I was inclined to post a no vacancy sign on behalf of.
I just adored Him.

Five treasures in one prayer.

The Our Father is back on the menu.

Sister Serafina would be proud.


Thursday, January 2, 2014


I loved you once and forever
more than the forever of
the dearest childhood memory
or the taste of a first kiss

I loved you now in a way
that went backwards
and forwards in the same instant
and never disappeared

I loved you with all the looking
my eyes would ever do
and all the touching that could
live in tactile memories

I loved you before there was you
when you were only a promise
when you were a prophecy
passing over my lips

I loved you in all the times
that were not in-time
but were instead in-God
and came from His thoughts

I loved you then and in all
the days unborn
in moments unbaptized
unnamed and unknown

I loved you once and forever
without amendments or fine print
without treaties or lawyers
or the sound of snow breaking branches

I only loved you

(A poem for my sweet husband John's birthday)
-by Kat Cavanaugh LaMantia

January 2, 2014

 God’s blessings follow you and await you at every turn:
    when you don’t follow the advice of those who delight in wicked schemes,
When you avoid sin’s highway,
    when judgment and sarcasm beckon you, but you refuse.
 For you, the Eternal's Word is your happiness.
    It is your focus—from dusk to dawn.
 You are like a tree,
    planted by flowing, cool streams of water that never run dry.
Your fruit ripens in its time;
    your leaves never fade or curl in the summer sun.
No matter what you do, you prosper.

Psalm 1 
The Voice 

Fractal art by Silvia Cordedda
with permission

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Silence Between The Waves

I remember standing on the wet, cold sand of Ocean City one early July morning of my thirteenth summer. The beach was empty except for the crabs hiding in their sandy holes, their locations revealed by a telltale bubble when the waves drew back from the beach.
The sea looked friendly enough. The sea was a liar. One moment I was swimming on her foamy breast and the next I was upside down in her green sucking undertow. 

Those who live with the ocean hear the crashing of the waves as do those of us who only visit. What those intimate with her hear also is the silence between the waves. In those moments of silence the ocean is gathering strength to birth the next onslaught. We hear the crash, we capture the curls on film or canvas but the power of her silence is invisible to the uninitiated and can be mistaken for weakness, even safety, or be missed entirely.

The ocean drew back from the shore at high tide and it drew me deeper into her great lungs. What was silent above was noisy and urgent below. I was caught in the sea's powerful assembly line where every sound was amplified and every movement insistent.

I very nearly drowned that morning before being slammed back onto the beach with a nose full of salt water and a bathing suit full of sand and rocks.

There are moments in my life when my ocean is full of swells and curls and flying foam. But my heart lives between the waves in the silence that prays and listens then bears down to push.  When the ocean is "quiet" she recovers her strength to go on. To move things from one shore to the next. To patiently wear away great rocks. To be drawn up into the clouds and make rain. To change her world. She is at her most robust when she seems to be only holding her breath.

Let it be so in the year that has arrived on our shore. May we welcome the gathering strength of the silence between its waves. May we welcome the One who whispers between the breakers, who set limits upon the great bodies of water but who promised us unlimited resources to accomplish the loving ends of His precious Kingdom.

May that Kingdom come to us in the year ahead. May it inspire and anoint our diverse beaches. May it reveal the deep things of God to us. May it baptize anew our every hope. May its eloquent silences be sought after.

May we welcome prayer with new hospitality.

I wish you all a joyous and loving New Year.


No one’s ever seen or heard anything like this, Never so much as imagined anything quite like it—What God has arranged for those who love him. But you’ve seen and heard it because God by his Spirit has brought it all out into the open before you. The Spirit, not content to flit around on the surface, dives into the depths of God, and brings out what God planned all along. Who ever knows what you’re thinking and planning except you yourself? The same with God—except that he not only knows what he’s thinking, but he lets us in on it. God offers a full report on the gifts of life and salvation that he is giving us. 1 Corinthians 2 (Message)