I’m going to go back to what I love during this Lenten Season…taking photos and highlighting the beauty in the everyday, the sacredness of all that is around us, and in doing so, finding God in his creation.

I’ll be using Diana Butler Bass’ Grounded: Forty Day Devotional as a guide. I hope you’ll join me on this 40 day journey back to Immanuel, God with us.

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“Proximity is not only what makes a neighborhood. Simply living next to others is not enough. The spirit of neighborhood means practicing the Golden Rule, when near dwellers treat others the way they hope to be treated. When we love our neighbors as ourselves, we build sacred connections between the spaces we inhabit.” (Grounded, p. 201)

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Love your neighbor. There’s that word again…love. It requires something from us, movement from our own individual space into the space of another. It requires that we see our neighbor as ourselves, as fully human.

As we talked about on day 25, we all have an innate longing to know and be known. To love and be loved, because of, and sometimes in spite of, that knowing.

With some of our neighbors, this is the most difficult thing to do. Especially after the knowing. Boy do I have stories to tell, as I’m sure many of you do as well. It is so much easier and less dramatic many times, to simply stay in our own space; to take care of those we’ve already allowed into our own small circles. But, if we truly begin to see our neighbor as fully human, sharing the same joys and heartaches, the same life experiences as we do, it’s easier to extend a little kindness. Tlove our neighbor as ourselves.

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Today’s Prayer:
“Make my hands strong for the work of love,
and my heart open to receive others as I long to be received.
Give me the courage to build the sort of neighborhood
that I want to live in, claiming the agency of compassion to heal
and restore anything that may be amiss or broken.”
Diana Butler Bass