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The Smiling Heart

Paul has an enthusiasm for exploring the world of faith and spiritual well being, which he wishes to share through all that he writes.


The Spirit and the Light

After the mist had watered the ground, before any shrub had sprouted, a bit of earth was taken and shaped. It was by God's own hand that this form was fashioned, but a shape was all it was until God breathed into it, giving it life. This was the same breath that had moved over the waters - the fearful deep, just before God said, "Let there be light." Filled with the breath of God, the spirit of God, this fine piece of work was to become humanity. And God saw that it was good.

The Spirit that moved over the waters, and the Light that was introduced into the void existed forever, and it is now in us. And God sees that it is good. The Spirit and the Light remains. In it we shine. In it we smile.

It has taken an almost unimaginable length of time for humanity's formation to unfold, but in the backdrop of forever, it is only a breath. This is a creation that exists in all of our moments. Within each breath lies the good and the light of creation. Inside every heartbeat lies the joy and appreciation of creation. This creation continues; it is now, and it is forever. So now is a good time to rejoice and let the spirit and the light fill our moments and our worlds.

Found in Translation

The Spirit and the Light is from God and of God, and where there is God, there is Love. When it comes to love, we often think of the heart. All the goodness that is breathed into us seems to migrate there. It also enters our minds, for it is with our whole being that we love. This timeless love comes to us without words. From our hearts and our minds, it flows as loving feelings and loving thoughts, feelings of compassion and caring, thoughts of kindness and understanding. This love then enters the world as loving words and actions. We rejoice and our hearts smile.


Faith and Salvation

There may be times when we feel that our hearts are finding it difficult to smile; the spirit and the light is nowhere to be found. Joy is hard to come by; worries and maladies abound. These feelings are real, just as real as the clay and the dust from which we were formed. But the clay and the dust are of the earth, which is also a part of the creation that is good. It is a wonderful world out there, but we do not always feel it. All this talk about spirit and light, goodness and love, does not always seem to coincide with some of the harsh realities of life. Can all these things really be true?

Faith is how the truth is fathomed. Being more than believing, faith is about remembering and practicing. We remind ourselves of all the good things, and we turn ourselves toward them. We acknowledge any little thing that makes us smile, and we are heartily grateful for any good feeling that we may experience. These feeling are real, just as real as our hardships. So, we reach out to the good things, never turning away, and with faith, we can even anticipate them. We become practiced in the ways that bring smiles to faces. We do all we can to help others. We are kind and patient, caring and forgiving. We share our good cheer. We recognize and appreciate any blessings that come our way, as we gain the wisdom of experience, from which we learn to trust. it is in the reality of God's continuously flowing love, that we trust. And we show our gratitude by letting it stream into the world.

When we have trouble finding the love inside and the good in the world, we may tend to blame the world itself for our problems and blame God for the woes of the world. And there is always that tendency to blame others for all of it. But through our faith and trust, we know that God loves the world. And it is Jesus who reminds us of this

Jesus tells us to love God and to love our neighbors as ourselves. God's love has the power to dissolve all woes. But our problems can be difficult to let go of. So, we reach out to Jesus, and we find that at the very least, they can be greatly diminished, broken into pieces that can be addressed one by one, as we watch them fall away into God's sweet river, where they are diluted by God's sweet love. We become less burdened. We see more clearly. We breathe. We clothe ourselves in God's love, as we allow Jesus to bring smiles to our hearts.


Humanity and Humility

Sometimes our hearts do not seem to be smiling for reasons other than our own problems or maladies or the problems in the world. These are the times when we feel something other than love, towards others. It may be some who we encounter every day, or people from far away, who are different in some way. And there are those who are not so very different, who profess similar ideas about God and love, but may not be entirely on the same page as ourselves. We tend to make separations, deciding who is worthy and who is not, who is saved and who is not. We may not be fully clothed in Christ's love at these times. It is difficult to smile while we are having harsh feelings towards others.

So, we again turn to Jesus and his wish that we love our neighbors. Remembering this, we are humbled enough to see that it is not for us to decide who is saved, or to assume that there may be those who are not. We do not make separations in humanity; we are all in this together. We turn our energies away from making these kinds of judgments and devote them toward loving God. And as so God loves the world, in blessed humility, so too can we.

Don't Forget to Remember

Faith is about doing. It is love in action by way of kindness and caring. It is reminding ourselves of the reality of God's love, from which we feel the power of humility and gratitude. We act in loving ways towards all. And the world smiles.

There may be times when we may not be so inclined to think about all these things, all these many words. So, we let go; we become quiet, we become still. And the sublime and eternal love of Jesus Christ flows to us. This is sometimes all we need to remember and all we need to know.


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© 2016 Paul K Francis

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