My Traveling Shoes

Done found myself a new pair of travelin' shoes to wear on this leg of my journey. Handmade to fit and suit me just right, supportin' and comfortin' me each step of the way.They are wild and colorful as I chose them to be, they suit my personality.
I've traveled so many miles in shoes that someone else bought for me, plain, poorly fitted, worn, second hand, hand me downs. Ohh, they hurt my feet and took me places that I didn't need to go, places that I didn't want to go. For many years I put them on. I was told it was my duty, but my heart was heavy and my cares so many.
Done found myself a new pair of travelin' shoes to wear on this leg of my journey. Handmade to fit and suit me just right, supportin' and comfortin' me each step of the way.They are wild and colorful as I chose them to be, they suit my personality. I bought these shoes. I own these shoes. They are mine.
by Jeanne leigh...copyrighted...2007


Monday, February 11, 2013

Two Sides of Compassion


Art by Jeanne Leigh Denton


Presently, I serve a small church in Virginia as a part-time pastor.
This past Sunday I spoke about the two sides of compassion, although I know there are many more. Sharing from the gospel of Mark I spoke of how Jesus backed his compassion with action. He did something to help those who suffered. We are to follow that example. Then of course there is another side of compassion. Those times when we truly have done all we can do and the suffering remains. We feel so helpless and uncomfortable in the presence of those who are sick or suffering with mental illness,  physical pain, addiction, etc. It is in those times that we must pray for wisdom and trust in what God is doing.

So, just as we are called to put our words, beliefs and faith into action, when we have done all we can do, we are then called to continue to express our faith by standing with and supporting “those that suffer.” If possible, we must find a way to walk with them through this.


I’d like to end with a quote by Henri Nouwen that makes a wonderful point concerning these situations. He says,

“Let us not underestimate how hard it is to be compassionate. Compassion is hard because it requires the inner disposition to go with others to a place where they are weak, vulnerable, lonely, and broken. But this is not our spontaneous response to suffering. What we desire most is to do away with suffering by fleeing from it or finding a quick cure for it.”

So, I pray we can learn more each day about doing for and being with those who are weak, vulnerable, lonely and broken. Let us practice being a loving and healing presence, and a light, especially in those times that we do not see them experiencing a cure, or when their problems are not solved, or their suffering does not ease. May we be mindful that we know that our God holds them even in this and be a witness to them of this very fact.

Thanks for stopping by! Til next time...Peace, Jeanne Leigh

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Quest for Understanding

Art by Jeanne Leigh Denton


All day long you do this, and even in your sleep…

pan for gold.

We are looking for something to celebrate

with great enthusiasm.

wanting all our battles and toil and our life

to make sense.

“I found it, I found it, I found it!” a hermit once

began to shout, after spending years in

solitude, meditating.

“Where? a young shepherd boy nearby asked.


And the hermit replied, “It may take a while, but I will show you.

For now just sit near to me.”

All Day long we do this, with our movements

and our thoughts…pan for gold

Panning for gold conjures up all kinds of images. When we think of what this would actually involve, well to begin with we would need to ask ourselves, “Where would we possibly find this gold?” We’d have to carefully research this because location would be essential. Then we would want to make sure we have the means and equipment to begin this work. Once these steps have been taken we would begin the work of focusing on our search. We get down on our knees looking intently, exploring each pan-full of material and disposing of what is not gold and keeping what we believe to be gold. Sure enough some of it will be fool’s gold. Ah…but if there is gold to be found we will find it. This is the way it works. This is all part of the journey for there is so much to learn and so little time.

Joan Chittister has been a “light” in my life for many years. Through her work I have found many real nuggets of gold. Chittister has spent her life panning for gold. She is a “truth seeker” and a very brave one. I found this short video this morning that amazed me. That she could put that much wisdom and insight in a 14 minute and 43 second talk just astounded me. You may not agree with her present understanding of things. That is okay. I don’t know where you are coming from but I encourage you to listen and at least think about some of the things she is saying. As I was told a long time ago “Eat the meat and spit out the bones”. If something here feeds your soul or lightens your way, help yourself. If not,I hope you find what you are looking for elsewhere.Let us keep panning for the gold while we have the opportunity.

Thanks for stopping by. Til next time…be at Peace. Love, Jeanne