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PrattTribune - Pratt, KS
Finding the sacred in everyday life
Why reflecting God’s love is bad — and absorbing it is great
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About this blog
Marketta Gregory never meant to be a columnist. \x34I trained to be a newspaper reporter -- one who tried to her best to be objective. I covered religion for a few years and felt like it was the best job a curious woman like me could ever have. ...
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Simply Faithful
Marketta Gregory never meant to be a columnist. \x34I trained to be a newspaper reporter -- one who tried to her best to be objective. I covered religion for a few years and felt like it was the best job a curious woman like me could ever have. Every day I got to listen as people told me about the things that were most important to them, the things that were sacred. But the newspaper industry was changing and few papers could afford to have an army of speciality reporters. So, I moved to cover the suburbs where, as luck would have it, they have plenty of religion, too. Eventually, children came into the picture. One by birth and another two months later by foster care/adoption. I struggled to chase breaking news and be home at a decent hour, so I made the move to what we journalists call the dark side: I took a job in public relations. (Don't worry. I work for a great non-profit, so it's not dark at all.) When I gave my notice at the Rochester (NY) Democrat and Chronicle, the executive editor asked me to consider writing a column on a freelance basis. She didn't want the newspaper to lose touch with its religious sources, and she still wanted consistent faith coverage. I was terrified. It took me about 10 months to get back to her with a solid plan and some sample columns. And so it began, this journey of opening up my heart to strangers.\x34
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By simplyfaithful
Feb. 7, 2013 5:10 p.m.



Cross and Sun

We were in the middle of a bible study, all comfortable in our chairs, when the conversation turned to light and to God’s love.

Our lives should be a reflection of that, someone said. We should show his love to the world. We all nodded and discussed the next verse. But after the closing prayer and the homemade toffee and the catching up with friends, after the drive home, I wondered about that word reflection. And I started to unpack its meaning.

I thought of seeing my face in mirrors and in clear, calm waters – and how the slightest wind or bend would cause distortion. I thought of how light reflects off of but rarely in to, how it deflects rather than absorbs. And I thought of how, without the source of light being visible, the reflection quickly grows dark or non-existent.

While my friend meant reflection as something to aspire to, I began to see it as an unfortunate description of where I sometimes am. I know I share God’s love best when life is peaceful and there are no ripples in the pond. And I struggle when the really hard times come, when evil scratches hard all around. I strain to position myself to see the light, and I forget that the light is already in me.

But when I think of God’s love as something within, then it becomes a light that can stand alone in the darkness, a light that shines brightly in spite of circumstances. It becomes something I bring with me when I stand with the mourning and when I welcome the stranger. It becomes something sustaining, purifying and transformative.

It becomes what I believe it was meant to be.

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