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Today I was able to take a great walk.  One of the spiritual disciplines I practice is Silence.  Walking by myself was a wonderful opportunity to do this.  It was amazing how unsavory noise ( traffic, gardeners, etc.) became blotted out.  The birdsong become ‘louder’.  I literally stopped and smelled the roses, giving God thanks for the amazing, amazing scent and the ability to smell them.  My eyes feasted on flowers and blossoms in their gorgeous riot of colors.  I seemed to see even more colors than usual.  There are lots of orange and yellow colors I do not even like, but they were perfect in the places they were.  I smelled cut grass, different scents from bushes and rosemary.  Loved the reds of the Japanese maples.  I am hoping to have one of those sometime.  I love children, and got to stop and chat with a beautiful 4 and 2 year old brother and sister who were out digging and doing their kid thing (mom was there).  They are of mixed race, and I reflected on how different their life will be now in our country, compared with the way at one time in our history they would have been severely rejected to say the least.  I might even venture to say we have changed so much that it would be rare to find such horrible prejudice, though I am aware it does still exit.  Thank you God that those voices are so much smaller now.  Wow, even just writing all this down I realize even more what a worship experience this time was, a blessing for my whole day.  God is there, even when we can’t seem to find Him in this dimension of time.

Last weekend we attended a marriage conference with Chris Hogan.  It was on the nine levels of intimacy with others, particularly with married couples.  I am a marriage and family therapist.  I have some specialized training from the Couples Institute in Menlo Park, CA.  Though I have treated some couples successfully over the past 20 years, marriage therapy is extremely hard work.  It is not my passion.  Sexual Violence is my passion, which is why this website exists.  That said, Chris is not even a therapist, but he has brought even divorced couples back together (with God’s help as he would be the first to say). He is gifted and well studied.   Anyway, if anyone is interested in finding out more, is the place to go.  It seems to me these nine levels of intimacy can also be seen as a map for our personal relationship with God too.  At least I am going to try it. 

God’s beauty, His goodness, His ways of living life in this broken world are perfect.  This world is far from perfect (to say the very least) but He is.  This truth is our great hope for change in ourselves and the world we live in.

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