The 10 Commandments in 32 Words

Daily writing prompt
Do you have a quote you live your life by or think of often?

He has told you, O mortal, what is good,
    and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice and to love kindness
    and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8

To live the good life doesn’t require money, power, land, or big houses. It does require me to live a life that cares more for justice and mercy than my ego. I am required to care for the homeless, the orphan, the stranger, the sick, the elderly, and to bring comfort to those incarcerated (Matthew 25:35-45).

I am not someone who will walk the streets spouting dogma. I am a person who tries her hardest to work for justice for those who have been denied it. I try to speak for those who don’t have a voice, the poor, the sick, animals, and creation. I try my hardest to be kind to those who are in need of a helping hand, a word of encouragement, or need care but are denied it. To do otherwise is to deny my very being.

It is not easy walking such a path, requiring me to forego my own comfort or immediate satisfaction. Yet, such a way of life is much more satisfying by giving me the opportunity to be part of the greater community, and seeing the results gives others the opportunity to survive and thrive.

I am not trying to preach or suggest that I have all the answers. Nor do I want anyone to think I am proselytizing for my faith. No, rather, I am telling you how I see the world, taught to me by my parents. It is each person’s responsibility to make the decision to act in a righteous way. No matter how you respond to the day’s issues you, and me. will be held accountable for all our actions, did we hinder or assist the greater community, human and creation.

Living a good life doesn’t mean just surviving for 70 or 80 years, we are to be part of the world, to interact with and encourage all who live around us no matter who they are. Life becomes, maybe not easier, more enjoyable and peace oriented when we are part of the world as participants who care for all humanity and creation.

Ruth Jewell.

Gratitude Prayer

Lord, you are my Guardian
You dance with me in the light of joy
You hold me in the darkness of sadness
You are ever with me

Guardian, you are my mentor
You teach me to love the unlovable
You teach me compassion for those in pain
You teach me to stand with the voiceless

Lord, You feed my spirit
You feed me love, peace, and justice
At Your table I am:
              never hungry
never lonely
never afraid

Lord of light
Guardian in the darkness
Lord of wisdom and knowledge
Lord who brings me peace . . .

Yor are ever with me
You are ever
You are

Ruth Jewell, ©January 28, 2023

I Am Here

I am here . .
waiting for –
the Great Presence to
surround me,
hold me,
brush my cheek with
the breath of silence.

I am waiting . . .
here in silence
for the touch
of God on my shoulder,
for the warmth of
the Sacred
surrounding me.

Here I sit,
letting the silence
surround me,
fill me, with
the silent song
of the Spirit.
Welcoming the
Holy into
my heart.

I am here.
I am waiting.
Here I sit.

Ruth Jewell, ©September 3, 2022

First Untethered Space WalkFebruary 3, 1984,

He floats free
above the Earth
balanced between the
Dark above
the blue below

He sits in the hand
of the universe
weightless as
a feather on
the breath of heaven

A billion voices
lie below
but here
his breathing is the
only earthbound sound

The universe
sweeps around him
with the sounds of atoms
in wavelengths he
is not tuned to.

we all will hear
the birth and death
of stars
of galaxies colliding
and maybe
just maybe
the voice born on
another planet

But today
only he floats,
suspended between
the light and
dark of the universe
the first of many
who follow

Courage took
the first step
hope floated out
into tomorrow
Astronaut Bruce McCandless
was the first
he wasn’t the last

Now the real
work begins

Ruth Jewell, ©June 19, 2022

Photo: NASA

A Morning Prayer

Forgiving as you, O Creator,
Have forgiven me.

Breath prayer:  Forgiven . . . Forgiving

The gift of grace
Freely given without merit,
O, Ground of my Being,
I am thankful.

Breath Prayer: Grace . . . Thankful

It is your love, My Rabbi,
That swells my heart
It is the compassion you teach
That my spirit carries
Into the streets.

Breath Prayer: Love . . . Compassion

In stillness I sit.
YOU are here.
I wrap myself in YOU, O Presence,
I sit in peace within your arms.

Breath Prayer: Stillness . . . Peace

Amen, and Amen

Ruth Jewell, ©February 15, 2022

Sun Rise


I saw the sun rise this morning
The mist clings to the trees in the Dales.
Sheep move like ghosts in the mist,
Faces buried in the sweet grass.

I saw your gentle face enshrouded with sleep.
Slowly your eyes open to me.
You smile,
And, I saw the sun rise this morning.

©Ruth A Jewell, 10-9-00

I wrote this on Johns and my honeymoon in the British Isles.  We were staying at a B&B, in Cumbria, in a very old farmhouse were sheep grazed right under your window.  The house did not have central heating and it was very cold in our room (no heat in the bathroom either), with only one light bulb.  In the morning as we were getting up, I noticed there was a heavy fog, and outside the window sheep were grazing and moving in and out of sight.  You could hear their bells tinkling and listen to their gentle voices while cropping grass.  It was wonderful.

February 7, 2022

I was searching though old blog posts and re-read this one from July 2010.  When I did, John’s and my honeymoon popped into my head with total clarity. We had so much fun in England, Wales, and Scotland. But the sweetest memory was this one in Cumbria.  I still get tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat when I read what I wrote that morning. 

As John’s dementia progresses, he has forgotten much of that trip and only remembers when I bring out the pictures.  At some point he will not remember even then and that makes me so sad. I am losing the one person I love more than anyone else and it is hard.  I am sometimes afraid of what will come, but memories like these remind me that love doesn’t die, that even at the end love is still there and love will hold me until I move on into the darkness.

July 28, 2010

It is in the small moments of the day that I find the greatest peace.  I don’t HAVE to go to a separate location to find God, yes, I do love to go, but it isn’t necessary.  Yesterday was one of those moments.

John and I hiked up to Barclay Lake near Baring Mt. and all day long I kept asking myself when I will feel God’s presence, She seemed to be absent from this walk.  Now mind you we are walking up a mountain trail with vistas everywhere; Dark green trees, babbling brook below, sunshine on the path, and ferns gently blowing, sound idyllic enough for ya’.   When we reached the lake and sat down to watch children enjoying the water and eat our picnic lunch, the sky was so blue, with not a cloud in sight and I kept saying “hey You, are You on this hike with us?”  It wasn’t until we reached home tired, sweaty, and dirty that something clicked.  There in front of me was John and Freddie being goofy as John got ready for his shower and suddenly, I realized I was looking in the wrong place and waiting for the wrong voice. 

Yes, the glories of the mountain and lake were wonderful metaphors of God’s presence but John’s presence throughout the walk was the real gift.  He waited for me as I stopped to look at small flowers and ferns.  He didn’t quibble when I simply stopped to take in the view, losing myself in the landscape.  John and Freddie made me laugh as they walked down the path in front of me and offered me a picture of memorable proportions.  

I often tell people that when I look into the face of others, I see God looking back and here I was seeing that expression right in front of me and I didn’t see it.  Wow, talk about not paying attention!  99.9% of the time God doesn’t make Herself known to me in grand gestures.  She speaks to me in the small everyday things and events in my life, (not that John is a small thing or event) the ones that go by so quickly that if I blink, I will miss them.  Opening my vision, hearing in my heart all those events require more than spiritual practice, or patience, it requires me to slow down and let Her voice and presence penetrate my awareness. 

Awareness is a spiritual practice that I frequently ignore because I am ‘just so busy I can’t take the time to be aware.’  What a crock!  Yesterday was so beautiful and there in front of me was God, ok so He is a little bowlegged and is wearing shorts and a dirty T-shirt but the image of God none the less, and I was so intent on hearing God in the wind or seeing God in a tree that I missed the loving embrace of the Divine.  I admit it, I’m an idiot!  God, I love you in all your images, trees, mountains, dogs, lakes, but most of all as John who is your presence here on this earth with me.  Thank You!

Ruth Jewell, ©February 7, 2022

Image: from Wallpapers, Sheep in a foggy field, free image.

We Are in This Together, Or Are We?

It is time to stop thinking of this country as the “United State.”  We are not united, the civil war never ended, and we are still north vs south. In addition, we have added west vs east, liberal vs conservative, plus numerous other divisions too many to name. There is not such thing as “My Fellow Americans,” because no one thinks of themselves as Americans anymore.  We are white, black, brown, yellow, Republican, Democrat, liberal, progressive, conservative, Christian, Evangelical, non-Christian, goodness there are so many divisions it would take up the entire post to list them all. Something needs to change before we are doomed to collapse.

We need to begin to consider the dissolution of this country into areas where the many individual groups clamoring for attention can live in peace. Such a plan would require the dividing up of the country into several parts and giving each area their own governing body to address the issues of the area and people.  It might mean a mass removal and resettlement program for each area to have the appropriate people who might, might mind you, live in harmony.

For example, the southern states such as North and South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, and Alabama might be for far-Right conservatives.  Middle of the road conservatives might be resettled in Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Mississippi.  Liberals might want the Northeastern States, or the Pacific northwest.  Of course, you would have to taking the division of west vs east there.  You just might end up with 2 liberal or progressive areas.  Of course, resettlement would cause some problems, but the government has plenty of experience in that area.  Given our experience with Native populations, and Asian Americans.

Of course, I am being facetious, on some level.  Not the part about being a “United States” or “dissolution of this country, just about the rest of it.  We are the Divided States of America.  I am not sure I have talked, or read about, anyone calling themselves American first in a very long time.  Everyone has a group, a section of the population that they belong to. All these groups have their own grievances, wants, needs, desires for their little group, and their little group is the most important all the rest are secondary. No one, except maybe a few occasionally, has considered what is best for America as a whole. Why is that? Can we please begin to see ourselves as Americans first and all the other designations as secondary?

Every person in this country is important regardless of their skin color, their gender, their ethnic makeup, economic status, culture, age, or physical ability. Each one adds to the whole of this country.  We need each, and every, person to step up and recognize the value of every other person.  The wealthy need to recognize they are dependent on the people they employ. The workers need to recognize the imaginative abilities of their employers. Shop keepers need people to buy their goods and they can’t sell them if the population has no money.

We are dependent on each other to progress scientifically, economically, and academically. Until we begin to accept that and start seeing ourselves as one people, as Americans this country is doomed to either dissolve, or become an autocracy with people like Donald Trump as our own “Hitler.”  Is that the goal for the people of this country? If Trump should win again, or someone like him this country will dissolve, and the Great American experiment will come to an end. 

We are in this together, every single person in the country. What happens depends on us, on whether we have the courage to be Americans, to draw together and explore and how our individual needs benefit the country, the people of this country, as whole.  Until we see each other as equals, see the individual, or group, as just as important as every other individual and group nothing will change.  Can we do It?  I don’t know and honestly, I have my doubts.

Ruth Jewell, ©January 30, 2022

Image from Bing Images

Things I Do on a Winter Day:

Read books

Pet Chihuahua’s

Look for books

Drink tea

Smell books

Give Chihuahua’s snacks

Talk about books

Eat snacks

Read books

Cuddle with Chihuahua’s

Go to sleep with book in hand

. . . And a Chihuahua by my side, in my lap and at my feet.

My Three Chihuahuas

Ruth Jewell, ©January 1, 2022

Images by Ruth Jewell

Winter Solstice

Welcome, welcome
the returning of the light

While winter’s grip still holds
we see the promise of spring

As I watch the cold snow from my window
I can almost see the Robin searching among the crocus

The Creator gave us the dark to rest
but I am eager for the light

Come, light a candle of hope
Come, light the fires of love

Come O light of new birth
Come O light of the promise

Come, O Creator with your blessing of light.
Come, see the blessed light

Ruth Jewell, ©December 21, 2021

Image, Ruth Jewell, Sunrise, Edmonds WA, summer 2013

The Space Within

Space the “final frontier”
   so, they say.
But what is space?
A star laden sky?
The space between
The 6 foot
   social distance?

We are mostly space.
We may look solid, but
   we are not.
We unsolid Beings are
   born of stars dust.
Star Dust longing
   for something more.

So, we search for . . .
We search for knowledge,
    for meaning, something to
    hang our star dust on.
We search for soul,
    and spirit.
We search, by any name,
   for Gd.

The ancients looked to
   the heavens.
The religious told us
   Gd lived there.
They were all,
   sort of,

You can travel an infinite
   distance into space, and
      still only find

Yet if you travel within
   each of our, or any, atom, we
      find a space we cannot go with technology,
         a space so small
            it appears empty.

Is it empty?

Or is that space within what
   we’ve been looking for
       since we crawled out of the sea?
Could that “empty” space,
   the still small, so very small space be
      the place we find Gd.

That very small space,
   larger than a mountain,
      longer than the longest river,
         wider than the sea,
                that be where we find Gd?

Might we discover within
   each of us, a piece of Gd
      has always been?

Might we discover a thread
   finer than silk,
      stronger than steel,
         connects us to each other
      through space
   called Gd?

That still, small, space
   we cannot go,
      just might,
         be the answer
            we have been searching for.


Go within and

Ruth Jewell, ©November 25, 2021