December 29, 2021

Today I was one of many out enjoying the warm air when the clear sky suddenly let loose a heavy shower. A man in front of me caught my eye as he ran, presumably towards shelter, holding a cup of coffee in one hand and the hand of a young girl in the other. She was pedaling her little legs with all her might when the man, in mid-stride, swooped her up by the waist and kept running, holding her tightly. Inexplicably, the image brought a catch to my throat, and a quick blinking away of tears.
Minutes later I learned that, this morning, a kind and faithful friend lost a brief but hard-fought fight.

Rest now, friend, carried to shelter in the arms of the Maker.

*artwork is by an artist featured in my advent devotional. Stephen Kaltenbach

Once in my car, this song brought a flood of tears…it seems fitting.

Lord of Eternity 

by Fernando Ortega

Lord of Eternity

Blessed is the man

Who walks in Your favor

Who loves all Your words

And hides them like treasure

In the darkest place

Of his desperate heart,

They are a light

A strong, sure light.

Sometimes I call out Your name

But I cannot find You.

I look for Your face,

But You are not there.

By my sorrows, Lord,

Lift me to You,

Lift me to Your side.

Lord of Eternity,

Father of mercy,

Look on my fainting soul.

Keeper of all the stars,

Friend of the poorest heart

Touch me and make me whole.

If You are my defender,

Who is against me?

No one can trouble or harm me

If You are my strength .

All I ask, all I desire

Is to live in Your house all my days

comfort ye

December 26, 2021

weep not

December 14, 2021

“How’s your heart?” she asked. And the words prompted a rush of tears I didn’t know were there. I’d felt heavy and numb, uncertain and socially awkward, hesitant and anxious . . . nothing close to grieving. Until the question was asked.

But what floored me even more than the question itself was the wisdom of her response to my tears. A hug. And the words, “I got you.”

That’s all.

And that’s all I needed.

Musing on the power of that interaction over the course of the day, it occurred to me that we are surrounded by a cloud of souls desperate for such wisdom and clarity in any given moment.

Open your eyes (I speak these words to myself). Walk softly, and walk kindly in this all-too-often hard and unkind world. Be an “I got you” to the world.

*image is another of my years-ago card designs

be it unto me

December 5, 2021

Three times this week I was moved to tears by an artistic rendering. Each of those was a rendering of the same scene: that of Mary and Elizabeth meeting after the Annunciation. It caught me off guard, each time, which is the most telling sign, to me, that something significant is happening. This advent season is for me, I suppose, the season of Mary and Elizabeth. 

The first moving came as I read my daily advent devotional, which included a poem called “The Visitation.” I cannot explain it any better than by sharing the poem here, as Mr. Guite kindly permitted me to do:

by Malcolm Guite

Here is a meeting made of hidden joys

The Visitation

Of lightenings cloistered in a narrow place,

From quiet hearts the sudden flame of praise,

And in the womb the quickening kick of grace.

Two women on the very edge of things

Unnoticed and unknown to men of power,

But in their flesh the hidden Spirit sings

And in their lives the buds of blessing flower.

And Mary stands with all we call ‘too young,’

Elizabeth with all called ‘past their prime.’

They sing today for all the great unsung

Women who turned eternity to time,

Favoured of heaven, outcast on the earth,

Prophets who bring the best in us to birth.

* originally published in the book Sounding the Seasons, Canterbury Press, 2012

P. S. Image is a drawing I did for one of my Christmas card designs, years ago.