Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Praying with Augustine of Hippo

I make this prayer mine today...

God of life
there are days when the burdens we carry
are heavy on our shoulders and weigh us down,
when the road seems dreary and endless,
the skies gray and threatening,
when our lives have no music in them,
and our hearts are lonely
and our souls have lost their courage.
Flood the path with light,
turn our eyes to where the skies are full of promise;
tune our hearts to brave music;
give us the sense of comradeship
with heroes and saints of every age;
and so quicken our spirits
that we may be able to encourage
the souls of all who journey with us on the road of life,
to your honor and glory. Amen.

-Attributed to Augustine of Hippo (354-430)

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

The Anniversary of a Death

it's so hard.
Unbearable even,
and yet it comes every year
then anniversary of a death.
Even to write --
to think -- about it
brings a flood of tears and grief.

How do we make it through?
And yet,
it has been a year.
a year of
day by day,
hour by hour,
minute by minute,
tear by tear...

And yet,
every morning
the bird will sing.

Grief washes over me,
over us,
for certainly death and grief
are not isolating.
Grief and death are never experienced alone
but affect a whole family,
a whole community.

in my saddness
raw and fresh
as when I got the news,
I cry to you,
and yet,
just outside my window
I hear the birds sing.

Each new day
the birds will sing,
and that gives me
the courage to hold on
to faith,
to hope,
to memories,
to love,
to you.


I write this reflecting on the anniversary of the untimely death a young adult in my church.

The phrase, "the birds will sing" comes from a post about grief:
The author writes:
At these times, I have been so blessed to be a part of Christian community. When the loss is so great, I can rest in the arms of a loving God. Sometimes, that is all I can do in my grief. Breathe in God’s love, let the tears fall, and breathe in love again.
On Friday, May 25th, I attended the memorial service for Peter Borgdorff, the former Executive Director of the CRCNA. As I waited for the service to begin, I noticed the cover design of the program, drawn by one of his granddaughters. A number of years ago, Peter’s son passed away and he clung to God’s mercies to be new every morning. In his deep grief, he told his family and himself that “The birds will sing in the morning.”

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

"Wind in the Wilderness" by Rev. Mindi Welton-Mitchell

I love words
the images that words can paint
the emotions that words can evoke
the beauty,
the power,
the wonder...

The below prayer 
written by Rev. Mindi Welton-Mitchell
is all of that...

here my prayer 
this day:

"Wind in the Wilderness,
guide us through 
the tangled brush and the darkened paths. 
May we feel You 
when we are lonely; 
may we know Your presence 
when we are afraid. 

Guide us across 
the great barriers, 
through the deep valleys, and 
over the mountains of difficulty. 

Wind in the Wilderness, 
may we feel You 
when we need strength and courage. 
Wind in the Wilderness, 
guide us safely through. 

1 "Wind in the Wilderness" prayer written by Rev. Mindi Welton-Mitchell, http://rev-o-lution.org.