☀️ Come

all who are weary and burdened,

which if we are honest,

is all of us:

fishermen and tax collectors,

doubters and zealots,

betrayed and betrayers,

women and children,

lame, blind, lost, bullied,

teachers, preachers, seekers,

carpenters, welders, garbage collectors,

doctors, mechanics, managers.

Regardless of skin colour,

earthly status or physical health,

or anything else —

the invitation is always, “Come.”

Come to me; listen and live,

follow and see what I, the Lord God,

have done…am doing…will yet do.

Come and find rest in me.

☀️Dear Author of Life

I’m noticing the fine details you have woven into your Grand Story, the one that begins and ends with you, but somehow includes plump pussy-willows and robinsong and purple prairie crocuses blooming in the midst of April snow. I love how these details matter to you.

I’m wondering if you were thinking in hyperbole when you introduced the stars, the galaxies. Did you craft their far-reaching layers just so that we would have a visual metaphor for infinity? You established the motif of light and dark very early in the story, but the way you nuance it by scattering a shimmer of aurora borealis across the night sky is an extravagance of poetic language beyond words. Was this to remind us that light and dark aren’t mere symbols for good and evil, but the foundational syntax of beauty?

However, I am somewhat befuddled that you would actually add characters such as myself into a setting so vastly creative and finely tuned. Pardon me, but don’t we just deface the setting, complicate your story line? Haven’t we pretty much blown up your original outline for how this should all go? Your devotion to keeping us in the story is staggering. In human terms, an author who inserts her/himself into their own story seems a bit narcissistic, in need of a cameo appearance so we don’t forget that they are the mastermind behind the craft. But you insert yourself into your story to remind us that we are necessary and dearly loved and redeeming us is the only way for the story to end as you have always planned. This has been a love story all along, hasn’t it?

Today, I see trees waving tiny new leaf buds and in that intricate detail, I glimpse the height and width and depth of your love and I respond with humble praise that I am here in this particular place, part of your ongoing story, flawed but not written off the page, a redeemed character within your story of redemption.

With sincere gratitude,

One of your beloved

☀️ Healer

A Sunday Doxology

“We are the world…

we are saving our own lives,”

they sang once upon a time,

but here we are still

fractured, aching, broken,

bruised, twisted, strained

because we’ve never been good

at saving ourselves.

You didn’t save yourself either.

You suffered and sacrificed

to save us:

pierced, crushed, oppressed, afflicted,

your wounds — our healing.

All praise to you who knows our pain.

All praise to you, the One who heals.

☀️ Lonely Places

Sunday Doxology

Praise to you, Lord of the lonely places of quiet solitude where you chose to withdraw for prayer. For rest.

I am drawn to these places, too, because I always find you there and am renewed. Restored.

But sometimes lonely places barge in the door, drop baggage on the floor and invade us with the deep ache of isolation, of exclusion, of being uninvited, unnoticed, unliked, unfriended…

Here solitude stings. Doesn’t soothe.

Praise to you, Lord, even in these insidious lonely places because your hand still guides us, your right hand still holds us fast. Because you are forever and always Emmanuel — God with us — we are never alone.

☀️ All Things

A Sunday Doxology

Praise God for all things.

All things, God?

Barren trees with branches blown

down haphazard on dirty snow?

Skies of grey upon grey upon grey?

Leftovers for lunch and supper

and supper again?

Renovation dust populating

every. single. surface?

Cold hands, dry skin, tired eyes?

Relentless wind

and unanswered prayer?

It’s easy to praise you for every

blessing that feels like a blessing —

retune my heart to praise you

for all the things that don’t.

☀️ Blessings Keep Flowing

A Sunday Doxology

Praise God from whom

all blessings flow:

A warm home during

Extreme Cold Warning weather

lasting for days on end

Birds that flit and fly and sing

even in Extreme Cold Warning cold

Untouched snow and cloudless skies

Sunrises and sunsets and sun dogs

Bowls of chili and cups of hot tea

Conversation, laughter, prayer

with my husband of forty

Valentine’s Days

A day of Sabbath rest

days of goodness

weeks of hope

years of grace

Praise Father, Son, Spirit.

Amen.

☀️ When Nothing is Everything

A Sunday Doxology

Praise to you, Shepherd of my soul.

In you I lack nothing,

have everything I need,

am not in want.

Except

I often do want

what you have not given,

feel lack when I look

at what others have,

notice bare patches in

green pastures,

see only a trickle instead of

deep untroubled waters.

Some days I am like a sheep

without a shepherd

not because you are elsewhere

tending to others

but because I have not listened

to your voice

and followed it to find you

still the Shepherd who knows me,

who leads, refreshes, guides,

provides, protects, comforts —

the Shepherd who lays down his life

and takes it up again,

and fills my cup until it overflows

with goodness and mercy

and I lack nothing

of eternal value.

☀️ For Such a Time as This

A Sunday Doxology

Mordecai to Esther:

Who knows but that you have come

to your royal position

for such a time as this.

Esther to Mordecai:

I will pray and I will go and if I perish,

I perish.

But you, God Most High,

chose to leave your royal position

for such a time as this — this moment

that has been this moment

over and over and over again

because you came for all times

and all moments and all peoples.

You did perish.

But neither death nor time constrains you.

So when I am prone towards despair,

I return again to remember that you

are still present

for such a time as this.