☀️ 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.

☀️ You may have noticed

A Sunday Doxology / Psalm

Lord,

how we do what we want when

we should do as you do

and want what you want.

How we act as if you are not present

when you are,

and feel as if we are all alone

when we’re not.

How we seek what should not be sought,

love the wrong things or

the right things in the wrong order.

How we run when we should

stand firm or

sit in comfort when we should

flee.

How we chose our own way

when you are The Way,

proclaim our truths when

you alone are The Truth.

Yes, I know you have noticed

all this and more

because there is nowhere we can go

where you are not,

no knowledge or wisdom we may gain

that you do not inhabit.

We are a mess.

You are holy.

Why on earth are you mindful of us?

Never mind.

I know the answer.

And it brings me to my knees.

☀️ Desires

A Sunday Doxology

We sing with expectation of you,

hope of all the earth

dear desire of every nation

joy of every longing heart,

but I wonder —

if we put our hopes, desires, joys

under the microscope of your Word

would we actually find you there?

Or only ourselves with all things

temporal, disordered, misplaced,

marred and scarred,

poor imitations and woeful substitutions

for you.

How tragic that we would choose

such trivialities, trinkets, and travesties

in place of the wonders of your

great, unfailing, eternal love

that reaches to the heavens

and into our hearts.

In repentant praise, we humbly

desire your will.

And yours alone.

☀️ The Silent One

A Sunday Doxology

Praise to you, the Word,

whose words are full of life

and healing, wisdom and

truth.

You speak words that cannot

be destroyed by lies or censorship

or even by time.

How amazing it is then,

that before your accusers,

you chose silence.

Not because you were guilty

with no adequate words of defence,

but because you were simply

exercising restraint,

a silent surrender

to fulfilling words already spoken.

Thank you.