A prayer for inauguration day

Psalm 85:8-13
Listen for what the Lord will speak to you today. He will speak peace. Whenever I turn to him, his peace will be mine. I need such a peace, Lord. Our world needs such peace. Let us fear you, receive your salvation and display your glory. Oh, my heart says, “If only it were so, if only steadfast love and faithfulness were to meet in our country.” I doubt it’s ability to happen. Yet I must hold hope; for I can practice love and faithfulness; the women at the retreat tomorrow* can practice love and faithfulness and it will be more likely experienced. As we practice faithfulness here in our lives your righteousness will rain down upon the places we tread. Loving God, let your righteousness go ahead of us, making a way for our feet to follow. Amen.
* Tomorrow I am leading a retreat on the subject of Hope in San Francisco, CA.
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Take comfort and hope

Thoughts on Isaiah 51:3

The Lord shall comfort Zion. I am Zion, but I am consciously unaware of my need for comfort. I have no major loss in my life right now. Of course there is the existential loss of all around me. Maybe I am feeling no sadness because I am comforted by you. Let my comfort not immobilize me or make me callous toward the lack of comfort I observe in the world, in my friends. etc.

The Lord shall have pity on all her ruins. You will have pity on all that was in my life, all the things I built, created or was part of that are no more;  just the memory of them, the bones of their being remain. You have pity on me, cry with me over their demise, acknowledge their function and their beauty. You honor my ruins, recalling all that went into their creation. Thank you.

Her deserts he shall make like Eden. My dry places, waterless places you shall cultivate and cause to grow into a lively and lovely garden. You will bring water, soil, seeds for flora and you will tend me until I rise up and bear fruit, offer shade, beauty and shelter. It is a long process, you are patient, let me also be patient.

Her wasteland like the garden of the Lord. My wasteland, the place where I dump my garbage, my unwanted, used up, worthless items. Can you take this refuse and make it a garden? Can  you compost my trash and turn it into something that can feed my garden? Come Holy Spirit, do this, in your timing and in your way.

Joy and gladness shall be found in her. Make me the home of joy and gladness. Let my countenance shine with joy and gladness. Draw all who thirst for joy come and find your gladness for them when they are with me. Let me carry your joy with me wherever I wander today.

Thanksgiving and the sound of song found in her. Let these be on my tongue and coming from my heart as a constant theme. Thanks for your work and wonders, a little ditty about you springing up from my heart at all times.

Today, this snowy morning, I need my wastelands turned into a garden. How about you?

contentment vs satisfaction

“There is a great difference between I wish I were and I would like to be. To be content is not to be satisfied. No one ought to be satisfied with the imperfect. It is God’s will that we should contentedly bear what he gives us. But at the same time we can look forward with hope to the redemption of the body.”*

…And of our emotions and relationships; our lacks and our “unsatisfied” longings. We are wounded but we have hope of healing. We feel we are missing out but must look forward with hope for union and intimacy. We must bear what we have, and have not, with patience and hold stubbornly to the hope of perfection and complete satisfaction. What a tightrope we must walk. Only by keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, can we navigate it.

*George MacDonald The Curates Awakening

MM 2/8/16 hang on to your dreams

On that day, God promises to collect the strays, gather the scattered; all the dreams that were banished, returned; all the friendships that were lost, reunited. The bits of you that were left behind due to your brokenness or due to harm done to you will be gathered back into your soul. The whole of you that God dreamt you to be will be collected and united and you will walk in the joy of being re-membered. Hang on to this hope.

MM 2/4/16 hang in there!

Boy, this is a good word for us today. God has a plan to remove all that afflicts us, all that burdens us, all that we carry on our bent back. But, today, we must carry it;  and we carry it with the strength that hope provides. Hang it there, the calvary is coming. Walk forward in hope. Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus. Amen.