Thursday, April 7, 2011

Taking Up My Cross

This season of Lent has been for me one marked by loss and suffering, grief and letting go, and chaos and confusion. And yet there seems to be abiding peace. That abiding peace, my friends, is what strikes me as being rather odd; however, this abiding peace is exactly what Christ promised those who follow him. I hear in my heart those beautiful words Christ spoke to his disciples (and to you and to me) in John Chapters 14-17. It is those words I carry with me these days and so it makes perfect sense that even in midst all of this, Christ's perfect peace still abides with me.

Last week in my silence and solitude, Psalm 27 appeared yet again in the lectionary and as I read, rather as I prayed it, so much gratitude bubbled up within me. I could only think how grateful I was that this beautiful psalm was so generously sprinkled throughout the season of Lent.

If you will remember, this psalm and I had met earlier in the season of Lent as God was reminding me that he alone is my light and salvation and in the strength of his loving arms I have nothing (no-thing!) to fear. As I sit here, I suppose that moment was preparing me to carry that beautiful psalm -- that Word from God -- to some dear friends I am journeying with through some awfully difficult times. As I say this I know that this beautiful psalm is still a Word for me today as it is this morning's Psalm!

So, here it is again, my dear friends, Psalm 27 from Nan Merrill's book Praying the Psalms: An Invitation to Wholeness. May it be God's Word for you and for me as we journey through this difficult place in our lives:

Love is my light and  
               my salvation,
whom shall I fear?
Love is the strength of
              my life,
Of whom shall I be afraid?

When fears assail me,
    rising up to accuse me,
Each one in turn shall be seen
    in Love's light.
Though a multitude of demons
               rise up within me,
    my heart shall not fear.
Though doubts and guilt do battle,
    yet shall I remain confident.

One thing have i asked of Love,
     that I shall ever seek:
That I might dwell in the
              Heart of Love
    all the days of my life,
To behold the Beauty of my Beloved,
    and to know Love's Plan.

For I shall hide in Love's heart
    in the day of trouble,
As in a tent in the desert,
Away from the noise of my fears.
And I shall rise above
     my struggles, my pain,
Shouting blessings of gratitude
     in Love's Heart
And singing melodies of praise
               to my Beloved.

Hear, O my Beloved,
               when I cry aloud,
    be gracious and answer me!
You have said, "Seek my face,"
     My Heart responds,
"Your face, my Beloved, do I seek;
      hide not your face from me."

Do not turn from me,
     You who have been my refuge.
Enfold me in your strong arms,
                O Blessed One.
Though my father and mother
    may not understand me,
You, my Beloved, know me and love me.

Teach me to be love,
                as You are Love;
Lead me through each fear;
Hold my hand as I walk through
     valleys of illusion each day,
That I may know your Peace.

I believe that I shall know the
             Realm of Heaven,
   of Love, here on Earth1

Call upon the Beloved,
              be strong and trust
    in the heart's courage.
Trust in the power of Love;
    the Beloved 's unconditional and
               everlasting love for you.

My dear friends, God knows our pain and suffering and he is attentive to that pain and offers to us to dwell in Heart -- to seek refuge in his strong arms where he alone holds our hand as we walk through this difficult place and he promises us his peace and his heart as our refuge. Be strong and trust in the power of Love!

Grace and Peace to you, my friends, as we journey through this season of Lent towards the Day of Resurrection -- that day we celebrate New Life!

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful piece of scripture for today. I am sure your friends are glad to have someone like you to journey along- companion- with them. You are in my prayers.