To Clasp Hands

emmagibson

 

rockwell_worship

Freedom of Worship by Norman Rockwell

To clasp the hands in prayer is the beginning of an uprising against the disorder of the world.
~Karl Barth

Prayer may be easiest for the youngest among us.  It can be amazingly spontaneous for kids — an outright exclamation of joy, a crying plea for help, a word of unprompted gratitude.   As a child I can remember making up my own songs and monologues to God as I wandered alone in our farm’s woods, enjoying His company in my semi-solitude.  I’m not sure when I began to silence myself out of self-conscious embarrassment, but I stayed silent for many years, unwilling to put voice to the prayers that rattled in my head.  In my childhood, prayer in public schools had been hushed into a mere moment of silence, and intuitively I knew silence had never changed anything.  The world became more and more disorderly in the 60’s and 70’s and in my increasingly indoctrinated mind, there was no prayer I could say that would make a difference.

How wrong could I and my secular education be?

Nothing can right the world until we are right with our Creator through talking to Him out of the depth of our need and fear.  Nothing can right the world until we submit ourselves wholly, bowed low, hands clasped, eyes closed, articulating the joy, the thanks, and the petitions weighing on our hearts.

An uprising is possible when a voice comes alive, unashamed, un-selfconscious, rising up from within us, uttering words that beseech and thank and praise.  To rise up with hands clasped together calls upon a power which needs no weapons, only words, to overcome and overwhelm the shambles left of our world.

Nothing can be more victorious than the Amen — our Amen — at the end.  So be it and so shall it be.

Amen, and Amen again.

 

stgiles

rainbowfarm3

The Energies of Love

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Gilbert Lennox Photography in Northern Ireland — www.gilbertlennoxphotography.com

poplarwind

 

Someday, after mastering the winds,
the waves,
the tides and gravity,
we shall harness for God the energies of love.
And then,
for the second time in the history of the world,
man will have discovered fire.

~Teilhard de Chardin

______________________

 

May we not forget~
the energy of love was harnessed
within one Man:
God come to our side
to help us master ourselves
in the name of the Master.
Once the fire of the spirit is within us
it can never be extinguished.
~EPG

 

fidalgobeach

pnpsunset

candle2015

 

This Way Please

paths

albinoholly

januaryweeds

We want to reach the kingdom of God,
but we don’t want to travel by way of death.
And yet there stands Necessity saying:
‘This way, please.’
Do not hesitate to go this way,
when this is the way that God came to you.
~ Augustine

_______________

We too easily forget;
we are not asked to bear more
than God endured for us,
always pointed to the well-worn path
bearing the footprints
coming to lead us home.

winterbird

lightpolevine

witheredtree

Things That Are Not Now

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januarymoon2

 

Then we shall be where we would be,
Then we shall be what we should be,
Things that are not now, nor could be,
Soon shall be our own.
~Thomas Kelly from his hymn “Praise the Savior, Ye Who Know Him”

____________

Because I finished my term on earth
and had no knowledge of either
fear nor care, no morning knowledge,
no knowledge of evening,
and those who came before
and those following after
had no more knowledge of me
than I had of them.
~Mary Ruefle from “Marked”

_____________

Whether we are coming or going,
beginning or ending,
leading or following,
rising or setting,
north or south,
east or west,
one day we shall be
where or what we should be,
even if not now
even if not now
even if not now~
we soon shall be.

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trumpeters312416

The Fog Rising

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Let us go in; the fog is rising…
~Emily Dickinson, her last words

I have watched the dying
in their last hours:
often they see what I cannot,
listen to what I do not hear,
stretch their arms overhead
as fingers extend and grasp
to touch what is beyond my reach.

I watch and wonder how it is
to reverse the journey that brought us here
from the fog of amnion.

The mist of living lifts.

We will enter a place
unsurpassed in brilliance and clarity;
the mystery of what lies beyond solved
only by going back in,
welcomed to return to where we started.

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morningrise

The Air Crumbled

grassdrops

januarysky

It was like a church to me.
I entered it on soft foot,
Breath held like a cap in the hand.
It was quiet.
What God there was made himself felt,
Not listened to, in clean colours
That brought a moistening of the eye,
In a movement of the wind over grass.

There were no prayers said. But stillness
Of the heart’s passions – that was praise
Enough; and the mind’s cession
Of its kingdom. I walked on,
Simple and poor, while the air crumbled
And broke on me generously as bread.
~R.S. Thomas “The Moor”

 

There are mornings surrounded by His stilling presence~
when God is felt,
neither seen or heard,
overtaking me
within each breath taken,
following the path of each glistening tear,
becoming the ground reaching to meet my foot
with each step I take.

cherrydrop2

sunset15164

My Hands are Torn

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My hands are torn
by baling twine, not nails, and my side is pierced
by my ulcer, not a lance.
~Hayden Carruth from “Emergency Haying”

 

Miles of twine bind up
tons of hay inside our barn,
daily loosed free of grasses
to feed the hungry,
the strings saved to bind again
in myriad ways:

tightening a sagging fence
replacing a broken bucket handle
snugging a horse blanket belt.

It has become the duct tape of the barn
when duct tape isn’t enough;
a binding substitute made beautiful
by morning fog’s weeping.

hayjobdone

Blest be the tie that binds
Our hearts in Christian love;
The fellowship of kindred minds
Is like to that above.

Before our Father’s throne,
We pour our ardent prayers;
Our fears, our hopes, our aims are one,
Our comforts, and our cares.

We share our mutual woes,
Our mutual burdens bear;
And often for each other flows
The sympathizing tear.

When we asunder part,
It gives us inward pain;
But we shall still be joined in heart,
And hope to meet again.
~John Fawcett

boundtogether