Refuge. Of what will it consist?
Will you protect me from the harm of enemies?
Will you shield me from catastrophe?
Will you grant me relief from worry and work?
Or may I find refuge even in the midst of the world — consisting of strength, of calm, of resourcefulness?
Lord, let me live with you in all my circumstances.
A small group, huddled together against cold, singing quiet songs of hopefulness against all contrary evidence.
Do you hear our music, Lord?
When grace comes, when providence rescues, will I remember the song? Will I believe myself sufficient?
Enter my heart, Lord, through song.
I am held by you, a child in loving arms. Even amid calamity, storms, you hold me.
From here, I will later go out and live in the world. Fear grips me as I consider my later duties.
Sing to me, whisper to me, Lord. I am safe here with you, let me feel your love and protection.
My heart’s desire, do I dare speak it aloud? You know it already, Lord. I have no need of speech nor formal prayer. A wordless cry carries meaning.
And so I walk through the world, a shadow. Today is waiting for tomorrow’s deliverance.
Then wherefrom comes woe? You baffle me. Are you already answering me in the best way possible?
Tomorrow is come and a banquet set. They look on.
Let me stop my wandering and feast.
Exquisite dawn — you made it. Gentle forest creatures — you made them.
Consuming fire, destructive storms — these, too, you made.
Let me see the beauty in the comely and the misshapen, all made by you. Let my sight become its own form of devotion.
Penury, woe — are these, after all, also made by you? If I bring sorrow upon myself, is it a divine act?
I have stumbled; let me rise from the mud and walk on, surrounded by the lovely. Grant me eyes to see it.
My heart will not rest until I have arrived home with you, Lord. The stream loses itself in a mighty river, and then, too, the river is lost into the sea.
When I am home, will I lose myself? Will this bring peace?
Am I already home, part of the flowing current?
Let me grasp the hands of my fellows and be one of a people, your children.
Heaps of treasure in an empty room. How did they grow so big?
The cistern is full of cool water. How did it fill so?
The oak, towering and strong. Not so long ago, a shoot.
Lord of small miracles, let this day contain some of them. Let me do small things. Drop by drop, coin by coin, let your treasures grow.
The foundation has been already laid. I stand on solid ground, I build on rock. You arranged this place.
Who lived here before? What dwellings did they make? Was the ground solid then, too?
Generations of blessing, from a people to a people, from ancestor to child. I am in this stream, let me build what you would have me build.
At their edge, the woods become wilderness. I stand with one foot in each, face out, watching for souls to beckon.
Of what good are my words and actions, if not fueled by love? Wolves roam, waiting.
Let me not be dragged away, Lord, while I straddle the line. Such warmth and safety mere steps away. Let me return with new companions.
The light takes its comfort in rescued travelers.
Thy will be done.
A candle, hidden in my heart. Let me stand upright, that others who need may see its glow.
I will need to turn to face outwards, and expose my chest to the elements.
I will need to stand still in the wind.
Let me not cover over the glow, abandoning my post. Let the candle become a blaze, seen far.
Let me shine out over the harbor.
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