“May today there be peace within. May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith. May you use those gifts that you have received and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content knowing you are a child of God. Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of us. ” – St. Thérèse of Lisieux
I have this quote posted on my office cubicle wall and often share with others. I always find comfort in the words: peace, trust and possibilities. One particular line that always stands out to me is “Let this presence settle into your bones.” It encourages me and reminds me that God is always present. Whether in time of joy or sadness, confusion or doubt, God’s love, mercy and kindness shows up through others.
Many years back I experienced a period of deep sadness that was unexplainable and difficult to shake off. I prayed day and night for God to lift what felt like a cloud and pressed forward. During that period, God showed up through a good friend. Margaret connected with me daily simply checking on how I was feeling and offering encouragement. After three weeks, the cloud lifted. I still cannot explain it, but what I learned and will always carry in me is that God never leaves us and often sends angels to walk with us during difficult times. I was never alone.
I pray during this Lenten season that we may allow God’s spirit of love, mercy and kindness “settle in our bones” allowing us to be angels for others.
Through heavy curtains
Morning steals in–
Gray, sullen, frowning,
As though carrying a grudge
Against yesterday’s tumultuous birth
That scattered its gold everywhere,
Bursting through windows,
Streaking through the willows,
Blushing the face of the pond,
Then rousing soft twitterings
Tucked under feathered wing.
But this day arrives, perfunctory,
On schedule since its Genesis.
Duty bound to serve, and bestow
Its allotted measure
Of mercy and grace
Upon pilgrims passing through,
Who, because of the somber gray skies
And the sun’s truancy,
Are apt to fail to consider
The lilies of the field
Whose faces are lifted up
By Lena Coapstick
When Lena wrote this poem ten years ago, she was in the last stages of a valiant struggle with Cancer and would pass away later in the year. Our Marble Women’s Ministry Blog honors her today and her family who shared this amazing poem with us.
The Easter Lily represents Christ’s resurrection, a new season in Christianity and rebirth. In a way, sharing this poem about lilies on our blog this Easter, we give Lena a chance to reach and inspire more people.
Lena was a self-taught poet, who lived her entire life on a farm in Indiana. Her works were published in her community and statewide. Her favorite American poets were Mary Oliver and William Stafford. She had a love for nature and found joy in music. Many who loved her shared that she created beauty in everything she put her hands and heart to. And even a when she was facing difficult times, she always looked at life with great hope.
Another thought from the poet:
“There are no detours on a spiritual journey.” Lena Coapstick
The sun always rises. Slowly. Quietly.
Sometimes amidst rain. Sometimes amidst wind. Sometimes covered by clouds.
But slowly, quietly, the sun always rises and shatters the darkness.
God always comes to us. Sometimes quietly. Other times through a cacophony of unexpected events and “life turned upside down” experiences that stop us in our tracks. But God always comes to us. God comes to shatter the shadows and pierce the clouds of our lives.
On this Easter Day, may you feel the glory of God’s rising and the clarity of God’s brilliant light. Look for the light. Move toward the light. For the sun always rises. God has risen this day for you, to bring you God’s radiant and glorious light.
Reverent J. Elise Brown, Ph.D., Executive Minister at Marble Collegiate Church.
Who’d ever put treasure in frail jars of clay?
Come to us in our failure not strength,
Choose the weakest and least,
The discarded, not kings,
Recruit from the gutter for His family?
Who’d take objects of scorn:
Vile cross, crown of thorns,
And die to slay death,
Conquer hell, sin and grave?
Who’d pick children and slaves
The most frightened not brave,
Broken, outcasts, poor, lost,
As the ones He would save?
Only One ever did
Humblest King in our midst,
Calling sinners to Him
To be cleansed, made brand new;
Who took Love as His sword,
Fought to win us to God,
Loving Savior from heaven,
Jesus Christ, one true Lord!
“I have come to call not those who think they are righteous but those who know they are sinners and need to repent.” Luke 5:32 (NLT)
“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that the surpassing power belongs to God, and not to us.” 2 Corinthians 4:7 (NLT)
© 2019 Karen DiProspero
If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light around me become night,”
even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is as bright as the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
Psalm 139: 11&12
Today is Good Friday, the day on which we remember the crucifixion of Christ. Though it is a day filled with sorrow, it reminds us that even when it seems that death and defeat will be the last words, the light of God will break through. With God, light always overcomes darkness. With the light and love of God, we can overcome the darkness in our lives.
Dr. Michael Bos
Senior Minister, Marble Collegiate Church
What is Jesus dying for?
“Doesn’t anyone want to listen to my story?”
If we do listen,
If we do hear,
Our hearts break
at His sacrifice
at how disappointed
He must be
at how our deafness binds us.
If we do listen,
If we do hear,
Grace and courage might save us.
By Susan Ceely Phillips
Jesus walked this lonesome valley.
He had to walk it by Himself;
O, nobody else could walk it for Him,
He had to walk it by Himself.
We must walk this lonesome valley,
We have to walk it by ourselves;
O, nobody else can walk it for us,
We have to walk it by ourselves.
You must go and stand your trial,
You have to stand it by yourself,
O, nobody else can stand it for you,
You have to stand it by yourself.
While this song has been embraced by American folk and country music singers since the 1950’s, the origins of this song are found in the African American Spiritual Canon and sung in communities throughout the south following emancipation. I have included several versions of the spiritual, as all will move you.
- Jesus Walked this Lonesome Valley sung by Sunday 7pm Choir
- A moving rendition of Jesus Walked this Lonesome Valley by James Hynter and Jack Horner
- Middle Collegiate Church singing Jesus Walked this Lonesome Valley
- Mississippi John Hurt singing You Gotta Walk the Lonesome Valley
Shared by Marcie Doll
The picture below is of a crass that I found in Santa Fe, New Mexico. It is silver with heart and crosses in purple that stick out.