Scripture: Click Psalm 46
God is our refuge and strength,

    a very present help in trouble.

Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,
    though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
though its waters roar and foam,
    though the mountains tremble with its tumult.Selah

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
    the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved;
    God will help it when the morning dawns.
The nations are in an uproar, the kingdoms totter;
    he utters his voice, the earth melts.
The Lord of hosts is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah

Come, behold the works of the Lord;
    see what desolations he has brought on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
    he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear;
    he burns the shields with fire.
10 “Be still, and know that I am God!
    I am exalted among the nations,
    I am exalted in the earth.”
11 The Lord of hosts is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah

Many thanks to Kathryn Hildreth for providing the poems for today’s devotional reflection!* Danna Faulds’ poem is meant to be read and breathed. Leonard Cohen’s is best enjoyed via the YouTube link (apologies: you may need to watch an ad first); click on the word “Anthem”, and it starts at about 0:20.
With the Psalmist, all three poets invite us to remember who and what we humanly are. They urge us to notice the beauty and purpose of fractured life, particularly in the midst of turbulent times. Be still and know that God is God.

Breath by Breath

Life proceeds breath by breath.
Deep, full and easy, shallow or
uneven, breathing is the key to
cultivating peace.

Breath by breath, choose to
stay present. It isn’t success
you are seeking, but surrender
to the flow of energy.

It’s not control that matters,
but letting go, allowing life
exactly as it is this moment
to touch and change and
breathe through you.  (~ Danna Faulds)

Musical Poem: “Anthem”
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.
                                             (~Leonard Cohen)

Prayer:
Sovereign God,
You make it possible for us to shine despite the things we observe as cracks and flaws.  Grant us humility to accept the imperfections we see – our own, and those all around us.  Help us to relinquish our illusion of control, so that your perfect will might be accomplished, and we might be willing participants in its fulfillment.  Amen.

* A couple people so far have sent me poems and ideas for the daily devotional reflections.  Let’s make this a truly community-wide thing: Please send me devotional or inspirational thoughts you’ve come across, or have written yourself, that you’d like to share with others!

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