I am no longer my own,
Put me to what thou wilt,
rank me with whom thou wilt.
Put me to doing,
put me to suffering.
Let me be employed by thee or laid aside for thee,
exalted for thee or brought low by thee.
Let me be full,
let me be empty.
Let me have all things,
let me have nothing.
I freely and heartily yield all things
to thy pleasure and disposal.
And now, O Glorious God,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
thou art mine, and I am thine.
So be it.
And the covenant which I have made on earth,
let it be ratified in heaven.
United Methodist Hymnal, 607
© Kimberly Jasper 2016 All Rights Reserved
Drop Thy still dews of quietness,
Till all our strivings cease;
Take from our souls the strain and stress,
And let our ordered lives confess
The beauty of Thy peace.
Breathe through the heats of our desire
Thy coolness and Thy balm;
Let sense be dumb, let flesh retire;
Speak through the earthquake, wind, and fire,
O still, small voice of calm.
Taken from Dear Lord and Father of Mankind, a hymn with words taken from the poem The Brewing of Soma by John Greenleaf Whittier.
“My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.”
Thomas Merton, Thoughts in Solitude
Day 37 of the series Lenten Letters, forty days of contemplation in the form of correspondence to my best friend.
The High Priestly Prayer
When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.
Day 32 of the series Lenten Letters, forty days of contemplation in the form of correspondence to my best friend.
I was reading about St. Patrick today (of course) and found this lyric poem titled, The Lorica of St Patrick. A lorica is a type of prayer said for protection and was popular in Ireland at the time of St. Patrick (5th century). This prayer is often said in the mornings.
I don’t know about the protection part, but I like it nonetheless.
Day 31 of the series Lenten Letters, forty days of contemplation in the form of correspondence to my best friend.
I am tired.
The similar struggle that you and I are facing (each on her own and in her own way) feels as though it has worn its way into my bones today. You know what I mean? It’s deep and achy.
Today is Day 8 of the series Lenten Letters, forty days of contemplation in the form of correspondence to my best friend.
Before I get started, I want to say thank you. I know we’re not even a fourth of the way into Lent, but I feel like we’ve both already done some good work here. What’s really made a difference for me is the conversation we’ve had. It’s given me plenty to write about, but even more to think about.
The other thing – which I know you can relate to – is the struggle to stick with the commitment to write every day. Actually, the writing is the easy part; it’s the preparing to write that’s really the challenge. Long story short, I sit with my nose in a book and a computer a lot these days. It’s become my new happy place. So, thank you.
Also, you might want to start that coffee pot and grab a cup before you dig in to this one today. In fact, I’ll prepare you in advance that this particular gathering of thoughts may take 2 or even 3 days to cover. You gave me some excellent questions to ponder during the last 24 hours and I have been in perpetual searching mode as a result. My (eventual) conclusions will take some pre-reading and re-reading on your part. You’re welcome 🙂
Got that coffee?
Here we go…
Today is Day 6 of the series Lenten Letters, forty days of contemplation in the form of correspondence to my best friend.
Our exchange yesterday regarding prayer was a good one. So much so, I couldn’t devote just one day to the topic. Your letter – as always – posed compelling questions that sent me on a search for everything I could find about prayer. And what I learned is this:
There are no definitive answers.
Ugggghhhhh. That hurts my entire being. My OCD can’t stand to leave questions unanswered; my brain can’t take multiple interpretations to something that demands specificity; my faith… oh wow… it feels like my faith gets weak when it hears, “that’s just how it is.”
Rabbi Harold Kushner, who authored When Bad Things Happen to Good People, said, “God is like a mirror. The mirror never changes, but everybody who looks at it sees something different.” That’s what I found when I researched prayer and suffering. It occurs to me that we are going to find that to be the case with several things as we move along this 40-day journey. And it’s going to feel like we’re walking on jello.
Today is Day 5 of the series Lenten Letters, forty days of contemplation in the form of correspondence to my best friend.
I’m sorry you and the family seem to be sharing the virus of the week. The little ones are at that age when they’ve become walking petri dishes. Wash, disinfect, repeat.
I was thinking about you on my way home from work and how I want to pray for you. Of course, it’s difficult to pray when one is in the midst of a faith crisis. Suddenly, prayer isn’t as simple as bowing my head and saying, “Please make my friend and her family better.” Now, it’s become a thing.
Honestly, it was a thing long before today.