Soft eyes help


 

Soft Eyes Blessing

“And all the believers met together constantly,
and shared everything they had….”
Acts 2:44

 
may the god who is community
be with us as we seek to be a community

may god bless our dreams
and may god shatter our dreams

may god help us to be real
and to find depth in weakness and brokenness

may god help us to face and grow through conflict
rather than pretend by being nice

may we look at each other through soft eyes
and truly respect each other as human beings

may god help us let go of control
and the need to fix one another

may god help us discover we are needy in our own souls
and give attention to our own hearts

may god grant us the gift of an extraordinary love
that flows from the heart of god
that covers a multitude of wrongs

 
~ written by Anna, and posted on the freshworship.org
 


Note: This blessing is also included in a prayer sheet posted in 2017: Theme: Called into community.
 

May we know the hope – here, now


Detail of stained glass window in Ontmoetingskerk, Krimpen aan de Lek, NL
 
 
 
So that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you. (Ephesians 1:18)
 

Blessing of Hope

So may we know
the hope
that is not just
for someday
but for this day—
here, now,
in this moment
that opens to us:

hope not made
of wishes
but of substance,

hope made of sinew
and muscle
and bone,

hope that has breath
and a beating heart,

hope that will not
keep quiet
and be polite,

hope that knows
how to holler
when it is called for,

hope that knows
how to sing
when there seems
little cause,

hope that raises us
from the dead—

not someday
but this day,
every day,
again and
again and
again.

— by Jan Richardson, from paintedprayerbook.com
 


From the blog
Theme: Come to the waters  [prayer sheet]
Song in the night
People of the way

 

Lively concern


 

A blessing

Bless, O God, all who dedicate their powers today
      to the making of peace in the world;
bless all who give their training and experience
      to feed and clothe and house the destitute;
bless all who lend their energies and skills
      to teach impoverished people to till, water and harvest their land.
And give us all a lively concern for the underprivileged,
      and show us practical ways for helping.
For Christ’s sake.
Amen.

~ written by Rita Snowden, posted on re:worship
 

Newness of life


(Photo: Irene Bom)

 

A prayer

Risen Christ, bring newness of life
into our stale routines,
into our wearied spirits,
into our tarnished relationships.

 
from Prayer Rhythms: Fourfold Patterns for Each Day
by Ray Simpson, p. 29
 


A blessing

The God of life go with us,
the Risen Christ beside us,
the vibrant Spirit within us.
Amen!

 
from Prayer Rhythms: Fourfold Patterns for Each Day
by Ray Simpson, p. 30
 

On the threshold of tomorrow


Spotted on a wall near my local supermarket. What can this mean?  (Photo: Irene Bom)

 

I first posted this blessing by Joyce Rupp in a post entitled Looking forward looking back in the last days of 2018, on the threshold of a new year. Rereading the words today, I think they are well worth adopting as a blessing for all our days / all our tomorrows.

Check out the Index for posts you might like to revisit, or search on a topic, category or theme.
 


Blessing … for today … tomorrow … whenever

 
I hope for you …

… that the single, most significant dimension of life
is your relationship with the Source of Goodness
who never ceases to sing love songs to your soul

… that you find meaning, purpose, and vitality
in what you do daily

… that you treasure your loved ones
and let them know how dear they are to you

… that you make choices and decisions
that reflect your truest self

… that you look in the mirror at least once a day
and smile in happy amazement

… that you remember relationships are what count above all else –
more than work or money,
or all the material things we spend so much time tending

… that you live in an uncluttered manner,
enjoying the freedom to be content

… that you keep your sense of humor
when things don’t go the way you want

… that you find adventure in each new day
and marvel at the wonders of creation
which constantly present themselves to you

… that you never give up on yourself
when others turn away or do not understand

… that you are attentive to the health
of your body, mind and spirit

… that you take risks and accept
the growth-full challenges that come to you

… that you draw on your inner strength and resiliency
when you are in need

… that you carry peace within yourself,
allowing it to slip into the hearts of others
so our planet becomes a place
where violence, division, and war are no more

 
~ written by Joyce Rupp. Posted on Joyce Rupp’s website.
 


From the blog
In the school of prayer with Ignatius of Loyola
Food for thought
Show me the way
 

Slow time


 

Slow Blessing

God the creator,
who rested on the seventh day after the work was done,
show you how to balance the slow and the fast, the work and the rest.

God the redeemer,
who lived his life at walking pace,
strengthen you to go slow when the world is going fast.

God the sustainer,
who came at Pentecost like a rushing wind,
give you hope in the day when there will be freedom
from the limitations of time.

Go into a world of speed and live at God’s pace.
Amen.

— written by Anna (2004), and posted on the Grace website worship archive.
 


From the blog
Healed from the inside out
Show me the way
In the school of prayer with Ignatius of Loyola
 

God loves stories


from North & South exhibition, Catharijneconvent, Utrecht  (Photo: Irene Bom)

 

Thank you to all who subscribe and visit the site regularly. According to my stats, in 2019 we had twice as many views and visitors as last year – visitors from 100 countries around the world.

For this post – the last in 2019 – I’ve selected excerpts from a paintedprayerbook.com post from 2014 in which Jan Richardson reflects on the significance of story and Jesus as storyteller supreme.

 

Elie Wiesel says that God created us because God loves stories.

When Christ came (in the fullness of time, the story goes), he came as the Word made flesh. A story in motion. And he went into the world with stories on his lips, weaving them everywhere he went.

A sower went out to sow.
A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers.
There was a man who had two sons.

Jesus understood that in a world where it can be so difficult to know God, to know others, to know even ourselves, a story can offer a language, a doorway, a point of entry. He knew how a story can take us a little deeper into knowing, a little farther down the road in our journey of return.

What stories are you listening to? What stories are you telling? How do you attend to your own story? Where have you experienced being lost in a story, and being found? How might God be inviting you to look at your story with new eyes?
 


Blessing the Story

You might think
this blessing lives
in the story
that you can see,
that it has curled up
in a comfortable spot
on the surface
of the telling.

But this blessing lives
in the story beneath
the story.
It lives in the story
inside the story.
In the spaces
between.
In the edges,
the margins,
the mysterious gaps,
the enticing and
fertile emptiness.

This blessing
makes its home
within the layers.
This blessing is
doorway and portal,
passage and path.
It is more ancient
than imagining
and makes itself
ever new.

This blessing
is where the story
begins.

Jan Richardson

 
Source: paintedprayerbook.com
 


From the blog
Turn, pilgrim
3 Prayers for endings and beginnings
Theme: Do not lose heart [prayer sheet]
 

A healing blessing


The Shepherd (1930) by Arturo Martini  (Photo: Irene Bom)
 
 
 

An unusually short blessing from Jan Richardson. She calls it “a [healing] blessing small enough to carry in the hand or in the heart”.

 

And All Be Made Well

A Healing Blessing

That each ill
be released from you
and each sorrow
be shed from you
and each pain
be made comfort for you
and each wound
be made whole in you

that joy will
arise in you
and strength will
take hold of you
and hope will
take wing for you
and all be made well.

 
by Jan Richardson, from paintedprayerbook.com
 


 
TIP
Check out Jan Richardson’s online Advent retreat, Illuminated 2019, now open for registration.
 


 
From the blog
Balm to heal the world
Worthy of trust
Fearfully and wonderfully made
 

Worthy of trust


Spring willow  (Photo: Irene Bom)

 

I love this passage from Paul’s first letter to Timothy. It’s peppered with good, true and beautiful words like “promise”, “value” and “deserves”. To accompany the reading, a blessing by Jan Richardson, inspired by the story of the Roman Centurion who demonstrates uncommon trust in Jesus.

 

Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance. That is why we labour and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Saviour of all people, and especially of those who believe.

1 Timothy 4:7-10 (NIV UK)

 


Only Speak the Word

A blessing inspired by Luke 7:1-10

You might not have guessed
how far this blessing
can travel.

But it is worth believing
that it is built
for crossing distances
for stretching itself
for making its way
without hesitation
to the place
where it is needed most.

Only believe—
or, failing this,
latch onto someone
who will believe
for you,
who will ask
on your behalf,
who will plead
for this blessing
to come.

Trust one who knows
with a certainty
fierce as fire
that this blessing
will find its way
to you,
that it will treat
miles and time
as nothing,
that it will push through
each boundary,
cross every border,
pass through
all obstacles
to reach you.

Trust that these words
know the path
into your anguish,
that in your ache
they will become balm
and in your pain
they will become soothing.
Trust that they will be for you
a sweet
and stunning
peace.
 
by Jan Richardson, posted on paintedprayerbook.com
 


 
From the blog
Fearfully and wonderfully made
 

Fearfully and wonderfully made


(Photo: Lindy Twaddle)

 

Here are some radical verses from one of my favourite psalms and a blessing from one of my favourite writers, Jan Richardson of paintedprayerbook.com.

 

You created my inmost being;
     you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am
     fearfully and wonderfully made;
     your works are wonderful,
     I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
     when I was made in the secret place,
     when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
     all the days ordained for me were written in your book
     before one of them came to be.

 
(Psalm 139: 13-16, NIV UK)
 


Known

A Blessing

First
we will need grace.

Then
we will need courage.

Also
we will need
some strength.

We will need
to die a little
to what we have
always thought,
what we have allowed
ourselves to see
of ourselves,
what we have built
our beliefs upon.

We will need this
and more.

Then
we will need
to let it all go
to leave room enough
for the astonishment
that will come
should we be given
a glimpse
of what the Holy One sees
in seeing us,
knows
in knowing us,
intricate
and unhidden

no part of us
foreign
no piece of us
fashioned from other
than love

desired
discerned
beheld entirely
all our days.

 
written by Jan Richardson
from paintedprayerbook.com
 


From the blog:
Body of water