“Put Your song on our lips and in our hearts, and remind us of the joy that awaits us when we put our trust in You. Guide us into the light of Your unwavering, never ending, and grace filled love. Amen.”
Like all of us, I enjoy the deep beauty of fall. Transient though the season is, this burst of life reminds me that I should focus on the intensity of these days, rather than nostalgia for what is passing away. It is a good lesson for me, now that I have entered my seventies. I know that God’s love never ceases, it is new every morning (and evening). I am with Him eternally, now as I breathe in my body, and someday, as my spirit and soul join with His mystery.
Certainly, as we read the domestic and international news, life seems to be spiraling into the abyss of chaos. We alone cannot redeem or purify the world. Yet we can pray to the One who can. We can confront our own dark side and adjust our thoughts, words, and actions to be ones of goodness and compassion, whether or not they are accepted by others. I now simply pray that the Lord’s love will fall like rain on all his Creation to quench the fires of hatred and bitterness.
This prayer was found in the clothes of a dead child at the Ravensbruk women’s concentration camp:
“O Lord, remember not only the men and women of goodwill, but also those of ill will. But do not remember only the suffering they have inflicted on us; remember too the fruits we brought forth thanks to this suffering–our comradeship, our loyalty, our humility, our courage, our generosity, the greatness of heart which has grown out of all this. And when they come to judgement, let all the fruits which we have borne be their forgiveness.”
And, as I think of this prayer, I am reminded that the moon has risen and set for millennia, showing us eternal beauty and God’s constancy, regardless of our circumstances and willingness to really appreciate Him.
Meg and I enjoyed a serene late afternoon and early evening at Morgan Lake here in eastern Oregon. Morgan Lake is a quiet retreat a fifteen minute drive from town at the top of the west hills above La Grande. Picnic tables and walking trails make it an ideal place to relax, and it is also regularly stocked with rainbow trout. No motors are allowed on the lake, so paddling, either for recreation or for fishing, is a soothing way to spend part of a day.
Indian summer produces colorful cottonwood and aspen leaves around the shore, which reflect off the lake as the wind dies down. And, taking the time to watch a full moon silently rising is an excellent retreat for mind and soul.