Now when I had mastered the language of this water and had come to know every trifling feature that bordered the great river as familiarly as I knew the letters of the alphabet, I had made a valuable acquisition. But I had lost something, too. I had lost something which could never be restored to me while I lived. All the grace, the beauty, the poetry had gone out of the majestic river!

Twain, Mark. Life on the Mississippi (AmazonClassics Edition) (p. 74). Kindle Edition.

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My hunger for knowledge about God,
my obsession with doing what was right,
what would leave me blameless
before any accuser,
even God himself
(myself another Job),
all but devoured my chance,
my only chance,
to experience ‘the grace,
the beauty, the poetry’
of the Majestic River
of Life.

I also know that you are enduring patiently and bearing up for the sake of my name, and that you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.
Revelation 2:3-4

Harper Bibles. NRSV Bible with the Apocrypha (Kindle Locations 88055-88057). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.

Grace and peace to you…
dw

Copyright © 2020, becomingflame.com

 

Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?
This cup, just for me, appointed for me.
Chosen for me.

I could say No, not this cup.
Father, give me another;
I don’t want the one you chose for me.

I could say No cups for me,
thank you very much.
But one day I would wake up:
There, at my lips, sour, bitter,
would be the cup of my own making.

Every moment is another cup,
A cup I will drink to get to the following moment.

Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?
This cup, just for me, appointed for me?
Chosen for me?

 

dw

Copyright © 2020, becomingflame.com

 

If I do not hope in His love for me, I will never really know Christ. I hear of Him by faith. But I do not achieve the contact that knows Him, and thereby knows the Father in Him, until my faith in Him is completed by hope and charity: hope that grasps His love for me and charity that pays Him the return of love I owe.

— Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island, Sentences on Hope

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Faith without hope
is light without sight
warmth too far away to feel
music that can’t be heard
over the dry, drafty doctrine
that being correct is a higher calling
than simply being loved.

dw

p.s. I’ve written about this before with similar sentiment. I wish I had learned this lesson much earlier in my life.

Copyright © 2019, becomingflame.com

You don’t know me if you don’t know this about me: music is my first language. When English fails me, music remains; God knew I needed it to know Him more deeply than English has words for. I offer to you today a gift God have me to give to others, this setting of the Magnificat, Mary pouring out her heart as a gift to all of us. Please give yourself time to settle and listen and receive.

Grace and peace to you you…
dw

(Posted on my piano music site in 2017.)

On Christmas Eve I had the tremendous privilege to hear Mary’s Song the way I originally imagined it – sung in a worship service.

via Something New – Choral Version of Mary’s Song – dw piano music

Photo by Alex Gindin on Unsplash

I found myself praying, praying with thanksgiving, praying with open eyes, while I watched the workers on the beach, the sunset, and listened to the sound of the waves and the scream of snowy gulls. “BUT,” I REASONED with myself, “I am praying because I am happy, not because I am unhappy. I did not turn to God in unhappiness, in grief, in despair – to get consolation, to get something from him.” And encouraged that I was praying because I wanted to thank him, I went on praying. No matter how dull the day, how long the walk seemed, if I felt sluggish at the beginning of the walk, the words I had been saying insinuated themselves into my heart before I had finished, so that on the trip back I neither prayed nor thought but was filled with exultation.

Day, Dorothy. The Reckless Way of Love: Notes on Following Jesus (Plough Spiritual Guides: Backpack Classics) (p. 51). Plough Publishing House. Kindle Edition.

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God, do I have to pray in order to have life?

I am the way, the truth, and the life…but you are free to continue to seek another, if you like. Tell me, how is that going for you?

dw

Copyright © 2019, becomingflame.com

Photo by Simon Maage on Unsplash

 

So in the room called Remember it is possible to find peace – the peace that comes from looking back and remembering to remember that though most of the time we failed to see it, we were never really alone.

Frederick Buechner, Secrets in the Dark: A Life in Sermons, “A Room Called Remember”

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The voice didn’t say
You are utterly alone:
I would have heard the lie for what it was.

No, it said
You will always feel this alone;
You will always be misunderstood;
You will never have what you are longing for.
All is dark and there is no remedy.

And so, I felt that alone,
that misunderstood;
I felt the aching longing,
the hopelessness.
I felt the desolation of that voice.
I felt it as long as I listened,
many years.

“Show us a sign,” the people said.
“What sign shall I give to a people who don’t listen?” he said,
“There are signs all around you.
Wake up, pay attention, and see.
I am at hand, right here with you.”

The children could see –
the mouths of babes proclaimed it,
and still do.

What woke me from the desolating dream?
Grace, I’m sure;
the nearness of children;
the weariness of being weary;
giving up on giving up;
becoming aware the voice was just a voice;

Reaching out to touch the hem of His garment –
if I just touch it, I will be healed.

dw

Copyright © 2019, becomingflame.com

 

Hope seeks not only God in Himself, not only the means to reach Him, but it seeks, finally and beyond all else, God’s glory revealed in ourselves. This will be the final manifestation of His infinite mercy, and this is what we pray for when we say “Thy Kingdom come.”

— Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island, Sentences on Hope

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Ask for Me, and receive
that I have received you.
Seek Me, and find
that I have found you.
Knock and enter, knowing
that I knock and wait to enter.

You already have what you truly hope for:
the Giver of Life
asking, seeking, knocking
to give you Life.

dw

Copyright © 2019, becomingflame.com