Send Peace

Send peace, fill the world,

fill our hearts, O God of Love.

Be near, not far off,

turn our eyes to You, O God.

For You, O Lord, are merciful.

You know our need before we ask.

And You, O Lord, are with us now,

we need not fear, when You are near.

And tho’ the world may be at war,

within our hearts may peace be still.

Protect and guide our ev’ry step,

may all we do, give praise to You.

Send peace, fill the world,

fill our hearts, O God of Love.

Be near, not far off,

turn our eyes

to You,

O God.                    NFR


“Being with You”…linoleum block print.  Be my Valentine, Pedro!  Let’s Celebrate Love!


The Power of Love…a collage about the many facets of love.  Valentines Day last year inspired this collage, another of the Skirt magazine series, that celebrates the many kinds of love that I am grateful to know and cherish.  Of course, there is the love I extend to others, the special people in my life, the ones who move me and bless me with their acceptance and care.  But also important, and an area I too readily neglect, much of this collage is about the love for self, not the selfish sort of narcissism that permeates our culture, but the genuine appreciation of my individual soul and humanity that allows me to forgive myself for so many mistakes, to nurture the gifts I have been given, and to accept the greatest Love of all given by God.  When I nurse an inner wound that won’t heal, building walls to protect it and hide how vulnerable I am, I am in danger of losing my way and eventually wallowing in self-hatred.  If I am to truly love others then I must offer my wound to God and allow Him to heal me, relieving me of the burden of shame and guilt, freeing me to feel the Power of His Love and then offering the same to others.

A few minutes ago my two dogs got in an awful fight and made such a racket outside I came running to see what was wrong.  I don’t know what started it but one minute they were best friends and the next enemies.  At least they stopped when I screamed at them.  I separated them and brought the older dog, Abbie, inside.  She was dripping blood from her ears and she wouldn’t let me touch her without growling at me because it hurt so much.  She was really shaken up.  I patted her head and offered her soothing words while blood drops fell on the hardwood floor.  I got a towel and she let me put it around her ear and hold it firmly.  It soon stopped bleeding but left a nasty scratch behind.  She whined if I got too close to it, but I was trying to clean it and assess how much damage had been done.  She is sleeping now, no big deal requiring a visit to the vet or anything, thank goodness.  But I am not much of a nurse so now I am shaken up, wondering what is wrong with these dogs and if I can bear much more of their troublesome ways. 

Here is the thing with love…sometimes it can leave us bleeding and in such pain we can’t let anyone come near.  But in the end we must let Someone compress the towel to stop the bleeding, to hold us and pat our heads, to whisper words of comfort while we growl loudly.  He knows why we are in so much pain to cause such an uprising that friends would turn on one another.  Yet He stays with us, holds us, and in time heals our troublesome ways with forgiveness and acceptance.  That is the Power of Love.  Happy Valentines Day!


The Edge of America…The Edge of Life…

A winter walk on Folly Beach, SC, aka “The Edge of America,” is always a journey to see how the tides have changed the shifting sands of time.  The Morris Island Lighthouse teeters on the edge of existence because the ocean is literally eroding it to the point of collapse.  There is an organized local effort to Save the Lighthouse, a historic landmark, with fundraisers and lobbying for saving its centuries old life.  This grassroots effort seeks to shore up its foundation so that it will not succumb to the pounding waves and end up in an ocean grave.  Whenever I come here I do wonder as I trudge the sandy path, like stomping through snow drifts up north, if the lighthouse will still be there.  I always breathe a deep sigh of relief when I cross the dune threshold and see it standing, still taking the rhythmic and sometimes fierce beatings of the waves, and I echo a silent thanks to the Creator of the universe for allowing this landmark to withstand the forces of nature.

Walking this beach on a warm February day while most of the country is gripped by winter blizzards inspires me to appreciate the solitude of driftwood and dead trees that tell the story of time’s passing; that say “Hey!  Look!  I am still here!  I survive the storms of life and yet I stand strong!”  The shifting sands and the changing tides fill the gaps in my soul with hope that the gritty, salty stuff of life will not topple me but make me stronger.  I am still here and I stand tall because of the mercy and grace of God. 

Annie Dillard says it better about the gaps, the spaces between things: “The gaps are the thing.  The gaps are the spirit’s one home, the altitudes and latitudes so dazzingly spare and clean that the spirit can discover itself like a once-blind man unbound.  The gaps are the clefts in the rock where you cower to see the back parts of God; they are the fissures between mountains and cells the wind lances through, the icy narrowing fiords splitting the cliffs of mystery.  Go into the gaps.  If you can find them; they shift and vanish too.  Stalk the gaps.  Squeak into a gap in the soil, turn, and unlock – more than a maple – a universe.”