Friday, December 5, 2008

In The Valley

"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for though art with me: thy rod and thy staff they comfort me."  Psalm 23:4

Formerly, I never got past the first part of that passage in Psalms - the Valley of the Shadow of Death - and wondered what it must be like.  The ideas that took root in my mind were images of darkness, terror, fear, abandonment.  But, now I have seen the rest of the passage.
A shepherd's rod and staff keep the fearful sheep on the right path so that they don't stray into danger.  I have found this to be true, and it is indeed a comfort.  And what was so remarkable in that awful Valley, was the fact that it was not at all dark.  Instead it was light and precious and holy, for the light of the Lord Himself illumined that darkness, and we were not afraid.  We were comforted."... grief is not a force and has no power to hold.  You only bear it.  Love is what carries you, for it is always there, even in the dark, or most in the dark, but shining out at times like gold stitches in a piece of embroidery."
"I was yet grateful.  Sometimes I was grateful because I knew I ought to be, sometimes because I wanted to be, and sometimes a sweet thankfulness came to me on it's own, like a singing from somewhere out in the dark.  I was grateful because I knew, even in my fear and grief, that my life had been filled with gifts."  ~ Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry.                       

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Mourning Glory

"Mourning Glory"
   by Linda Scherrer
Rare and precious flower,
    Early budded in our lives,
          Most favored and desired

By the Father, gently plucked
     to bloom and grow
          in Paradise glory.