NIGHT PRAYER: Wednesday 8/12

At a funeral this morning, Lord,
I heard these words from Ecclesiastes:
   There's a time to embrace
      and a time to refrain from embracing... 

Well, now is the time, now the pandemic season,
   to refrain from embracing...

But what good are empty arms, Lord?
I can't flap them and fly!

Surely, you gave us arms
   for embracing one another!

What better fills my longing reach
   than a loved one, a friend, 
     enfolding and embracing me?

Arms are meant for reaching out,
   for holding, for hugging,
for drawing close and being held,
   encircled, in return... 

You gave me arms to shelter in a warm place,
   to shield in my embrace, a friend:
offering the simple grace
   of refuge, warmth and safety...

And oh, the holy mutuality 
   of holding and being held,
   of hugging and being hugged,
   of wrapping and being wrapped,
      in one another's arms...

That's what I miss, Lord, what I long for,
   what my empty arms desire...

An embrace grounds me, Lord, protects me 
   and keeps me from falling into loneliness:
encompassed by another's arms 
   I have a place to go, to be, to rest...

But... there's a time to embrace, Lord,
   and a time to refrain from embracing
- and now's the time, now's the season 
      to fast from one another's arms...

So, until the season changes
   and hugging time returns,
hold me in your arms, Lord, embrace me in your grace
   and be for me a holy place to go, to be, to rest...

Protect me, Lord, while I'm awake
   and watch over me while I sleep
that awake, I might keep watch with you,
   and asleep, rest in your everlasting arms...


In the Arms of God by Tony Alonso
Come and rest in the arms of God,
Leave your worry and fear
Make your home in the heart of God,
God will dry every tear.
For the burden you carry will fade within God's care,
Come and rest in the arms of God.

Gentle is God's way and humble is God's heart.
God's love will light the way that leads to peace.
Surely you shall see God's goodness and God's grace:
Rest now in God's embrace. 


Do not be afraid; God heals the broken heart.
Through grief and disbelief God still remains.
God and God alone will be your soul's true rest:
Fall in the arms of God. 


 You are not alone, for God is always near.
Come, place your doubt and fear within God's care.
God will give you rest and soothe your weary soul:
Dwell in the heart of God. 



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