NIGHT PRAYER: Friday 4/16

I had hoped the forecast would be wrong, Lord,
but this time the weather folks got it right:
snow on April 16!

Such a meteorological misstep 
would usually throw me for a loop 
but a photo a friend sent has evened my response:

    Photo by Dupont Media World
What do I see in the picture, Lord?
Do I see winter's untimely, cruel return
working to freeze the beauty out of spring?
Or do I see spring's robust, daring beauty
defying the cold of winter's frosty cover?
And what does my answer, Lord, tell me
of how I see darkness and light?
sin and grace?
despair and hope?
doubt and faith?
loneliness and love?

Those tulips share a wisdom, Lord,
and I'd be wise to heed it:
   the wisdom of their blossom;
   their hopeful buds, still waiting;
   the joy of leaves outstretched in prayer,
   in praise of you their Gardener,
   in winter and in springtime
   and the days just in between
   when your wisdom's what I need, Lord,
   to survive old winter's visit
   with the robust, daring beauty
   that faith and tulips share...
Protect me, Lord, while I lie awake
and watch over me while I sleep
that awake, I might keep watch with you
and asleep, rest in your peace...
(John Greenleaf Whittier faced the flowers-in-winter
from another perspective, but the beauty of his words
and John Purifoy's music suit our purpose and prayer
here quite well...)
Flowers in Winter by John Greenleaf Whittier,
    composed by John Purifoy  

Flowers in winter, flowers in winter...

How strange to greet, this frosty morn,
    In graceful counterfeit of flowers,
These children of the meadows, born
    Of sunshine and of showers!

How well the conscious wood retains
    The pictures of its flower-sown home,
The lights and shades, the purple stains,
    And golden hues of bloom!

It was a happy thought to bring
    To the dark season’s frost and rime
This painted memory of spring,
    This dream of summer-time. 

 Flowers in winter...

But welcome, be it new or old,
    The gift which makes the day more bright,
And paints, upon the ground of cold
    And darkness, warmth and light.

Without is neither gold nor green;
    Within, for birds, the birch-logs sing;
Yet, summer-like, we sit between
    The autumn and the spring...

Flowers in winter... flowers in winter... 


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