On Retreat: Tuesday 11/17

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I'm away on retreat so I won't be posting as often as usual, just once a day, in the evening.  Rather than offering a Pause for Prayer or Night Prayer, I'm inviting you to find some time and a place wherever you are this week to join me on retreat. I'll be writing in the first person singular and I hope you can make my words your prayer as you carve out a little retreat time for yourself each day this week.  Find a quiet place... find a quiet time...  light a candle...  take a few deep breaths... ask the Lord to help you pray...
Years ago, Lord, I wrote a song whose first lines were
Just to be here, not to worry
about where else I should be...
That's how I'm feeling on retreat here:
the experience of being in the right place,
at the right time, in the right company
(and that, Lord, would be you!)
Of course, it's a huge help
to be away from my usual surroundings,
in a place of peaceful quiet,
on the edge of the Atlantic,
all for the purpose of spending time with you...

But I know, Lord, there's no place on earth
and never a wrong time 
to slow down, close my eyes, take a few deep breaths
and open my heart to you:
you're always standing by, always waiting,
always ready to keep me company,
to listen patiently to my tale of woe,
to offer a shoulder for me lean on,
and a gentle hand to wipe the tears from my face...
Just to be here, not to worry
about where else I should be...
You're always at my side, Lord:
I don't even need to turn to find you:
I need only open my eyes, my mind, my heart
and welcome your presence, your peace,
your patient waiting for me to say hello...

And if hello is all my prayer can muster,
well, I know you're fine with that, Lord,
because more than anything else 
it's our meeting that you desire, 
our coming together, 
our face to face for some quality time,
even if we spend it in silence, you and I,
there's the gracious opportunity
for me to bask and grow in the love
you're always offering...
Just to be here, not to worry
about where else I should be...
I don't need a whole week, 
or a different place or an ocean's tides 
to set the scene for our encounter, Lord:
you're always there, everywhere,
waiting to welcome me to stop 
and take a break for prayer, in peace,
with you...
Just to be here, not to worry
about where else I should be...


You Do Not Walk Alone by Elaine Hagenberg


May you see God's light on the path ahead 
when the road you walk is dark. 
May you always hear even in your hour of sorrow
the gentle singing of the lark. 
When times are hard
may hardness never turn your heart to stone.
May you always remember when the shadows fall:
You do not walk alone.


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