Wednesday, September 27, 2017

a nerd alert at morning prayer

I should do some more work on my sermon this evening, but as my brain cells seem to have taken an early night, I am going to share with you a bit of nun nerd-dom instead.

This morning's first reading at Morning Prayer was 2 Kings 6:1-23.

There is a point at which the king of Aram and his army, hunting for the prophet Elisha, surround the city in which he is staying while everyone is asleep.

When an attendant of the man of God rose early in the morning and went out, an army with horses and chariots was all around the city. His servant said, "Alas, master! What shall we do?" He replied, "Do not be afraid, for there are more with us than there are with them." Then Elisha prayed: "O LORD, please open his eyes that he may see." So the LORD opened the eyes of the servant, and he saw; the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. When the Arameans came down against him, Elisha prayed to the LORD, and said, "Strike this people, please, with blindness." So he struck them with blindness as Elisha had asked. Elisha said to them, "This is not the way, and this is not the city; follow me, and I will bring you to the man whom you seek." 

And all I could think of was this:

These aren't the droids you're looking for.

Just now I was hunting for a picture of Elisha and the Arameans, and I came across this blog entry: Obi-Wan Elisha. Apparently I am not alone. 

Off to set the lights for Compline momentarily. I don't think I'll run into any stormtroopers in the process, but you never know.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

prayer for sheltering

Over the past weeks with their hurricanes - and now an earthquake - I have been praying with a line from a hymn: Oh, spread thy sheltering wings around...

My first day of my novitiate field education placement at Common Art, St. John's, Bowdoin Street, on September 12, 2001. Liz, the priest in charge, is an artist. Two blocks from the State House, the anxiety was almost palpable. Following our service, Liz had us all draw prayer mandalas as we held this disaster in our hearts. I can still envision mine. So much to pray for. So many lives impacted. And I learned there that art, no matter the purely artistic quality thereof, can express prayers of the heart when words will not suffice. It complements the prayer of silence.

And so I made another. Great art it is not. But it is prayer. It is prayer I can come back to.

Oh, spread thy sheltering wings around...

Around those in immediate danger.
Around those preparing to face it.
Around those numb with shock.
Around those wild with grief and loss.
Around those frantic to find missing loved ones.
Around those who have found them injured or dead.
Around those standing in the wreckage looking for hope.
Around those working to heal, to repair, to comfort.
Around those seeking a way forward for themselves or for their communities.

Lord, shelter them in the midst of the storm.
Let them know your presence, so very near even now.

Oh, spread thy sheltering wings around...

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

haiku against horror

More bad news today.
Kyrie eleison.
I have had enough.

Wind, flood, fire, fury;
Catastrophic potential.
Death rides a pale horse.

Storm-tossed, not sinking;
weather-beaten, we still trust.
You are our anchor.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

prayer hymn for the storm

Almighty Father, strong to save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
Who bidd'st the mighty ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep:
O hear us when we cry to thee
For those in peril on the sea.

O Christ, the Lord of hill and plain
O'er which our traffic runs amain
By mountain pass or valley low;
Wherever, Lord, thy brethren go,
Protect them by thy guarding hand
From every peril on the land.

O Spirit, whom the Father sent
To spread abroad the firmament;
O Wind of heaven, by thy might
Save all who dare the eagle's flight,
And keep them by thy watchful care
From every peril in the air.

O Trinity of love and power,
Our brethren shield in danger's hour;
From rock and tempest, fire and foe,
Protect them whereso'er they go,
Thus evermore shall rise to thee
Glad praise from air and land and sea.

Hymn 513, 1940 Hymnal
(text via Wikipedia)

Saturday, September 9, 2017

a prayer for evening: Abide with Me

1 Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
the darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide!
when other helpers fail, and comforts flee,
help of the helpless, O abide with me.

2 Swift to its close ebbs out life's little day;
earth's joys grow dim, its glories pass away;
change and decay in all around I see;
O thou who changest not, abide with me.

3 I need thy presence every passing hour;
what but thy grace can foil the tempter's power?
who like thyself my guide and stay can be?
through cloud and sunshine, O abide with me.

4 I fear no foe with thee at hand to bless;
ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
Where is death's sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if thou abide with me.

5 Hold thou thy cross before my closing eyes;
shine through the gloom, and point me to the skies:
Heaven's morning breaks, and earth's vain shadows flee;
in life, in death, O Lord, abide with me!

Ancient and Modern: hymns and songs for refreshing worship #10

Thursday, September 7, 2017

sideswipe? maybe? #IrmaHaiti

Just a quick note - things are looking better than expected, though of course it's not over till it's over.

We went from this:
(which is to say, no power, no food in the shelters)

to this:

Power's back on in Cap Haitien!

Given that when I lived in Haiti it was much more often off than on, this astonishes and delights me, assuming it's true. All of which is to say a cautious "yea!-ish?"  Could be worse (eg Tortola, Barbuda... awful... pray for them, too).

Haven't heard much about the flooding situation yet, which is what most concerns me. There are reports of it. We'll know more in the morning.

The only article-based report I've found online so far is this:

It's not over yet.,-65.566,5

I just keep praying that it goes north (and preferably right between the coast and Bermuda where it will impact the fewest people), slows down, and then retires completely.


I'm waiting for word from Haiti, which will take a while, given that Irma is there right now.  I have just found articles, however, as well as a few Twitter threads. Thought I'd share with those of you who may also be waiting for news.

Hurricane Irma: Panic sets in as Haiti braces for storm | Miami Herald

Haiti has already been devastated by natural disasters. Now it’s bracing for Irma. - The Washington Post

Meanwhile, I'm praying for my friends there, especially my godson and his family who are up north. Praying, too, for all those who are reeling from the storm or in its path. Please pray with me.

Haïti confronté à l’ouragan Irma, moins d’un an après le drame de Matthew