March 28, 2020

Daily Devotions

Meditation for March 28, 2020
Henri Nouwen, Bread for the Journey

When Mourning and Dancing Touch Each Other

[There is] a time for mourning, a time for dancing

Ecclesiastes 3:4

But mourning and dancing are never fully separated. Their times do not necessarily follow each other. In fact, their times may become one time. Mourning may turn into dancing and dancing into mourning without showing a clear point where one ends and the other starts. Often our grief allows us to choreograph our dance while our dance creates the space for our grief. We lose a beloved friend, and in the midst of our tears we discover an unknown joy. We celebrate a success, and in the midst of the party we feel deep sadness. Mourning and dancing, grief and laughter, sadness and gladness—they belong together as the sad-faced clown and the happy-faced clown, who make us both cry and laugh. Let’s trust that the beauty of our lives becomes visible where mourning and dancing touch each other.

Today’s prayer comes from Rabbi Guy Austrian.

Harachaman, Compassionate One, You are “rofeh chol basar umafli la’asot,” healer of bodies, who does wondrous deeds.

The wondrous bodies that You have made for us now feel more fragile. The openings by which we perceive Your world now feel more vulnerable.
We are anxious and frightened by the uncertainty of what is to come. We love the lives we lead, and we fear what disruption may come. We love our friends, families, and neighbors, our children and our elders, and we fear what illness may come.

We pray for healing, of body and of spirit, speedy and complete, for all those who are ill from the coronavirus, both far from us and close to home.
Strengthen the hands of our caregivers. Give of Your healing powers to our medical personnel and mental health professionals. Give of Your wisdom to our decision makers and public health officials.

Strengthen our hearts to confront this challenge. Give us of Your discipline, that we may not yield to panic and dread, but may protect ourselves with appropriate precaution and calm determination. Give us of Your compassion, that we may not yield to prejudice or bigotry, but may reach out to our neighbors with kindness and solidarity.

We are grateful for our bodies and the life You have given us. We are grateful for our communities and congregations who see us and support us. We are grateful for those who are working to protect us. We are grateful for Your love and Your sheltering presence. We know we are not alone.

Another of my faves from Gary Larson’s The Far Side.


And, finally, more links!

It’s been another rough week. How about a bucket of puppies?

Brother crashes sister’s wedding with a llama, as promised.

Neil Diamond rewrites “Sweet Caroline” with appropriate lyrics.

Check out this article with a link to a mom’s prayer for heavenly help in the midst of homeschooling.

Stay safe and stay well!