lenten roses 2023

Faithful Friends in our garden

True to their own timetable, the Lenten roses are budding. 

This discovery I made replacing our Christmas flag with a winter one — Wise men have been replaced with a pair winsome owls bundled up for January’s chilly winds. 

2023 flag

Chilled Companions

And now that I am seeing so clearly, those buds are . . . astounding; even emerging from the fall’s remnants. I hope this phase of relishing all there is to see so clearly will not quickly depart.

True to its nature, time is speeding by; entering the third week of January we are. 

Troubles for loved ones press in.  How to process the problems? 

Prayer — especially soaking up what others say when I can’t.

How glad I was for a recent prayer pattern as a sportscaster prayed on air! 

I am sad, I want answers even as some things are unanswerable . . . 

I adapted it — maybe it will help you find words:  

“. . .  God, we come to you in these moments that we don’t understand, that are hard, because we believe that you’re God and coming to you and praying to you has impact. 

We’re sad, we’re angry, we want answers, but some things are unanswerable. We just want to pray, truly come to you and pray for strength for _____________, for healing for_________, for comfort for ___________ , to be with his family, to give them peace. 

If we didn’t believe that prayer . . . worked, we wouldn’t ask this of you, God. I believe in prayer, we believe in prayer, and we lift up ___________’s name in your name. Amen.” (Damar Hamlin and Christian Witness in a Secular Age )

Then I found a poem — that gives shape to the  fog of grief and fear that can seep in, even on beautiful days. 

’Mid the discordant noises of the day I hear thee calling;
I stumble as I fare along Earth’s way; keep me from falling.


Mine eyes are open but they cannot see for gloom of night:
I can no more than lift my heart to thee for inward light.


The wild and fiery passion of my youth consumes my soul;
In agony I turn to thee for truth and self-control.


For Passion and all the pleasures it can give will die the death;
But this of me eternally must live, thy borrowed breath.


’Mid the discordant noises of the day I hear thee calling;
I stumble as I fare along Earth’s way; keep me from falling. 

A Prayer By Claude McKay (poem)

 Thankful I am that the immediacy of this information age also makes other people’s understanding prayers a good pattern for hurt and grief!  


A Modern Day Ruth, Copyright 2019


For happiness one needs security, but joy can spring like a flower even from the cliffs of despair.– Anne Morrow Lindbergh 

And for the promise of  all those buds on this year’s Lenten Roses portend; thank you Lord.


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