Start by placing your feet firmly on the ground
and placing your palms facing up on your lap
like you’re ready to catch something.
When you breathe in, receive God’s love into every inch of your body, mind, and heart.
When you breathe out, share God’s love into a world which desperately needs that love.
Take a deep breath—in and out.
And another one—in and out.
And one more—in and out.
Be at peace.
The memory of my suffering and homelessness is bitterness and poison. I can’t help but remember and am depressed. I call all this to mind—therefore, I will wait. Certainly the faithful love of the Lord hasn’t ended; certainly God’s compassion isn’t through! They are renewed every morning. Great is your faithfulness. I think: The Lord is my portion! Therefore, I’ll wait for him.
I saw a therapist for the first time in my life when I was a sophomore in college. I was sad most of the time and had a hard time finding the energy to do anything more than brush my teeth. When I told my academic advisor how I was feeling, she encouraged me to make an appointment with the university’s counseling center. With loving encouragement from friends, I made an appointment and, like lots of people today, was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. Because of the support of others, I was able to meet and talk with a non-judgmental professional whose only job was to help me feel 100% myself again.
Life is not always easy. We all experience times of sadness and distress. The prophet in today’s passage wails about experiences of suffering and bitterness but also grounds their trust in God’s mercy. Even when our lives are caught up in sadness, God’s mercy is “renewed every morning.” It’s okay to be sad, and it’s okay to reach out for help, because both God and others are rooting for us to be our best, most authentic selves.
God of hope, when I am sad or distressed, anxious or depressed, help me remember that I am always surrounded by your mercy and the love of others. Amen.
“Why must people kneel down to pray? If I really wanted to pray I’ll tell you what I'd do. I'd go out into a great big field all alone or in the deep, deep woods and I'd look up into the sky—up—up—up—into that lovely blue sky that looks as if there was no end to its blueness. And then I'd just feel a prayer.”
Lucy Maud Montgomery in Anne of Green Gables (1908)
As you move into the realities of your daily life, go into the deep woods of your imagination, look up, up, up into the sky of your heart, and feel a prayer.