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Am I welcome here?
Am I safe to sing or laugh or shed a tear?
Will I be loved the way I am? Will friends be near?
Am I welcome here? Am I welcome here?
You are welcome here.
You are safe to sing or laugh or shed a tear.
We love you just the way you are, so have no fear.
You are welcome here. You are welcome here.
from “You Are Welcome Here” by Mark Burrows (2017)
Your faithful love is priceless, God! Humanity finds refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the bounty of your house; you let them drink from your river of pure joy.
Within you is the spring of life. In your light, we see light.
Have you ever been to a church with stained glass?
Windows with squares, rectangles, and different shapes in different colors. When light shines through them, you can see rays of color. Reds, blues, and greens beaming from the window down to the floor or onto a pew. The colors move, dance, mingle, and mix. I love stained glass.
Regular windows are great. They let the light shine into spaces that would otherwise be dark. But stained glass windows do not simply let the light in. They transform the light into something even more impressive and beautiful.
This is how God works. God shines light through each of us. And we do not just reflect bright light, but we reflect colorful light that mixes and mingles in us. Colorful light that transforms our everyday lives. By being kind and loving to others, we shine God's light into their lives and help them become bright, beautiful, and full of color.
God, shine your light through me. Make me full of the color of your love and grace.
Help me to shine your light into the lives of others so that they too can be bright and colorful and share your love with all people.
It well may be
That we will never meet again
In this lifetime
So let me say before we part
So much of me
Is made of what I learned from you
You’ll be with me
Like a handprint on my heart
And now whatever way our stories end
I know you have re-written mine
By being my friend
from “For Good” in Wicked by Stephen Schwartz (2003)