In a previous post I looked at a portion of Psalm 103:
“1 Bless the Living One, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless God’s holy name.
2 Bless the Living One, O my soul,
and do not forget all Their benefits—“
After noting about the importance of remembering and embracing awareness of, even gratitude for, the gifts life brings us we might otherwise overlook as I wrote then, I couldn’t help but think of a prayer I pray every day on my hospice line which to me reflects the ways we experience God as the Living One present in each of these experiences.
I thought it would be appropriate to share this prayer, as a way of both pointing to a prayer we can say or use for meditation, and also fleshing out my own understanding of the ways God is present.
The prayer is
Who is nearer to us than the air that we breathe
Or the sun’s warm rays on our skin, refreshing us from the coolness of winter breeze
Your word to us is always love.
Your love encircles our lives like the sun and start encircle our world.
It is from your love we are born into this world and to your love we all one day will inevitably return.
Your love gives us the strength to stand in all of our days,
In days of joy and wonder which floor us with delight and gratitude,
In days of heartache, sorrow, and pain that threaten to crush, causing our knees to knock and legs to tremble,
And every kind of day between.
When we cannot stand, it is that same love that lifts us up
carrying us as a child in their mother’s arms.”
And then I will go on to express the specific needs and concerns of the person for whom I am praying.
Yet this reality, of a love that encircles and fills our lives, which is with, in, under, and through all of who we are and all of our days, is a part of what I believe Psalm 103 pictures as the meaning of God’s name “Yahweh”, Living One, One Who Is, great I AM.
This love is what the Psalmist speaks of, when they write,
“13 As a father has compassion for his children,
so the Living One has compassion for those who fear God.
14 For God knows how we were made;
remembering that we are dust.
15 As for mortals, their days are like grass;
they flourish like a flower of the field;
16 for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
and its place knows it no more.
17 But the steadfast love of the Living One is from everlasting to everlasting
on those who fear God,
and righteousness to children’s children…”
How do you experience this love and presence in your life?
How do you live into it and embrace it?
Your progressive redneck preacher,