As I arise today,
may the strength of God pilot me,
the power of God uphold me,
the wisdom of God guide me.
May the eye of God look before me,
the ear of God hear me,
the word of God speak for me.
May the hand of God protect me,
the way of God lie before me,
the shield of God defend me,
the host of God save me.
May Christ shield me today.
Christ with me, Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit,
Christ when I stand,
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.
~ Irish Prayer
.... Then look down and in front of you and in back of you and to the left and to the right. In every direction in every space, God is there. God is all round and at the center. God is here, right here with us.
The Irish Prayer above feels like a strong and kind companion for this day’s journey. “As I arise today” welcomes us into the day. Beginning at the beginning, we are reminded of a strong energy and a deep wisdom. As we are welcomed into the day, we are gathered into a great presence that walks this path with us. In these words, we are reminded with each action and the next and the one following that God is with us. God dwells in us. Before us and behind. God holds us in loving grace and mercy.
Space has become a focal point in these past days. Space, that notion of what is here an what is there. Social distancing is now not only a phrase we know, but something we are measuring our comings and goings by. It is how we are intentionally moving in and through the world. We are told that it will save us, protect us – us and our brothers and our sisters. And in the midst of our distancing, God is here. God is in our midst of us.
How are we to mark our days, in addition to the 6 feet? For me, it brings strength and comfort to think horizontally as well as vertically. Our stories are recorded both in the depth of this particular moment in which we are living, as well as in the breadth of this moment’s story joining with our next story. One story leading into the next, and into the next. And how are these stories joined? How are the stories of my lifetime held together?
Prayer. My prayers, whispered and shouted, stumbled over and sung by heart. Prayers offered in joyful gratitude and in deep, deep despair. All of my prayers weave my life stories together. I wonder if I’ll ever get a chance to look back on the whole of my life – birth to death – if I do, will it look like a giant quilt, held together by the strong threads of my prayers.? Held together in God’s hesed (lovingkindness)? For this day as I rise in greeting, I pray this to be true - our life prayers are holding us as we find our distancing and connecting’s.
God be in my head, and in my understanding;
God be in mine eyes, and in my looking;
God be in my mouth, and in my speaking;
God be in my heart, and in my thinking;
God be at my end, and at my departing.
~ Sarum Prayer
Yesterday when I asked my friend, Susie about prayer, she said, “Just do it.” In those three words there’s an understanding that God is already there, always there with us. My prayerful offering is just walking cross the threshold of a door that’s always open. And maybe for all of us, it’s been as easy as that all along. Thanks Susie, wise and graceful friend.