Psalm 119: 105 Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. (NIV)
There are days like this…days that just go wrong and I end up getting in my own way. Maybe it’s because I’m tired or anxious; maybe I’m angry or resentful. These snags catch me and I get tangled up and feel as though going back to bed might be the best possible solution…but the reality is ~ going back to bed isn’t always possible.
Grief is a part of life. Losing loved ones is one of the many kinds of grief we experience. Losing hopes and dreams is another. Losing our sense of self and feeling like there is no longer a “true north” guiding us home is another kind of grief. These feelings of being lost in the world can sneak up on us, can overpower us, can snag our spirits.
What can help us get un-snagged? What can bring us balance?
This verse from Psalm 119 gives me an image for finding my way back…a lamp, a light. Breath prayers are helpful ways for me to un-snag. Breathing in and breathing out while focusing on a few words or a phrase, un-sag my wandering spirit more often than not and I find that these words companion me back.
When I feel this snagging happening, it is helpful for me to stop….put both feet on the floor….roll my shoulders….and then try to find words that connect me with something greater than myself. When I have done this preparing thing, then I begin to breath in and out, speaking connecting-words, centering-words. Slowly, gently I am brought back to a place of balance. What has snagged me becomes secondary to what is guiding and leading me.
Snags are emotional distractions. They drag me along so that I find myself reacting to things that come my may. Snags waste focus and energy. Give us a word, loving God. Send us a light, Gracious Healer so that we might come back to who we are and begin again to make our way toward healing.
Breath prayer: “a light” “on my path”
Holy and loving God, your grace is greater than our fear. We give thanks for these words that serve as a lighthouse for generations of your children. Your words are lamps for us, leading us toward healing and hope, reminding us of faith and of focus. Guide us and in those times when we lose our way. May there be mercy and grace enough for holding on and letting go. Amen.
One of the chapters I'm working on for my book: Grief and the Psalms: Companioning the moon for 29 Days
Working as a Hospice Chaplain, Lesley is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. A Candler School of Theology graduate, Lesley has just published her second book, Grief and the Psalms: Companioning the Moon for 29 Days (available on this website). She and her partner, Linda Ellis are raising their two sons, Brogan and Sam in Decatur, GA.