The blog

Chapter 1

Through the Day

Celebrating God’s Presence in Each Moment

God with me lying down,
God with me rising up,
God with me in each ray of light,
Nor I a ray of joy without God,
  Nor one ray without God.

 

Christ with me sleeping,
Christ with me waking,
Christ with me watching.
Every day and night,
  Each day and night.

 

God with me protecting,
The Lord with me directing.
The Spirit with me strengthening.
For ever and for evermore.
  Ever and evermore. Amen.(1)

–Carmina Gadelica, I, 5

Grandpa’s Story

Grandpa was born in Kenilworth, South Africa, in 1905, the second of fraternal twin brothers. When he told the story of his birth, he said that his brother, Jack, was born first. The midwife didn’t expect a second baby, so when Grandpa showed up it was a surprise. Grandpa wasn’t expected to live, so he was set aside in a pile of bloody rags. But he didn’t die.

I think this birth experience shaped my Grandpa. Unexpected, set aside to die, living despite the odds. Each new day, throughout his ninety-eight years, dawned as a special gift. He lived in grace, and he extended love and grace to those around him.

I was the first grandchild. Grandpa taught me to hold up one finger in the air—“You’re number one,” he said. But all the grandchildren were “number one” to him. When I displeased Grandma and she was scolding me, Grandpa would say to her, “Let her be. She’s doing pretty good.”

Grandpa, perhaps more than anyone, taught me about a God of unconditional love, a God who loves me no matter what. Through Grandpa I learned that I was loved and cherished just by being me.

When Grandpa died, someone remarked that he didn’t exhibit much of a relationship with God. But I think the person was mistaken. Grandpa may not have talked about God a lot, but he walked with God each day, in every moment, through every interaction, through every touch, and in every smile. He lived fully the gift of life that he received at his birth.

Bless Our Waking

Bless this day and all who wake.
Bless all who wake.

Bless this day and all who weep.
Bless all who weep.

Bless this day and all who fear.
Bless all who fear.

Bless this day and all who laugh.
Bless all who laugh.

Bless this day and all who hunger.
Bless all who hunger.

Bless this day and all who hope.
Bless all who hope.

Bless this day.

A Blessing of the Morning

Bless this day,
The quiet sounds of morning,
The waking of creation.

Bless this silence, Nurture of solitude,
Feeding thirsty spirits,
Filling hearts for another day.

We breathe deeply the quiet,
The early morning sounds,
The softness of the sun.

We breathe deeply the beauty,
The songs of birds,
The dew upon the grass.

We breathe deeply the peace,
Cool wind upon skin,
Gentleness in every step.

Guide us,
Gently into the day,
May we be blessings to all we meet.

A Breakfast Blessing

Bless this food.
Bless this day.
Bless my steps.
Bless my words.

For clean water, for juice or milk, coffee or tea.
For food, for bread or tortillas, noodles or rice.
For those who wake with plenty, never knowing a hungry moment.
For those who enter their day hungry for food, craving comfort.

For all those who helped to make this food.
For farmers and harvesters.
For sellers and truckers.
For cooks and servers.

May all be loved this day.
May all be fed this day.
May all be blessed with your generous love.

At the Midday

Bless this midday,
A break in my busyness,
A time to rest, renew, refresh
From the challenges of the morning.
Bless this food,
Bless this pause,
Bless this rest.

Remind me that this day,
This whole life,
Is a gift from you.

May I breathe in Spirit,
Breathe in strength,
Breathe in wisdom.

Fill this food,
Fill this pause,
Fill this rest.

I am yours.

The Evening Meal

For the seed and the soil,
The rain and the sun,
For the hands who touched, nurtured, harvested,
I give you thanks.

For the families that gather,
The ones who hunger,
The lonely people who eat by themselves,
I ask your blessing.

For this food and drink,
This plate and bowl,
These walls that protect me,
I bow in humble gratitude.

All that I have,
All that I am,
All that I will be,
Are gifts of yours,
Creator of the Universe,
Creator of me.

A Blessing at Sunset

Bless, O God, this tender evening,
The trees, branches raised in praise.
The sky, soft glow darkening into dusk.
The homecoming of young and old.

Bless, O God, this sacred moment.
The quiet pause between day and night.
The birds, flying to safety in bush or brush.
The colors of the sunset—
Orange to red to purple to black—
Creeping across the sky.

Bless, O God, this night to come.
The safety of shelter, the supper to nourish.
Hearts of joy or souls bent in sorrow.
Renewing rest and hope for one more day.

Bless, O God. Bless.

Night

Bless this night.
The light gives way to the darkness
And another day is done.

Bless those I have met this day
And those whose faces come to my mind.

Bless the smiles, words, and thoughts
That touched your creatures, large and small.

Forgive, O God, the sins of your servant this day:
The unkind word or thought.
The deed of which I am ashamed.
Forgive me that I may find rest in you.

Bless this house, this pillow, this bed.
May I lie down in your peace and love
And awake again to be your hands and heart in the world.
I am yours, God of Love.
Bless this night.