Returning

Skin and muscle
have come loose from their moorings
starting their descent
back to earth’s
dark
womb.

While spirit raises
joyful child arms
heaven ward
stretching with
awe and wonder
toward
your
loving
light.

——

Even to your old age and gray hairs
I am he, I am he who sustains you.
I have made you and I will carry you,
I will sustain you and I will rescue you.
Isaiah 46:4

From Heaven at my Door by Juanita Ryan

Today’s Praise

Thank you for palm trees
swaying,
fountain flowing,
ocean breezes blowing,
out the window as I hear
I am five years, cancer free.

Thank you for three year old singing,
nine year old fishing,
nearby family visiting,
in this new community
that is becoming their own.

Thank you for grace while waiting,
loan finally closing,
keys soon opening
the blessed place
he will now call home.

Thank you for friends
supporting,
spouse holding,
your presence abiding,
in sickness and in health
and through each new
season of life.

——

Praise the Lord, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Psalm 103:1

From Heaven at my Door by Juanita Ryan

You are God, Calling Us

As seas rise, and island nations disappear,
causing our hope to crumble,
you are God.

As drought leaves earth barren and rock hard,
matching our despairing hearts,
you are God.

As mighty winds rip and endless rains destroy,
tearing at the fabric of our trust,
you are God.

As corrupt powers rule and oppress the weak,
crushing our spirits,
you are God.

As violence abounds and wars persist,
darkening our world, our lives,
you are God.

You are God,
calling us to hope in your goodness,
calling us to trust in your power,
calling us to know peace in your presence.

You are God,
calling us to care for the earth and for each other,
calling us to do what is fair and just,
calling us to act in kindness and mercy.

You are God,
calling us to bless both friend and enemy,
calling us to be healers and burden bearers,
calling us to love like you love.

——

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
Psalm 46:1-3, 9-10

From Heaven at my Door by Juanita Ryan

Quieted

You quieted me.
I came to you with fears,
finally willing
to acknowledge them to myself
so I could speak them to you.
How you comfort me.
How gently you receive me.
How sweetly you remind me
of your Presence,
drawing me into that still center
where I am free to simply be,
where I rest in your goodness,
your greatness,
your love,
where I know, again,
that you are God.

——

Be still and know
that I am God.
Psalm 46:10

From Heaven at my Door by Juanita Ryan

Gratitude

“Thank you. Thank you,” she’d say,
offering her soft spoken hymn of praise to you
with each step she took.
Ninety seven, clutching walker,
while I held onto her,
she walked in thankful wonder
like a toddler taking first steps with glee.
Each step a gift, counted.
Walker steadied and grounded her body in motion
while her thanksgiving steadied and grounded her spirit
in the here and now flow of grace.

I lost count of how many of these short walks we took
that last sweet year of her life,
saying our thank yous to you out loud
down the hall and back.
But they were many and enough to echo in my cells
and to raise up in me from time to time
this simple hymn of praise.

“Thank you. Thank you.”
I find myself whispering to you
over and over throughout the day,
noticing how my eyes open to the outpouring
of grace and blessing in every moment,
how I feel myself carried in the current of your joy,
how I am able to use this walker of gratitude
to steady and ground heart and mind, body and soul
in your glorious presence with us here and now.

Thank you. Thank you.

——

I will praise God’s name in song and
glorify him with thanksgiving.
Psalm 69:30

From Heaven at my Door by Juanita Ryan