“Do Thou For Me”

Originally posted on Witnesses to Hope:

Amy Carmichael’s note on this poem of hers: “Ps 109.21.  A prayer that may be unfathomable comfort to the ill and tired: ‘Do Thou for them, for him, for her, O God the Lord.’  When one cannot pray minutely or powerfully, this prayer suffices.  We need not tell Love what to do; Love knows.”  God knows better than we what is best for those we love.  Here Amy is simply encouraging us to trust Him who knows how to love best.

Do Thou For Me

Do Thou for me, O God the Lord,
Do Thou for me.
I need not toil to find the word
That carefully
Unfolds my prayer and offers it,
My God, to Thee.

It is enough that Thou wilt do,
And wilt not tire,
Wilt lead by cloud, all the night through
By light of fire,
Till Thou has perfected in me
Thy heart’s desire.


View original 62 more words

When there are no windows


A repost from Kristen Strong over at Ann Voskamp’s blog:


I kissed my eight-year-old daughter Faith on the forehead as she drifted off to sleep, wishing like crazy we were in her cozy lavender bedroom rather than this sterile, mint-green operating room.

If only she were drifting off to sleep before a play date with friends instead of drifting off to sleep before a date with a surgeon who would operate on her spine to correct her broken neck.

I continued to whisper, “Jesus is here, Jesus is here,” long after she closed her eyes.

I said it for me as much as for her.

I carefully got off her gurney, thankful the children’s hospital in our town let me ride on it with Faith right through the swinging metal doors to the OR.

After the doctor and nurses gave gentle assurances about my girl’s care, I walked with heavy steps back through the oversized doors into the steady, open arms of my husband David.

We plodded along in a half hug down the hall toward the waiting room of the hospital.

After we arrived and David held the door open for me, I stepped in and quickly scanned the room.

And that’s when my knee-high brown boots stopped dead in their tracks. My eyes darted around the waiting room again, and I stood there slack-jawed while shaking my head back and forth.

David, noticing my frozen posture and expression, came up next to me. “What’s wrong?” he asked, following my eyes around to the room.

“What’s wrong?” I repeated, annoyed he was missing the obvious. “It’s . . . it’s this room, David!” I stammered, whirling in a circle and pointing.

“Just look! There are no windows in this room!”

Read the rest here.

Kintsugi: Gold Repair of Ceramic Faults

Sr. Dorcee:

This is absolutely fascinating and an excellent and true image of how God is with us.

Originally posted on dicklehman:




In 1999 I traveled to Japan to participate in several exhibitions hosted by my dear friend Mr. Shiho Kanzaki.  I arrived with gifts for all the many people that were required to make this amazing opportunity a reality for me.


After I arrived and was unpacking, I discovered that 4 of the side-fired cups that I’d brought as gifts had been broken by the baggage-handling process.  Without a thought I dumped them into the waste basket in my room.  Sometime later that week, someone came to my room and took out the trash.  


After a remarkable 6 weeks in Shigaraki, two exhibitions, travel,  fine food, new friends…my visit came to an end.


As often happens there were some “parting gifts” given by me to my hosts; and some gifts were given to me by my hosts.  Among the parting gifts I received, I discovered…

View original 704 more words

Psalms and hymns we know by heart

Sr. Dorcee:

Friday: from the archives

Originally posted on Witnesses to Hope:

Amy Carmichael starts this piece by asking: “Do you ever find prayer difficult because of tiredness or dryness?”  If your answer is yes, read on.

Ps 31.5  Into Your hands I commit my spirit; You have redeemed me, O Lord God of truth.

Do you ever find prayer difficult because of tiredness or dryness?  When that is so, it is an immense help to let the Psalms and hymns we know by heart say themselves or sing themselves inside us.  This is possible anywhere and at any time.

We can’t be mistaken in using this easy, open way of prayer, for our Lord Jesus used it.  His very last prayer, when He was far too tired to pray as He usually did, was Psalm 31.5.  Every Jewish mother used to teach her child to say those words as a good-night prayer.

Hymns, little prayer-songs of our own, even the…

View original 28 more words

The Potter’s Clay

Sr. Dorcee:

I’ve always been moved by the comparison of our God to a potter who takes such care to shape–and reshape–us. I think you’ll be moved by this post by Emily Gibson and by the beautiful and fascinating video. Spend some time with it.

Originally posted on Barnstorming:


Yet you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.
Isaiah 64:8

So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel.But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.
Jeremiah 18:3-4

The best pottery is never perfect, becoming an original handmade and unique piece, infused with the potter’s eye and energy, the pressure of fingers and palm, a design coming from the heart of the potter.

I had the joy this morning of virtually revisiting a special place in Japan that is a potter’s paradise, Mashiko village, thanks to a website by artist and art teacher Bette Vander Haak. The Vander Haaks took us there in 2012, and I was too overwhelmed by…

View original 106 more words

“How are you doing?”

Sr. Dorcee:

This week is National Suicide Prevention Week. I am resharing this post particularly for those who have suffered the loss of someone to suicide. It seemed to strike a chord when I originally posted it. My hope is that it is a comfort for someone out there.

Originally posted on Witnesses to Hope:

Yesterday was the sixth anniversary of my brother Tim’s death.  He would have been 60 this year.  As many of you know, he took his own life and the impact on all of us who loved him was devastating.  What I want to share here is a set of e-mails between me and my spiritual director from three years ago at this time of year.  Fr. Dan, remembering that Tim’s anniversary was coming up, had sent me a short e-mail, simply asking “How are you doing?”  My response is very frank.  I share this with you for a few reasons.

One: it means so much for people to remember, to remember anniversaries.  Every year since she found out, a friend always shows up on my brother’s anniversary with a plant.  I, of course, do not expect her to do that every year for the rest of my life, but she…

View original 1,025 more words

To Notice Each Thing

Sr. Dorcee:

Noticing each other’s beautiful face . . .

Originally posted on Barnstorming:

photo by Joel DeWaarda Mt. Baker photo by Joel DeWaard



The Old Testament book of Micah answers the question of why we are here with another:
“What doth the Lord require of thee but to do justly,
and to love mercy,
and to walk humbly with thy God?”
We are here to abet creation and to witness it,
to notice each thing so each thing gets noticed.
Together we notice not only each mountain shadow
and each stone on the beach
but we notice each other’s beautiful face
and complex nature
so that creation need not play to an empty house.
~Annie Dillard from Life Magazine’s “The Meaning of Life”

I started out a noticer,
at seven tracing ant trails from their hills
branching out to various trees,
watching nests bloom with birds,
sitting as still as the lizard sunning himself on a rock.

Then something called adulthood happened,
and responsibilities and worries…

View original 41 more words

Life Goes On

Originally posted on Unshakable Hope:

“Life Goes On”

Whether we’re going through the worst of times or the best of times, history and our own experiences show us that life does go on. This is true, but I don’t recommend saying “life goeson” to someone who is grieving the loss of a loved one.

“There is an appointed time for everything.
And there is a time for every event under heaven —
A time to give birth and a time to die…
A time to weep and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn and a time to dance.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-4)

I thought about the above passage last week when our daughter gave birth to a beautiful seven pound girl on Wednesday, then a close friend died of cancer on Friday – “A time to give birth and a time to die.”

Those who are grieving and those who are rejoicing have this…

View original 549 more words

The blessing of a wounded heart

This is a re-post from five years ago.  I was thinking about it this morning and thought I would share it with you again.  Christ had a wounded Heart also.

I did a series of posts on Fr. Iain Matthew’s writing back in July.  I have been re-reading him again.  He’s one of the people I go back to regularly–especially if I’m experiencing some kind of pain.  Because pain is precisely where, Fr. Iain says, Christ is waiting to meet us.  “The place of poverty within us is the threshold where Christ stands.”  He advises us strongly not to avoid our woundedness.  Each wound in our lives is the place where Christ wants to meet us.  The best thing to do is to make that place of pain a place of prayer,

the place within us where not everything is all right, where the wound that is in you aches. John [of the Cross] says: go there.  Go to that place of need, because that is a threshold at which Christ stands; our need is an evidence of God.

It is natural to flee from the place where that hunger throbs. Still, John encourages us to go there. It is what beckons the divine. It is the threshold at which Christ stands. We hunger for him because he has touched us; we want him because he wants us. The wound is the print of the pledge upon us, the pledge of the Spirit who holds us from the abyss. John comments on his poem: we “have our feeling of longing, the sense of God’s absence” precisely there, “within our heart, where we have the pledge.”

And so, we simply stand before God in our pain, with our pain, making our need a prayer.  God loves to hear and answer the cry of the poor. And remember: Christ had a wounded Heart also.

“Come Sunday”

Sr. Dorcee:

From the archives . . .

Originally posted on Witnesses to Hope:

Come Sunday

Lord, dear Lord of love, God Almighty, God above,
Please look down and see my people through.

I believe that God put sun and moon up in the sky.
I don’t mind the gray skies ’cause they’re just clouds passing by.
He’ll give peace and comfort to every troubled mind,
Come Sunday, oh come Sunday, that’s the day.

Often we feel weary but he knows our every care.
Go to him in secret, he will hear your every prayer.
Up from dawn till sunset, man works hard all day,
Come Sunday, oh come Sunday, that’s the day.

(Duke Ellington)

View original