Hang on to Hope

Originally posted on Barnstorming:


aleaf2As long as there is one upright man, as long as there is one compassionate woman, the contagion may spread and the scene is not desolate. Hope is the thing that is left to us, in a bad time. I shall get up Sunday morning and wind the clock, as a contribution to order and steadfastness.

Sailors have an expression about the weather: they say, the weather is a great bluffer. I guess the same is true of our human society — things can look dark, then a break shows in the clouds, and all is changed, sometimes rather suddenly. It is quite obvious that the human race has made a queer mess of life on this planet. But as a people we probably harbor seeds of goodness that have lain for a long time waiting to sprout when the conditions are right. Man’s curiosity, his relentlessness, his inventiveness, his…

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Spirituality of events

Sr. Dorcee:

Friday from the archives

Originally posted on Witnesses to Hope:

In a talk I gave at WTH on Mary, the Witness to Hope, I shared about learning how to live our lives with an attentiveness to the “spirituality of events.”  This basically means asking the Holy Spirit to speak to us through the events that happen to us in our days, to help us to learn what God is trying to teach us through all that comes our way.  God wants to teach us how to look at the events in our lives with His eyes, with the eyes of faith. Yesterday’s meditation in Magnificat reminded me of that:

“The circumstances through which God has us pass are an essential and not a secondary factor of . . . the mission to which he calls us.  If Christianity is the announcement of the fact that that Mystery has become flesh in a man, the circumstance in which one takes…

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My heart is singing

Sr. Dorcee:

Happy Sunday!

Originally posted on Witnesses to Hope:

A Sunday-poem from Amy Carmichael:

Too High for Me

I have no word,
But neither hath the bird,
And it is heard;
My heart is singing, singing all day long,
In quiet joy to Thee who art my Song.

For as Thy majesty,
So is Thy mercy,
So is Thy mercy,
My Lord and my God.

How intimate
Thy ways with those who wait
About Thy gate:
But who could show the fashion of such ways
In human words, and hymn them to Thy praise?

Too high for me,
Far shining mystery,
Too high to see;
But not too high to know, though out of reach
Of words to sing its gladness into speech.

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Dull weather

Sr. Dorcee:

I’ve been re-reading Amy Carmichael and thought I would share her again with you.

Originally posted on Witnesses to Hope:

Is it “one of those days”?  Here is a little encouragement from Amy Carmichael:

Ps. 76.4 LXX Thou dost wonderfully shine forth from the everlasting mountains.

Sometimes it is dull weather in our soul.  Here is a word for such days.  Often when it is misty on the plains it is bright on the mountains.  ‘Thou art more glorious and excellent than the mountains’ is a lovely word, I think, but this beautiful LXX rendering, which our Lord must often have read, carries us even further.  The mist may lie low on the plains, but there is a shining forth from the mountains.

There is nothing in me.  I may be as dull as the plains are when the mist is heavy upon them, but what does that matter?  ‘Thy mercy, O Lord, is in the heavens; and Thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds.  Thy righteousness is like the great…

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Love found me needing Him

Originally posted on Witnesses to Hope:

Today’s poem comes from Amy Carmichael:

Love, travelling in the greatness of His strength,
   Found me alone,
Footsore and tired by the journey's length,
   Though I had known
All the long way many a kindly air,
And flowers had blossomed for me everywhere.

And yet Love found me needing Him.  He stayed;
   Love stayed by me.
"Let not your heart be troubled or dismayed,
   My child," said He.
Slipped from me then, all troubles, all alarms,
For Love had gathered me into His arms.

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“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.


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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…

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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…

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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…

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