An Evangelist’s Psalm

Photo of  John Bonney

Photo of
John Bonney

Thursday, June 26

By John Bonney of Springfield, Oregon, USA

You who fear the Lord, praise him! All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him; stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel!

—Psalm 22:23 NRSV

Hear me, eternal Presence, in hours of distress and discomfort. Hear my cries and sighs—expressions of my longing for connection. My words and thoughts go outward to creation, yet they descend to become the whining of an aging man. My querulous voice becomes a grating chant, a scratching of the limb on the windowpane in the winds of evening.

Ah, if I look, I shall find myself on the lap of the Eternal, receiving the proffered balm. I shall count myself blessed among peoples. I have a sense of Presence, wonder of eternal creation, bliss of that love and grace.

The glory is the glory that honors that which creates. The praise is for the Ground of all being. Eternity has come among us…No, Eternity is always among us. How is it that my ears are so calloused, my eyes so blind, my senses so dulled that I do not ever and always sense that Presence?

Yet how glorious those moments are when I do sense creation and glory in its holiness. How dimly I see, but how much I hope for the moment when I will see more clearly.

Now I know of the love that has borne me, if even my understanding is in part, and very small part. Yet still, I know I am loved. How precious is a reminder that I am cherished and cradled in the bosom of eternity. I am no longer alone, no longer cast off in my own eyes. I am wanted and loved.

There is light beyond light, music beyond the sweetest of sounds. There is the eternal and consummate Lover of my soul. In this I find my rest. To this I owe sacred allegiance. Amen.

Prayer for Peace Creator God, we stand in awe of you and your creation. We long to connect with you through prayer and psalm. In our darkest night and our brightest joy, we would know your presence. May you bless us as we share the peace of Christ.

Spiritual Practice: Psalm Writing The psalms are prayers of honesty and trust. The psalmist trusts God’s presence in times of fear and failure, joy and plenty, growth and change. Write a short psalm-prayer expressing to God the truth about your physical, emotional, and spiritual state. What are your deepest feelings, longings, and needs? What prayer of praise, intercession, or petition flows from you as you consider your life and the life of God’s world?

Peace Covenant Today, God, I will praise your presence in fear’s darkness and faith’s light.

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3 Comments

  1. Brenda O'Dell

     /  27 June 2014

    Thank you for expressing so beautifully thoughts to which I so often struggle to put words.

  2. Dick Hahn

     /  26 June 2014

    John, my spirit-brother: Thank you for these wonderful insights. This reminder is of the God always within, yet allows us the freedom to struggle to discern that presence, sometimes in sorrow, and other times in delight. We are blessed beyond measure or worthiness!

  3. Carol Norris Vincent

     /  26 June 2014

    Dear John,   As always, your devotional messages are so inspiring.  This psalm really resonated with me at this time of my life.  Thank you for your always edifying words.   And now I know what you look like, and I am, shall I say, surprised?  You are so much more dignified looking than I expected.  From your writing I expected someone more rakish in appearance.  I see that you do not have much hair.  That is a trait handed down in my family — you know that it’s passed from a bald father through his daughter to her sons, don’t you?  My great-grandfather was completely bald; my father was completely bald (having inherited the genes through his mother); my sons are completely bald, having inherited the genes from my father through their mother, me!  I was always pleased that I personally did not inherit the bald genes.  Baldness in men is a fine trait; in women, not so much.   I’ve failed to comment on your communion thoughts just because I’ve been so incredibly busy,  hoping to finish my book on Resthaven/The Groves by January, the 70th anniversary of the founding of Resthaven.  But I couldn’t help notice that you cited Frederick Buechner (and you pronounced it correctly!), a very favorite author of mine.  That reminded me of another author I like very much, at least the first book of his that I read.    The author is Mark Nepo, and the book is The Book of Awakening.  I think you would get much out of it and it would fit with your style of not reading very much at one time and then “chewing” on what you’ve read.  It’s set up as a daily meditation book with only about one page per day.  The “subtitle” of the book is “Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have.”  I turned down many corners in it and have underlined and starred often throughout the book.   Finally, I want to share with you a poem that I will be using in the July 20 service that I am planning.  The theme for the day is “We Are Children of God.”  The speaker, Mikal Shedd, an accountant in international services with the World Church, suggested the poem which I thought was delightful.  I am going to use balloons as our focus for the service.  Enjoy!   And have a blessed day.   Carol

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