But By His Grace: In Solitudes of Peace

Now a red, sleepy sun above the rim
Of twilight stares along the quiet weald,
And the kind, simple country shines revealed
In solitudes of peace, no longer dim.
The old horse lifts his face and thanks the light,
Then stretches down his head to crop the green.
All things that he has loved are in his sight;
The places where his happiness has been
Are in his eyes, his heart, and they are good.
~Siegfried Sassoon from “Break of Day”

When we are at war,
whether deep in the foxhole
hiding from the enemy,
or fighting against a wily pathogen
which makes its hidden way, person to person,
we sing our battle hymn without ceasing.

Amid the suffering
we dream of better days
and an untroubled past,
when the hunter and hunted was merely a game,
not real life and even more real death.

This is war against a contagious disease,
not against one another.

Move away from reading 24 hour headlines.
Avoid being crushed in the numbers of viral dead and dying;
ignore the politics of power
or by those frantically salvaging shredded investments
or hoarding the last from bare shelves.

Do not forget
how the means of peace was
sent to earth
directly from God
by one Man walking among us.

So stay home, giving the enemy no fresh place to invade.
Pray for those who sacrifice much to care for the ill.

A new day breaks fresh each morning
and folds gently and quietly each evening.
Be glad to live another day
with all those things you love within your sight:
so glad, so grateful, such glory
to be reminded how rich we all are.

This year’s Lenten theme for Barnstorming:

God sees us as we are,
loves us as we are,
and accepts us as we are.
But by His grace,
He does not leave us where we are.
~Tim Keller

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord
You are speaking truth to power, you are laying down our swords
Replanting every vineyard ’til a brand new wine is poured
Your peace will make us one

I’ve seen you in our home fires burning with a quiet light
You are mothering and feeding in the wee hours of the night
Your gentle love is patient, you will never fade or tire
Your peace will make us one

Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Your peace will make us one

In the beauty of the lilies, you were born across the sea
With a glory in your bosom that is still transfiguring
Dismantling our empires ’til each one of us is free
Your peace will make us one

Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Your peace will make us one

5 thoughts on “But By His Grace: In Solitudes of Peace

  1. This filled all my senses today & I thank you. Lost my last sibling 3 days ago, & grieving alone is NOT the way to go, but necessary these days. This will stay “up” so I can come back to it. Thanks for the lift on a gray day!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Such a hard time for grieving, Mary Jo! And no services either to join together in grief. May I, in some small way, be a shoulder to cry upon when you need to cry. Hugs from afar, Emily

    Like

  3. Thank you so much, Emily — for these words of solace and, as always, for trust in His Promises. He DOES suffer with us — individually, and within the BODY.
    The common sense policy of ‘social distancing’ is one important practical way that we try to defeat this plague. It causes us to ‘go within our souls’ – into the very Presence of His Spirit, where He will share with us in our pain, listen in His compassion and hold us in His protective Love, that we may endure this terrible time and bring us all together in a spirit on ‘oneness.’

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you, Emily & marylou for a shoulder, for hugs & prayers! So special having some reach out that are complete strangers, BUT NOT….we are all a,part of The Body as aliceny portrays beautifully!
    Mary Jo

    Liked by 1 person

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