Kneeling for Courage

You want to know how I spend my time?
I walk the front lawn, pretending
to be weeding. You ought to know
I’m never weeding, on my knees, pulling
clumps of clover from the flower beds: in fact
I’m looking for courage, for some evidence
my life will change, though
it takes forever, checking
each clump for the symbolic
leaf, and soon the summer is ending, already
the leaves turning, always the sick trees
going first, the dying turning
brilliant yellow, while a few dark birds perform
their curfew of music. You want to see my hands?
As empty now as at the first note.
Or was the point always
to continue without a sign?
~Louise Glück  “Matins V”

I have never been a brave person. In fact, I can be as fearful of the headlines of world events as the next person – a downright lily-livered chicken-heart. People like me may engage in lots of magical thinking, hoping I just might change through hard work and a large measure of good luck.

But what has luck got to do with it? Nothing whatsoever.

The reality is, many people work hard and still face insurmountable struggles that regularly force them to their knees. Courage is asking God for the grit to keep going no matter what confronts you because that is exactly what He did for us: even when his knees hurt from kneeling, his voice was hoarse with prayer, his eyes full of tears, his efforts unacknowledged and unappreciated, his heart broken.

Even when I come up empty-handed, I take courage and take heart. His heart.

Take heart, my friend, we’ll go together
This uncertain road that lies ahead
Our faithful God has always gone before us
And He will lead the way once again

Take heart, my friend, we can walk together
And if our burdens become too great
We can hold up and help one other
In God’s love and God’s grace

Take heart my friend, the Lord is with us
As He has been all the days of our lives
Our assurance every morning
Our defender in the night

If we should falter when trouble surrounds us
When the wind and the waves are wild and high
We will look away to Him who ruled the waters
Who spoke His peace into the angry tide

He is our comfort, our sustainer
He is our help in time of need
When we wander, He is our Shepherd
He who watches over us never sleeps

Take heart my friend the Lord is with us
As He has been all the days of our lives
Our assurance every morning
Our defender in the night


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4 thoughts on “Kneeling for Courage

  1. Dear Emily,This post has touched me deeply. Thank you for your honesty.We can travel together when we share those places we are weak and need a companion.Your blog has been a companion for me many times. I would like to make a donation, but do not use PayPal. We had our PayPal hacked.Do you have another option? much love and gratitude for the gifts you share with our world.Donna 

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello Donna, thank you so much for your encouragement! If you wish to make a donation, the link at the bottom of this post is not a PayPal link but is managed through WordPress. If you prefer not to donate electronically, email me at and I can send you a mailing address for a check. Many thanks for considering supporting Barnstorming! Emily


  3. This particular posting has touched my soul and given me added courage to face and to bear what is happening all around us. No let-up! We see and hear all that is occurring in every corner of our world. I feel so helpless and full of dread. At age 89 I most likely will not see the full disastrous effect of how and where our nation (and the entire world) is heading.
    The Hebrew-Jewish Scriptures gave warnings and outcomes of what was to occur in their time.
    Their warnings did come to pass and changed the face of the Israel-Judea maps of the time.
    Writers and Evangelists in the Christian Scriptures wrote of Jesus’ life, teachings, and gruesome death
    two thousand years ago.
    Emily, your quote “…that is exactly what He did for us…” summed up, for me, all that He did and suffered for us and how we must persevere to our end, whatever and whenever that will come.
    He has become for us the font of all that we must believe in and hope for, as difficult and as painful as that will surely be. By our precious gift of Faith, WE KNOW HOW ALL WILL END1

    Liked by 1 person

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