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As the Night Descends – A Reflection

May 9, 2020
Sunset from our hotel in San Francisco… a lifetime ago

Each day as I watch the sun set I wonder…

I wonder about those who watch and wait and weep this night

I pray for those who walk with so many through the Valley of the Shadows

I pray for those who are alone, separated from family and friends

Those whose last breath will be taken alone

In the midst of this darkness I pray

I pray that the Spirit will strengthen, comfort, and sustain

In the night sky I see beauty

I see familiar constellations which have accompanied me around the globe

Orion has greeted me in Afghanistan… Uzbekistan… Grenada… Southwest Asia…

No matter where I wander or roam, Orion reminds me

Even in the midst of the darkness, God is with me

These words from Thomas Merton’s poem/prayer “Hagia Sophia” speak volumes to me:

The shadows fall. The stars appear. The birds begin to sleep.

Night embraces the silent half of the earth.

A vagrant, a destitute wanderer with dusty feet, finds his way down a new road.

A homeless God, lost in the night, without papers, without identification,

without even a number, a frail expendable exile

lies down in desolation under the sweet stars of the world and entrusts Himself to sleep. (Emblems of Fury, pp. 68-69)

In the midst of it all… may we walk with that homeless God underneath the canopy of stars… and in that moment may we find hope for the present and future!

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