Shield

I’m using an old photo today because it fits so well. One day I was up in the woods praying, well complaining to God, actually.

“I feel like no matter which way I move, the way is blocked. I don’t understand what is going on. It’s like my hearing is muffled and I can see clearly enough or far enough to have a sense of which direction I should take. Everything I know to try is inadequate. I feel stifled and cramped in this place, and I don’t know what to do. What is this dark confining place? And what am I doing here? Where am I?

A still quiet, but firm voice answered, “Under my wing.”

I try to remember this when I feel the need to do something – anything, to fool myself into feeling like I’m in control, like I can rely on my own wisdom and see the eternal repercussions of a decision. Sometimes God is protecting me from the world, and sometimes I think he might be protecting the world from me — especially when I’m sputtering outrage.

Sometimes the safest place is when I am not insisting on being control and instead, I’m invisible to “fans” and “foes,” known and unknown. There’s a time to explore and there’s a time to run home. Sometimes, in those intense moments of choosing to respond to God, of choosing to agree to stay hidden in Him, and not giving away my position with a random self-defensive squawk, I remember this song using St. Patrick’s words. God’s love is a shield that has us covered front, back, side to side, and above and below. The song is called St. Patrick’s Breastplate. It’s also called the Deer’s Cry.

Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me

Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me

Christ on my right, Christ on my left

Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down

Christ in me, Christ when I arise

Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me

Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me

Christ in every eye that sees me

Christ in every ear that hears me

Christ with me

Voces8 sings Arvo Part’s setting. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ir3htl3UlBk&list=RDIr3htl3UlBk&index=1

March 17, 2022 seems like a good day to pay attention to it.

Creative Meditations for Lent, Word prompt: Shield

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