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.

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

Creative Meditations for Lent, Word prompt: Shield

The angel of the Lord encamps

Photo: Campground

I’ve driven right past this campground for years and never noticed it was there until I was so drowsy one day I pulled off the road to take a nap. It was hidden in plain sight. I took this photo from an empty camping spot. There was no one else in the park but maintenance people that day. I love this place. The smells are wonderful and the mountains feel like giant guardian angels keeping out the riff-raff. Apparently angels like camping too 😉

I sought the Lord, and he answered me
    and delivered me from all my fears.
 Those who look to him are radiant,
    and their faces shall never be ashamed.
  This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him
    and saved him out of all his troubles.
  The angel of the Lord encamps
    around those who fear him, and delivers them.

(Psalm 34:4-7)

This is also a prayer and declaration for friends on the other side of the world who face severe persecution this very night. He hears you.

At a standstill

I was praying:

Lord, I don’t get it! I just don’t get it!

This world is such a confusing place and threats have come from all directions and in my zeal I’ve done some stupid things.

I’m sorry.

I’ve come running to you and asked for forgiveness, like you said.

I’m trying to follow you, to stay close to you, to listen to you, but I feel like I don’t have a sense of direction.

I know you have been helping me grow spiritually but now I don’t know what I’m supposed to do next.

I’m at a standstill.

I feel hemmed in.


I feel like I don’t have a vision for the future.

It’s as if there’s a kind of darkness around me.

What is this place?

Then I heard Himself speak in my spirit: Under my wings.

Photo: Canada geese by the lake yesterday

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
    my God, in whom I trust.”

Surely he will save you
    from the fowler’s snare
    and from the deadly pestilence.
 He will cover you with his feathers,
    and under his wings you will find refuge.

Psalm 91:1-3