Friday Five: Gladdening My Heart

Rev. Julie at Rev Gal Blog Pals writes, “On this, Friday before Holy Week – when our lives will get very busy (more busy…) what are the things which gladden your heart? Which give you strength and sustain you when the going gets tough?”  She goes on to include some things that gladden her heart–a book, a movie, a person, a song, a poem, .

A book that’s gladdening my heart right now–Desiree.  I read it as a teenager and still remember the description of the Stockholm she encountered when she moved to Stockholm with her husband Count Bernadotte.  I wonder if I’ll  see the same Stockholm when I go this summer?

It’s not exactly a heart-gladdening movie but one I really liked–Spotlight.  So glad it got best picture.

Well here’s a song for today.  A song to gladden hearts:    (And here’s a scene to match the words.  A New Mexico morning)IMG_0484

The person who gladdens my heart–the man who just walked through the door and said to me as I was talking to an old friend, “I’ll walk the dogs.”  I do so love my man Tim.

IMG_0875Today, as I look out on Holy Week, I’m finding myself turning back to Ash Wednesday–maybe because I am just finishing my lenten project–a fiber piece inspired by Walter Brueggemann’s poem “Marked by Ashes.”  Today that is my favorite poem.  Here it is:

Marked by Ashes

Ruler of the Night, Guarantor of the day . . .
This day — a gift from you.

This day — like none other you have ever given, or we have ever received.

This Wednesday dazzles us with gift and newness and possibility.

This Wednesday burdens us with the tasks of the day, for we are already halfway home

halfway back to committees and memos,

halfway back to calls and appointments,

halfway on to next Sunday,

halfway back, half frazzled, half expectant,

half turned toward you, half rather not.

This Wednesday is a long way from Ash Wednesday,

but all our Wednesdays are marked by ashes —

we begin this day with that taste of ash in our mouth:

of failed hope and broken promises,

of forgotten children and frightened women,

we ourselves are ashes to ashes, dust to dust;

we can taste our mortality as we roll the ash around on our tongues.

We are able to ponder our ashness with

some confidence, only because our every Wednesday of ashes

anticipates your Easter victory over that dry, flaky taste of death.

On this Wednesday, we submit our ashen way to you —

you Easter parade of newness.

Before the sun sets, take our Wednesday and Easter us,

Easter us to joy and energy and courage and freedom;

Easter us that we may be fearless for your truth.

Come here and Easter our Wednesday with

mercy and justice and peace and generosity.


We pray as we wait for the Risen One who comes soon.


Taken from Walter Brueggemann’s Prayers for a Privileged People (Nashville: Abingdon, 2008), pp. 27-28.



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