Music & Hope

Played guitar for a funeral last evening. A beautiful, radiant spirit, this gal was to so many people. Then, our our oldest “adopted” daughter (i.e. she’s not our daughter, but we love her like one) lost her aunt to cancer last night as well. A funeral for an infant in our town occurred yesterday also.

3 deaths in just a few days.

In all these moments, music came forward. In the services, it was part of the fabric of the comforting gathering. In a kitchen, as 7 or so other girl students and friends gathered around our young girl missing her aunt, one of them began to sing the soft strains of Be The Centre in the background as she sliced bread. We tumbled in and out of mourning, laughter, stories and more tears.

Someone was whistling, too.

There’s something about music that gives the gift of hope to those who are suffering. Music is a place, a non-locational place, that people go to in times of grief.

Lyrics and melodies, textures and sounds. They echo what is going on in our souls, and the most hopeful songs resonate with us there, and then lead us into a brighter place in the soul, where shafts of light are cutting into the shadows.

Enya’s May It Be, from the Lord Of The Rings soundtrack captures some of the essence of both mourning and hope.


Sheltering Mercy: Prayers Inspired by the Psalms

Sheltering Mercy, along with its companion volume, Endless Grace, helps us rediscover the rich treasures of the Psalms—through free-verse prayer renderings of their poems and hymns—as a guide to personal devotion and meditation.

The church has always used the Psalms as part of its prayer life, and they have inspired countless other prayers. This book contains 75 prayers drawn from Psalms 1-75, providing lyrical sketches of what authors Ryan Smith and Dan Wilt have seen, heard, and felt while sojourning in the Psalms. Each prayer is a response to the Psalms written in harmony with Scripture. These prayers help us quiet our hearts before God and welcome us into a safe place amid the storms of life.

This artful, poetic, and classic devotional book features compelling custom illustrations and foil-stamped hardcover binding, offering a fresh way to reflect on and pray the Psalms.