Our Forest Floors

It’s the forest floor to which I most liken our lives.

Fresh falls light on former falls, and all falls lie, whispering together as one, “Thank you, former falls, and welcome, fresh falls. We give our green again to the world.”

We fall, we die, we become the “and’s,” the “or’s,” the “lovely’s” of another branch-suspended, waiting-to-fall batch of community recruits. They wind-wave, frantically and with emergency in their dancing days, and we watch them, guide them, remind them where this is all headed.

To the forest floor. Then back up the tree again by seed and soil and soak and sun.

Life, from seed to sky, breeds death, from branch to burial. Then life, from death, rises in resurrection and we all see just how true it is that the forest floor is the most precious of our walking grounds, our hunting grounds, our loving grounds.

The places where we live, and we die, and we live again – these we will call home. These are our forest floors. These are where life is seen for what it is – a gift.


Sheltering Mercy and Endless Grace help 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. Sheltering Mercy helps the reader pray Psalms 1-75; Endless Grace leads in prayer through Psalms 76-150.

The church has always used the Psalms as part of its prayer life, and they have inspired countless other prayers. Each book contains 75 prayers drawn from the Book of Psalms, providing lyrical sketches of what authors Ryan Smith and Dan Wilt have seen, heard, and felt while sojourning there. 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.

These artful, poetic, and classic devotional books are a perfect gift, and feature compelling stunning illustrations and hardcover binding, offering a fresh way to reflect on and pray the Psalms. Co-written with Ryan Whitaker Smith, Brazos Publishing.

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