From This Odd Dream

In the Flower Garden Robert Lewis Reid

In the Flower Garden, Robert Lewis Reid

Dear God, I do not fear awakening from this
odd dream of temporality, nor shall I dread
departing from the steep and rock-strewn
roads we travel. Even as we watch, the veil will lift,
the fog will clear, the sun will saturate our days,
and night will fall no more. Then we shall meet
again the cherished souls whose carcasses have
long since shown themselves too fragile to
contain them. Happiness that we have known
and tried to hold will dawn and fill the vales with
colors richer than the flora of the tropics and the
fauna of the seas. Bliss that punctuates our years
and separates the intervals of anger, sadness, and
regret will bloom and never fade. Sickness that was
once a haggard rumor will meander out of memory.
Love will be the form and substance of all things seen,
imagined, hoped for. Peace will not be ripped away by
swords or savagery. Arms like boughs of oak and fans
of palm will reach out to receive those of us just arrived
out of the dream. Lingering wounds will heal apace,
bathed in water from eternal streams whose source
will not evaporate as basins in the desert do.
Ephemeral, surprising joy that comes upon us unawares
and dissipates too soon, this time will stay and keep us
airborne like the seeds of cottonwoods on fresh spring
breezes, and when we alight it will be only to reside
a space within the garden of thy planting, to perform
the easy labor of thy grace. Earthly life is but a preview
of eternity—we are promised nothing less. If we only
knew it, we have just begun to love, and the dimension
we have named “above” will swallow all things gross
and terrible, the rivers of the darkness, all that withers
and decays. Alleluia! Amen.

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In the Garden of My Grace (Hymn)

HieronymusBosch-theGardenOfEarthlyDelights-1503-1504

In the Garden of Earthly Delights, Hieronymus Bosch, 1503-1504

God Almighty, here beside me,
come and sit with me awhile.
Father-Mother, comfort me,
your cherished and beloved child.
Bring me ease and consolation;
make me glad of who I am.
As you loved me at Creation,
wrap me in that love again.

All I need you have provided.
Fear has faded with the night.
All I ask lies at my feet—
my help, my hope, and my delight.
Not behind the mass of mountain,
hidden high or buried deep,
all I sought is spread around me
like the bright and boundless sea.

All my striving to be better,
all my worry and my fear,
at your word I now surrender
as you whisper in my ear:
Peace, my child; for all is well.
Now dry your tears and lift your face
to the sun, for you are dwelling
in the garden of my grace.

Everything you need for hunger
grows in my eternal fields.
Eat; be filled with joy and wonder,
such as these is Heaven’s yield.
All you need for thirst is given,
with the rain that from above
pours to fill the streams and rivers.
Drink of it, and drink of love.

All your sins are long forgiven,
and your innocence restored,
as you were, made in my image,
on the day that you were born.
Seek and you will surely find your
dreams; the stars will light your way;
gentle lessons will remind you
what is needed for today.

Celebrate and weep no more.
As I have given, freely give.
Life and death I set before you
now. Choose life. Choose love, and live.
Peace, my child; for all is well.
Now dry your tears and lift your face
to the sun, for you are dwelling
in the garden of my grace.

Amen.

____________

from Annagrammatica’s Little Book of Prayer