Precious Lord, take my hand.
Lead me on. Let me stand.
I am tired. I am weak. I am worn.
Through the storm,
Through the night,
Lead me on to the light.
Take my hand, precious Lord,
and lead me home

~African-American Spiritural
Father of Night

Father of night, Father of day,
Father, who taketh the darness away,
Father, who teacheth the  bird to fly,
Builder of rainbows up in the sky,
Father of loneliness and pain,
Father of love and Father of rain.

Father of day, Father of night,
Father of black, Father of white,
Father, who built the mountain so high,
Who shapeth the cloud up in the sky,
Father of time, Father of dreams,
Father, who turneth the rivers and streams.

Father of grain, Father of wheat,
Father of cold and Father of heat,
Father of air and Father of trees,
Who dwells in our hearts and our memories,
Father of minutes, Father of days,
Father of who we most solemnly praise.

Bob Dylan
We wait in the darkness!
Come, all ye who listen,
Help in our night journey:
Now no sun is shining;
Now no star is glowing;
Come show us the pathway;
The night is not friendly;
The moon has forgotten us,
We wait in the darkness! 

Iroquois Prayer
Raise Me Up, Lord

Raise me up, Lord, who am fallen down,
void of love and fear and faith and awe,
I long to rise and in my place abide,
mine is the longing, mine the impediment.

Between they might and mercy I am torn,
in others every day I see amend,
in me I see fresh longing to offend thee.

Miguel De Guevara
Make Me a Channel of Your Peace
(Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi)
unknown artist
Hear my prayer, O Lord, and let my cry come unto thee.
Hide not they face from me in the day when I am in trouble, incline thine ear unto me: in the day when I call answer me speedily.  My days are like a shadow that declineth; and I am withered like  grass. 

Psalm 102:1-2,11

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Jesus Takes The "A" Train 


I felt Jesus on the "A" today
Through the spirit of a man who sat beside me.
He had smooth copper skin,
a tranquil brow, and only one leg.


The bicycle He balanced in front of Him
with His hands had one pedal and two crutches attached to the weary frame.
I couldn't see how they were attached
because I did not want to stare.
I could not stare.


Only the brave and willing could gaze
into the warmth of His eternal brown eyes.
Some were baptized in their own tears.
I warmed my way through their frozen stare,
to the silence of our hearts,
where we had been filled
with a relieving emptiness.


I saw through them and they through Him.
The power of His silent voice and smiling spirit awakened our highest hopes
and buried our darkest fears
.
Where did He get the strength to keep riding?
Was it from His Father or Mother?
How far could He possibly go?
All of this I wondered.


He left my cold blue eyes on 175th Street,
but He'll never leave my heart.
I felt my spirit soar from my strong and able body
to an awaiting seat in the right hand corner;
"for persons with disabilities."




by Kenneth Flaherty


This poem is © Copyright 2001 by Kenneth Flaherty
and used with permission


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Side by Side

They lie on the table side by side,
The Holy Bible and the TV guide.

One is well worn and cherished with pride,
Not the Bible . . . but the TV guide.

One is used daily to help folks decide,
No, not the Bible . . . but the TV guide.

As the pages are turned, what shall they see,
Oh, what does it matter, turn on the TV.

Then confusion reigns, they can't all agree,
On what they should watch on the old TV.

So they open the book in which they confide,
No, not the Bible . . . but the TV guide.

The Word of God is seldom read,
Maybe a verse as they fall into bed.

Exhausted and sleepy and tired as can be,
Not from reading the Bible . . . from watching TV.

So then back to the table side by side,
Lie the Holy Bible and the TV guide.

No time for prayer, no time for the Word,
The plan of Salvation is seldom heard.

But forgiveness of sin, so full and free,
Is found in the Bible . . . not on TV.

Author Unknown


Just Call Upon Him

The boy walked along the ocean shore . . . trying not to stray. He looked up to his father saying, "Dad, I want to play."

His father looked upon him, with love showing in his eyes. "Do what you want to, my son . . . but do not leave my side."

"I would never leave you Daddy, I love you way too much." But the boy took a step away, out of his father's range of touch.

He walked through the surf, the waves tickling one toe. "If I take one more step in . . ." he thought, "Father will never know."

His father called out to him, "Son, to me remain true!" The boy thought with glee . . . "At the moment I don't need you!"

His father felt a sadness, but he held his tongue. Sometimes lessons need to be learned . . . even when so young.

The boy stepped out a little further . . . the water covering his waist. His father spoke with urgency . . . his father spoke with haste.

"My son, come back to me," he said, "The day is almost done!" "Not yet, Dad," the boy yelled, "I'm having too much fun!"

But the boy did not have his father's insight so he could not yet tell, The tide was coming in fast . . . there would be no time to yell.

"Father!" he tried to scream, as the water covered his head. "I need you now, Daddy!" was what the boy had said.

And in a single instant his father was by his side. "I thought you left me, Daddy . . . I thought you went to hide."

The father looked upon his son . . . a tear streaming down his cheek. The boy looked upon his father . . . and cried the sobs of the meek.

"I would never leave you son . . . for I love you just the same." "I was only waiting . . . for you to call upon my name."


author unknown
Entertaining the Lord 
 

It happened one day near December's end, two neighbors called on an old-time friend.


And they found his shop so meager and mear, made gay with a thousand boughs of green,


And Conrad was sitting iwth face a-shine when he suddenly stopped as he stitched a twine


And he said, "Old friends, at dawn today, when the cook was crowing the night away,


The Lord appeared in a dream to me and said, "I am coming your guest to be.


So I've been busy with feet astir, strewing my shop with branches of fir,


The table is spread and the kettle is shined and over the rafters the twined,


And now I will wait for my Lord to appear and listen closely as I will hear


His step as He nears my humble place, and I open the door and look on His face..."


So his friends went home and left Conrad alone, for this was the happiest day he had known,


For, long since, his family had passed away and Conrad had spent many a sad Christmas Day.


But he knew with the Lord as his Christmas guest this Christmas would be the dearest and best,


So he listened with only joy in his heart.  And with every sound he would would raise with a start


And look for the Lord to be at his door like the vision he had had a few hours before


So he ran the window after hearing a sound, but all that he saw on the snow-covered ground


Was a shabby beggar whose shoes were torn and all of his clothes were ragged and worn.


But Conrad was touched and he went to the door and he said, "Your feet must be frozen and sore,


I have some shoes in my shop for you and a coat that will keep you warmer, too."


So with a grateful heart the man went away, but Conrad noticed the time of day


And he wondered what day the dear Lord so late and how much longer he'd have to wait,


When he heard a knock and ran to the door, but it was only a stranger once more,


A bent, old lady with a shawl of black, with a bundle of kindling piled on her back.


She asked for only a place to rest, but that was reserved for Conrad's Guest.


But her voice seemed to pleased to plead, "Don't send me away let me rest for awhile on Christmas day."


So Conrad brewed her a steaming cup and told her to sit at the table and sup.


But after she left he was filled with dismay for he saw that the hours were slipping away


And the Lord hadn't come as He said He would, and Conrad felt sure he had misunderstood.


When out of the stillness he heard a cry, "Please help me and tell me where am I."


So again he opened his friendly door and stood disappointed as twice before


It was only a child who had wandered away and was lost from her family on Christmas Day.


Again Conrad's heart was heavy and sad, but he knew he should make the little girl glad.


So he called her in and wiped her tears and quieted all her childish fears.


Then he led her back to her home once more but as he entered his own darkened door,


He knew that the Lord was not coming today for the hours of Christmas has passed away.


So he went to his room and knelt down to pray and he said, "Dear Lord, why did you delay.


What kept you from coming to call on me, for I wanted so much your face to see..."


When soft in the silence a voice he heard, "Lift up your head for I kept my word--


Three times my shadow crossed your floor--three times I came to your lowly door--


For I was the beggar with bruised, cold feet, I was the woman you gave something to eat, and I was the child on the homeless street."


Three times I knocked, three times I came in, and each time I found the warmth of a friend.


Of all the gifts, love is the best, I was honored to have been your Christmas Guest.


By Helen Steiner Rice
 


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