Let’s savor ordinary mementos
photos, cards,
a piece of chocolate

reminders of one who is now absent
from our lives.

If I didn’t worry about you
thinking I’ve
gone mad and turning away

I’d hug each of you and whisper in your ear
“God loves you”

just in case the next opportunity
is forever
gone or you miss the gentle

daily reminders in creation
like the tree
bowing low in autumn

dripping with a ridiculous number
of berries

each one a sign that you
are seen as
beloved and held softly

our Creator sends cues if we only
keep our senses
in a wondrous state.

May the angels that surround you bring

May Mother Spirit swell your heart and bring
you peace.
May Father God ground you in creation

Accept our hugs and love, dear one
so special
to us, for you we pray.


Psalm 71:17-24 (MSG)
You got me when I was an unformed youth,
God, and taught me everything I know.
Now I’m telling the world your wonders;
I’ll keep at it until I’m old and gray.
God, don’t walk off and leave me
until I get out the news
Of your strong right arm to this world,
news of your power to the world yet to come,
Your famous and righteous
ways, O God.
God, you’ve done it all!
Who is quite like you?
You, who made me stare trouble in the face,
Turn me around;
Now let me look life in the face.
I’ve been to the bottom;
Bring me up, streaming with honors;
turn to me, be tender to me,
And I’ll take up the lute and thank you
to the tune of your faithfulness, God.
I’ll make music for you on a harp,
Holy One of Israel.
When I open up in song to you,
I let out lungsful of praise,
my rescued life a song.
All day long I’m chanting
about you and your righteous ways,
While those who tried to do me in
slink off looking ashamed.


On a gorgeous autumn day, which happens to be September 11th, I am writing this devotion. Evidence shows that it is healthy to observe anniversaries that affect us.
Besides the deaths that the nation continues to mourn, we are also grieving the unexpected loss of a friend at Saint Paul. One person said that she had always wanted to get to know this person and now the opportunity is gone. She reminds us not to wait.
Although I’m probably not the most verbal person, I pray that my actions often demonstrate my appreciation for you.
Thinking of those who have experienced loss, we show kindness by staying in touch. Is it a big deal to pick up the phone and call or text someone to share a happy memory or short prayer? If they’re ready to talk, open your heart to listen. It’s best not to ask too many questions, but to focus on them without interrupting their thoughts or judging.
It’s good to remember that often people feel most alone in a time of bereavement after family has returned home and the memorial service is over.
For now, we continue to go on together, experiencing all human emotions. We smile when thinking of you, especially when seeing your faces. You are a blessing!

Rev. Marta Wheeler