In this moment while sitting
upon one large granite rock
holding centuries of wisdom
secrets are drawn out of my mind
through the warmth of its being.

Far too long I’d believed what
my mother told me via
pain in her clear cornflower blue eyes
that she didn’t know how to
nurture a confused, hurting youth.

It’s taken awhile but at last
I respond by sending this
letter to the star where she
lives peacefully now with daddy
in the brightness of heaven.

Listen, mama, you patiently
taught me to roll a pie crust,
knead bread dough, assemble a
dress, tend a garden, plus make dill
pickles to feed the family with love.

You read to me at bedtime
taught me prayers of a lifetime
and that questioning at times
may be the most essential
part of a faith that endures.

When I didn’t trust my own
parenting instincts you listened and
taught me not to hang on too tight
for their lives belong ultimately
to God even if they don’t know that yet.

I’ve been slow to figure out
that all of these define nurturing
even if you were unsure that
you had wisdom to share or
energy enough at that time.

For now, carefully listen,
and you’ll pickup this message
from earth to dad and you,
Thank you for nurturing me
in the deepest part where love dwells.

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not ]want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;

Majestic Life

Since the death of Queen Elizabeth II, many of us have viewed the pageantry of her funeral and wonder what it would be like to be amongst the thousands who came to see her one last time. She certainly led a most remarkable life and was known to turn to God when making difficult decisions and dealing with daily struggles. Psalm 23 has been prayed for generations of faithful in the Jewish and Christian faiths and was sung beautifully at the queen’s funeral service.

And yet, for all the royal majesty, the magnificent love of our God encompasses every one of us. Psalm 23 reminds us that restoration is often brought through the elements of creation such as earth, sea, and sky.

In writing the poetry above, my own mother came to mind. It is a way of honoring her birthday this week; her life grows in personal significance the longer she’s gone. It is impossible to separate who I am from my parents, just as I am unable to consider a world in which God does not exist within you, me, and all of creation.

We pray that you are blessed with the knowledge of a nurturing, forgiving, God of grace.


Rev. Marta Wheeler

To view or download a PDF version of this devotional, click here:  Devotional MW 2022-09-21