Safe Spaces

Beloved child
when you dare to speak
of your troubles in life
I’m tempted to tell you
a dumb joke in an attempt
to make you smile

and ignore
for a moment the
pain within that you dare
to share. I’m tempted to
respond with “It’ll be okay,
this too shall pass”

when all I
can really do is
reverently and
quietly hold your story
leading you gently to
the safe space buried

deep within, where
where you might release
a tear or two and hear
the sacred words within your
own heart. The Divine
Comforter freely

into the pain you’ve
been grasping like a tug
o’ war competition.
Only then do you chance
seeing within

that even
when dwelling in the
darkness of frightening
shadows, you are not and
never were all alone
as you’d once feared.

Beloved child,
in gratitude we
pray to our loving
life-giver and slowly
awaken to goodness
that is Light within.

Psalm 13 (CEB)

13 How long will you forget me, Lord? Forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long will I be left to my own wits,
agony filling my heart? Daily?
How long will my enemy keep defeating me?
Look at me!
Answer me, Lord my God!
Restore sight to my eyes!
Otherwise, I’ll sleep the sleep of death,
and my enemy will say, “I won!”
My foes will rejoice over my downfall.
But I have trusted in your faithful love.
My heart will rejoice in your salvation.
Yes, I will sing to the Lord
because God has been good to me!


One of my favorite memories of healing services was when we followed up with jokes read from Laffy Taffy wrappers. Combining prayers that call out to God for healing of body, mind, and spirit with silly jokes was a great combination! These friends taught me so much that day.

As the Spirit flows through us we might walk in silence down a path in the forest and name those things that we are drawn to are in awe of. Some call it an ‘awe walk.’
Another time, we might listen to a personal story and realize how truly connected we are in our human experiences. Even when the person sharing is, or was before this day, a stranger to us.

Music opens heart spaces of those receiving the song as well as the singer or instrument player sending out the gift. It can take us through sadness and tears and into a joyful space.
When feeling down, dare to open your eyes and contemplate the beauty around you. For now, here is a joke to share.

Knock! Knock!
Who’s there?
A little old lady.
A little old lady who?
I didn’t know you could yodel!

God’s blessings of light and love to you,


Rev. Marta Wheeler

To view or download a PDF version of this devotional, click here: Devotional MW 2023-02-08