Whispers in the New Year

Early this morning an angel whispered in my ear
“What can I do for you today?”
This ornery angel is dappled in color
tempting touch with velvety soft ears
while gazing lovingly into my eyes.
She teaches me
to dwell in wonder and curiosity
and when you don’t know what else to do
chase a ball.

Today an angel spoke softly into my ear
dispensing encouragement to
respond in love to prayers and unearth ways
to change the world with loving kindness.
A prayer of gratitude for colleagues
is offered up.

This evening an angel serves up a fine baked
spaghetti, fresh greens, baked bread,
and a spoonful of pink peppermint ice cream.
My silver-haired angel is kind and thoughtful
reminding me that I am worth the effort,
loved and lovable.
Even more so these days.

And now, releasing this day into the cold night sky
I ask God’s blessings for kind words
spoken, for those who’ve met me on a
path soft and level or rocky and steep,
making each day easier to bear.
Blessings upon
those who I see, hear, and touch, reassuring
all over again of our gracious
God’s goodness.

Psalm 40:1-11

40:1 I waited patiently for the LORD; he inclined to me and heard my cry.

40:2 He drew me up from the desolate pit, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.

40:3 He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD.

40:4 Happy are those who make the LORD their trust, who do not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after false gods.

40:5 You have multiplied, O LORD my God, your wondrous deeds, and your thoughts toward us; none can compare with you. Were I to proclaim and tell of them, they would be more than can be counted.

40:6 Sacrifice and offering you do not desire, but you have given me an open ear. Burnt offering and sin offering you have not required.

40:7 Then I said, “Here I am; in the scroll of the book it is written of me.

40:8 I delight to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.”

40:9 I have told the glad news of deliverance in the great congregation; see, I have not restrained my lips, as you know, O LORD.

40:10 I have not hidden your saving help within my heart, I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation; I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness from the great congregation.

40:11 Do not, O LORD, withhold your mercy from me; let your steadfast love and your faithfulness keep me safe forever.


In the past I was more concerned about getting facts and figures straight, recalling dates of events and phone numbers. Now it seems vastly more important to remember the kindness shown to me and to live in gratitude.

Another contrast that comes to mind is winter walking compared to the rest of the year. My eyes are drawn to empty nests cradled in tree branches, the perfectly groomed pine trees, and the windswept clouds in the blue sky. The birds that winter-over have less cover, and the cardinals, blue jays, and finches are ever more brilliant. Even so, it takes more effort to leave the warmth of the house and soft blankets. Sometimes there is an argument taking place between my mind and heart, but only on the coldest days does the rational mind win and keep me from really feeling alive from the temperatures greeting the skin.

I may be a little envious of those who come back home with a bit of a tan and wonderful stories about their trips to the sea. While it would certainly be nice to sit on the beach with a good book, listening to the tide flow in and out, the same sun rises and sets upon us and awaits our noticing.

Waiting patiently, breathing deeply, gazing softly upon what and who we love and have loved. Know God in all of these.

We pray in gratitude for you,

Rev. Marta Wheeler

To view or download a PDF version of this Devotional, click here: Devotional MW 2023-01-11