In lonely hours
when you wake seized by anxiety’s harsh fist,
when worry leaches your spirit of color,
when breath comes fast
and you open weary eyes to a grey sky
Then--may color startle you.
Look, coming up from darkness:
a bright red bird beating strong wings!
May you hear music in the treetops,
yes, even in the trees you forgot grew around you.
May your open arms feel strength
beginning in your fingertips,
spreading up and through every tired cell
until your breath comes deeply.
May you open your hands to receive
gifts as soft as bird feathers.
Even as you sing a song of suffering–
may you also hear beloved, well done, rest.
Dear one, much-loved by God,
may you find wings of courage, hear
a chorus of voices singing all around you:
You are seen,
you are known,
you are not alone.
A version of this blessing was originally published at www.eachholyhour.com. I wrote it for my dear aunt, who lovingly cared for my uncle, her husband of many years, for nearly a decade of illness before his death last year. What a great privilege it has been to enter into the stories of so many this week during Caregiving Week at Grace. Blessings to all of you as you continue your sacred work, and blessings on our community as we seek to more deeply become God's beloved community together.