O Sabbath rest by Galilee!
O calm of hills above,
Where Jesus knelt to share with thee
The silence of eternity
Interpreted by love!
Drop thy still dews of quietness,
Till all our strivings cease;
Take from our souls the strain and stress,
And let our ordered lives confess
The beauty of thy peace.
This portion of Whittier’s poem holds a special place in my heart, dating from my childhood at our family’s Presbyterian church, when I sang a Charles Ives setting of this text as a boy chorister.
“The beauty of thy peace.” I sure feel the need to confess that ineffable peace right now, and I suspect this is true for many of us.
From the blather and posturing of our current political scene to the many life transitions in which I find myself, life seems to be loaded with opportunities for anxiety and what-ifs. While consciousness and attention to all aspects of my life — including cultural annoyances — is important, sometimes a certain focus can become a distraction from what is truly important.
This Lent, my meditation and prayer is to center myself into the “still dews of quietness.”