FRIDAY FAVORITES FOR PRAYER AND WRITING

Welcome to Friday Favorites! As we prepare for Thanksgiving (here in the U.S.), Prasanta and I recommend these posts on giving thanks, prayer, creativity, and grief. Wait a minute – grief? Yes, amid the thanks and hope, we also remember the many people we’ve lost in the pandemic. Grief, hope, and thanks go hand in hand this year.

We’ll be on break next week — see you again in two weeks.

Meanwhile, we’re thankful for each one of you! Be blessed this Thanksgiving.

Love, Prasanta and Lisa

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Thanksgiving; a Sonnet via Malcolm Guite (the English poet writes a sonnet for his American friends)

We Need Your Positive Thoughts and Prayers via April Yamasaki (a selection of thoughts and prayers we actually need)

A Nonet for Morning Prayer via James Laurence (a nonet poem for your morning)

On the Last Day of Class… via Hannah P. Keller (a prayer for students as they leave campus and head home)

How do we grieve the hundreds of thousands of people the COVID-19 pandemic has killed? via Reggie Williams (five writers weigh in on grief for Christian Century magazine)

Making Art in the Midst of Crisis: Pandemic and Tolkien’s “Leaf by Niggle” via Sarah Sanderson (remembering your identity as an artist/writer during chaotic and unproductive times)


SCARLET THREAD: A Poem by Prasanta Verma

Scarlet Thread

A scarlet thread
burns long, thin,
intersecting Sunday
and the corner
of my heart–
hungry for red.

I know the thread,
the very one—
pulls me to the cross,
unfolds like silk.
I pull string taut,
tie knot
so needle won’t slip.

A few crimson threads
fall to the floor,
and taste the hunger
of belonging.
Scarlet wounds are not sealed
with simply a stitch.

If the button did not fall,
slip out of the pocket,
get lost on a Sunday,
I’d still be searching.

Can I say what is mine
and what is yours?
Can you tell me where
the scarlet thread ends?

A coat of crimson
covers me, covers you,
swathed with scarlet thread.


Prasanta Verma, a poet, writer, and artist, is a member of The Contemplative Writer team. Born under an Asian sun, raised in the Appalachian foothills, Prasanta currently lives in the Midwest, is a mom of three, and also coaches high school debate. You can find her on Twitter @VermaPrasanta, Instagram prasanta_v_writer, and at her website: https://pathoftreasure.wordpress.com/.

FRIDAY FAVORITES FOR PRAYER AND WRITING

Welcome to Friday Favorites! The links Prasanta Verma and I found this week help us explore our deepest self in relationship to God. What has God given us and who has God created us to be? We hope you enjoy digging into these. Remember, always, that you are the beloved of God.

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As a Child: God’s Call to Littleness via Phil Steer (a new podcast that unpacks what it means to “become like little children”)

We Have Today via Arlisia Potter (living in and thanking God for this day)

Cindy Bunch on Self-Kindness as Spiritual Practice via Casey Tygrett (being kind to ourselves as a way forward to loving others)

Through a Looking Glass Darkly: How (and how not) to be certain of yourself via Jessica Hooten Wilson (we are pilgrims and wayfarers who need one another as we find our way home)

Evensong via Peggy R. Ellsberg (a poem)

Boils & Possums & Kierkegaard, Oh My! via J. Lind (on creativity, writing, redemption, and and the difficult task of faith)


FRIDAY FAVORITES FOR PRAYER AND WRITING

Welcome to Friday Favorites! It’s been quite a week, hasn’t it? Prasanta Verma and I hope you will find some peace and solace in these posts. Prayer, poetry, and positivity — it’s all here. 😉

Be well and be blessed.

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Prayer for the Christian Political Other via Gena Thomas (a good prayer for election week)

A Lesson in Meandering via Jeff Grills (enjoy this poem on the serpentine path of life)

Self-Care in Grief and Hard Times via Lisa Appelo (ideas for biblical self-care, which is always rooted in God)

Unmasked via Nichole Woo (what do our metaphorical masks hide?)

The Pastoral is Political: Poetry as Cure for Being Gaslit via Melanie Weldon-Soiset (reading and writing poetry can be healing acts)

30 Positive Words for November via Roz Andrews (one positive word to contemplate for each day this month)


FRIDAY FAVORITES FOR PRAYER AND WRITING

Welcome to Friday Favorites! This week, Prasanta Verma and I were struck by the number of posts and podcasts that wisely and gently help us through difficult times. And, dear friends, you may have noticed that the times are difficult. We urge you to keep your hope and faith alive. The words below may help — soak up these writers on finding God and tranquility in disruption and sorrow.

Be well and be blessed.

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A Liturgy for Embracing Both Joy & Sorrow via The Rabbit Room (a liturgy that feels particularly appropriate for this time)

Open or Closed: Welcoming an Expansive View of God via Gem Fadling (an Unhurried Living podcast episode that walks us through a practice to cultivate a greater vision of God during overwhelming times)

Searching for Certainty: Finding God in the Disruptions of Life with Shelly Miller via Sally Clarkson (how difficult times can become purposeful times of spiritual growth)

Poems for All Saints Day via C. Christopher Smith (from the Englewood Review of Books archives, some poems by and about the saints)

Bookish, Tranquil, and Wise via Joy Clarkson (in this podcast episode, Alan Jacobs discusses how to recover our tranquility by reading old books)

Hilary Mantel on How Writers Learn to Trust Themselves via Literary Hub (Mantel talks about routines, early readers, and trusting your writerly self)


FRIDAY FAVORITES FOR PRAYER AND WRITING

Welcome to Friday Favorites! Prasanta Verma and I hope you enjoy this week’s roundup, which includes wonderful words on creativity, kindness, poetry, saints, and spiritual practices. Enjoy and be blessed.

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Touching Sacred Earth: Expressive Art and Spiritual Practice with Christine Valters Paintner via EarthRising podcast (disciplines that cultivate a connection with creation and the Creator)

A little more kindness, a little less madness via Cara Meredith (could this kindness be the Christ?)

Seven Suggestions for Living a Creative Life via Dorothy Greco (creativity is part of our spiritual DNA . . . get inspired with these suggestions)

The Return via Marilyn R. Gardner (holy moments and the peace of belonging)

Beyond Juan Diego and Kateri: Meet other indigenous American saints via Meg Hunter-Kilmer (learn about lesser-known saints who embraced Christianity without rejecting the beauty of their own cultures)

Book Launch Interview with Luci Shaw via Writing for Your Life (hear the prolific poet read her poems and talk about writing, divine creativity, and advice for new writers)


Leaf Song: A Poem by Prasanta Verma


Leaf Song


Beautifully curling upward
Cupping droplets on its skin

I take my finger, wipe the drop
Leaving a skirmish behind

*

The autumn leaf is like a heart
Turned toward heaven

Changing colors, singing in its death
I wonder, Leaf, how many songs you have sung?

*

I wrap myself in a coat of leaves
Stand under a sheltering tree

Sing with the wind
Go to the one who sings over me

Cup my hands, raise them—empty
Here they are, here am I

*

Am I to be like that last leaf,
Stuck on the tree? Alone?

 I am answered,
“You are connected to the vine.”

Water spills over my hands, overflows,
Slips through my fingers.





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Photos: Prasanta Verma

Prasanta Verma, a poet, writer, and artist, is a member of The Contemplative Writer team. Born under an Asian sun, raised in the Appalachian foothills, Prasanta currently lives in the Midwest, is a mom of three, and also coaches high school debate. You can find her on Twitter @VermaPrasanta, Instagram prasanta_v_writer, and at her website: https://pathoftreasure.wordpress.com/.

FRIDAY FAVORITES FOR PRAYER AND WRITING

It’s Friday again . . . and that means it’s time for Friday Favorites! It’s such a joy to find and share these links each week. Good and true words bring hope into the world. This week, Prasanta Verma and I have rounded up an amazing collection of words that will help you pray, ponder, and read. Enjoy, and be blessed.

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Ode to Autumn via Brian Draper (a guided autumn walking retreat)

How the medieval practice of stargazing can change your prayer life via David Russell Mosley (look to the stars and remember that the heavens are telling the glory of God)

What does healing look like within faith communities? via Kimberly Pelletier and Samuel Ogles (an Ask a Spiritual Director podcast episode)

We Are All Related via Nathan Beacom (Black Elk’s spiritual vision for peace)

Reading Emily Dickinson with Job via Laura Cerbus (the resistance and obedience of Dickinson and Job)

Books for pandemic reading via The Christian Century (nine writers tell us about books that reframe what it means to be a person of faith)

FRIDAY FAVORITES FOR PRAYER AND WRITING

Welcome to Friday Favorites! This week, Prasanta Verma and I bring you a collection of links on poetry, stories, witness, writing, and . . . eternity! We hope they prompt you to reflect and to hold on to faith. Read, listen, and be blessed.

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Water; A Poem via Ana Lisa de Jong (a beautiful prayer poem about trust)

Matins via Louise Glück (a poem from the Nobel Prize winner in literature)

This eternal moment via Simon Parke (when eternity pricks the present moment, we can see past our past and believe that all is well)

Stories as Service via Festival of Faith and Writing (this podcast episode looks back at past FFW speakers on this theme)

Your Witness Is Showing via Collin Huber (speak, post, debate, and vote, but do so with your allegiance to Christ on full display)

Letter Writing as a Powerful Prompt via Stuart Horwitz (how the quaint art of letter writing can benefit our other writing projects)

FRIDAY FAVORITES FOR PRAYER AND WRITING

One of the greatest joys of being a writer and, well, a person, is that of being in community. It’s always a joy to discover the words of fellow writers and then to bring them to you. This week, Prasanta Verma and I are sharing a collection of links that we hope will inspire you. So much beauty! Be encouraged, and be blessed.

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Day Begins via Linda Hoye (after dark comes dawn)

My Prayer Mat via Kevin Driedger (channeling Brother Lawrence in the kitchen)

My Cross I’ll Carry via Aarik Danielsen (when you pick up a cross to justify yourself, that cross gives up its meaning)

When You’re Stuck–A Reflection on Exodus 14:19-31 via April Fiet (when we get stuck, we want to turn around and go back–but is “back” where we’re meant to go?)

Days of Awe: A Gentile Discovers Jewish Poetry via Melanie Weldon-Soiset (the poetic history and possibilities of the Days of Awe)

You Do Have Agency: Your Morning Walk with Sophfronia via Sophfronia Scott (as creatives and as people, we can do much more than we think)