Tuesday, June 05, 2007


This day, O Lord,
Open our eyes
to the ways we disguise
that hardness of heart
that separates us from our brothers
from You,
from the persons we are supposed to be.

How well we disguise it
behind masks of righteousness,
behind good intentions,
behind the myriad ways we can explain away the fact
that we are not loving justice,
not acting mercifully,
not walking humbly with You
who show Yourself in our brother's eyes.

O Lord,
strip the veils,
crack the masks,
and let us see ourselves as we are,
standing naked before You
not worthy,
scarred and wounded by our failures to hit the mark
in need Your healing and transformation.

Lord, dress me anew in the white garments of Your love.
Help me release each one of those soiled and tattered veils I cling to,
transform me by Your loving touch,
this day and always,

Susan E. Stone, 2007


Monday, May 21, 2007

Standing in the desert 

Here I am, Lord,
Standing in the desert,
Uncertain of the path,
Always, I am sure,
safely in your hand,
even as the dusty winds blow,
hiding my way.

As I walk through this valley
my view blocked by the mountains casting gray shadows,
I will not fear what those shadows hide,
for you are,
and have always been, my guide.

In my smallness,
in my uncertainty and pain,
I will cling to your promises,
this day, and always,

Susan E. Stone, 2007

Labels: ,

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Pain (revised 

the pain wraps around us,
like the rhythm
of a beating,
like metal on iron
of the hammer fall hitting nail,
piercing flesh,
going deeper
until it lodges in wood.

The pain,
oh the pain,
a woman crying out in the night
as her loved one is slain,
a man standing in grief
in the bombed storefront rubble,
a child shocked at the blood
from a slashed parent,
the armwrenching agony
as they hauled you with ropes,
arms nailed to the crossbeam
up up to the drop,
white pain electric
tearing through shoulder and arms
as the beam found the mortise,
like the pain of the tortured
screaming beneath their captor's hands,
crying out as the voltage
streams through their bodies,
throbbing the pain,
through heart and through body
the pain of being stripped here in public
of everything but the pain
and the stares of the gathered
as they gambled,
and witnessed with tears and with laughs,
waiting for the blood to fall
for the last breath to finish
like guards who kept watch
at a starvation ward
waiting for thirst to still his voice,
make an end to end his praying,
like nurses piling blankets high
to dehydrate the damaged
in the name of mercy killing.

The pain,
o the pain,
with each beat of your heart,
each hard sought breath,
like the pain of the deserted,
lost in the wild lands,
afraid to stir out in the day,
afraid of what men would do,
victims they cower,
victims of terror,
victim of rape,
victim of hunger,
scurrying out quick by night
seeing their children die
with no way to stop it,
like your mother in pain
standing there
watching each breath you take,
afraid of the last one,
dying inside
watching your death.

O Lord,
the pain,
O the pain,
you wrapped yourself around it,
accepted it,
tasted it,
drank it down to the last dregs,
and bore all the burden
of man's too willing evil,
of man's dark inhumanity
down to the pit of death,
walking each step with us,
walking each step along with us,
and accepted that last, lone breath,
that would shatter the chain.

Lord, in our grief,
hold us,
and tell us
as we unite with you,
as we live for you
you live for us,
and when the pain,
the last ache,
the last throb
is over and done,
you will take us
to where pain is banished.


Susan E. Stone, 2007

Labels: ,

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Some Days 

Lord, there are days when you seem so close,
Then there are days like today
When I feel alone and small,
and you seem dear, but so far away,
And I am clinging to your cross by my fingertips.

O how this world blows hard today,
Its dark heart like a storm at night,
Pushing me with its winds and rain,
trying to push me out of sight
Of the glory here at the foot of your cross.

And yet I know that as it tugs and pulls,
and tries to yank me loose with all of its might
It is I who must let go from your strong hand
It is I who must choose to go into that night,
For you hold me with an unbreakable tie.

You are my light, Lord, you are my home --
Where else can I go but to your cross
Even when the world buffets my heart and mind,
It offers no hope, but pain and loss.
Even when I do not see you clearly, here I make my stand.

Susan E. Stone, 2007


Thursday, May 03, 2007

Shepherd My Heart 

Shepherd my heart, O Lord this day,
In love's green fields where I might lay
By the still waters of your watchful care.

Shepherd my heart, O Lord - the way
I must go is a valley so gray -
Let the staff of your care be my comfort.

Shepherd my heart, O Lord, I pray,
And when darkness gathers at the end of my day,
May I dwell in your house forever.


Susan E. Stone, 2007

Labels: ,

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Today, O Lord 

Today, O Lord,
You must be my hope,
for my heart is dark with grief,
and my joy shadowed with sorrow,
and my thoughts are heavy
and my eyes are stung with tears.
When I have no earthly hope to lift me up,
no easy light to brighten me,
I know that my true hope
lies there in your heart,
pulsating with a love I cannot begin to fathom,
guarded from all ills.

Today, O Lord,
You must be my light,
for my world reeks of grayness and salt,
heavy clouds that hide the beauty,
fog that shrouds the heart.
I walk in the darkness,
eyes blinded,
Yet in simple trust, I know
that my true light lies there in your heart,
A burning beacon that can pierce through the deepest dark,
giving sight to the blind
bringing the unexpected dawn.

Susan E. Stone, 2007

Labels: ,

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

In the Darkness 

In the darkness,
Be thou our light,
Lord of the Universe.

When the red anger
washes over us in a midnight sea,
Breathe upon our souls
like you did upon the deep
so long ago,
rekindling in us that light
that only comes from you.

When the midnight shatters us
in its long, unending blackness,
Be our beacon,
breathing hope,
your life, into our aching bodies,
your perfect assurance
that the dawn will come.

When grief weighs us down,
remind us of that one morning long ago,
when you shattered the chains of the pit
opening wide the door,
and with your own touch,
lead us through that door
and into your joy.


Susan E. Stone, 2007

Labels: ,

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Light in the Darkness 

O Lord,
as I witness the darkness,
and see it wrap itself around more lives,
as man becomes less a creature of worth,
but merely a cog in the machine,
to be send into the night
when inconvenient, frail,
awkward, sick,
where purpose is sidetracked
into dehumanizing gratifications,
where truth is determined
by the shifting sands of what is popular
instead of true,
where hate and anger become the emotion of choice,
and intolerance hides under masks of fairness,
I think back to the garden of olives,
And the hard aching prayer as you steeled yourself,
confronting the truth of humankind's folly,
and I take hope in the fact you thought us worth the cost.

When the darkness is heavy, Lord,
let me see your cross burning in the night,
the only beacon I can trust to show me the way.
And at its foot, in the rough bloodstained sands,
kneeling, let my heart find the refuge it needs.

When the darkness is heavy, Lord,
let me be a lantern
to carry that light into a dark world,
to pass on the flame of your mercy and hope,
that out of the death you bore for us
in long, bitter pain,
you give us the hope of a God who loved us enough
to walk with us,
suffer with us,
die for us,
to bring us his light.


Susan E. Stone, 2007

Labels: , ,

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Beneath Your Cross 

Between the midnight rationales of those who reach out in hate
Shedding blood on the streets in God's holy name,
And those who count religion as the source of pain and disgrace
And see life on this Earth as just a meaningless game,
There is a place between, a balance point, a shelter Heaven touched,
Sanctified by Love and death, the reason why You came.
Let me stand here beneath Your cross, O Lord,
And know that Your ways are Yours, and the worlds' ways are not the same.

Between the easy answer that self is the measure of all,
And the anger that lets uninvolved and innocent persons die
As offerings to hate that say "I'm stronger than you,"
Self and self-righteous indignation the echoing battlecry,
The unborn, sacrificed for convenience, the inconvenient killed on the way,
The unwanted dying in isolation, unmourned wherever they lie
Let me stand here beneath Your cross, Lord,
And see in Your light the reasons why you chose to die.

Let me stand here beneath Your cross, Lord,
A sanctuary made in such a hard and painful way
God walking as man beneath the Sun He made,
God dying, tortured and abused, to take our sins away
The one saving point in the realm of darkness,
The one sure dawning of Heaven's perfect day
Let me stand here beneath Your cross, Lord,
Be it ever in my sight, my hope, my life, O Lord I pray.

Susan E. Stone, 2007

Labels: ,

When the Darkness Touches 

O my Jesus,
when the darkness touches our lives with screaming reality,
shattering the moment of comfort that you let us wrap ourselves in,
the spun-sugar illusions of our own strength,
and we realize how fragile,
how delicate
how precious
that which you give us really is,
help us remember to run into your arms,
so you can carry us like the children we are.

O Lord,
After the wounding happens,
and our heart aches with the need to strike out at that which hurt us,
Man or tool,
Wind, or sea or fire or flood,
even when there is nothing left to hurt except our own wounded hearts,
teach us to accept what you have given us,
the way you accepted the Father's will so long ago,
forgiving even as they killed you,
saving us,
showing us the way.

O Lord,
wrap yourself around us then,
when the darkness is too deep
and the anger too red for us to see,
and the pain blinds us even to your rocking us in our grief,
and bring us at last back into your light.


Labels: , ,

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Forgive Us 

Forgive us our hubris, O Lord,
Our pride in our own strength and guile,
our cold-hearted lack of humility,
Our casting your image in our own personal style,
As we preen proudly at all our ability,
And look at the world and gleefully smile
Forgive us our high-handed facility
thinking how much better we are than our brothers.

Forgive us of our selfishness, O Lord
our eyes that see how deep the need,
the grief and the pain of those who share this place,
But we go shopping for fun while our brothers bleed,
So busy to get into the next fad and race
To show how cool we are and explain away our greed
by focusing on the unworthiness of the needy.

Forgive us our coldheartedness, O Lord,
When we hear the story of how you died,
How you took our stripes and bore our sin -
As the earth quaked and your mother cried.
And though your death amazed the hardened centurion
We sit there unmoved, bored, dried eyed
And ungratefully trying to ignore the reality.

Soften our hearts, O Lord, I pray
Open our eyes this very day.


Susan E. Stone, 2007

Labels: , ,

Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Wood of One Cross 

Like the beat of a heart,
pounding, pounding,
like the beat of a drum
as an army moves out,
like the pain of a wound
throbbing, throbbing,
The whole weight of sin
on the wood of one cross.

How high we pile it,
higher and higher,
the guilt load, the sorrow
on the weight of His head,
Each act of darkness,
blacker and blacker,
The whole weight of sin
on the wood of one cross.

Each wrong against brother,
the anger, the anger,
The coldhearted choosing
the wrong over right,
Each trust we've betrayed,
how bitter, how bitter,
The whole weight of sin
on the wood of one cross.

He carried it all,
Each wrongness, each wrongness
He bore it for us,
God With Us, for love,
Each black-hearted deed,
To save us, to save us,
The whole weight of sin
on the wood of one cross.

O help us to love,
O Jesus, O Jesus,
To end the great weight
we pour on your head,
To see the great love
Poured on us, poured on us,
From the gift that you gave
on the wood of one cross.

Susan E. Stone, 2007

Labels: , ,

Monday, March 19, 2007

How Quick 

How quick we are to criticize,
How quick we are to hate,
How easy it's to strike and hurt,
Plot and retaliate.

But He knelt in the garden
In agony to pray,
To free us from the pain and hurt
The fruit of Cain's dark way.

How quick we are to doubt Him,
to justify our wants,
to find a reason to strike out,
Harsh words and angry taunts.

But He bore taunts to free us,
A crown of piercing thorn,
The harsh bite of the burning whip
To help us be reborn.

How quick we turn away from Him
For what a heart of darkness brings,
Power, lust, and anger
We choose as finer things.

But He let them lie about Him,
Condemn Him for no wrong,
So that He might open up the door
To save us from night's song.

How quick we lie about Him,
To weaken his bright light,
To use Him as a reason
To make our wrong our right.

But for us He took that heavy cross,
And walked that last hard road,
To save us from our hurting wounds,
Sin's dark and heavy load.

O open up our cold, hard hearts
And see you standing there,
The hand outstretched and pierced for us,
The depth of love and care.

O let us feel your loving touch,
And know the wrong we do,
And falling on our knees, O Lord,
Open up to you.

Forgive us, Lord, for loving dark,
Then crying from its pain,
O let us see the truth we've wrought,
The dark that is our stain.

O may we be as quick, O Lord,
To turn our hearts to you.
Guide us to your morning light,
Our hope, reborn, anew.

Susan E. Stone, 2007

Labels: ,

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Have Mercy 

Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God,
who emptied yourself out to become our Emmanuel,
who walked our dust,
felt our pain,
have mercy on us.
Forgive us of our rage.

Jesus Christ, Son of God and son of Mary,
Who walked this earth,
suffered the hurts that life thrusts upon us,
the slings of undeserved wrongs,
have mercy on us.
Forgive us our desire to hurt as we are hurt.

Susan E. Stone, 2007

Jesus Christ, who wept tears of blood in the garden of olives,
wrapped in the shadows of night,
the shadows of others' sin,
grieving under the weight of what evil man can do,
grieving under the weight of doing the Father's will,
have mercy on us.
Forgive us our desire to do as we would do, no matter the cost.

Jesus Christ, who bore stripes that we might be healed,
mocked and crowned with thorns
as an amusement for the hard men who kept you captive
Forgive us our coldheartedness at the sight of our brother in need.
Have mercy on us.

Jesus Christ, who was accused unjustly before the High Priest,
condemned in an unfair trial,
turned over to those who would kill you as a pawn,
Forgive us our eager willingness to be unjust, unmerciful.
Have mercy on us.

Jesus Christ, executed for no wrongs of your own,
but who died willingly to save us all,
the lost sheep of your flock,
Forgive us our ungratitude.
Have mercy on us.

O Lord, in the midnight, whisper to our hearts
the truth of a love like no other,
may the scales fall from our eyes,
and bring us to true contrition,
knowledge of what we are,
what we are worth,
and what you would have us to be,
and may we, in response learn to love
in mercy, gentleness and humility
this day and always, Amen.

Labels: , ,

Friday, March 09, 2007

At Your Cross 

Let me fly unto you, O Lord of my life
When the darkness is heavy with sorrow and strife,
Your light will cut through the dark like a knife,
O Lord, let me fly to your cross!

Let me hear your soft voice in my heart in the night,
O Lord, let it buoy me on the the light
Wherever I go, let me keep you in sight,
O Lord, keep me close to your cross!

A tool made for torture becomes love's bright shield
Transforming the weak into God's own ripe field,
Redeeming my soul if I answer and yield,
O Lord, through the gift of your cross!

Let me think of you often by night or by day,
Of that horrid hard Friday where Love had its way,
O fill my heart ever so that I long to say,
O Lord, keep me here at your cross!

Susan E. Stone, 2007

Labels: , , ,

Monday, March 05, 2007

In Your Heart 

In Your heart, O Lord, hide me!
Here in the darkness
where the cold winds do blow,
I have no other shelter,
No safe place to go.
You call me to come
In words soft and low,
In Your heart, O Lord, hide me!

In Your heart, O Lord, transform me!
For my heart is hard
from sin and pain,
like a land of drought
longing for rain,
O mold me, remake me,
be my only true gain --
In Your heart, O Lord, transform me!

In Your heart, O Lord, keep me!
For I wander lost
far away from your light,
Too often in darkness,
living in night,
But Your love, my Lord,
can restore my sight --
In Your heart, O Lord, keep me!

Let Your heart, O Lord, be my home!
Let me stay in your heart
By night and by day,
And find my true peace,
My hope and my way,
In midnight or storm,
in Your heart, let me lay --
Let Your heart, O Lord, be my home!

Susan E. Stone, 2007

Labels: ,

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Meditation on Matthew 5:4 

O Lord,
Hear my prayer,
the prayer of all of us who mourn,
touched with the darkness of a life touched with loss,

O Lord,
Open my heart
to that sorrow which goes beyond remorse,
beyond self-pity,
beyond that aching sense of loss,
to that healing place of true contrition,
Where, touched by Your healing hand,
I can say, "Forgive me, for I have sinned,"
And hear Your ever loving voice say "Welcome home."


Susan E. Stone, 2007

Labels: ,

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Midnight (a song) 

The midnight seems so dark, and dawn so far away.
The sounds of war are loud, with no safe place to stay,
Except in Your heart, Lord, the one safe place I know -
O keep me close to You, Lord, O do not let me go.

The midnight seems so dark, voices cry out in the night
exploding into to anger - I hear the bloody fight.
No peace without love, no peace outside Your heart -
O keep me close to you, Lord, O do not let us part.

The midnight seems so dark, with a blood smell in the air,
the bitter iron of hatred, lust and sorrow there.
Like war drums the sound of feet marching in the night.
O keep me close to you, Lord, O bring me to your light!

The midnight seems so dark - You know those shadows too.
In grief you prayed alone as our sins laid hard on You.
You felt the whip's hard biting, you took their cross of thorn -
To keep me close to you, Lord, you accepted all their scorn.

The midnight seems so dark, but You gave the way to life.
Your cross the midnight beacon that cuts dark like a knife.
You gave us your all to bring us through the night
To keep us close to you, Lord, safe in Your loving sight.

(to the tune of Noel Novelet (Midi tune: http://www.hymnsandcarolsofchristmas.com/Hymns_and_Carols/MIDI/noel_nouvelet.mid)

Susan E. Stone, 2007

Labels: , ,


Here I stand, Lord, naked beneath your loving eye
in a place where no pretense is allowed.
You know me for what I am,
each area I try to masquerade my weaknesses,
each nook in which I try to hide my sins,
each way I try to cling to what I, not You want of me.

Here I stand, Lord, tasting my tears
as the realization of what I do that separates us
is revealed, veil by veil, through your kind hand.
Forgive me of my hardness,
the lack of love I let mar the creature you would have me be.
Forgive me of my obstinance,
the willingness to forget that I am a creature, not the Creator,
the pretention to being in control,
the desire to build walls to separate me from Your will for me.

Here I stand, Lord, open my heart
and let me see with Your eyes the darkness in my life.
And through Your loving light,
let those blemishes be cleaned and healed,
until I see my fellow man the way you would have me see,
until I turn to you, my Life and my Hope,
first, last and always,
so that I may learn, through Your loving power,
to walk the way You want me,
for Your glory,
this day and always, Amen.

Susan E. Stone, 2007

Labels: ,

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

I Cry to Thee 

Out of my depths,
the darkness of my sin,
the darkness of being separated,
the darkness of doubt,
of choosing self over God,
the depths of my own hubris,
I cry to thee, O Lord -
Have mercy!

You, the last anchor I know,
the first truth that I learned,
the light I long for,
the truth I hunger for --
You, Lord,
You who I have slighted so often,
You who knows my every move,
You who knows,
You -
I cry to Thee -
Forgive me, O Lord, in your mercy.
O Lord, hear my prayer.

Lord, hear my voice,
You who hear all,
You who cry out in the garden for the weight of all our sin,
You who offer your wrists up to the executioner's nails,
You who offer your back to the scourge,
Your face to the mocking,
You who hear me crying out in the darkness
when I think it is only me,
But it is always, always two,
You and I.

In the bitterness of my tears,
Through my remorse, the haze of self-pity,
awaken my heart, O Lord,
forgive me my failings --
change me!

In the sorrow for my shortcomings,
I kneel here,
tasting the ashes of my pretensions in the light
where You show me my reality,
heal me!

In the darkness of my grieving,
shaking with the pain of loss,
when You let me know that I am but dust,
and You are life,
and You are reality,
and I am not master,
hold me, O my Lord.

Mold me,
Shape me,
and let me be
as You would have me to be,
transformed by Your love
a love big enough to give all
a love big enogh to drink the dregs of sorrow
a love big enough
to transform the whole world,
tear by tear
to bring that final joy.


Labels: , ,

Meditation on Psalm 85:7-8 

Show us thy steadfast love, O LORD, and grant us thy salvation. Let me hear what God the LORD will speak, for he will speak peace to his people, to his saints, to those who turn to him in their hearts. Psalm 85:7-8 RSV

Let me hear what You will speak, O my Lord,
As I watch the smoke of war drift over the land,
As I watch the fire of wrath burn over the land,
Angry red in the midnight, the color of hate,
Speak to me, Lord, tell me it is not too late
For all those poor souls tripped up in the word --
the word that brings death.
Touch us today with your breath.
O Spirit of Holiness that brings life into dust.
So many hopes now the color of rust,
The color of dried blood on an old wooden cross
That offered life out of death, hope out of loss,
A love so intense it could burn away night,
Opening a path through hate's smoke, a straight line of sight
Into a steadfast tomorrow unmarred by Cain's blood,
Or Eve's choice -- rejected, unsought, splattered with mud,
Like You were the day You died.
How Your mother cried.
Touch us, O God, today with your breath,
As we near ever closer the valley of death
That one final night.
Bent with hell's unending anger at the world that you gave,
At the blood that you gave.
Hosanna, O save!
Help us share Your true light.

Susan E. Stone, 2007

Labels: , ,

Monday, February 05, 2007

In My Smallness, I Remember 

There are moments when my smallness
comes hammering home,
when I bash my head upon the eye of the needle,
when I know that in true wealth, God's measure,
I am but a pauper, standing here, hat in hand.

O Lord, let not my hardheadedness
get in the way of your mercy.
Help me to remember who is Master,
who is servant,
who is Giver,
who controls.

Today, I am confronted with the reality
that the tissues of strength I hide behind
are but paper walls,
and without your strength,
they crumble in the wind.

Help me, Lord to remember
that it is not my strong hand,
but your hand holding mine,
that it is not my strong back,
but your support,
it is not my wisdom,
but the light that comes from you that matters.

Open my heart, Lord,
and let your light in,
and may I,
in the frailty of my life
thank you for your touch,
this day, and always.


Susan E. Stone, 2007

Labels: , ,

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Not By My Power 

Thank you Lord, for those weaknesses I cry about,
All those things I know that teach me
that it is not by my power I get things done,
those moments of weakness that show clearly
how much I need you.

There are those pauses in the struggle when I turn around,
as if I were walking up a mountain way
Where I sometimes get a glimpse and see how far
you have brought me this far, this day,
by the power of your hand.

Those moments give me hope, O God,
For those days when I feel frail and weak,
and indecisive and uncertain, lost,
and I feel so all alone - turning, let me seek
You who must be my strength.

Soften my heart O Lord, so that I know
It is you who are the doer of my good, not I
that no matter what, I rest in your hands,
and in your hands, even when I cry,
I could be in no better place.


Susan E. Stone, 2007

Labels: ,

Friday, January 26, 2007


This morning dawns anew,
Soft with light above the mountain,
A moment to savor, to plan, to do,
To share with you, O Love's true fountain.

Teach me this day to recall
Your words to me when I would turn away,
How easy it is to slip and fall
Away from the heights where I wish to stay.

Love is not easy, this is true,
Each moment a choice that must be made,
But help me to pick those choices with you,
Here in the light, not there in the shade.

Dawn moves from dark into light -
May my life follow that way,
From the black of sin's midnight,
Into at last, the light of your day.

Susan E. Stone, 2007

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

In the darkness of the moment, I turn to you, O Lord,
You who are the light in which there is no darkness.
Help me to see my way among the rocks and the holes,
The rubble of this sin-filled land in its starkness,
All the places where I might trip and fall
And be swallowed up by the night.

How the sound of sin's dark consequences
pierce through the midnight of this poor world,
The hatred masquerading as good intentions,
in smoke and fire and death and grief unfurl,
in little ways, too, with heart rending words
designed to cut and blight.

O Lord, remember us, how you gave your blood in love
to open up the door to heaven's healing touch,
And looked upon all our hurts and pains with loving eyes,
Shepherdless this people, needing much --
And as the darkness thickens, Lord,
Restore to us our sight!

Steadfast love we have not, save what comes from You,
Who sends your grace to fall upon this hard place
In spite of who we are and what we've done since day began.
In spite of sin and coldness, O Lord, turn not your face,
But remember how you wept in the garden
That one spring moonlit midnight.

O Lord, have pity on the ones I cannot reach but know
How frightened, lost and hungry are their days,
O Lord, the children lost, their parents dying, the wars go on
Satan's laughter piercing through the blood red haze --
Remember Lord, the cross that awful day,
Help us by your might!

Kyrie eleison,
Christe eleison,
Kyrie eleison.

Susan E. Stone, 2007

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Meditation on Daniel 5:1-31 

O see, an unseen hand now writes
Upon life's trembling wall,
Carving letters made of light
To read, for one and all.
Counted, counted, weighed, divided --
The words He writes in warning.
O will you watch them fade away,
Forget ere comes the morning?

The writing is upon the wall,
Counted, weighed, divided --
O will the hand bring you to tears,
When you find out what's decided?
The book of life is in His hands,
Your actions tallied, all
O will you turn and walk away
Or listen to the call?

Counted counted are the cries
That rise to Heaven's door,
Mothers weeping in the night,
Their hearts a-breaking sore,
Hungry children, broken souls,
Forgotten, left to die,
God hears the pain that we let slide,
and marks down every sigh.

Weighed each answer to His call,
weighed each turn away.
Weighed each time we answer yes,
Weighed each quiet nay,
The answers written in His book,
the count made very sure --
The motives noted for each act,
greed or lust, or pure.

The day will come with trembling knees,
when we stand there at his call,
He will look within his book
to judge us one and all.
Each sheep and goat will take their place,
Each stand to left and right,
O will you name be in the place
of darkness or of light?

The writing comes as no surprise,
The Word gives out its warning.
No hidden scripts to puzzle out,
The truth as clear as morning.
Two thousand years God's made it clear,
Two thousand years and more.
O let His words work in your heart,
O open up the door!

Susan E. Stone, 2007

Labels: , , ,

Blacker Than Dark 

Black as the night, and blacker than dark
Are the ways of sin that burn through the world,
Hatred and Greed and Pride's banner unfurled,
Coursing so redly like Cain's throbbing mark.

O Lord you have shown me, shown all who would see
What the wages of sin are across the land,
Wages that hunger and ever command
Payment in blood and death and grief and misery.

Each harsh word, each blow, each theft in the night,
Bombs blowing up in unwary market places,
Each lording over another, injustice that races
To breed new darkness and hate to smother the light --

These are creatures of the pit, the dragon's delight,
Brought forth in abundance since Mother Eve's choosing,
Binding us in chains of dark bitter accusing --
Satan wanting to show God we are not worth his sight.

And yet God still loves us, the work of his hands,
And showed us the way to break those dark chains
Long ago it seems now, but his touch still remains
To deliver the hearts of those caught in dark lands.

"Love those who hate you, " his soft words proclaim,
A message that seems overwhelming to do,
Breaking the hate chains of darkness anew
By refusing to pass on by action the same.

By action and prayer and love do not stain
Your soul with the evil passed down from the fall,
This is his answer, this is his call
To those of us who would break dark night's chain.

So hard to do, this call now to love,
So hard for us sin-sick, made out of mud
So hard that he gave his own bright heart's blood
To give us the strength from heaven above

To change the world and let in the light,
Showing there's hope in the sorrow of life,
Showing a way out of sin and of strife,
Showing a way out of the endless night

If we answer the call.

Susan E. Stone, 2007

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Pax, Pax Vobiscum 

Meditation on Malachi 6:8

Nations now rage across the world,
pax, pax vobiscum,
Sword in hand, flags unfurled,
Et cum spiritu tuo.

They stand for good, they stand for greed,
pax, pax vobiscum,
They rage over words, they kill over creed
Et cum spiritu tuo.

Voices weeping in the night,
pax, pax vobiscum,
breed new hates by morning's light.
Et cum spiritu tuo.

Daughters slain for father's pride
pax, pax vobiscum,
Mothers kill their child inside,
Et cum spiritu tuo.

Orphans are removed from sight,
pax, pax vobiscum,
Disappearing in the night.
Et cum spiritu tuo.

Dogs fed better than homeless man,
pax, pax vobiscum,
Ragpickers living where they can,
Et cum spiritu tuo.

God turned into sign of war,
pax, pax vobiscum,
A bloody mark upon the door,
Et cum spiritu tuo.

O who will break these chains of night,
pax, pax vobiscum,
And lead the weeping into light?
et cum spiritu tuo.

God has told you what to do
pax, pax vobiscum,
To live with Him and brothers, too,
et cum spiritu tuo.

Walk humbly with Him, hand in hand,
pax, pax vobiscum,
To find that peace across the land,
et cum spiritu tuo.

Know all you see are God's children,
pax, pax vobiscum,
Treat all like they belong to him,
et cum spiritu tuo.

Walk in the paths of justice right,
pax, pax vobiscum,
Love mercy like it's Heaven's light
et cum spiritu tuo.

Act lovingly to rich and poor,
pax, pax vobiscum,
And God will open wide his door.
et cum spiritu tuo.

The peace that comes from Heaven's touch
pax, pax vobiscum,
requires your all, returns so much,
et cum spiritu tuo.

This peace is passed from hand to hand,
pax, pax vobiscum,
across a dark and savage land
et cum spiritu tuo.

Nations may rage, but there within
pax, pax vobiscum,
You'll find God's peace where he's let in
et cum spiritu tuo.

Man may maim and man may kill,
pax, pax vobiscum,
The light of God will reach out still.
et cum spiritu tuo.

(pax, pax vobiscum = peace, peace be with you
et cum spiritu tuo = and with your spirit)

Susan E. Stone, 2007

Labels: , , , ,

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Ecce Homo! 

You stand there, Lord, looking small, forlorn
Before the haughty Roman judge,
Beneath the twisted crown of thorn
Bloody and beaten, Your face a smudge

Ecce Homo!

Looking at the gathered crowd
As You lift your bloodied head
You see them crying, hungry, loud
longing to see You dead.

Ecce Homo!

No self-pity touches you there,
Standing beaten, carrier of sin,
But love and grief at what you bear,
To save their souls within.

Ecce Homo!

What depth of care under bloody crown
Shows softly in your eyes,
Not cry or blow or anger's frown
Can hide the love that within you lies.

Ecce Homo!

Lord, I am not worthy to meet your eyes,
The love that lingers there for me
Have I not, like Peter, told my lies,
Then longed to hide where you could not see?

Ecce Homo!

Or like Judas, have I not betrayed you?
Reached out my hand for some fool's gold
In the dark of my heart, by what I chose to do,
With love grown empty, life grown cold.

Ecce Homo!

And yet here you stand with loving heart
pouring yourself out like a drink offering,
letting the cup be drained, your death the start
of an undeserved rebirth, a unexpected spring.

Ecce Homo!

Help me to know the truth you show,
The ways of love deeper than the sea,
God's gift of life that I might grow
Into the child you want me to be.

Ecce Homo!

Susan E. Stone, 2007

Labels: , ,

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Transform us! 

O Lord, O Spirit who breathed upon the deep at the start of all,
O Breath of Life, although we pretend not to hear your call,
Still Your voice echos in and out of the winds of our lives, surrounding us
Though we turn our back to its gentle singing, we find it stinging us
with the intensity of Your truth, in dark and light - soothing us
with the beauty of your love beyond our hate, and greed and fall.

Help us to realize that without you, we stand there, naked, weak, small.
O Lord, let your voice enter into our hearts, now.
let it enter into the dark murk of our minds now,
let it pierce through the daylight, brighter than sun,
and bloom in our midnight, making our midnight shadows run.

May the fire of Your love soften us O Lord,
Like an all surround wind, enwrap us, O Lord
in the reality of your love, blowing away all the dust
of hate and anger and pain and lust,
that cloaks us like a sin-stained pall.

Transform us!
Hide us in your loving heart from the curse of the fall,
Else we will perish.

Susan E. Stone, 2007

Labels: ,

Monday, January 01, 2007

Lacrimosa Dies Alla 

Domine, exaudi orationem meam.

Hear our prayer, O Lord,
And let our cry come unto thee.

The day of tears,
the day of ashes,
the day trembling seizes us,
clamor meus ad te veniat.
the hand of Cain upon his brother
Memorare, O pie Jesu, Domine,
Clamouring in a wailing of tears,
and blood and pain,
anger and angst,
the cry of despair,
how our cry comes to thee,
Lacrimosa die alla,
every day,
the day of tears,
ex favilla,
at our hand,
the all too willing tool of darkness.

Miserare nobis.

Susan E. Stone, 2007

Labels: , ,

Monday, December 25, 2006

Your Path Through the Darkness 

Between the midnight of those who scoff
and the darkness of those who strike out in anger,
and the laughter of Satan as he watches the struggles
pile the pyre of hate and angst and grief
higher and higher and higher,
Teach me O Lord,
each day,
each moment
to see your path through the darkness,
to be willing to walk your steps through the rubble,
to cling to your light, no matter if it's brightness pains me
as I see the shrouds they would wrap your truth in.

O You who died for love of me,
teach me to live for love of You,
one breath at a time,
one step at a time,
one encounter at a time,
and may the light of the fire of Your love
keep the darkness of this age
from overwhelming my heart,
so that I may be your witness,
no matter the cost,
This day, and always, Amen.

Susan E. Stone, 2006

Labels: , ,

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Teach Us How to Walk 

O Lord,
Teach us how to walk
in a world that shows so clearly
the heart of darkness that beats
without your light to shatter the midnight,
without your touch to soften the anger,
without your voice to soothe the hatred,
without your love to heal the hurts.

Each day we can look around us
and hear the growing cacophony,
the anger of Cain slaying his brother,
the selfish determination of Eve to have her own way,
Lust that trips even good men like David,
Weeping and wailing that pierces the night,
Despair and grief piling high upon anger.

In this hard world
that seems to be growing harder,
Help us realize how important it is
to be the salt that preserves
by the spreading of your truth with our lives,
to be the light that shows
how God is love,
and not the tool for our hate,
how to be the leaven
that lets heaven's light and air
permeate through the hardness of a sin-sick world,
and let us touch those you bring our way
with the hope that can only come from you
through our actions,
our choices,
our words,
this day and always,

Susan E. Stone, 2006

Labels: ,

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

To Our Lady of Tears 

Do you walk across the shards and rubble, O Mary my mother,
Seeing the dark that man will do in the Father's name,
Listening to the grieving voices adding heat to the flame
That seems to be a never ending pyre of hate for one another,
And shed tears for all those who will not listen to your Son,
And shed tears for those who die, one by one,
Cain's endless slaughter of his brother?

Holy Mother of God, Immaculate and true
You who listen to our cries and pleas of desperation
You who work to aid in the darkest situation,
You, whose heart reaches out endlessly anew,
Forgive us for the tears we in our anger have caused,
May your prayers lead us, our anger paused,
To that place your Son will show us what to do.

Susan E. Stone, 2006

Labels: , ,

Sunday, November 12, 2006

The Drum 

The drum is sounding in the night,
O listen to it beating,
a dark foreboding heart it throbs
Without a moment's ceasing.

When Eve chose dark instead of light
The first stroke hit the skin,
When Adam joined his choice with her,
The rhythm then began.

The choice was made, the beat began
To echo to the ending
The world was torn with sin of man
The dark beat never ceasing.

Abel's blood cries in the night,
Listen to it moaning,
Violence at another's hands
Without a word of warning.

Lust and pride and greed march on,
like some perverted treasure,
And anger hurls them all along
Its army without measure.

But a whispered hope came with the fall
Of someone who would come
And heal the breach and make things whole
And still the beating drum.

He came to us as babe in arms
crying in the night,
The answer to our spirit's woe
the one to make things right.

His own heart's blood he made the cure,
The salve to make men whole,
To bind up all the wounds of sin
That terrify the soul.

The time of healing nears each day
that passes through our hand,
The drumbeat grows more frenzied now -
The glass runs out of sand.

And when the last grain passes through,
with throbbing cacophony,
Abel's blood will moan no more,
And the drumbeat cease to be.

And when the last beat of that drum
echos in the night,
He will bring the morning sun
Renewed, and clear and bright.

Susan E. Stone, 2006

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Lord, Forgive Us 

forgive us,
a wayward and sin-stained mankind,
for the sin of letting angry people
rise among us,
setting them free
to kill the innocent
for love or lust,
for greed,
for self-righteousness,
for power,
for the sake of politcal stance,
for honor,
out of impatience and frustration,
sometimes, even, in your name.

O Lord,
how the blood of Abel calls out,
joined by so many others,
such a loud cacaphony of human darkness.

Today, O Lord,
I offer up my remorse to you,
my tears,
for each life snuffed short,
each family twisted,
each mournful keening
echoing through the millenia,
the sackcloth and ashes of my lone heart
in repentance and sorrow at what we have wrought.

O Lord,
on this dark day,
I pray for your voice to touch each and every heart,
and show us what we do in truth,
help us to recoil from the blacknes we have wrought,
until we repudiate the darkness
and choose your light.

Susan E. Stone

Labels: , ,

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Walking With Job version 3 

O Lord,
there are times,
after the storm,
the bomb,
the earthquake,
the sickness,
the accident,
the crime
people shake their fists and say,
"If you loved us, how could you do this to us,
put us in a world where terror happens,
put us in a world where disaster rips out our hearts,
put us in a world where sickness steals our love,
the evil that men do empties our lives?"

How we long to blame when hurt,
how we long to kill the very thing
which stole our joy, our lives, our security,
and yet, how does one take revenge
on the shaking earth,
or sue the storm,
or arrest the plague?

Help us, God,
you, who have also been through the grieving process
as the Son,
betrayed, beaten, murdered,
the Son who saw friends and loved ones die,
who knew all those things
life brings that makes us want to rage,
strike out,
hit back.

O God, you the Father,
who saw what this world did to your son,
who saw the rejection,
who saw the murder,
and yet, for love refused to strike.

O God, you the Spirit,
you who moved upon the face of the deep,
you who quickened and brought life,
who filled the hearts of those who would listen,
how often did you see the message rejected,
the concept misunderstood,
the word twisted into personal agendas,
and yet you keep breathing your word of hope and love
even in the midst of sorrow and anguish, and despair.

O Lord, you know our pain!
How often have your arms wrapped around us,
when we, like Job,
beat our anger against your chest,
in our frustration,
our grief,
our fear,
our loss,
until at last, with anger spent,
those of us who will listen to your soft voice
come to see that we do not have the answers,
except that the world turns,
and the sun rises,
and we are much smaller than the universe,
and we are not God.

O Lord,
in our smallness and anger and grief,
remind us that you have given us the gift to grow,
and to choose,
and to accept or reject.

Help us choose the light,
even when it hurts and blinds our eyes.
Help us choose to grow,
even when the growth comes after great pain.
Help us choose to love.

Susan E. Stone, 2006

Labels: , ,

Friday, June 30, 2006

Lord, Giver of Life 

Lord, giver of life,
our healer,
our hope,
our Mercy that prevails
even as the world grows more ruthless,
as we watch the storm clouds gather and thicken,
remember us who call you Master,
and help us who love you
to shed your light,
this day, and always.


Susan E. Stone, 2006

Labels: , ,

Sunday, May 28, 2006


Wrapped in white,
he stands alone,
in that place a memorial of the fruits of evil
Yet marked this day by the promise of God.
He stands in prayer,
acknowledging the darkness
with all its burning hurt,
yet proclaiming the light.
Look you, who think only in grays:
the fight is on,
in all seriousness.
Choose your side --
barbed wire or the rainbow.

Labels: , ,

Sunday, April 02, 2006

John 8:9-11 

John 8:9-11

The fright had not yet drained from her eyes as they made their retreat.
Her dark kohl smudged eyes, looking worn and tired and resigned,
had not noticed their leaving,.
Instead, she huddled there, her heartbeat pounding in her ears
like a doe at the end of a hunt, wounded,
waiting for the last sharp blow that would carry her away into the darkness.

Yet, and yet.
How the chaos of her day faded, breath by breath.
A moment too many had passed, something had changed.

Finally, she shifted, daring to move, clutching her torn dress tightly.
Unbelieving at first, she noticed the rocks,
the rocks meant for her, the tools of her death scattered upon the sand.
Hope unsought, unexpected caught at her throat.
Glancing up, she saw him,
looking at her with a kindness that held no glimmer of lust
or lewdness or distaste or abuse,
a hand that helped her to her feet,
and the soft voice that offered new life.

O Lord, all of us are as guilty as she, deserving to be caught in the act,
pulled by rough, unforgiving hands to the place of our execution,
for we are all sinners, deserving to be displayed for what we are,
deserving to feel the stone's bite.

Yet and yet, O Lord,
you are our help when the darkness threatens,
our sure protector who lifts us out of the sands of death
O Lord, no matter how deep our stained souls,
if we are willing to look up into your loving eyes,
and like she did, find newness of life in your loving hands.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Hold Us Close 

God who breathed upon the waters
at the beginning of all things,
and created us as we are,
questioning, often confused,
but with that need for something
burning there in our center
a place where we go to meet you,
even if rarely,
even if awkwardly,
have mercy on us in our time of need.

Be with those in need of the healing touch of your hand into their lives,
Open the way you would have them go,
and bring them the peace that only comes from you.

Hold us close, O God,
even when we cannot see you.


Susan E. Stone, 2006

Labels: ,

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Jesus O Lord 

To the tune of Mist Covered Mountains:

O Lord, Jesus the life of me,
O Lord, the comfort and peace of me,
O Lord, let my cry come to thee,
Jesus, O Lord, take me home.

How can I sing of what you mean to me,
Shepherd of love, who went out in search of me,
when I was lost, you picked up and cradled me,
And carried me off in your arms.

O Lord, Jesus the life of me,
O Lord, the comfort and peace of me,
O Lord, let my cry come to thee,
Jesus, O Lord, take me home.

How can I sing of what you have done for me,
Born poor and ignored in Bethlehem's streets for me,
Walked over the land, teaching always to rescue me,
Suffered and died for us all.

O Lord, Jesus the life of me,
O Lord, the comfort and peace of me,
O Lord, let my cry come to thee,
Jesus, O Lord, take me home.

There in the garden, you sweat drops of blood for me,
There at the post, you took many stripes for me,
You let them mock you, and bore all things patiently,
To bring us all safely home.

O Lord, Jesus the life of me,
O Lord, the comfort and peace of me,
O Lord, let my cry come to thee,
Jesus, O Lord, take me home.

You accepted the cross that you knew would set me free,
You bled your bright blood in sacrifice red for me,
You who were God went down unto death for me
Out of love for your own.

O Lord, Jesus the life of me,
O Lord, the comfort and peace of me,
O Lord, let my cry come to thee,
Jesus, O Lord, take me home.

There in your tomb you severed death's chains for me,
The stone rolled away with the brightness of hope for me,
The tomb was deserted for us as you set us free,
Proof there of Heaven's great love.

O Lord, Jesus the life of me,
O Lord, the comfort and peace of me,
O Lord, let my cry come to thee,
Jesus, O Lord, take me home.

Susan E. Stone, 2006

Labels: , ,

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Remember Man 


Remember man, that thou are dust,
to dust you shall return
When God shall call your spirit home
to soar with him or burn.
He has told you what is good O man,
what matters most of all --
So choose you wisely while you may
To walk with him or fall.

Some do think when they are young
That what they want is right.
Power, love, or frenzied games,
While they are young and bright.
But like the flowers of the field
That bloom so bright in May
The time will come as days run by
That brightness fades away.

When darkness comes crashing down
and lovers lose their charms,
And power leaves a bitter taste,
Hope crumble in your arms,
O what will fill the aching gap
That burns within your soul?
What can fill your emptiness
And make your spirit whole?

Remember Man, that thou art dust,
But Jesus wore that dust too,
To open wide the doors of grace,
Healing, cleansing and true.
If you listen to his voice,
and follow where he leads you,
Living waters there will quench your thirst
And the Bread of life will feed you.

Listen, Man, he calls you now
To make your wounded life whole.
To heal the pain in your aching heart,
To fill that gap in your soul.
He calls to you with gentle voice
Gives light to show you the way,
Love divine from Heaven's door
To fill your heart today.


Susan E. Stone, 2006

Labels: , , , ,

Friday, March 03, 2006

Prayer for Mercy 

O Jesus,
You who are our mercy,
look upon us, Lord,
and salve all the hurts this day that need healing,
those whose lives are shattered by unrepentant sin,
those whose lives are shattered by the sins of others,
those whose lives are shattered by events beyond their control.

O Lord,
You know the truth of
all the griefs that need mourning,
all the anger that needs calming,
all the violence that needs your peace.

As your touch in life healed the blind,
may your touch open our eyes to the message you give us,
to the truth of your love.

Have mercy on us,
and may each of us who call you Master
be channels of your mercy,
this day and always,

Susan E. Stone, 2006

Labels: , ,

Monday, February 13, 2006

O Man 

Think, O Man, of that craving that has echoed down through the ages,
Like a bitter poison burning through so many lives.
It shimmers like a jewel to catch the eye, a brass ring just out of human reach,
But is instead a burning deceit that brings only grief in its wake.
Like a curse, this longing for control, for power, for might -
The dark desire to be our own god, and to deny the God who brought us to life.

Mother Eve, beguiled with a longing for more than she had been given
Contemplated the dark glowing light of that craving,
Power to know, power to do was the twisted promise in the Serpent’s lie,
“Be like God,” he said, and the whisper slithered into her mind,
There to be fanned by her own heart into a full blown lust,
Control promised in the form of a fruit stolen from the Owner.
And in reaching for what was not hers, what control she had
Wrapped in the delight of living in the friendship of God on an uncursed earth
Was wrenched out of her hand and the hands of her descendants
By the One who was far stronger than she.

O Man, how often you forget in your longing for that which is not yours,
That like your father Adam, you are naked in the eyes of your Creator,
For He sees the dark seed planted in your heart since the Fall
And how you turn away from His offer of healing as you chase after phantoms.
How the old Serpent smiles as the seed blooms anew,
As you burn hot for the trappings of mastery, forgetting your Maker.
But you will find that all the tools and trinkets meant to enhance your control
Cannot protect you from the pain of that separation,
Or from the reality of just who you are.

When life comes crashing down upon your head,
When the earth quakes and the mud slides and the waters rise,
You will realize, O Man, that you are frail, mortal, and not at all God.
Look! Your illusion of power is nothing more than a shadow,
A dark miasma, a fog that evaporates like smoke
If seen in the light of Him who has the true control.
In that bitter awakening will you admit
That the stories of human grandeur you have told yourself,
All those tales of your power, strength, and might are not enough
To calm the raging pain in your heart, your mind, your soul,
Or will you let your pride take you down all the way into the pit?

O Man, naked you came into this world, and naked you will leave,
and your works will eventually turn to dust, for you are not the Master.
And yet the God whom you challenge in your hubris and pride
Still holds out a hand in love for his creation.
Instead of that black darkness he offers you the light.
Choose before it is too late - He stands at the door and offers you his heart.

Susan E. Stone, 2006

Labels: ,

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Prayer for one with a serious illness 

It is hard to face that dark reality
that our life is limited,
and one day, easy or hard,
we will return to you.

And yet, even seeing the outcome,
you bless us with the desire to carry on,
and give us hope,
for you are our healer,
our light,
our salvation,
who has pity for our sorrows,
and care for all our ills.

Lord, today, we especially recommend to you our sister(brother) (name),
who is looking down that hard road.
Be with her (him), and if you will, let her(his) body be healed.
Give her(him) and her(his) family the strength they need,
and smooth their way in the face of all obstacles,
and fill them with that peace that only comes from you.

Lord, you are our light, our life and our salvation. To whom else should we turn?


Labels: , ,


Beneath a wall of water
Images of self-determination,
Being master of one’s fate
Become razed rubble,
Washed out to sea,
Leaving only the stubble
Of what hands had built,
Pulverized by something
Bigger and stronger than us.

How we love to build towers,
Monuments to self,
And pretend that we are the makers,
Ours the strong hand,
The clever thought,
The mastery.

But the one who controls the wind and the water,
Who breathed life into the world
Knows who we are,
Small and frail and weak
Posed against the largeness of his power.
Yet, in spite of all our posturings
And attempts to usurp his role,
In love, he offers us his hand
To heal our souls
Battered by the world and its darkness
So that he may take us into the light.

Susan E. Stone, 2006

Labels: ,

Friday, January 27, 2006


Gethsemane moments -
moments when I confront
the realities that I must do,
when sitting in the shadows
I wrestle with a heart
that longs to run away,
that longs to cry
"Why me, Lord?"
that longs to scream into the darkness
"No no no no no!"
yet to do so would be to betray
my Hope, my Love, my Truth, my God,
and under the moonlit shadows,
I join Jesus praying in the darkness,
confronting the conflict between what the will wants to do
and what the will ought to do,
and with him, I pray
"Not my will but Yours."

There are moments of heavy burden,
when I walk the Via Dolorosa,
the way of Sorrow, bearing my cross,
and the burden seems so heavy,
and my arms so exhausted,
and my knees so bruised from tripping,
and my back so scraped by the wood,
and my mouth so dry with the taste of the road's dust
and the sweat of the labor,
and the blood from where I battered my face falling.
And then I see you Lord
walking ahead of me,
so wounded for love of me,
so beaten for sin of me
so valiant,
so loving,
so burdened,
that the tears roll down my face
for what I have done,
and somehow, this cross seems so much smaller,
and I stand up and carry on.

There are moments You plunge me into the reality
of Calvary,
of the Place of the Skull,
the place of your death,
the place of our renewing.
Here I kneel in the bloodstained earth
and look up into your eyes
and see how far Love will go for love,
and see how far Light will travel into darkness,
and learn how very far the Shepherd will go
to call his sheep home.
Blood sacrifice,
drop by slow drop,
each drop a lover's kiss,
each drop a promise of hope,
and in the miasma of pain,
where you abandon each thing left to you,
your dignity,
your mother,
your life,
your awareness of the Father
until it is only you
and pain
and struggle
and at last,
even that is released
into the maw of death.
And I kneel there amazed
at such a self emptying
at such a sacrifice,
the Maker giving all for the made,
that I am breathless.
And my tears fall,
in remorse for the need,
in sorrow for the pain
in wonderous gratitude at the love.

Labels: ,

Monday, January 09, 2006


O Lord,
my life without you is dust,
a dry, barren dust
slipping through the fingers of time
until it all blows away,
leaving nothing
but a dessicated residue,
a shadow
a dry memory.

O Lord,
yours is the breath
that gives life to this dust,
yours are the living waters
that leads this dust to bloom,
Yours is the hope,
the peace,
the love.

Remind me, O Lord,
that even as the darkness gathers,
you are the light.
That even as my feet tremble
and the road seems to fade,
you are my sure compass.
That even when all seems lost
you are there,
and will be there
every step of the way.

When the cup I am asked to drink
seems like bitter poison,
remind me of the cup
you drank down to the dregs for love
and with that memory,
grant me the strength to live for you
this day, and always,

Susan E. Stone, 2006

Labels: ,

Saturday, January 07, 2006

I cry out to you 

Out of the depths I cry unto you,
O Lord,
My Light and my Hope.

The darkness is deep today,
O Lord,
and I feel the waters rising
that threaten to sweep me away,
and in my fear
and in my anxiety
and in my hope
and in my longing,
I cry out to you.

From dust you made me,
to dust will my body return,
but it is you who put the life in me,
it was you who breathed his last
so that I might live,
it was you who shattered death
so that you might take me home.
In the darkness of my fears
show me Golgotha, Lord,
that I might kneel
in the shadow of your cross
and see how much you care.
In the depths of my anxieties, O Lord,
show me your empty tomb,
and the hope you left with us
so we know your word is true.
When I feel so overwhelmed,
show me the Garden,
and how you sanctified the struggle
to do the right thing,
the Father's will
with your own dark moment.

O Lord,
who lets my cry come unto you,
who sends back the word,
"I know.
I am there with you.
I will never leave you alone,"
I trust in you,
be thou my strength,
my life,
my hope,
this day and always,


Susan E. Stone, 2006

Labels: ,

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Be Thou My Strength 

How small I seem today, Lord,
tired and sick and sad,
no thing of value have I for you,
no gift to make you glad,
just tears and pain and a worried mind
Is the mite I offer you,
And in your hands I place my heart,
This is all that I can do.

O Lord, You are my healer,
O heal my aching heart.
O Lord, be Thou my strength tonight
My illusions fall apart
Not words or skill in my poor hands
can cure the pain inside,
Within your loving arms tonight
O Lord, O let me hide!

O Lord, You are my peace -
No other peace is true,
O Lord You are my only hope
No other hope will do.
O be my light this hurting night,
O keep me close to you,
And when the morning comes at last,
I'll rise with you anew.

Susan E. Stone, 2005

Labels: ,

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Walking With Job 

sometimes it seems we are walking with Job,
sitting down, scraping our sores
in the misery of overwhelming events and sorrows.
Help us, Lord,
when we need to scream
and to rant
and to beat our fist against the wall,
our heads against the floor,
and the dawn seems too far away to wait.
O Lord,
it is at that moment, I pray,
that you will wrap your loving arms around us,
cover us with your wings,
hold us tight as we sob,
or scream
or beat our hands against your embrace,
and when we catch our breaths,
that the wood of your cross is not smooth,
that the weight is heavy,
and the road is hard,
but by following you through the dark of that sad day,
by knowing that this hard road is our link to your passion,
like you, we will come at last into the rest and peace you have promised us.


Susan E. Stone, 2005

Labels: , ,

Saturday, December 10, 2005

O Come! 

O come!
O Jesus
O Light
O Hope of mankind,
God with us,
Who came as the poor child
of poor parents,
King of the universe
embracing his people,
You who come so often
in the guise of the irritating,
the unpleasant
the lowly
the needy
the ugly
the hurt
Come to me today,
as surely as you came that nativity night
and fill my heart
with the light of your love
that I may see with your eyes,
love with your heart,
touch with your touch,
when you come again in glory,
King of the universe,
Righter of wrongs,
Merciful judge,
Lord or Lords,
you might look into my heart
and say
"Yes, I know you.
Come to the wedding feast.".

Susan E. Stone, 2005

Labels: , ,

Saturday, December 03, 2005

The Shepherd 

At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd. Matthew 9: 36

O Lord,
you who know how much we need a shepherd,
who know how we stumble in the wilderness
without your guiding hand,
Be thou my shepherd.
In your care, under your peace,
only there are my needs truly met,
my deepest wants answered
in the pastures that your loving care provides,
through the waters of life that flow from your heart
to quench my aching soul,
restored by your loving touch.
On your paths of righteousness, O Lord,
is there hope, and salvation,
sure footing lit by you who are the Light,
even when the darkness closes in,
and death and its sorrow of parting,
pain and grief surround me,
your cross, the bright beacon that leads us onward,
the staff that proves our Shepherd's love,
is there to remind us
how you love, and how you care,
and how we need not fear,
for you hold us in the palm of your hands.
Surely, in your ways I will find mercy, and hope, and peace and joy,
Bid me dwell in your house,
O Shepherd of my heart,
O Lord of my life,
This day, and always,


Susan E. Stone, 2005

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Meditation on John 15:1-9 

"I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser.

Every branch of mine that bears no fruit, he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already made clean by the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.

I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If a man does not abide in me, he is cast forth as a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire and burned.

If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be my disciples.

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you; abide in my love.

John 15:1-9

O Jesus,
Apart from you,
I can do nothing.
What I try turns to dust,
for it does not have your life in it.
As part of you, as a branch on your vine,
I can do whatever you would have me do.

O Jesus, Master,
May the Father never take me away
as a worthless branch,
suited only for the fire,
dry and withered.
May each moment of your life in me
bring forth the fruit it should,
may the transformation of the Vinedresser
as He prunes and shapes,
form in me
the fruitful nature, the clean soul, the loving heart
you would have me to be,
this day, and always,

Susan E. Stone, 2005

Labels: ,

Wednesday, April 06, 2005


In the darkness
I grope,
stumbling across the rocks and shards
that cannot give me meaning,
broken long ago
by a single act,
an irrevocable choice.

And yet
you chose to puncture that darkness
with the depths of your love,
shining like a beacon.
carried in the hearts and souls
of those who love you.

Make me a lantern, too,
let me be one who carries that light
until all my dross is burned away,
and all that remains
has been fully transformed.

Susan E. Stone, 2005

Labels: ,

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Out of the Depths 

Out of the depths,
the darkness of sin,
the darkness of being separated,
the darkness of doubt,
of chosing self over God,
the depths of hubris,
I have cried to thee,
O Lord,
the last anchor I know of,
the first truth that I learned of,
the light I long for,
the truth I hunger for
he who I have slighted,
he who knows my every move,
he who knows,

Lord, hear my voice,
you who hear all,
you who weep in the garden
for the weight of all our sin,
you, who offer your wrists up to the nails,
your back to the scourge,
your face to the mocking,
you hear me,
crying in the darkness,
when I think it is only me,
and it is always two,
you and I.

In the bitterness of my tears,
you awaken my heart,
change me!

In the sorrow of my shortcomings
when you show me my reality,
heal me!

In the darkness of my grieving,
when you let me know that I am but dust,
and you are reality,
hold me,
mold me,
and let me be
as you would have me to be,
by your love
a love big enough
to transform the whole world,
tear by tear.


Susan E. Stone, 2005

Labels: ,

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Prayer in time of Sorrow 

O my Jesus,
when the darkness touches our lives
with screaming reality,
the moment of comfort
that you let us wrap ourselves in,
and we realize
how fragile,
how delicate
how precious
that which you give us really is,
help us remember
to run into your arms,
carry us like the children we are.

O Lord,
when after the wounding happens,
and our heart aches
with the need
to strike out
at that which hurt us,
even when there is nothing left to hurt
except our own wounded hearts,
teach us to accept what you have given us,
the way you accepted the Father's will
so long ago,
forgiving even as they killed you,
and Lord,
wrap yourself around us then,
when the darkness is too deep
and the anger to red
for us to see,
and bring us at last back
into your light.


Susan E. Stone, 2004

Labels: , ,

Friday, September 24, 2004

Just a Child 

Just a Child

Just a child
pulled from the rubble,
streaked with dirt
in the arms of death.

O Lord,
I offer her up to you,
this little one,
victim of anger,
an anger
she didn't even knew about.

O Lord,
forgive us
for not loving enough
to snuff out
a little life,
forgive us for hating enough
to see little ones as
something to sacrifice
in our impatience,
in our greed,
in our indiference,
our anger.

O Lord,
help us learn
that every word we say
has repercussions,
every act has effect,
and when we choose to ignore,
or take,
or refuse to give,
act in malice,
we too set off the bombs,
light the fuses,
tear down the walls.

Give us the strength, O Lord,
when it is so easy not to love.


Susan E. Stone, 2004

Labels: ,

Monday, August 30, 2004

Prayer for Those who Suffer 

O Lord,
who offered up
in pain and sorrow
your own life's blood
that we might live,
remember this day
all who grieve,
who suffer,
who will die,
and have mercy on them all.
May we who love you
be willing tools
in your hands,
tools of your mercy
wherever you might call us.

Transform us,
O Fountain of Mercy,
that we become
your hands to heal,
your voice to comfort,
your feet to seek out
those in need,
This day and always,

Susan E. Stone, 2004

Labels: ,

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?