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Pastor’s Pen

Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me,

    for in you my soul takes refuge;

in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge,

    until the destroying storms pass by.”

                                    Psalm 57:1

When I was a little kid, the safest place I knew was my school. I loved my kindergarten teacher and chocolate milk and naptime and Kim Mitchell, the boy next door. The world seemed perfect and so utterly safe that I didn’t have to think about it.

As I grew up, clouds appeared. My brother got really sick when I turned 7, and I needed a place to think. So I went to the only place I knew I could be alone. At my grade school at the end of the block, I crawled up into the kindergarten window-well to sit and reflect on the sadness at home. From this hilltop perch overlooking the city where I grew up, my perspective changed. Everything felt better.

Some things are really scary: a call from the police department in the middle of the night, driving on ice, the evening news. Much of the really scary stuff we try to avoid or prevent if we can. Then it happens. The world we thought secure shifts unexpectedly beneath our feet and we clutch the air as if in free fall. 

Where do you go when you need to feel safe? We’re not always sure until we face a testing point, and then we know. Any day in Maine that it seems as if the world is about to careen off the rails, I have only to drive down Shore Road and find solace in the utter reliability of the tide.

Even the rowdiest of waters remind us without question that beneath the tremors and tumult, God holds taut the thread of the world and never lets go. Through faith we can rest secure. In God we take refuge, until the destroying storms pass by.

Prayer: God, our refuge and strength, shelter me this day. Hide me in the arms of your mercy. Hold me secure until the trouble passes, and the day once again, grows bright. Amen

God’s grace, mercy and peace,

Pastor Anna V. Copeland