Cornerless Universe

Over these past few months, many of us have found ourselves expressing our sadness and despair at world events with the words “the world has gone mad” “the world is broken” “we are all insane.” I have found myself at times saying that the world is broken due to the many sharp edges of perceived certainty and how we need to smooth these edges, as we would smooth a piece of wood, using the tools of curiosity and doubt! Today, I am going to use poetry as we find it in the Book of Psalms. Please take a moment to read, ponder and pray over the words of Psalm 8. Please pray for our broken world and the all too many fractured relationships in our political sphere. Day by day I perceive that our democracy is being eroded, hijacked, abused, and abased, all in the name of democracy! Our cornerless world is showing many sharp edges as both the U.K. and the U.S.A. display amazing callousness with regard to hospitality to the stranger, the homeless, the fearful, and all who seek rescue and asylum. Our work together is to behold the world as the Psalmist did, and to remove the many sharp edges. In my next post I shall turn to a poem by Walt Whitman which attempts to express the thought that everything in our world is connected. For now the words of the psalmist


LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory in the heavens.
Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.
When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?
You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor.
You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet:
all flocks and herds, and the animals of the wild,
the birds in the sky, and the fish in the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas.
LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

God of glory,
Creator of all that is,
show us how to respect
the fragile balance of life.
Guide by your wisdom, those who have power
to care for or to destroy the environment,
that by the decisions they make
life may be cherished
and a good and fruitful earth
be preserved for this and future generations.
Hear our prayer,
O Lord.

3 thoughts on “Cornerless Universe

  1. Maybe our troubled world needs corners. Places where we can turn and go another direction. Places to pause and consider the right direction to take.


  2. And as for Sunday Bells and my very late reply, I’ll just post it here. I really enjoyed that post for the sights and sounds it has brought to my mind, for your shared memories and for the prayerful reminder to listen for the sounds that bring pleasure and goodness to our lives. The bells in my life have been significant; a decorative silver and overused bell my parents purchased in 1953 that my brother and I were allowed to use to “call” our mother when we were home from school and in bed, the brass ship’s bell still mounted by our back door that I used to call my own children from neighborhood play, the sweet handbell choir of my first group of developmentally disabled children as a beginning teacher and the soothing local church bells as well as those experienced during travel. With the risk of rambling, I’ll share one recent experience. In a small, rural river town in Minnesota we rent a cottage across the road from a white frame, historic Episcopal church. It has been our habit to get up very early on Sunday morning to begin the drive home. Several years ago we were delayed and as we were loading the car, the church bells began to ring. As if by orchestrated magic the residents of the village opened their doors and headed by foot up the hill to the church. Hoping for a glimpse inside, I crossed the street and stood by the hedge bordering the graveyard. Thinking I was unnoticed, I leaned forward to see a bit past the front door when a voice called, “Come on in and join us!” And something to the effect of “Those bells invite everyone!” After a brief and friendly conversation I headed back to our car just in time to see the 3 young bell ringers who had done their job so well. Thanks for the memories, with apologies for the length, and place, of this comment!


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