Daily Bread Aug. 1

Inmate Poetry: The Dark Night
By Carl Misner, Lansing Correctional Facility, KS, USA

The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you. —Psalm 9:9–10 NRSV

—For my son Christopher

Death came upon him
the only way it could
a thief in the night
to take my son

A stroke at birth
left its mark on his body
a weak, wounded arm
balanced by a strong heart

His mind keen and sharp
but seizures revealed the fault lines
foreshadowing the moment
the bright candle, snuffed out

Fearless on the playing field
courageous in the classroom
death could only claim him
asleep on that dark night

Prayer for Peace

God, our Stronghold, we place our trust in you. In times of trouble, we know you will be there. But there are those who do not know you or have forgotten you. They cannot find you in their darkness. They do not know your comfort. For them, God, help us be there. We would bear witness of your love and peace.

Spiritual Practice: Honoring the Worth of All Persons

Read Psalm 139:13–18. After reading, sit quietly and let the words sink deeply into your mind, heart, and body. What thoughts and feelings do you have about being “fearfully and wonderfully made”?

Sense the intimate knowledge and love God has for you and everyone. Be aware of the sacred worth of each person. Weep with God over the soul-wounding forces and events that rob people of dignity and worth. How does God invite you to notice, protect, heal, and affirm the spiritual identity of all God’s beloved people today? Pray for God’s compassion in your life.

Peace Covenant

Today, God, I will share the light of your peace with one who sits in darkness.

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