A Journey of Devotion – A text for where I’m ‘at’ today


When wounded sore the stricken heart
Lies bleeding and unbound,
One only hand, a pierced hand,
Can salve the sinner’s wound.

When sorrow swells the laden breast,
And tears of anguish flow,
One only heart, a broken heart,
Can feel the sinner’s woe.

When penitential grief has wept
Over some foul dark spot,
One only stream, a stream of Blood,
Can wash away the blot.

‘Tis Jesus’ Blood that washes white,
His hand that brings relief;
His heart is touched with all our joys,
And feels for all our grief.

Lift up thy bleeding hand, O Lord,
Unseal that cleansing tide,
We have no shelter from our sin
But in Thy wounded side.

Mrs. C. F. Alexander, only notation I can find right now.


By this time in Lent, I’m usually a mess. It might be less Lenten than seasonal – come ON spring, would you just get here?? – and this year it might coincide with just a major amount of upcoming transition – Scott has taken a new job in Baraboo, WI – more on that later – and a hugely busy March for me – three consecutive weekends away – but somehow I don’t want to miss the fact, too, that it’s still Lent.


There’s a weariness in weeks three and four that will only be assuaged by a Resurrection.


There’s an emptiness as we near holy week that will only be filled as we start the steps of the via dolorosa – the suffering way – and do what we can to know Christ and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings.


There’s a fasting-fatigue that catches up with me by this time in the journey… probably the point where I most need to listen, and to surrender. And keep fasting.


There’s a selfishness in me that rears its head long about now when I’m ready to stop sacrificing all my ‘alle**ia’ songs that I had to skip in 4 weeks’ worth of gigs. [BTW, have you ever tried that?? Leading worship for non-lenten-types who aren’t the least bit concerned about a poorly-timed ‘alle**ia’? It was a good challenge – one I met head on, and one in which the Lord led me around to 3-4 new songs (to me) all of which were blissfully alle**ia free. 🙂 ]


Truth be told, though, all of these externals only reveal the internal, which is that I’m at the end of myself, and I’m selfish, and undone, and while I’m ready to celebrate a Resurrection, I also need one. 


I need a new begetting, a beginning and a birth,
I need a visitation from the Holy here on earth..
I need a death of ‘halfway-done’, of my complacencies,
I need a fuller, more-completed ideology….


I have no shelter from my sin but in His wounded side.


There, as in the cleft of the rock, I shall rest. 


Sunday, April 5th is the Sunday of the Triumphal Entry. Palm Sunday.

I will see you then, ready to walk.



5 thoughts on “A Journey of Devotion – A text for where I’m ‘at’ today

  1. Wow. So far out of the liturgical calendar that at retreat this weekend, I alleluia’d away with abandon. Never occurred to me to fast from a word.


    It’s interesting to meet this side of you. I knew you best in your pre-liturgical (is that a word), so I’m enjoying this new you.

  2. Hey M –

    Fasting from the word isn’t my idea – the Book of Common Prayer does it – it’s notably absent in all services from Ash Wednesday to Easter morning – or, more preferrably, at the Easter Vigil on Saturday night. There are moments in the service when it’s *always* said, so its absence is one way of being reminded that this is a season of memorial – and the first time we’ll say it is when we say ‘Christ is Risen!’ and the response will be ‘The Lord is Risen Indeed. All__ia!!’

    It’s pretty intense.

    And I’m loving life in my new liturgical world, that is actually old to me, having grown up in Lutheran land… then laying it all aside.. being part of a liturgical life with living, loving believers is pretty amazing.

    And I’m glad you had great reasons to celebrate this past weekend!!!

  3. I went to Women of Faith last weekend and found myself singing along and then felt very strange when we got to the Al…… section of a worship song. 🙂

    Yes, we are at the point in Lent where I feel my fasting and discipline have all unravelled. But I also know that in the course of tomorrow’s liturgy, my heart and mind will be brought back ’round and my focus will be sharp for the week ahead. I grew up without any sort of liturgy and I am so grateful for it now. It guides me through the seasons, focusing me on the lows and the quiet time and the contempletive times that serve to prepare for an punctuate the times of rejoicing. My Christmas is more joyful because of the quiet of Advent. My Easter is all the more glorious because of the penitential lent and the sorrow of Holy Week.

    I’ve really enjoyed your series of hymns, Steph. Thank you for this gift!

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