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The Context

By Sharon Grussendorff

Listen to the following familiar hymn, Be still my soul, beautifully sung by the choir Libera:

Be still my soulLibera
00:00 / 03:59

Song lyrics:

Be still my soul, the Lord is on thy side
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain
Leave to thy God to order and provide
In every change He faithful will remain
Be still my soul, thy best, thy heavenly friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.


Be still my soul, when dearest friends depart
And all is darkened in the vale of tears
Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart
Who comes to soothe thy sorrow and thy fears
Be still my soul, the waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.

Be still my soul, the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord
When disappointment, grief and fear are gone
Sorrow forgot, love's purest joys restored
Be still my soul, when change and tears are past
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

The following poem is from a group who simply call themselves enfleshed. As you read the poem slowly, listen to the following piece of music at the same time:

BabazizLevon Minassian
00:00 / 04:40

"Come and be still," says the Holy.

Linger in Love’s presence.

Let striving cease.

Accept what is,

for what is.

All is held in Sacred embrace.


your pain is honored.

Your loss is acknowledged.

Your struggle is neither dismissed nor inflated.

It rests in the web of shared existence,

cruel and beautiful.


Eventually, love will ask more of you…





But in this moment,

feel the nearness of the Source of Life Itself,

tender and fierce.

Know that the Infinite embraces you

in all the ways you are essential -

and not.


Let your chest rise and fall

to the rhythm of eternity's breath:




Questions for  reflection:

Work with these questions as honestly as you can. It might help to write your responses in your journal.

  1. What is your image of God, or your sense of where or who God is for you at the moment?

  2. How do I relate to the idea of God as the context, in whom we "live and move and have our being"?

  3. Can you trust God as this holding context? If not, try to express what your anxieties are. Turn your reflections into a prayer.

  4. Spend some time quietly reading and reflecting on these verses: "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:38,39)

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