Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Softly And Tenderly Jesus Is Calling"1 (Lyrics)
Psalm 57:8 – Awake, my soul! Awake, O harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn. (NRSV)
A few days ago, I read from Maya Angelou's poem, On the Pulse of the Morning. It was read at the inauguration of the President of the United States of America on January 20th, 1993, when life was a little more civil (or civilized) than in 2021, and when the recent horrific events in Washington DC would have seemed impossible.
Maybe the poets can draw the United States together in the days ahead! Maybe they can do it for the rest of us, as well. I find such inspiration in simple words, transformed by the power of the poet. No wonder there is so much poetry in the Bible! So, here is how her poem ends. Let us listen carefully for the message it conveys.
- Here on the pulse of this new day
You may have the grace to look up and out
And into your sister's eyes, into
Your brother's face, your country
And say simply
The entire poem can be found online. Maybe take an extra moment to look it up and listen to what it has to say. What a transformative way of expressing the common salutation, "Good morning"! I sent the poem to a friend, who wrote back, "I read it aloud, as I do most poetry and Scripture. It is a call to hope, and a challenge to go beyond what we are now, not only for the USA, but for all people. Often, the poets have more real power than the politicians, if we would only listen."
Can you greet this new morning with such a salutation and see in the eyes of another the hope that springs from you to them?
Prayer: "Use [the President and Vice-President] to bring reconciliation between the races, healing to political wounds, that we may truly become one nation under God. Give the new President, and all who advise him, calmness in the face of storms, encouragement in the face of frustration, and humility in the face of success. Give them the wisdom to know and to do what is right, and the courage to say no to all that is contrary to Your statutes of holy law." – Franklin Graham, 2001 inaugural prayer.