Like a Bridge Over Troubled Water - Rev. Brian Moodie
In His 2018 book, “When Darkness Seems My Closest Friend: Reflections on Life and Ministry with Depression”, Mark Maynell wrote the following words on friendship -
Some years ago, a British newspaper invited readers to submit their best definitions of friendship and friends. Thousands of suggestions flooded in. Some of the best included: One who multiplies our joys, divides our griefs and whose honesty is inviolable. One who understands our silence. Friends are like good health: you don’t realize what a gift they are until you lose them. Prosperity begets friends; adversity proves them. Friends do their knocking before they enter, instead of after they leave.
C. S. Lewis was someone who deeply understood and appreciated friendship. He knew how vital it was, but also how it gets forged: ‘Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art . . . It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.’…But Lewis’s most famous insight on the subject is even more relevant: ‘Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, “What! You, too? I thought I was the only one.”’
Indeed, there is a wonderful joy when we discover that someone else shares our own interest and who sees the world in much the same way as we do. Friendships born of common interests and a common outlook to life help us all to feel that we are not alone…
I’m not so sure though about CS Lewis’s assessment that friendship is not necessary for survival… Evidence from studies suggest that social isolation leads to earlier mortality? And indeed there are many people who might say that without a special friend or perhaps a special group of friends, they might never have made it through a particularly dark and difficult part of their lives.
Today we come to explore another well-known song by Simon and Garfunkel which speaks of the kind of friendship that stands by someone else even in through the darkest of times. In the end it is only these kinds of friendships that have deep and lasting value. And so we come to explore the song: “Like a Bridge Over Troubled Water”.
The song was written by Paul Simon, and was inspired by an old southern gospel song, by the southern gospel group Swan Silvertones’. It was their 1959 song “Oh Mary Don’t You Weep.” And one line in particular stood out for Paul Simon,— I’ll be your bridge over deep water / If you trust in my name—.
Paul Simon said, “It was the music that was in my mind most of the time, and every time that I came home, I put that record on, and I listened to it.” He went on to say that he thought that song must have subconsciously influenced him, as I started to play around with gospel chord progressions in his songs.
And so out of those gospel song lyrics, “I’ll be your bridge over deep water / If you trust in my name—,” Paul Simon wrote the song “Like a Bridge over Troubled water”, that itself has a decidedly religious feel to it.
Paul Simon says that though he himself wrote it, and it all came together quite quickly, for some reason he says that he couldn’t completely identify with the song himself and so asked Art Garfunkel to be the one to sing it. The song became one of Simon & Garfunkel’s biggest hits and one of their signature songs, topping the U.S. and U.K. charts and picking up five Grammy awards in 1971
And the central theme of the song is about the kind of friendship that sticks around when times are dark. And the central line of the song, found in the chorus “Like a bridge over troubled water, I will lay me down” is a metaphor that expresses the willingness of a friend to lay down their lives like a bridge to enable another to cross over the troubled waters of life in order to get safely to the other side. It has echoes of those familiar words from John 15:13 “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends.”
Whatever else friendships may be, friendships at their most valuable, are like bridges that help one to cross over to the other-side of a difficult, dark or particularly turbulent time.
I find it interesting that the ancient Latin meanings of the word priest is to be a bridge-builder. The idea was that a priest should be one who helps to build a bridge between people and God. This suggests that when we are involved in building or being bridges in this world, we are playing the sacred role of a priest. It was the conviction of the early Protestant reformers that we are all meant to be priests – they referred to the priesthood of all believers. And I believe that this song by Paul Simon shows us that when we stand by a friend in hard and difficult times, we are playing a priestly role. There is something sacred about being the kind of friend who becomes a bridge over troubled water for a friend.
And so in verse 1 we hear these words:
When you're weary
When tears are in your eyes
I will dry them all
I'm on your side
Oh, when times get rough
And friends just can't be found
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down
Wendy was listening to the radio recently and they were talking about grief. One man phoned in and told of his experience that when he lost his child, he also lost half of his friends. They just vanished. They didn’t have it in them to stand with him in the pain. Perhaps they felt awkward, didn’t know what to say or do? Their solution was to abandon him. But the true friends are revealed when the times get rough and many other so-called friends can no longer be found.
In verse two:
When you're down and out
When you're on the street
When evening falls so hard
I will comfort you
I'll take your part
Oh, when darkness comes
And pain is all around
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down
It is a verse that reminds us that everyone goes through hard and difficult times, when we feel down and out and metaphorically ‘on the street’. And often the most difficult time, is at night. Paul Simon captures it so well in the second half of the verse:
When evening falls so hard...
Oh, when darkness comes
And pain is all around...
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down
A true friend is willing to sit with us and simply be with us even in the darkness. And the darkness may come to us in different forms: as weariness, sadness, grief, depression, or heartache. And the hope and reassurance that comes in the chorus is that ones struggles are seen and understood by someone. It reminds me of Hagar in that Old Testament story when the angel of the Lord comes to comfort her after she and her son Ishmael have been sent away into the desert by Abraham and Sarah. In response to the angel of the Lord, she says:“You are the God who sees me,… for I have now seen the One who sees me.” Friends are often Angels of the Lord through whom our struggles are seen and understood by the God who sees us.
The last verse is an interesting one. It seems that it was only added a little later after the initial part of the song was already written. The words read as follows:
Sail on silver girl
Sail on by
Your time has come to shine
All your dreams are on their way
See how they shine
Oh, if you need a friend
I'm sailing right behind
And they are followed by a slightly reworded chorus -
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind
Apparently, Paul Simon had been unsure as to whether to include this verse. He says that his girlfriend at the time was feeling particularly down upon finding a few grey hairs in her hairbrush, lamenting that she was getting older. And in response he said that he wrote that lyric as a tribute and inside joke to her because after that incident, he began to call he his ‘silver girl’, taking something that was worrying her and turning it into a term of endearment and even encouragement, “Sail on by, your time has come to shine, and if you need a friend, I’m sailing right behind”.
The song would have been incomplete without those words, because a friend is not only someone who gets us through troubled times, a friend is also someone who stands on the sidelines of our lives, cheering us on, helping us to shine, encouraging us to be all that we can be.
This is a love song, but a love song with a difference. When we think of the word love we have been conditioned by modern society to equate the word with romance. But this song reminds us that love comes in different forms and one of the most beautiful forms is friendship. And the truth is, once the fuel of romance has burned itself up, the real test is whether a romance can become a long lasting and deep friendship. When the fireworks have begun to die down is there enough in a relationship to become a friendship that is willing to be like a bridge over troubled water… I will lay me down?
Last week, I quoted Nick Cave who said that every love song is ultimately a song for God… God, the Infinite, is the true goal of all our deepest longings. And that is true of this song too I believe. Any true friendship is ultimately an expression of a love much greater than our own, a Divine Love that promises to be with us even to the end of the age, a Divine love that promises to carry us when we are unable to make it on our own, A Divine Love that wills the best for us and Whose deepest wish for us is that we should shine, a love revealed in Christ that journeys with us even through the valley of the shadow of death, and which is willing to lay itself down, for the life of the world.
I end with a few moving words from Isaiah 43
43 ...“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.
I have called you by name; you are mine.
When you go through deep waters,
I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty,
you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression,
you will not be burned up;
the flames will not consume you.
For I am the Lord, your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour.
"Into my Arms" (An Interventionist God?) - A reflection on Nick's Caves song - Rev. Brian Moodie
(Scripture texts - Mark 9:24; Song of Songs 8:6; Psalm 22:1-2; 1 John 4:16)
The first time I heard Nick Cave’s song, “Into my arms” was only a few weeks ago. It was suggested to me by two people in response to the sermon series we’ve been doing exploring the lyrics and meaning of various secular songs.
The story of Nick Cave is an interesting one that unfortunately we don’t have time to explore fully here. He was born in Australia in 1977. At age 9 sang in the local Anglican Cathedral choir. In more recent years has lived in the UK. He has been deeply influenced by Leonard Cohen’s music after his girlfriend in his teens introduced him to it.
His life has also not been without its struggles and tragedies. At the age of 21 his father died in a car crash in what he described as the most confusing time of his life. He also struggled with a heroin addiction for 20 years. In addition, he has experienced the tragic loss of two of his sons. 8 years ago in 2015, his 15 year old son Arthur slipped and fell from a 60 foot cliff near Brighton, dying a few hours later of his injuries. And then just over a year ago in May 2022 his 31 year old son Jethro died from causes that haven’t been disclosed. The pain of losing his first son in 2015 affected him so deeply that he felt he had to move away from the UK and settled in Los Angeles.
In terms of his song writing, like Leonard Cohen, many of his songs reflect the influence of Biblical themes, most especially themes and imagery from the Old Testament, often giving them a sense of a religious feel. And this is true of his 1997 hit song “Into my arms” which we come to reflect on today. It is a hauntingly beautiful song filled with love and longing, doubt and faith.
In the opening line, Nick Cave makes a controversial statement “I don’t believe in an interventionist God” and in the second verse he writes that he doesn’t believe in angels. But he then goes on, almost in a way contradicting those sentiments, expressing his longing for God to direct his beloved back into his arms. In the chorus he seemingly addresses God directly, “Into my arms, O Lord, Into my arms, O Lord,” sounding almost like a hymn.
In a very real sense, the song was, and perhaps is an expression of Nick Cave’s own struggles with faith and doubt. The impression in that opening line is that Nick Cave was declaring himself an atheist, but that is not actually true. In 2011 he said that, although he has never been an atheist there are periods when he has struggled with the whole thing. He said, “Belief in God is illogical, its absurd. There’s no debate. I feel it intuitively, it comes from the heart, a magical place, but I still fluctuate from day to day. Sometimes I feel very close to the notion of God, other times I don’t. I used to see that as a failure. Now I see it as a strength, especially compared to the more fanatical notions of what God is.” A year earlier he said that he believes in God in-spite of religion, not because of it.
Interestingly the song itself was apparently written just after he had been to church at a time when he was in rehab. As he was walking back from church through the fields, the tune came into his head, and when he got back to the facility, he sat down at the cranky old piano, wrote the melody and chords, and then went up to the dormitory, sat on his bed and wrote the lyrics.
In his recorded lectures on music and songwriting, Nick Cave said that any true love song is a song for God, (in other words it points beyond itself to a longing for the Transcendent), and he ascribed the mellowing of his music due to a shift in focus from the Old Testament to the New. Despite the tragedies in his life, losing his father at age 21 and more recently two of his sons, in his 2022 book Faith Hope and Carnage he writes that he regularly now goes to church, saying that he characterises himself as not being a Christian, but acting like one.
And so, getting back to the song, in a very real way it expresses his own fluctuating struggles with faith and belief, an experience I believe shared by many people. And perhaps that is part of the power of the song. People can identify with his religious struggles.
And getting back to that opening line, “I don’t believe in an interventionist God”, we find that it is not in fact a statement from someone who considers himself an atheist, but rather a statement of someone who believes in the existence of some kind of God or Transcendent Reality, but has come to the conclusion that this Transcendent Reality does not intervene miraculously or supernaturally to change the course of events in life.
The belief in a non-interventionist God is not a new one. It goes right back to the 1700’s with the rise of the Enlightenment and what has been called the Age of Reason. With its emphasis on rational and scientific thinking, undergirded by Newtonian Physics, the idea of an interventionist God seemed less and less plausible to many people. And yet for many of this period the idea of atheism was not an alternative being regarded as a kind of descent into meaninglessness. Instead what arose was a movement called Deism. Deists continued to affirm the existence of God or a Transcendent Divine Reality, but did not have any expectations of God intervening supernaturally in the affairs of the world. Using the newly emerging mechanistic world view, inspired by Isaac Newtons scientific theories, God was conceived as having been the cosmic clock maker who in the beginning created the world or the universe, and then let it run its course, leaving it to run according to the laws by which it was made.
For some this provided a helpful middle ground. They maintained a sense of a Transcendent Divine Reality and their sense of obligation to acknowledge a Higher Wisdom and Authority, while no longer expecting this Divinity to intervene supernaturally in the lives of human beings. To live in harmony with God required for human beings to live in harmony with the laws of nature, physics and the laws of morality as they perceived them.
For such people who remained within the Christian fold, Jesus came to be seen primarily as a great spiritual or moral teacher but not as a miracle worker. The miracle stories were regarded either as later inventions attributed to Jesus to enhance the spiritual aura around him or as symbolic devices not intended to be taken literally.
And for some, this remains the only notion of God that makes sense to them. Some have found themselves reaching this point in their lives partly on the one hand because of the scientific world view which seemingly makes no room for what has traditionally been called the supernatural. Others have found themselves driven to this point by a struggle to come to terms with the question of Theodicy. If God is good and all-powerful, how is it that God allows terrible things to happen in this world? For some people, who still feel compelled by a religious sensibility and for whom atheism makes no sense, the answer that comes is that God is not an interventionist God. This appears to have been the point that Nick Cave had reached when writing this 1997 song.
In the end, all of us will have our own opinions on whether we believe in an interventionist God or not. Does God intervene in the day to day working out of life? Some Christians will answer this in the affirmative believing God to be intervening in their lives on an almost daily basis. Others will be far more sceptical of such interventions. They might say that if God can intervene in the smaller stuff of life then why doesn’t God intervene in much greater matters like preventing experiences of abuse, or wars or natural disasters? Still others might live in between these views with a sense of mystery and in a place of unknowing, for there are times when it has felt like certain events in life have been guided by a hand bigger than their own, and yet other times when they have struggled to navigate through what feels like a sea of confusion.
Even people who have given up formal religion, who do not like the term God, which might carry with it a whole lot of negative baggage for them, often instead, speak of “The Universe” seemingly conspiring at times to bring about something in their lives that they otherwise wouldn’t have been able to do themselves, the sense that life at times feels directed by some greater current.
And then you have also, the most confounding stories of people seemingly being miraculously saved from certain death or perhaps experienced an inexplicable healing.
Wendy told me a story she had read in a book by one of her favourite authors, Martha Beck a contemporary self-help and spiritual teacher. It is the story of a couple who were engaged to get married. They went on a hike in the mountains and before they knew it found themselves on a slippery slope that they could not keep their grip on. Within seconds they found themselves hanging on to a rock with their finger-tips trying unsuccessfully to pull themselves up. The young man could not keep his grip and before his fiances eyes he tragically slipped away and fell to his death. The young women told how, almost at the same time, she felt as if someone or something had taken hold of her waste pulling her up to safety, and yet when she gathered herself there was absolutely no-one around her. There was no doubt in her mind that someone or something had intervened to bring her to safety but she had no explanation for it, and even beyond that no explanation why she had seemingly been the recipient of this assistance and her fiance not.
Stories such as these are not so uncommon. There may be people in this congregation who might be able to tell a similar story. What is confounding is not so much whether strange and mysterious things happen, but why they happen in some instances and not in others. And it is not always a question of faith.
Bernie Siegel, a medical doctor has come across enough miraculous or unexplained healings to believe that they do happen. But he says, because they go beyond sciences ability to explain, such unexplained events are not included in the medical statistics, which raises the question how accurate these medical statistics are?
Does God intervene in this world beyond the laws of nature? Is God outside of life and from time to time makes a miraculous appearance and then disappears again? Or is God / Divine woven in and through life, constantly at work as the wisdom and intelligence of life itself, constantly at work and bubbling up from the inside? Are some of the things we call miracles or supernatural interventions simply beyond our current framework of understanding and one day humanity may come to a deeper understanding of how and why at least some of these things happen?
Do you believe in an interventionist God? Or perhaps have you rejected such an understanding of God and yet still hold on to some conception of God as the greater Wisdom or that Greater Good that embraces empowers and inspires us? Perhaps you have witnessed or experienced enough tragedies in life to no longer expect God to intervene and yet perhaps still have a deep sense of the reality of God and the sense that one day we will no longer see as through a glass darkly, that there is a wider perspective yet to be known in which some of the mysteries of life will make more sense.
I find it interesting that in the third verse of the song Nick Cave also names that which he does believe in. “I believe in love”, he says. And from the perspective of quite a number of passages in the New Testament, to believe in love is to believe in God, for as the writer of 1 John says, God is Love and to live in love is to live in God (1 John 4:16).
Whether we believe in an interventionist God or not is a conclusion each of us have to reach on our own. But ultimately I believe it is not the heart of true Christian faith. I believe that true Christian faith is ultimately to tenaciously hold onto believing in Love, despite the difficulties, trials and tragedies that we may experience in life, and to believe, as the writer of the Song of Songs puts it, that “Love is stronger than death”. And I wonder if that may just be what the story of the Resurrection might be about, whether one affirms it literally or symbolically, it points to the indestructibility of Love, that somehow the deeper we journey into Love the more we will discover a Reality that transcends the narrow perspective of our brief lives lived in these bodies in this world and discover a Life and a Love that goes beyond even birth and death. Amen.
May God bless you as you think upon and contemplate these things more deeply. Amen.
That's how the light gets in - A reflection on Leonard Cohen's Song "Anthem"
Mark 10:17-19 & 2 Cor 4:6-12
Today we come to reflect on a song by the Canadian artist Leonard Cohen. He is most well known for his song Hallelujah, but today I would like to reflect on a different song entitled Anthem which in a way is like an anthem or theme tune for his life. It contains that very insightful line that I have often heard quoted by a number of different people: “There’s a crack, there’s a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”
Unlike John Lennon’s song Imagine, in Leonard Cohen’s perspective, it will never be possible for this world to be perfected. He sees this world as somehow inherently flawed, “...the wars they will be fought again…”. And yet despite this, his experience is that light, and love and beauty and a deep sense of the sacred can still be found in this world, and that paradoxically it is often through the broken cracks of life that the light shines through.
Before we dive into the song itself, a little background might be helpful on Leonard Cohen himself. He was born in Canada in 1934 to his two very well-to-do and very well-connected Canadian Jewish parents.
At the age of 9, his father passed away which must have been devastating and destabilising for him as a little boy. Around this same time, he would have had a growing awareness of the horrors of world war two and the genocide of his own Jewish people in Germany. In addition, his relationship with his mother has been described as having been an ambivalent one. While on the one hand his mother encouraged his literary pursuits as a writer, she was not the most emotionally nurturing of mothers and could be quite emotionally distant.
Upon leaving school his hope was to become a professional writer and poet, but he only had rather mixed success. Inspired by Bob Dylan, he decided to use his poetic skills in a new way, as a singer/songwriter. And very quickly his musical career began to take off.
Leonard Cohen however had some of his own struggles in life, especially in his relationships with women. Although he craved female company and female attention, he found he could not commit himself in a relationship. Like his mother he was quite emotionally ambivalent in his relationships and could as a result be quite uncaring and even emotionally abusive at times.
Leonard Cohen also struggled with depression for a large part of his life and it seems it was only in his later years that this depression began to lift. He described depression as being a constant backdrop to his life and being like an ocean that he swam in on a daily basis.
Leonard Cohen also had a deeply religious side to himself. He never abandoned his Jewish faith, remaining a practising Jew for his whole life.
But he was also a religious seeker beyond the boundaries of Judaism. He had a deep appreciation for other faiths and especially Christianity as well as Zen Buddhism and the spiritual traditions of India. Regarding the person of Jesus, in an interview he once said:
"I'm very fond of Jesus Christ. He may be the most beautiful guy who walked the face of this earth. Any guy who says 'Blessed are the poor. Blessed are the meek' has got to be a figure of unparalleled generosity and insight and madness... A man who declared himself to stand among the thieves, the prostitutes and the homeless. His position cannot be comprehended. It is an inhuman generosity. A generosity that would overthrow the world if it was embraced because nothing would weather that compassion.”
It is difficult to know if it was a mid or even a late-life crisis, but in the 1990’s, in his 60’s, Leonard Cohen became a Zen monk, and for almost 6 years lived in a Zen monastery. He took on the Japanese name Jikan, which means “Silent One” immersing himself in Zen Buddhist practice, which included silent meditation, mindfulness, and rigorous and disciplined daily routines and spiritual exercises.
He was clearly searching for something. Perhaps hoping to resolve his own inner conflicts and brokenness, perhaps aware of his own propensity for inflicting pain on the people he loved? Perhaps seeking a spiritual enlightenment experience to help himself escape from himself or at least the sea of depression in which he swam. But after almost 6 years of living a rigorous and disciplined life as a Zen monk, he left the monastery, coming to the conclusion that he had no gift for spiritual matters.
I get the sense that his leaving the monastery was in a sense a coming to terms with his own imperfection, an acceptance that he was imperfect and that he didn’t have the capacity within himself to change this. This is actually quite a profound insight. It takes enormous courage to admit one’s faults and imperfections to admit that we are not the people we would hope or aspire to be. It bring with it a greater sense of humility as well as a greater sense of softness and compassion towards other people’s frailties and imperfections.
And it would seem that somehow accepting life as it is with all its imperfections and perhaps accepting himself with his imperfections began to bring a change in him that enabled the depression in his life to begin to lift in the years that followed and for him to begin to experience a little more of the joy in life, a greater sense of a light and a love at the heart of life that was embracing him.
And that brings us back to the song Anthem which expresses in a very poetic way something of his own struggles of living as an imperfect person in an imperfect world and yet still finding in the midst of that imperfection a light and a beauty shining through:
Firstly the opening lines of the opening verse we see that this is a song of hope and redemption:
The birds, they sang
At the break of day
I heard them say
Don't dwell on what
Has passed away
Or what is yet to be…
Every day, every morning with the dawning of the sun and with first chirping of the birds we hear an invitation to start over, to make a new beginning.
Don’t dwell on what/has passed away or what is yet to be.
For many of us the past especially can weigh over us like a heavy burden: Things we should have done but didn’t do, things we did do, that we shouldn’t have done. And I guess that it is one of the gifts that people found in the presence of Christ in the Gospels. Those who encountered Jesus and who were aware of their own imperfections found in his presence a warmth and a light and a compassion in which they found an invitation and an opportunity to make a new start, a new beginning.
Secondly, in the song we read the opening line of the chorus: Ring the bells that still can ring. Despite living in an imperfect world of war, deceit and conflict, Leonard Cohen affirms that there is still beauty to be found. In the midst of the imperfection, he perceives that the sacredness of life still exists. And so we hear the invitation… ring the bells that still can ring.
We can live our lives cursing the darkness or we can light a candle. We can live our lives bemoaning the imperfection around us and in other people, in the government, in ourselves, or we can ring the bells that still can ring.
Thirdly, the line that follows: Forget your perfect offering. In other words, there is no such thing as a perfect offering. None of us are capable of true perfection while living in this world. As Jesus said, there is only One who is Good... and that is God, the Most High, the Divine Mystery at the heart of life. And so we offer what we can to others, to God, to life. We do what we can, as best we can, and we leave the rest to God to that Higher Wisdom, that Higher Power, that Greater Love that is our Origin and Source.
Fourthly, “There’s a crack, there’s a crack, that’s where the light gets in…” When we can’t see or admit our faults, we become defensive at the first sign of criticism. But when we are able to admit our faults and imperfections, Divine grace is able to shine through us. We can laugh at ourselves and not take ourselves quite so seriously. We can catch ourselves as we are making our mistakes. We can quickly admit it and offer our apologies. We can deal more graciously with other people’s faults and imperfections. In 2 Corinthians 4:7-9 Paul writes that we each have the treasure of God’s life within us, but it is held in jars of clay. This jar of our earthly human life is imperfect and fragile, but still capable of allowing the treasure within to shine through.
And this reminds me of the Japanese art of kintsugi. It is the art of taking broken pieces of pottery and ceramics and putting them back together again. But in putting broken pottery and ceramics together again, kintsugi artists don’t try to hide or cover over the cracks. Instead, they accentuate the cracks. They make the cracks a feature of what becomes a new work of art. And the way they do that is to line the cracks with with gold plating. In the process, they take something that most people would discard, thrown away on the rubbish dump as seemingly worthless, and then transform it into an incredibly valuable, unique and beautiful work of art.
That I believe is the promise expressed in Leonard Cohen’s song. It is also the promise of the Divine Grace we encounter in Christ. When we bring our brokenness and allow the Divine Wisdom and Compassion to shine upon it, so we can become a new creation, a new piece of art. It is not that the cracks and the imperfections are erased and done away or carefully tucked away and hidden. Rather as we present them with openess as our imperfect offering, so God, the Goodness at the Heart of Life, through the working of great compassion within us, can line our broken places and our cracks with the gold of Divine love becoming places of unexpected beauty and where the Light and Grace of the Divine can now shine through. Amen.
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