O Eternal, hold me with gentleness
Through this long night of pain;
Lay Your cool hand upon my body.
As a mother strokes the fevered brow
Of her beloved child,
Give me succor.
O Eternal, clasp me to Your bosom,
And rock me with quiet motion.
To and fro as the seconds pass,
Waiting, waiting for the next relief,
Stretching endlessly toward the dawn.
O Eternal, sing me to calm.
Humming a lullaby my grandmother sang
As she arranged the soup bowl on the tray,
And brought it to me with the warmth of her smile.
Sing me that song to soothe my soul.
O Eternal, guard me through this darkness.
Wrap me in a soft warm quilt of Your regard
That I might find a paragraph of flickering comfort
To read and remember
Within this long, grim novel.
O Eternal, keep me safe through this night;
And let the morning come to renew me.
To return me, to heal me.
To find me enfolded in the vigor of Your love.
Excerpts from Flames to Heaven: New Psalms for Healing & Praise, by Debbie Perlman, $14. To order, call 800-888-4741.