Friday, July 5, 2024

Amy Welborn in Living Faith

            Amy Welborn is a contributor - five devotions per issue -  to the Living Faith daily devotional .

You can read an interview with Amy Welborn on the Living Faith site here.  

Today, July 5:

So with the psalmist, I pray that I’m seeking the Lord with all my heart, and that prompts me to pause and ask myself—is that true? All my heart? Or am I actually seeking the Lord in the way I seem to do so much these days in this noisy, busy world: casually, sporadically, always half-thinking of what comes next?


 June 20

They’re instructions from the Lord himself on the attitudes to bring to prayer: Put praise of God first. Then pray in acceptance of his will. Ask for what you need today. Acknowledge sin, and ask forgiveness. Forgive others as God has forgiven you. You’ll share this gift of forgiveness as you seek, above all, to be part of God’s will for his Kingdom. Get that? Put praise and gratitude first. Not me and my complaints. Imagine that.


 May 26

The spiritual life is more complex than that scene at the pool. But there’s one important similarity: Our growth—our real, sometimes even radical, growth—only comes out of a place that’s not of enslavement or fear but in the freedom that Christ gives.


May 17:

People hunger and thirst in different ways. Some of these hungers are overwhelming, and none can be fully satisfied except in the Lord. Yet, we are called in the present moment to do what we can—and every little bit helps—to feed the sheep.


April 3:

Jesus’ friends had experienced such turmoil and grief at this death. It was truly unbelievable that he would once again stand among them. Was this real? Were they seeing a ghost? In such a simple way—breaking bread together—he reassures them that, yes, he is with them.


March 25:

It also gives me a way to envision this coming week, this Holy Week. It’s not just me walking with Jesus on this path—it’s all of us: hurt, seeking, wounded survivors. We are moving through the week together, accompanying Jesus who will heal our blindness, free us and bring us into life where we do more than survive: We live.


 March 8:

For, as the people of Israel learned again and again, the Lord is always waiting. As Hosea tells us, God welcomes us into his loving embrace, no matter who we are, what we’ve done, no matter what time of day it is or what stage of life we’re in.

It’s never too late.


 February 11:

On Ash Wednesday morning last year, I was in Putignano, Italy, looking for Mass. I found an open church with people sitting inside. I joined them. A man started lighting the altar candles. Mass must begin soon, I thought. But then what? Why is he lighting the paschal candle?


December 30:

For we need both, don’t we? We need the wisdom of the experienced, and we need the energy and the idealism of the young. Without the young around, we can become settled and cynical. Without their elders’ long view, youthful idealism can veer off course.


November 23:

I was sitting on a plane, waiting to take off on a flight across the ocean. A long flight. The seat next to me was empty. Passengers streamed in. Still empty. I grew hopeful. Was I going to luck out and have the row to myself for those eight hours? How thankful I would be if that were so! Please, please…thank you, thank you!


October 30:

I often forget to put out my trash for collection. Well, let’s be honest. It’s not so much “forget” as “procrastinate”—until that moment I hear the trash trucks at the corner, and it’s too late.

A few months ago, my neighbor had surgery, and one of the small ways I helped was by taking care of her trash. I never did forget to get it down to the curb, which, not surprisingly, led me to unfailingly get the job done for myself. A little thing but telling, I thought.


 October 7:

We all know that children are naturally eager to learn. They’re like sponges, we say. It’s delightful to see even if a child’s questions might wear us down after a while. Jesus reminds us that this childlike openness to the Lord is the beginning of true wisdom.


, September 21:

Perhaps I should have known it all along, but whatever the case, through a priest’s words in a homily on a recent Sunday, I learned something new.

For I had always thought of the vice called “sloth” as not much more than laziness. Of course, it’s actually much more than that. Sloth is the unwillingness to do what we know is right and good. It’s hearing God’s voice calling us and responding with “I’d rather not” or “not now” or “that’s too hard.”


September 4:

It happens with electrical cords; it happens with the garden hose. There’s just that one little loop, that one knot. I think I don’t need to untangle it. It’s long enough. It will reach. And of course, it never does. That one knot makes a huge difference, and it really didn’t take that much to undo it.


 June 11

One of the most wonderful parts of the celebration of this feast, worldwide, is the procession. A few years ago, I witnessed the huge, elaborate Corpus Christi procession in Seville, Spain. It took hours and featured hundreds of women, men and children, large floats, statues of saints and, of course, the Blessed Sacrament, taken through the city streets strewn with rosemary.


May 12

“I feel seen” is a cliché, but like all clichés, it embodies a truth. To say that we feel “seen” expresses a yearning, doesn’t it? A yearning for affirmation, for assurance that we’re not weird and, most of all, a yearning to know that we are loved.


March 31:

But what is “triumph?” Winning? Obvious domination right here and right now, in this time and place? That can be very challenging to figure out, and it’s going to look different in every struggle. We may not even see it in this life. But during Lent, we’ve been working on a deepening dependence on the Lord, and in that dependence, that’s where “triumph” begins.


February 24:

I am generally pretty negative about the impact of social media on our culture—and on me, personally—but there are times I am forced to grudgingly admit its value. So, the other day, just because I ran across her social media account, I learned of a young single woman in my town who fosters teen girls. Her account is a helpful and illuminating series of posts explaining why she does this, the way she tries to help the girls feel at home, the struggles and the great rewards.


February 2: 

These blessings are a concrete way of linking our lives out here in the world to the Body of Christ. It’s also a reminder that what Jesus gives us—the peace, the grace, the joy and, yes, the light—isn’t given to us to keep to ourselves. It’s given to us, as Simeon prayed, to take out into the world so that all can see the light and know that peace as well. 


December 28:

The apparent irony of it can never fail to strike us, I think—the memory of this terrible day, the slaughter of innocents—following almost immediately after the joyous celebration of the Nativity.

It’s a reminder of many truths: that the life of the Christian is a journey to the Cross, of the depth and gravity of the sin that Jesus came to save the world from. All of these can be unpacked theologically at great length.


October 24:

I wear contact lenses, so when I wake up in the morning, everything beyond my hand in front of my face is a blur. But as that new day begins, I’m blind in another way too, even after I pop my contacts in. I have no idea what’s coming. I may have a sense and I may even have a plan. But really, I don’t know. I’m in the dark.

And so, Jesus meets me as I awaken and asks this same question. What do I want him to do for me as I begin my day’s journey in the dark?



 March 29:

Before everything shut down last year, I was in New York City to see Hadestown, a musical loosely based on the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. The play is framed, beginning and end, with Hermes singing: “It’s an old song, it’s a tragedy…but we’re gonna sing it again and again.”

Sitting with theatergoers, listening to an affirmation of the power of retelling a tale over and over, reminded me of the importance of liturgy, especially Holy Week. What we tell this week is more than a story.


 December 29 (written a year ago, before the Covid pandemic)

Another calendar year is drawing to an end. When I look back, what do I see? What emotions do the events of this year’s journey around the sun bring?  Perhaps the year has been dominated by sadness or discord, and we won’t be sorry at all to see it go.


 November 24:


Before the LORD, for he comes; for he comes to rule the earth.
Psalm 96:13

Advent approaches, and as we draw near to that season, the Scripture readings are all about the last things: death, judgment and eternity. These can be frightening to contemplate, subjects we might rather avoid. But we can’t. Here they are, presented to us in God’s Word. And, if we are honest, here they are in the ebb and flow of our lives.