Come Away and Rest

Come Away and Rest © Jan L. Richardson

Reading from the Gospels, Pentecost +8, Year B (July 22): Mark 6.30-34, 53-56

Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day is the rest we take between two deep breaths, or the turning inwards in prayer
for five short minutes.

Etty Hillesum

He said to them, “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves
and rest a while.”

―Mark 6.31

Before I wrote this blessing I took a nap. Spent time with a novel. Lay on the couch and looked out on the sunlit street. Made a cup of tea. Breathed.

I do not know what restores you, where you take your rest, how you find the sustenance that enables you to meet those who wait for you with their insistent hungers. But whatever it is, whatever soothes you and brings you solace, may you find it in the rhythm of this day, as close as the beating of your heart, as quiet as the space between the beats.

Blessing of Rest

Curl this blessing
beneath your head
for a pillow.
Wrap it about yourself
for a blanket.
Lay it across your eyes
and for this moment
cease thinking about
what comes next,
what you will do
when you rise.

Let this blessing
gather itself to you
like the stillness
that descends
between your heartbeats,
the silence that comes
so briefly
but with a constancy
on which
your life depends.

Settle yourself
into the quiet
this blessing brings,
the hand it lays
upon your brow,
the whispered word
it breathes into
your ear
telling you
all shall be well
all shall be well
and you can rest

P.S. Sunday, July 22, is also the Feast of Mary Magdalene! Last year, Gary and I collaborated on a video slide show in celebration of the Magdalene. Click the thumbnail below to see The Hours of Mary Magdalene on Vimeo, and may you have a splendid feast day.

[To use the image “Come Away and Rest,” please visit this page at Your use of helps make the ministry of The Painted Prayerbook possible. Thank you!]

9 Responses to “Come Away and Rest”

  1. carolyn Says:

    um-um good…..

  2. phyllis Thomas Says:

    Ahhhhhhh! So calming and restful. Thank you Jan. I recently discovered Christine Valters Paintner book,”the Artist’s Rule; nurturing your creative soul with monastic wisdom”. I probably found it on your website reference. The important thing is it has been my respite, my refreshment and has really ministered to me. I believe I am actually finding ways to combine my inner artist and inner monk in ways I have not before. It’s been my way of “coming away and resting” this month. Thanks!

    • Jan Richardson Says:

      Many thanks, Phyllis! So glad you’ve discovered Christine’s book The Artist’s Rule; I so appreciate her work and am delighted you are finding a place of respite and refreshment among those pages. Yay! Blessings to you in your resting, and thank you for your own work that offers such a place of welcome and sanctuary for my soul.

  3. David Herbert Says:

    Blessing’s curl. Beautiful words and image – again. Thank you.

  4. Karen Curtis-Weakley Says:

    Thank you Jan for your beautiful words and visions! You are a blessing indeed!

    • Jan Richardson Says:

      Thank you, dear Karen! It’s wonderful to see you here, and I really appreciate your words. Many blessings to you in these summer days!

  5. Vincent Says:

    Thank you for reminding me jan, to find blessings in the ordinary things too!

Leave a Reply to Jan Richardson Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *