Ascension/Easter 7: Stay

Image: Blessing Them, He Withdrew © Jan L. Richardson

Reading from the Gospels, Ascension Day/Ascension of the Lord, Years ABC: Luke 24.44-53
Reading from the Gospels, Easter 7, Year C: John 17.20-26

So stay here in the city
until you have been clothed with power
from on high.

—Luke 24.49b

So that the love with which you have loved me
may be in them, and I in them.

—John 17.26b

A Blessing for Ascension Day

I know how your mind
rushes ahead
trying to fathom
what could follow this.
What will you do,
where will you go,
how will you live?

You will want
to outrun the grief.
You will want
to keep turning toward
the horizon,
watching for what was lost
to come back,
to return to you
and never leave again.

For now
hear me when I say
all you need to do
is to still yourself
is to turn toward one another
is to stay.

and see what comes
to fill
the gaping hole
in your chest.
Wait with your hands open
to receive what could never come
except to what is empty
and hollow.

You cannot know it now,
cannot even imagine
what lies ahead,
but I tell you
the day is coming
when breath will
fill your lungs
as it never has before
and with your own ears
you will hear words
coming to you new
and startling.
You will dream dreams
and you will see the world
ablaze with blessing.

Wait for it.
Still yourself.

For a Mother’s Day blessing, see Mother’s Day: Blessing the Mothers at my Sanctuary of Women blog. And for previous reflections on the Ascension, click the images or titles below.

Ascension/Easter 7: While He Was Blessing Them


Ascension/Easter 7: Blessing in the Leaving

(includes “Ascension Blessing”)


Ascension/Easter 7: A Blessing at Bethany

[To use the image “Blessing Them, He Withdrew,” please visit this page at Your use of helps make the ministry of The Painted Prayerbook possible. Thank you!]

7 Responses to “Ascension/Easter 7: Stay”

  1. Laura Says:

    Dear Jan. Your writings are such a blessing in my life. This poem was exactly what I needed to hear today. That happens with me with your writing so often. Thank you so much for your ministry. I am so grateful for the depth and the wisdom of your words. Many blessings to you always!

  2. Maureen Says:

    Gorgeous poem, Jan. Blessings to you and Gary.

  3. Marcia Chadly Says:

    I just noticed the new banner on this website. I like it. :-)

  4. Ingrid Says:

    Wow! Just Wow!
    I just visited your site for the first time and am so blessed by what I found! With a to-do list longer than I can imagine finishing, I prayed this morning that I would be able to embark on this day thankful for all the things I have been called to do without being dragged down by the familiar sense of despair as the progression of the day out paces my progress on the list.
    This site and your poems are a blessing that have helped to keep me in the thankful and the hopeful – like smelling a flower!
    Thank you!

  5. Steve Says:

    I see the perception of eternal,
    Framed by your flesh, awaiting an
    End to corporeal,
    The other side, sundered from ephemeral,
    Loving Jesus and others there ahead,
    Not yet, with paintings and poems unsaid.

    God Blesses

  6. Anne Linington Says:

    Jan I can understand how this would be even more significant this year. I found an Ascension Day resource of yours concerning eyes which I am using at tomorrow’s Family Service. Thankyou for the blessings of your art and writing.

  7. Jeanie Says:

    Your poem “Stay” is a blessing. Thank you.

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