About the Book

The Uncluttered Heart is your companion through the busy weeks of Advent and Christmas. Published by Upper Room Books. Learn more.

About the Author
Beth A. Richardson

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Tuesday
Jun102014

A Blessing for the Empty Place

You sit in the empty place that is left,
After the death, the arrangements, the service,
The cards and calls and emails,
The departure of family,
The thank you’s and acknowledgements.

Left with the emptiness,
The space that can never be filled
In quite the same way.

You see a shadow, hear a sound,
Taste a food she used to love,
Start to tell him something about your day,
Smell a blanket or pillowcase,
And your eyes and heart are filled with tears.

The first week, the first month, the first birthday,
The first holiday, the first anniversary,
These bring you to the place of remembering,
The place of exquisite, lonely sorrow.

Bless you and your memories.
Bless the tender heart that beats within you.
Bless the empty space that can never be filled.

The shadows, the smells, the tastes, the thoughts,
Transform their pain into blessings,
Signs that though you live in that desperately empty place,
She walks beside you,
He laughs in the shelter of your heart.

That empty place
That can never be filled
In quite the same way
Is filled
With love.

Sunday
Apr202014

Easter

Christ is risen! Christ is risen indeed!
Then Jesus said to [the women], "Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me."
- Matthew 28:10 (NRSV)


Audio Lectio for Easter Sunday: Pray Matthew 28:1-10.

Scripture Readings for Easter Sunday (April 20)

Photo Credit: © Beth A. Richardson. Dogwood bloom outside The Upper Room.
Saturday
Apr192014

Holy Saturday

We wait in sorrow and in hope.
They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it with the spices in linen cloths, according to the burial custom of the Jews. ... And so, because it was the Jewish day of Preparation, and the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.
- John 19:40, 42 (NRSV)


Scripture Readings for Holy Saturday (March 30) Photo Credit: Photo © Beth A. Richardson. The Pietà by Michelangelo housed in St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican City.
Friday
Apr182014

Good Friday

Healed by his bruises.
Surely he has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases; yet we accounted him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed.
- Isaiah 53:4-5 (NRSV)


Audio Lectio for Good Friday: Pray the scriptures with us. The reading for today is John 19:38-42.

Scripture Readings for Good Friday (April 18)

Photo Credit: © Beth A. Richardson. On the wall near the cemetery in Vernazza, Italy.
Thursday
Apr172014

Maundy Thursday

Eat and drink ... and remember.
When Jesus had given thanks, he broke [the bread] and said, "This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me." In the same way he took the cup also, after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me." For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.
- 1 Corinthians 11:24-26 (NRSV)


Scripture Readings for Maundy Thursday (April 17) Photo Credit: © Beth A. Richardson. SOULfeast communion setting.