Help My Unbelief

Then he questioned his father,

“How long has this been happening to him?”

He replied, “Since childhood.

It has often thrown him into fire and into water to kill him.

But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”

Jesus said to him,

“‘If you can!’ Everything is possible to one who has faith.”

Then the boy’s father cried out, “I do believe, help my unbelief!”

Mark 9:14-29

To the tune FINLANDIA:

And do you see my weary tears in torrent?
My light is drowned beneath the seas I weep.
I cannot raise my eyes to see your morning;
they are held down by all the weight of grief.
But still I cry, my heart and soul imploring:
Lord, I believe!  Oh, help my unbelief!

For you alone can heal the wounds I bury,
the sins I hide, the pain that no one sees;
and you alone can lift the cross I carry
and lift me, too, from here upon my knees—
but give me strength to hold you through my terror:
Lord, I believe!  Oh, help my unbelief!

When days of drought have left me dry and thirsty,
the manna's gone and there is naught to eat,
send down the rain to cool my desert's burning;
send signs of hope to grant me some relief.
But more than all, my Savior, send me mercy!
Lord, I believe!  Oh, help my unbelief!
Follower of Filippo Brunelleschi and Masaccio, Christ Healing the Possessed Boy, c. 1450-1460, NGA 43901 – This file was donated to Wikimedia Commons as part of a project by the National Gallery of Art. Please see the Gallery’s Open Access Policy., CC0,


“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin,

it would be better for him if a great millstone

were put around his neck

and he were thrown into the sea.

If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off.

It is better for you to enter into life maimed

than with two hands to go into Gehenna,

into the unquenchable fire.

And if your foot causes you to sin, cut if off.

It is better for you to enter into life crippled

than with two feet to be thrown into Gehenna.

And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out.

Better for you to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye

than with two eyes to be thrown into Gehenna,

where ‘their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.'”

Mark 9:38-48
I tried, I tried to cut if off,
the hand that leads to sin,
but I could not cut deep enough
that innocence to win.

I tried, O Lord, to pluck it out,
the eye that leads astray.
I tried, O Lord, but I could not
cut all my light away.

I held the knife and cut the skin
but could not strip it off—
then shall I not be welcomed in
the kingdom of your love?

Or will you take me with both hands,
imperfect as they are?
Is there a place within your lands
with mercy for my scars?

I tried to cut away the stone
that drags me to the sea,
but you must wield the knife alone
if you would rescue me—

or will the very stone cry out
the wonders you have done,
your healing of the hands I cut
within your kingdom come?
Millstone. Photo By fourthandfifteen – Millstone, CC BY 2.0, DSC

Here & There

Then he sat down, called the Twelve, and said to them,

“If anyone wishes to be first,

he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.” 

Taking a child, he placed it in their midst,

and putting his arms around it, he said to them,

“Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me;

and whoever receives me,

receives not me but the One who sent me.”

Mark 9:30-37

To the tune ODE TO JOY:

Here within the world of sorrow,
where we struggle for acclaim,
here we sacrifice tomorrow
for the glory of our name.
Though we strive to rule each other,
heaven's love has yet come down:
Hear the voice of Christ our brother,
offering a different crown.

Come, he says, lay down your burden;
take the gentle yoke of light.
Come away somewhere deserted;
come and rest within my sight.
If we follow as he leads us,
all our ways will be transformed.
What new mercies then will greet us
when his kingdom fills the world!

There the least shall be the greatest;
there the silenced rise and sing.
There the child is sheltered, sacred,
where we live for Christ our king.
Come, O Lord, in our believing:
Help us welcome all you send,
in your name each one receiving
where the kingdom has no end.
Christ with children By Carl Bloch – The Athenaeum: Home – info – pic, Public Domain,