Playdates with God: Shema Israel

I heard her sing the prayer in a movie and the words opened my heart up wide. I ask one of my friends, who is Jewish, to sing it for me and he says at his synagogue they only speak the words.
“I was the worst student in Hebrew class,” he says. But he tells me what the words mean. He tells me about their tradition. I google the scene from the movie and all week long I sing the prayer to myself.
And when she talks to me about dying, how tired she is of living in an unheeding body wracked with pain, and she turns her face away from me in shame…the prayer is all I have to give her. And she grabs my hand tight and we are silent and we sit with her pain. Because He is the God of sorrow and pain– God of all.
And this week, when Lucy Mae and I head out to the beach in the morning, the moon is still smiling high in the sky. The sun knows just the right time to wave her amber flag but these moments just before—they are my favorite. Scattered sparks of light rest on lapping waves and the horizon is tinged with rose. I sing the words out over the ocean and lift my arms high in the air.
He is the God of all this.
So  must trust Him with the rest of it.
How do you embrace the God-joy? Every Monday I’ll be sharing one of my Playdates with God. I would love to hear about yours. It can be anything: outside, quiet time. Maybe it’s solitary. Maybe it’s loud and crowded. Just find Him. Be with Him. And come tell us about it.

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Sharing with L.L. Barkat today also: 

On In Around button
And with Lindsay for Messy Mondays!


  1. says

    Hello dear one… i can imagine him reaching his arms right down to you… his precious daughter. Thank you for showing this to me. I am blessed on every level.

  2. says

    I’ve never seen that movie, but the clip made me cry. I love what Ann Voskamp made me start to think about. What if we simply don’t know what good and evil are? We know that God is good. He understands good better than we do. I hope to trust Him better. I think this post helped me to do that.

  3. says

    Such a powerful moment of worship–joy in the morning. So much here to ponder, Laura. I too love your heart—you write your words on it. Thanks for letting us read it’s letter.

  4. says

    I met a Jewish Christian two summers ago. We asked him to say the Shema to us in Hebrew. Of course I understand NO Hebrew, but because I knew the English words, it was a very meaningful moment.

    Off to listen to your link…

  5. says

    Thanks for that link. “God is difficult… and complicated.” Sometimes I need that reminder and freedom to acknowledge the mystery of Him. Helen Hunt’s simple melody makes me wonder why the church doesn’t yet have a beautiful, singable tune for Deut. 6:4? Might have to fiddle with that.

    Happy thanksgiving, Laura. May the Lord keep your heart full of worship and song.

  6. says

    When I rise before dawn to weigh in, eat breakfast, work out, and the sky begins to brighten. The neighborhood and the whole world is still in their beds. It’s quiet and no one has a chance to wreck my day yet. It’s uncomplicated. Those are my God-moments.

  7. says

    “He is the God of sorrow and pain. He is the God of all”. So true. WE so often want the God of good times. Yet, it is when we are in pain that He comforts the most and we learn trust.

  8. says

    Thanks for the beautiful, enlightening, and inspiring post! As Christians I believe we should learn about and appreciate the Hebrew roots of our faith and worship. True faith is thanking Him in and for all things.

  9. says

    This makes me smile through tears Laura. It is a struggle, this finding Him in the pain. But He is there, and you have reminded me in such a beautiful way.
    Have the richest of Thanksgivings sweet girl.

  10. says

    I forgot to say, that I am glad that you were able to be there to hold your friend’s hand although it must have been very hard. Reminding myself, along with you, that God holds all things. Bless you Laura.

  11. says

    Such a beautiful photo! I could fall in love with Jesus, all over again, looking at such beauty.

    My link is up. Better late than never? Isn’t it amazing how many interruptions crop up when we want to post?

    I’m so happy for you that a song and prayer can touch your heart so deeply. God bless and keep you.

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