Strange Beauty

Biblical Text: Psalm 57:7-8
Guidelines for Individual Playdates

Value of This Activity:

An opportunity to participate in making and hearing and seeing Beauty–even in our clumsiness, our mistakes, our noises, and our imagined insufficiencies.

To Begin . . .

Spend a moment in quiet prayer. If you wish, begin by freewriting for 3-5 minutes. Just let the pen empty out your concerns and thanksgiving for the day. Breathe.

How to Play . . .

  1. Read Psalm 57:7-8

    My heart is steadfast, O God,
    my heart is steadfast!
    I will sing and make melody!
    Awake, my soul!
    Awake, O harp and lyre!
    I will awake the dawn!

  2. This passage in Psalm 57 reminds me of a prayer and blessing of the Diné (Navajo):

    Oh beauty before me,
    beauty behind me,
    beauty to the right of me,
    beauty to the left of me,
    beauty above me,
    beauty below me.

  3. Read the two prayers above aloud, first the verses from Psalm and then the Diné prayer. Be in the words as you breathe them aloud. Read the conjoined prayers aloud several times, with deep and quiet breaths between each reading. Keep reading them until you are awake to the beauty that holds you all around and are ready to sing and make melody, awakening the dawn.
  4. Either today, or later in this week — when you are ready — find some items around you that you can use to clang and bang and whirr and buzz. Make your own impromptu “rhythm band”—like you did in kindergarten, perhaps. Wake the dawn! with your own song and sounds. Be ridiculous. Be too loud. Be strange. Be joyous like a two-year-old.
  5. Beauty all around you, holding you! Wake the dawn with your singing and melody. Let your own strange beauty awaken your soul today (and tomorrow). Beauty all around you.

In Closing . . .

Take a moment to breathe and let the playtime settle around you. Carry your curiosity and insights and questions into the day.

Playdate Reference Material:

On the Power of Delight
On Being Ridiculous
Guidelines for Individual Playdates
Playdates with Scripture ARCHIVES

Creative Commons License
Playdates with Scripture by Virginia Wiles is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at