Dear God, day by day, I seek you. I beg you to come to me, to sit beside me, to hold my hand, to lay yourself over me and protect me. Such yearning for support and safety.
Yet I know, Lord, in the quiet morning of reflection, this truth: you are within me.
This seeking and yearning is misplaced, for you are already here. Indeed, you hide from me, there in the last place I look. I search all around for evidence and only seldom do I look inside. But that is where you are.
To see you as an outside force, visiting and saving, supporting and loving – even as I express devotion, this diminishes you into an outside agency. No.
You are in me.
Lord, let me grasp all the implications of this. Let me see how instantly this erases every fear and trivializes every goal.
Let me quit looking for you under rocks and behind curtains, O Lord. Let me see you, here, inside me. Let me allow your warming love to course through my limbs. Let me unleash gratitude for your constant inner presence.
Dear God, my thinking fills so quickly with my own preoccupations. I shut myself away to seek you, yet within moments I cease listening for your voice. My attention turns instead to my hopes and fears of the day.
Upend my thinking, Lord! I have worn a groove, pacing back and forth in my own self-regard. Sweep in like a storm, fix my attention upon my relationship with you. Let me hold onto you desperately.
In times of quiet, dependence on you appears optional. Let me not be so listless. Drive me to you. Force me.
Lord, take away my illusion of choice.
Dear God, I awaken. I anticipate the day. I do so imperfectly. Shadowy figures loom around me, milling and murmuring. What will happen? What will I do? What will befall me? Who will visit?
Lord, this world is not the world.
I have built a fantasy peopled with cartoons drawn of mist. My mind casts forward through the day and nothing is clear, all is dim, yet my feelings in anticipation are vivid and present. I fear loosely imagined conflict. I equally look forward to undefined happiness. Sitting alone in my rooms, my world consists of feelings, none of which are anchored in reality.
Lord, tether me. Root me in this present moment. It is all the world I have.
Let me stand and walk to meet all comers, greeting them with a smile and good cheer.
Dear God, let me open myself to your unsparing gaze. Let me seek your bright sunlight, throwing open the secret cupboards, overturning the pieces of clutter, peeling back the carpets. You have removed the largest and most obvious obstacles. I have welcomed this.
At a glance my rooms appear in order. But rot remains. Dim corners that have escaped notice. Disordered objects. Termites chew the flooring. I have scarcely noticed some of these shortcomings; others I have known of yet ignored for another day.
These defects melt away under your gaze, leaving fresh, pink skin, bright woodwork, orderly stacks.
Why, Lord, do I hide my weaknesses under gilding? The quickened life that grows under your fond look stiffens my spine and gives my body structure. Yet I resist wellness, hiding the softest parts from you.
Today, Lord, let me turn all my surfaces to the sun. Warm my limbs. You shine on the strong and the weak. Shine on me too, O Lord.
Dear God, am I grateful enough? I so often seek aid, support, and a feeling of safety and comfort. These things come to me without fail, and my faith has grown by this experience. I know you provide what is needed. This knowledge brings me peace.
At day’s end, how do I express gratitude? Indeed, how do I do so throughout the day, in the midst of your many instances of rescue and support?
The answers to these questions are a bitter pill. I intend gratitude, I mouth the words, but too often it is an ill-fitting cloak I am wearing. I so readily receive. I even give easily to others. But the fundamental feeling of grateful custodianship eludes me so frequently.
What I pass on was never mine. I merely transfer your love to others. I worry the supply is limited, that I will tire, that I will run out. I act as if I generate what I distribute.
Lord! You are a vast lake without bottom. How dare I congratulate myself for these cups of water I hand out? My little dippers are already all around, anyone could have them. How dare I complain of fatigue? So many thirst more than me, and indeed if necessary I myself can drink of this water.
Lord, make me into a being of gratitude. Make me willing to give it all away, everything, unto the bone. Let this be my way of giving thanks.
Dear God, facing challenges, I look to the future and wish for a positive outcome. On the other side of hardship, after you have rescued me, all will be well. But why, Lord, do I insist on imagining you will only save me later? You are here with me now – if this is so, then all must already be well. Rescue is here, and always was.
Lord, let my thinking become straight. Let me see clearly your hands of support, already underneath me.
I fear. But of what consequence is that?
I seek to spread ease in the world, to awaken the realization that we are already well. Let me, Lord, heed my own message – your message, echoing back to me.
All is well, here already.
Dear God, I ask for willingness to do your bidding, to pursue your will. Yet in truth, your dictates will come into being whether I am willing or not. Your plan will unfold without my intervention.
Why, then, do I seek willingness? It is the softer way. Accepting your will eases my path. Where I once saw chores and battles, now I might see opportunity and joy.
To be willing will make me a joyful instrument. It is not for you, Lord, that I become willing, but for myself. I seek willingness as a gift from you, an example of grace.
Lord, grant me this gift: to become willing.
Dear God, sit next to me. Take the seat to my left. Hold my hand, reassure me, nudging me to say and do your will. Squeeze my leg when I am assailed, reminding me that you are here for me. Point out my next step when I lose the way.
In my fear, I forget that you are always with me, already lifting me up before I ask. Let me see this. Let me recognize all the ways you supply me.
Why am I so blind? Awaken me, Lord.
Let me awaken my fellows. We have no need to fear.
Dear God, somewhere deep inside me, there you are. As I venture inside myself I feel you in my distant center, a long day’s journey. This activity all around me, this calamity, this distraction, has driven you farther and farther away along this inner road.
Let me turn from the world and toward you. It is my own choice to be distracted. Let me choose what is better.
I pray for signs, power, intercession – forgetting it is all here already inside me. I will not find it in the world. I must look inside to where you already are. When your voice reaches me through the statements of others, it is this inner voice echoing back to me. I recognize you in the world because you are reflected.
Lord, let me see you. Let me quietly look and listen for you.
O! Here you are.
Dear God, enter me; take up residence in my heart, rearrange the furnishings to suit you. Reorder me. I take such care with my own plans and habits, I meticulously square the corners and tidy the surfaces. All this, a measure of my need for control and order, itself a form of willfulness. It reflects that I do not trust, my faith is lacking.
Walk into my life, Lord, like a strong wind. Flip over the tables and give me new chores. Quicken my heart and turn my panic into love.
Let me be used today. Let me abandon the plans that do not work and follow your designs. Rebuild me and my foundation.