Monday, February 18, 2019

Dear God, I wonder, in times of trial, how you will ever save me. The pit is too deep, the calamity to great. But lo! A door appears, and behind it, a stairway. Other times, Lord, you shift the very ground. The hole in which I cower becomes a flat and easy plain under sunny skies.

I live in a world of everyday miracles. You save me daily, in ways large and small. Yet each comes as a surprise.

But, Lord, if I have true faith in you then I will have quiet equanimity. You will sustain me, your child. I ought not wonder whether, but instead marvel at how.

Let me trust you as a child, dear Lord.

(Letter #1500)

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Dear God, handfuls of us group together to seek you here or there. We worship, or we chant, or we give ease to one another. We work our bodies, or we study in companionship.

Tiny groupings, assembled. Each one I enter thinks it is for a separate purpose. The rooms all look different, some bright with mirrors, some dim. Some with chairs, some benches, some cushions on the floor.

Lord, where a group is that seeks for you – there you are. Even as we cry out for answers to prayers, you already deliver the greatest gift. Here with this small band of seekers, you invade our space and quicken each individual heart.

My chest glows, I can feel it warming. The edges of the room fall away, a husk blown in the wind. What remains? The truth: you, with me, with us, together.

Do my fellows see? Am I to share this vision? Shall I nudge my neighbor awake?

You have made me an ember, Lord. Let me warm others, whether they see the source or not.

(Letter #1499)

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Dear God, I meet you in these early hours, daily for years. Pace by pace, morning by morning, I dwell with you. The one who came to you in pain, crying out to find you, so long ago — he was me and now is not me.

I was alone in a pit. You crept in upon me, raised me day by day, and now I sit in a meadow beside a cool stream. Yet I had to call to you for you to come.

How could I have known that your gift to me was despair? And that it would flower so long hence? Ground down, I became willing to consistently seek you — and you reward me today with presence.

Lord, you have regenerated this broken spirit. I am new, and was made so through steady, slow trial.

Today, dear God, let me see present trials as equally a gift. When under pressure, I am moved to seek you yet more urgently. One more gift-day.

In my meadow, Lord, I am glad for the wildflowers, the green valley walls, the stream. Glad, too, am I for the thieving fox who visited overnight.

From a lonely pit, you have moved me to this place, living now among other creatures.

Fellows come to visit. How ever shall I tell them of the days upon days that brought me here? The gift is not this meadow, it was in the days before.

(Letter #1498)

Friday, February 15, 2019

Dear God, outside my door, along the pathways, what is already growing?

This forest, this land, is abundant. I look at a bare patch and wonder how I will fill it in. I worry for the winter, yet under my feet grass grows.

Yea, even were I to plant, I misperceive my strength. It is the seed that does the growing; I merely place it.

Lord, let me see your gifts, your love, already emerging.

(Letter #1497)

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Dear God, my tiny dwelling has a dirt floor. Packed hard, worn down by years of feet, daily I sweep it. Just outside, I tend to the pathway that leads to my home. Clean, tidy, inviting.

Lord, I may directly affect only a very few. Let me make a small and friendly space of love for them. Let those who come away feel refreshed as from an oasis so that they, too, may turn their attention to bringing friendship to still others.

(Letter #1486)

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Dear God, let me listen for your voice today. You speak to me softly. I therefore must pay attention.

In the silence, let me strain my ears. In the clamor, let me hear every clang and crash – discerning your message. When someone speaks, let me listen to each word, for I know not which one will be from you.

Today will be filled with an uncoiling string of moments. Let me inhabit each one. Let me hear each sound.

(Letter #1495)

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Dear God, if I listen, I hear your song sung sweetly to me, as soft as a lullaby. There it is, a small thread underneath the world.

My fellows crowd around, they speak. Your song remains, quiet, below. It mixes with these voices. Who sings to me? Your song comes out of the mouths of the many, even as they speak their own words.

Lord, grant me ears to hear. Make me attentive what you are singing to me. All your messages, floating in the air and into my ears. I take note of so few, yet they are all here, balm for my worries.

O! What a day, when I am sung to moment by moment. Let your songs dispel my troubled daydreams.

(Letter #1494)

Monday, February 11, 2019

Dear God, guide my words.

I awaken anticipating conversation throughout the day. It strikes me with foreboding. I know not what I will say. Let me wait to be moved by you. Let me speak your will as you enter my heart.

Lord, this time before – this time of anticipation. Why do I fear so? I am at the mercy of time: I cannot change the duration of waiting. I must walk through it. Running will not speed my progress.

I can only live moment by moment. Let my thoughts stay here with me, now, and not race ahead.

(Letter #1493)

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Dear God, faced with myriad choices, endless branching pathways, how shall I decide? My thinking is a tangle. Filled with so much, the day ahead is broad yet pitifully shallow.

Lord, grant me the gift of a simple mind. Let me dwell on just what is needed. Let it grow and crowd out the trivial, the busy.

I am listening to your song, O Lord. The world will wait with impatience while I slowly think your thoughts.

(Letter #1492)

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Dear God, I awaken, I rise. I tend to the needs of my body. Lumbering into motion, I inspect the perimeter, I see what has become misplaced overnight. An item not in its usual spot. Who has been here?

The sun peeks upward and my heart quickens. I arm for battle. Time, now, to leave my dwelling and present myself to the world. Boots, girdle, gauntlets, helmet.

O! This is no way to live, ready always to defend.

Lord. Take me back to my dressing room. Sit me down. Let my belly relax, my breath go slow and deep.

Who called for a warrior? I bring a sword to a wedding feast and am rightly seen as an intruder.

Let me, relaxed and breathing slowly, peel off the armor, set down the weaponry. Sandaled feet, soft clothes, open hands, smiling face. This is how a friend arrives.

Let me be friend to this day.

(Letter #1491)