I speak a tongue foreign from my fellows.
I value that which has been cast away.
War is waged, while I prepare a bed for sleeping.
O Lord, can I be a mistake? Could you have made me so alien out of carelessness? Are my trials an afterthought?
Sitting side-by-side, you whisper love in my ear. The revolution will need soldiers. The orchard must start with buried seeds.
I am ready, Lord.
Under me is foundation, what is under that? Am I the bedrock for another?
Someone has left a balanced pile of stones by the river bank. One upon the other. It looks precarious. Yet our grandfathers fished beside it.
Lord, let me keep balanced, for another stands on my shoulders.
Weary, wounded, I waited by the seaside for the healing sun.
My injury repaired, my strength restored. Then my hunger lifted. Then resentment left. Energy coursed through me. My heart glowed with supply and love.
O tragedy, to have settled for simple health. You have made a dynamo.
I set out from that place to share the good news.
These woes and trials, I have borrowed them from tomorrow.
Everything I need arrives just in time. Search then I will, for today’s treasure.
Lord, let me pay back tomorrow’s debt.
The labor will begin within me. Before the field is plowed, I will have had to become willing to be yoked.
Even seated, alone, Lord, there is work I might do.
Let me turn to your labor.
I know this path leads to the pond. I know this wall will hold. I know these seeds once planted will grow.
Where is my reliance, Lord? I act with such confidence. It rained yesterday, must it therefore again today? Yet still I am preoccupied with finding shelter.
A child blinks in awe at their first rainbow.
Lord, let me unknow what I knew. Grant me awe.
Discord and conflict on every side. Howling into the wind.
Is there a note, Lord, that I can sing that will resolve the tension?
Is it my own voice that ought to fall silent?
When I am in the ground, let them remember: he brought harmony.
Guide my singing, Lord.
You are here with me, my armor.
You came before to prepare this place for my benefit. You will remain after I am gone, to clean up my mess.
And here I am, fearing battle and crying for strength.
Let me instead seek trust. Let me row where you point, even as the river pulls me away.
Thy will be done.
Is this desert a wasteland punctuated by oases? Or does it teem with life, with mere moments of barrenness?
My hard days, my dark days, are they continual torment or are they episodes?
This is the moment of trial, which passes. Before it is the torture of anticipation, and behind it is the bitter memory.
Wherefore do I complain, then, of such woe? The before and after are illusion, and I yet breathe through the challenging moments.
I must, then, live among the palm fronds. Ease is mine. Thank you, Lord.
Bare ground. Hot sun. A shovel.
Am I to dig a ditch, Lord? Are you teaching me to love even hard labor?
Am I to form a cave and shelter from the heat? Dig a well? Are you teaching me the fruits of human industry?
Am I to unearth buried treasure? Are you teaching me providence and grace?
Lord, make me willing to learn all your lessons.