If yesterday I was your instrument, am I not today as well?
Fear gnaws at my toes as I awaken to face the world. I delay, I hide in my chamber.
Pick me up, Lord, and use me, for I cower before the threshold.
Let me will your will.
Am I a bundle of desires and entreaties? I petition and petition, waiting for relief, as I choose between these forking paths.
Have I once asked, what should be?
Lord, strip away my wants. Leave behind willingness, that I may refind my path.
This wall. It impedes my progress and yet protects me from the wind.
These duties. They fill my day with obligation and yet give me useful purpose.
This worry. It paralyzes me and yet makes me depend upon ever greater faith.
O Lord, am I imprisoned, or a prince?
Let me see rightly.
The miracle at the center of this day: that love passes from one to another.
Candle to candle to lamp. We are wax and oil and wood, no special material.
You lit me, let me light my neighbor.
You brought me through harrowing battles, across broken lands, through storm and calamity to this place. What great deeds await me? What is the grand purpose for which you saved your child and servant?
I was needed to repair the stool, upon which will sit a worker, who will fashion a box, to hold another family’s recipes.
Yea, thus saved as a gear in the machinery of the world. Yea, thus saved for greatness.
You shine forth from the ordinary. Let me exalt this simple labor, Lord.
Who knocks? Who enters?
Must I draw near to you, for you to come to me? Or, sitting in my chamber, might I hear you at the door, a surprise in my reverie?
Do you wait for an invitation? An entreaty?
O Lord, you burst in upon me without warning! Today is bright sun on a clear plain.
Lord, I give thanks for all these paths to you.
A ratchet in my chest, turning tighter, tighter. How can I yet breathe?
A cistern filled drop by drop with cool water reclaimed from dew. Very soon there is no more reason to thirst.
A pile of wealth, grown trinket by trinket. Midas would be agog.
Lord, my day, my life is filled with small acts that add one to the other. Let me not therefore slowly yet inexorably imprison myself.
Let me create pools of cool water and heaps of treasure.
Yesterday I was a candle, blown out by wind. No light nor warmth escaped me.
Today, when I am lit, will I not burn? Dark will come early yet I will flicker in the window, beckoning the way to visit.
Joy at reunion, made sweeter by yesterday’s failure.
Thank you, Lord, for this day.
I rise and set about trying to become holy. Constant prayer, works, denial of comfort. I am shut up in a devotion-closet.
Could it be that instead you call us into the world? While I hide on bent knees, the needs of the people around me grow. My hurting neighbor, my despairing enemy – all in need. The river rushes on; I remain on shore.
You said: love, love – and I wrongly heard a call to retreat. You were calling me forth.
You made me sturdy, Lord. Let me cease this resting and hiding.
Grant me wherewithal that I may wet my ankles, carrying friend and foe alike across the stream on my steady back.
I am home after a long journey. Snug in harbor, wrapped against wind.
Now with harrowing adventures passed, the morning chores beckon. My breath mist in the cool dawn. Water and wood must be got.
How long to remain idle, Lord? A flame was lit in my heart.
Shall I sing working-songs of my travels, Lord? Will the flame thus be passed?
Let not fame dog me. Thank you, Lord, for the morning of work.