At the threshold, leaving my rooms, I tarry.
What is beyond? Who, what, awaits?
O Friend, you beckon, and when that does not move me you press me from behind.
There is a world that waits for me, while I build my resolve.
Your hand between my shoulder blades, Lord, let me welcome the gift.
By the river bank, my brothers and sisters are building a pier. None ask, but I will help move rocks into place.
In the alleys, a hungry family. I will leave food where they might find it.
Lord, hide my name from memory, make me anonymous, that they may see your hand in the world.
Grant me contentment, Lord, that I do your will even in secret.
For me, through me, in me, with me — do you work.
You create miracles of grace for me, that I may flourish.
You speak and act into the world through my voice and my hands, creating gifts of love that others may see as Providence.
You teach me and soften my heart heart, and in me transform selfishness into a desire to learn of humility.
You are the wind at my back, along with me you push, as I try to help my fellows.
The cycle of our bond is the cycle of the world. May I do your will, Lord.
Sitting still, in tranquil air, storms rage through me. Fear, elation, despondency, joy, frustration, eagerness. Not a leaf has stirred to cause it.
I wrack myself with disorder. Lord, grant me equanimity in the face of this tumult.
The storm will pass, and my neighbor will have seen nothing.
Here, while we sit: soothe me, dear Lord.
You brought me, taken by the hand, through thick undergrowth and twisting tracks. The trees were close and the way was faint.
And then we emerge, you pulling me, into a bright meadow with a stream running through it. You knew this was here; I doubted and fussed.
In this meadow my needs are met. There is no need of grasping nor straining. What is left for me to do, Lord?
You have gone to draw in others. Let me prepare dwelling places for new arrivals.
Your mighty hands lift me. The strong back you made for me, meanwhile, carries my fellows.
When I weaken, and need support, another whom you have sent will grasp my hand and lift me. They, too, are held aloft by you.
Strength to weakness to strength. The world you made is firm under all our feet. Your grace, Lord, it rains down upon the foundation you made.
We exist between. Grace from above, love underfoot.
Let me therefore help my neighbor to stand.
All gone, I stand alone. Am I to weep over the loss, Lord? To fear solitude?
Like a mist you have crept across the floor and into my life, o’erspreading all. I now fear not solitude nor obligation. I can wait with you, as do you with me.
When my fellows return, I will have stood steady, and I will be able to look them in the face and to be seen in return.
Thank you, Lord, for this peace inside.
I overcame difficulty just to arise from my bed.
I underwent trial after trial as the winter descended and spread.
Dawn brings battle, dusk becomes the time for digging graves.
A blink, and these stories reverse themselves. Today I get to awaken. Winter is a pause for beauty. There are no enemies to fight nor holes to dig.
Quicken my heart, sweet Lord! You sent me here to share compassion with the weary, not to become exhausted myself.
Let these labors become joy, and let the others draw to me. Let them gain strength for their own journeys.
The river runs. It wears smooth the rocks, it straightens its own course, it deepens its channel. Never does it weary.
I watch it rush by, the water neither comes nor goes but, simply, is. There am I, aloof on the bank, trying to learn the shape of water.
There, too, am I, in my room, watching them work and play across the green. In my contemplation I am absent from the world.
Of old, were they baptized or were they simply swimming? Lord, let me bestir myself to enter the river.
A crushing wasteland led me to you, I walk now through fertile lands.
What signs will lead me on? A new direction may beckon, how will I know?
Looking back, I will see that the way was obvious.
Open my eyes to the signs all around me, Lord.