My body, after labor, repairs and strengthens itself while I sleep. Each day I have more capacity.
When, Lord, does my spirit grow stronger? While I slumber in the night?
I sit with you in the morning, Lord, soul-crushed and worried for the day. You soothe me and build me up. I rise and walk, eyes clear and spine straight.
It is my time with you that strengthens me.
I will sit with you alone awhile longer. Hold my hand, Lord.
Sit with me a while before I rush into the day with its frenzy.
Spare me from ceaseless activity, like an overwound spring.
Unclench my jaw, blow the wind through me, relax my belly, lower my eyelids, soften my gaze.
You were with me all along. I sat next to you, not you with me.
Let my breath slow.
A bug on a plate, without hiding place.
An ox before a plow, directed and laboring.
A hare, discovered and darting from the garden.
How you nurture and love all these things I am, Lord – in my quick fear, my labor, my exposure. You build a hedge of protection around me and I scarce notice.
Child of a king, let me rest easy, Lord, and walk through this day unspotted.
Thy will be done.
Do I dare mill next season’s seed? Deep winter depletes even my emergency flour. The seasoned wood is used up; I am burning twigs and green logs.
Will the spring come?
Everything I need is to hand, yet I do not touch it. I am a child, Lord, keeping aside one last cookie in case I later want a snack.
Spring will come. When has it not?
You have given me daily gifts and they continue. Grant me faith, Lord, as I grind new flour for tonight’s bread.
I long ago laid by stores for deep winter times.
Now the hungry ones visit. We are far from the nearest settlement.
This root cellar may be the center of a new village. We are drawn to one another, here in wilderness, by our hunger.
Lord, let me not guard your providence nor be miserly in my intercourse. You only fill empty vessels.
Thank you, Lord, for this growing throng of new friends.
Green shoots even between cracks in sidewalk. You assert your presence, Lord, even as we have forgotten you.
Grant me eyes to see, and the words to share this vision.
Let us be more than we were.
From the cliff, windswept, watch I the battle between Titans. You put on a show, Lord: the crashing seas become foam, yet it is only decades hence that the rocks will crumble.
Your forces are arrayed to love the world; I need but wave my hand and the waves will crash against stony hearts.
Let the winds and show not distract me, Lord. There is plenty of work to be done.
I am no commander but the one who carries water for the wounded.
Walking a narrow track over uneven ground, sun shines from behind me, warming my back and neck.
You are the sun, O Lord.
The shadow that darkens the way and hides the roots over which I stumble – the shadow is made by me. I darken my own way. Why do I walk in this direction?
Shine higher in the sky, Lord, or let me turn myself to walk toward you.
Let my ways be your ways.
Do you offer consolation and relief?
Or are you power, Lord, power to move the levers of the world?
Woe is upon me; I form a curl and mewl. But you cause me to rise, to walk, to act.
I plow the field, and the village is later fed. I dig a trench in the rains do not flood the granary. I turn a lathe and my neighbors have legs for the table.
You move me, Lord, to fashion what does not yet exist. Let me uncurl myself and walk away from woe.
Thy will be done.
How long the night. I hold on, and finally rises the sun. Was it in doubt?
How long the winter. Frozen ground and dwindling stores, yet finally comes the spring and thaw. Did I think the freeze was forever?
Bitter endurance. At the end of such waiting, I look for some way to hurry dawn and spring, yet they come when they come.
It is nearly sunrise, Lord. Hold my hand and smooth my hair. The last moment is the hardest yet it passes like the one before.