Monday, November 29, 2021

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.

(Letter #2,515)

Sunday, November 28, 2021

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.

(Letter #2,514)

Friday, November 26, 2021

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.

(Letter #2,512)

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Knock. Enter.

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.

(Letter #2,511)

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

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.

(Letter #2,510)

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

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.

(Letter #2,509)

Monday, November 22, 2021

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.

(Letter #2,508)

Sunday, November 21, 2021

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.

(Letter #2,507)

Saturday, November 20, 2021

I have stacked these rocks into a fine wall, and fashioned a handsome gate through which to enter this tidy yard. Look at me preen as I step out my door and survey my fine work.

Does this neat patch of land send me closer to heaven?

Lord, you are sunshine and grace, shining down upon me even on this cold morning. Your warm love forgives me this self-satisfaction in my labor.

I am humbled, Lord, at how you love me even now, with my ordinary shortcomings on display.

Let me forgive the fellows I may meet their ordinariness.

(Letter #2,506)