A Prayer

Lord,

reach down,
and take

what i have offered, Savior of mine,
times without number,
into Your same hands.

yes, for You are my Savior,
and not another,
my own, suited in infinite love,

to my need.

the answering balm for every windblown weariness,
rehearsed and draggled and tired,
the depth of which, only Your eyes can see.

Savior,
take
these days, crowded with endless strugglings
which appear as nothing to the outside eye.

invisible strivings,
cares whining and soft, coming in droves, tolling to fill up every day.

Lord,
undertake,
and take in hand
these things that You were earth-born to see.

for to who else shall i go?
Who could be earth-hurled and forgotten and laid down as You?

Lord,
Who else like Yourself,
has been tired and worn,
sacrificed and offered up,
even acquainted with grief
for my sake?

who else could take what i give to You now,
and weave an unfading crown?

take
and receive, petitions worn with asking,
rising with each morning’s need.

let Your manger-born tenderness,
assuage the worried ruin,
that lies along the banks of all the silent, sun-bleached days
that i see.

dear Jesus,
My own Savior.

how long have i rested in Your hands,
to know,
that You do not break the splintered reed,
You take trouble, and make it into glory.

bending low, in tender infinitude
You do not quench,
the smoldering wick of this heart.

Good Lord,
rise and do,
what You have always done for me.

in my struggling, beget peace,
for my futility, exchange timeless meaning.
visit me,
outlining  purpose,
with Your raised, speaking hands.

let heartbreak and dross,
burn like blazoned jewels,
in Your furnace where You fire and meld,
the crowns of saints, waiting- unseen.

promise me,
with Your lobed whisper,
curled like pearl,
that i struggle, and strive and live
according to plan.

measuring and flawless,
You watch,
You calculate, You speak, You lead, You draw,
the unfolding, perfect lines of Your purpose
and You are not afraid.

Amen

“Even to your old age I am he, and to gray hairs I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save.” ~ Isaiah 46:4

Wintering

may i love You, Lord,
with the earthen-terribleness of my winters,
as well as i love You,
with the lifted hands of spring.

may my times of wanting,
turn,
voluble and roseate, better than summer,
between Your unchangeable hands.

especially,
these times,
in and out of spring.

my i rehearse this truth well,
within my wondering heart-

that, to everything,
there is a season-
a purpose
for every going’s on
under heaven.

help me to remember,
those in deeper winter than i,
as i lift,
iced over  – thawing yet,
swaths of praise.

let me remember, Savior,
there was a season, and a time,
for Your cross,
Your deep winter, that gave birth to praise.

sorrow, even Your sorrow-
endures for a night,
but joy, redolent, resounding of You-
must dawn with the morning.

Savior,
may i continually,
lay to heart,
Your own words to me:

knowing,
the hairs of my head,
are
numbered…

and You cherish, the weeping,
of sextillions of sparrows…

Amen

Rest

“Of Benjamin he said, The beloved of Jehovah shall dwell in safety by him; He covereth him all the day long, And he dwelleth between his shoulders.” ~ Deuteronomy 33:12

voluminous and easy,
You lift the downy awning, the underside of Your gentle arm,
over me.

because, Lord,

today, this very tired day,
i need Your exquisite sabbath,
the fair winds of Your close-pressed favor,
the smiling of Your eyes, 

for You,
You only and altogether,
comprise all the hope,
of my bracing soul.

You always know,
when to walk by,
soft-stepping and slow
to give
what is only Yours
and belongs to You,
that is….
Your perfect rest.

how gladly You offer again,
the lee-side of Your protection,
that place between Your humble shoulders,
where many a tired dove, Lord, has nestled
and tittered herself to sleep.

…for in You, even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow, a nest for herself.
even at Your altars, O Lord God of hosts….

and so, i surrender
and curl into the welcome, welter of Your love,
that well-worn, always comfortable place,
deep,
in the overcoat of Your righteousness…

i do, compose my soul
as You come,
voluble and still…
talking, and un-talking, like the spiced air of summer,
understanding and bedding close,
speaking and listening all at once
with Your immense, white silence.

and,
gratefully,
i lay my head,
in that place of chalcedone cool,
the perfect, contented, forgetfulness
of Your presence.

knowing,
You will not wake me,
if i sleep.

and,

in Your gracious, smiling stillness

indeed Lord,
i do,

find rest….

Amen

Wanting

Lord,
today, in today’s stillness
the burned-out, wanting edges of my heart,
brim with petitions, You have heard a thousand times…
and yet, in Your sweetly silent, forbearing mercy-

You stand close to hear, just once more.

i must accept,
knowing You, Who created me,
that there must be something good,
in all this wanting.
in all these tumbling desires,
curling, crumbling, upward like burning paper,
always looking up, even when in weariness,
they weep.
always, somehow, hopeful,
like the asking child’s face, bent in a parent-ward looking
and waiting, and petitioning, and wondering…

…Help me to watch and wait for you, 
more than watchmen wait for the morning…

Lord, Who made mankind to build and to plant,
to explore and subdue.
the Fire of Your awareness, Your ability to feel, to love and desire,
is in us, Your creatures – stamped, inscribed, imprinted indelibly, – still.

You see, the bold stamp of Your own capability in me,
and yet You also see my selfishness, my near-sightedness, my folly, my sin.

O’ Lord, break and blow, and breathe Your own desires into me,
one of Your questioning creatures, who was always born desiring…

Sanctify, with Your own, quiet, Fathering glance,
the mumbling, magnificent, imperfect wonderings- the wantings of my soul,
and place in these two, asking hands the perfect, waiting fullness-
of Yourself.

Calm today’s chirrupings, the calling of tireless crickets,
the oh, so pleasant, moan and whine,
of unfulfilled desire,

with the wholeness,
the maturity,
the becoming

of coming to want,
in all these wantings…

nothing, so truly,
as i want

Yourself….

Amen