For the woman distracted in her car by the search for something lost at the bottom of her purse;
For the octogenarian creating order to his days with the routine of reading the morning paper at a coffee shop;
For the friend whose spirit is pacing in anxious anticipation, while somewhere tests are run on a biopsy;
For the gaggle of retired colleagues remembering stories together, fondly recalling their bygone professional clout;
For the mother crafting a holiday experience to satisfy all of her children when they return home in a fleeting whirl;
For the salesperson meeting frenzy with grace, frustration with creativity, without betraying his hopes for commission;
For the people I see daily; for their life journeys, their stresses and cares; O God, I ask your loving kindness and peace.
Here my cry, O God of my sister Hagar,
for the longing that aches without a balm,
for the love that dreams without fulfillment.
You have called me to the outskirts and
abandoned me here without warning;
you have shown me a vision of possibility
but closed every door and hidden every path.
Now let me alone, or else come and prove yourself
to be faithful & life-giving, full of mercy & imagination.
Come, O Absent Goodness, before despair festers
and sucks the spirit out of my hope. Come, o come!
Delightful, Ever-Surprising God: I am putting on the glasses of childlike faith with which to watch and wait through Advent. They are fabulously purple, with swirly frames, and when I look through their lenses I can see your possibilities — as wild as a bright rainbow gracing the sky while the storm still rages, as unexpected as a new way discovered through the wilderness, as rare as a rose blooming in the snow. With my goofy Advent glasses, I can see it all! What a thrill to behold the world with eyes of hope and joy! Now let me not only enjoy the vision of your Advent, but also live with abandoned trust in your Good News.
Light a light for us, O Jesus,
Messenger of the Living God.
Light a light for us that is brighter
than our decorations and vain joys.
Light a light that is stronger
than our fears and faith.
For we are flailing in the dark,
injuring one another as we grope
for certainty and assurance along our way.
Light a light that blazes in brilliance and proves
the shadows in our lives to be as they are:
insidious and without foundation.
Light such a light, we ask this
in despair for direction
and for peace.
Who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap. (Malachi 3:2, NRSV)
Who am I fooling?
How can I even begin to hide?
For you will strip me bare when you come,
searing through self-image and pretense like a fire,
like a scalding bath in lye, scrubbed raw by the vigilant fuller
until nothing remains but my vulnerable, limited self —
no longer caught up in who I strive to be, but
attuned to how God is calling me to be
and willing to be woven
into a new work.