In thanksgiving for ancestors and kin, for mothers and sisters across generations, for those who help to birth and those who accompany the walk and those who tell the tales, I call the names:
on Matthew 1:1-16
Here a raven in all its arrogance
Here a gull in its single-mindedness
Here a scrappy sparrow full of chatter
Each content in life and work (although to be fair,
they know no different)
And would they live differently if they did?
Would the gull wish its voice more like the sparrow’s
or the sparrow long for the raven’s solitary confidence?
Thankful today for the birds
witnessing to a way of being without discontent or doubt.
Surely this life
is meant for them
and not really for us
who seem to always want what is not ours to have.
Would that we might learn how to be!
“I give thanks to my God always for you…”
(I confess to believing)
there is not enough time
to be with you
to let time pass unattended
what I am missing:
welcome of another
into the space of my life
if only for one conversation
for being you
and for being with me
in her eyes
surely You saw too
the love and grief
mourning the past
the weary smile
loving the present
this bit about giving thanks
although we have long
lists of blessings
are our lists of
we are not grateful
but because we have lived
and can we live
without tears and loss
have we lived fully if we fail
to recognize this world’s
can we give thanks
while averting our eyes
from the wants and withouts
of each day, each relationship
the insult to dignity
the active undermining
of wellness and equality
so thanks, God, but
if I may echo
tears: this world of yours
is a few too many heartaches
for these ashes and dust
From my book Writing to God: Kids’ Edition, prayer idea #2: Write to God about your feelings. Tell God when you’re happy. God likes to hear your joy! You can write sentences about feeling happy, or write a list of thanks that make you happy. For example, Logan (age 5) writes, “Dear God, thank you for making me happy. I’m happy you let me play soccer on a team. I’m happy you let me have sisters and brothers. I’m happy you made chips because I really like chips.” (Paraclete Press 2012, pg 24-25)
For salt-and-vinegar French fries,
cut fresh, still with the potato skins.
For smooth dark bits of goodness
from my favorite chocolate store.
For my friend whose injury will heal
with the help of doctors and time.
For conversations that continue
across hours, days, even years.
For soft clean bedsheets in which
I wiggle and stretch out my toes.
For all the delights of this world,
I give thanks, O Holy Diversion!