A Simple Prayer for Beginning Again

Water ran dry

One day the water ran dry.
Even when life stopped, still creation grew wild,
swelling around me as the water found its different course.
Time has a way of painting extraordinary character
a beauty that has gone by without fading.
Now, more than ever, each breath
draws me back to Presence-
revealing the Love that contained my past,
holds the water that fashions my future.
where each breath is enough.

In October of 2016, my beloved died suddenly and tragically after 36 years together. Just as I began to feel the earth under my feet again, in January of 2019, my sister died three days after a terrible stroke. A month later, a dear friend lost her life, entrusting me with her last letter. A month later, my dear Aunt Janet for whom I am named died, my godmother and beautiful soulmate. Here today, is my simple thought for beginning again. Thank you for reading.

 

Give Completely

Hearts of Stone

 

She-Mystery, who gives herself away completely,
In this challenging season, we breathe, we pray, we serve others.  Make us not forget, however, that an important part of our work is to accept the Love you offer.  Help us not even try to make sense of it, only open our eyes to watch for it and open our hearts to receive it.  We don’t want a feel good story on Easter, we want you to turn our hearts from stone into bread that brings life for the world.  Amen.

 

1 Kings 17: 12
 But she said, “As the Lord your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of meal in a jar, and a little oil in a jug; I am now gathering a couple of sticks, so that I may go home and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die.”

2018

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The ending of a  year of fullness and emptiness,

some seconds lasted an eternity and some weeks passed by in a blink.

A horrible year of watching newscasts filled with human misery, then,

to notice a simple reflection on my windshield could take my breath away.

Days when the seniors around me and the youngest children brought the same joy.

 

When family and good friends surrounded my heart with love

And when aloneness permeated my soul .

Some trees have been pruned and stand strong,

while quercus rubra fell into a million pieces.

 

My tears have fallen as heavy as the rains

and laughter tumbled over itself like the swollen brooks.

Music has stirred me, given me hope, and

memory of old, forced me to the ground of my grief.

 

This year will move into next year,

shaping the time that is to come,

imagining that much will be repeated,

ever more reminding me that I am alive still.

Giver of Abundance

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Loving God, who is the giver of abundance, who blesses us all,
For the earth, her beauty and her bounty, thanks be to you, our Creator.
For time spent being held in your Presence, thanks be to your Spirit.
We enter into your life, Holy One, and find you deep within ours.
With joy and thanksgiving, direct us each day toward every opportunity to love,
through our work and our play.
Make all that we offer, be for the sake of another. Amen.

 

Prayers for Those Who Mourn

The prevalence of violence in our communities concerns me deeply. We respond with medical care, social services and legal advice. Perhaps we have missed the most important source of healing;  caring for the spirit.

After losing my partner of 34 years in a traumatic event, these prayers emerged over the course of a year as I identified movements (in bold) in my own spirit.

Spiritual Care after Trauma

Healing One, who moves slowly in all that is eternal,It takes days for grief to unfold, and so often we try to escape it. Use these silent moments to let the light of God’s presence shine into our depths. Whether we find confusion or anger or perhaps a firm resolve for living, it is better for these to come forth than to remain hidden. Make each slow breath an opening to remove our inner division and reunite our being. Grief is not taken away but is relieved when shared, and transformed through relationship in community.  Help us to find one another in the sharing and unfolding. And, then, when we reach the heart of our experience, find there  the power of Loving Presence that holds us all. Amen.

 

Staying Present to What Is

Unknown Being, who creates and gives life,How is it that the dawn’s last deep sigh opens this morning’s light? There is no pausing to take a breath, no learning to breathe, nor forgetting to breathe, only the constancy of the One giving and receiving breath. Just wait, just watch for it. When it seems there is no hope, there is in reality more Presence than we can take in. The shattering of our hearts is not to be feared. Those deep sighs coming from our depths, are already initiating the opening for the new day.  Just wait, just watch for it. Amen.

 

Slowing Down in Grief

Creator of All, who gives us life beyond our knowing,
Open us to the steadiness of your Presence, breathe in us a sense of strength and peace, for we trust your ways are good and your love is unending. In all that is ahead,  slow us down, slow us down, slow us down that we might notice you first and allow you to guide our hearts and minds. Grow your love in us anew. This is the day the Lord has made, let us wait in hope, have patience in trouble and pray at all times.[i]Amen.

[i]Romans 12:12, my husband, Paul’s life verse.

Loss of Confidence in God’s Love for Us

Oh God, Unknown One, whose creation desperately needs redemption
Nothing makes any sense. We are not taking a breath, every cell in our bodies anxious with furious vibration, broken bones and torn flesh, every thought numbed. Lead us through this arid wilderness. Can the lost be found? Can the afflicted be comforted or the proud be convicted? Can we be sustained by your promise?
Redeem the images seared in our memories. Create in us new space to be filled by your love alone.  Embroider the names of victims on our hearts and in our minds until compassion brings us to new places of hope. Amen.

 

Loss of Confidence in Our Love for God

Eternal Companion, who is somehow amongst and within me,
I wake with a sense of dread, and  walk through the day with the sense of being devoured by cruel currents. I admit that I am unsure if I can love you. Guide me in this struggle.  Help me admit that I am empty and unfinished. Rather than allowing my circumstances to build walls, break down my resistance until understanding widens into ways of deliverance and peace.  Remind me to persevere in the one relationship that helps me to navigate all the rest. Amen.

 

Willingness to Accept the Unknown 

 Isaiah 42:16

I will lead the blind
by a road they do not know,
by paths they have not known
I will guide them.
I will turn the darkness before them into light,
the rough places into level ground.
These are the things I will do,
and I will not forsake them.

 

Emerging Compassion

Loving God, who calls us to follow in faith,
We pause to breathe in your limitless beauty offered in this day, and are reminded of the ways you provide for our comfort and peace. Keep us from complacency and give us courage to follow you, in all times and places, places of joy and light as well as places  of darkness and challenge. Knowing that we don’t travel alone,  help us realize that each faithful step takes us to our true home, where our meaning and purpose for living is revealed. Amen.